Sriram Veera on India in the West Indies 2011 June 20, 2011

Rowe apologises for rebel tour as Jamaica honours him

Sriram Veera
Celebration and remorse were both in the air
57

Celebration and remorse were both in the air. And closure. In an extraordinary statement, 28 years after he was shunned for going on a rebel tour of South Africa, Lawrence Rowe apologised for going on that trip in 1983. He dubbed Monday as the "final death of that tour".

It started as a day of joy. Rowe, Michael Holding and Courtney Walsh were immortalised in the Sabina Park stadium during the lunch break of the first Test between West Indies and India. The two ends were named after Holding - his wife was there for the unveiling - and Walsh, while Rowe's name was attached to the pavilion.

Rowe smiled and Walsh even allowed himself a laugh before Rowe read out his statement of apology. "About 28 years ago, a team of West Indies cricketers toured South Africa. At that time South Africa was banned for the apartheid regime. That tour and other such tours were grouped together as rebel tours. It was organised and conducted without the approval of West Indies' cricket board. Such tours were in fact outlawed by cricket boards over the world, by governments including the government of Jamaica and by other international organisations like the United Nations. Understandably, that tour upset the people of Jamaica. Today I sincerely apologise to the cricketing fraternity of Jamaica, the Caribbean and the rest of the world."

It wasn't expected by the press and there was a moment of surprise before cynicism entered the minds of a few. Was the apology sincere? "If it wasn't sincere I wouldn't have done it," Rowe said. "Jamaica Cricket Association decided to honour me and I thought before I accept it I should apologise."

Life wasn't easy for Rowe after that fatal tour. There are reports that he would hide in the Kingston club to watch Tests in Sabina Park. There was anger in the air. Time is a healer. "When I came back, I had to leave the country and go to the States," Rowe said. "At that time the crowd reception was hostile but I have been back after that. I have been accepted and treated fairly. Even today, people were cheering for me."

That they did. The sparse crowd cried out his nickname "Yaga" as he walked out to the middle of the unveiling ceremony. Rowe, of course, had the crowds coming out in droves in his younger days. Tony Cozier still remembers Rowe's triple-hundred at the Kensington Oval. "Gates were broken, walls were scaled and even high-tension electric cables were used by people to get in." Rowe, himself, couldn't enter. "We had to be escorted in," Rowe told ESPNCricinfo. "It was a special day. I went on to score that 300."

It was a six that he hit the day before that had excited the crowd into such fervour. Bob Willis was bouncing Rowe. "I don't hook early in my innings." Willis was trying to get him do it. One delivery reared up towards the face when Rowe hooked it off the peak of his cap and it went screaming over backward square-leg. It was a flat six. The crowd went wild. Rowe remembers it vividly. "Geoffrey Boycott was standing at the backward square-leg boundary and it flew barely a few feet over him. I had connected it really well and hit it hard." The next day was a rest day. The word spread like fire. Rowe was in his 40's and the crowd knew that there was going to be something special from him the next day. The talk spread from bar to bar on that rest day and it gathered momentum. It went over the boil the next morning and the whole of Barbados, almost, poured into the Kensington Oval

Rowe's most famous knock was the 175 he hit in the World Series in Australia, organised by Kerry Packer, against Dennis Lillee and Co. It's a stuff of folklore but it's not Rowe's best innings. He rates a 66 he hit in Sydney as his best. "The pitch was so green and they had Lillee, Thomson, Max Walker. The ball was flying and moving around. And I managed to play my shots. It was a great feeling. That 175 was my most dominating knock of course but I really cherish that 66 on that track."

It wasn't the rebel tour that killed Rowe's career. The end had begun a while back. Rowe's life almost fatally attracted tragedy. His knee gave way during a game in Trinidad, an eye disease was discovered in London and he had an allergy to grass, a perverse ailment to strike a cricketer. The knee injury, that happened in 1973, was wrongly diagnosed by a doctor who thought it was just a mild strain and the cast was removed.

"That was a mistake. It was a ligament tear and took me a year to really recover. I suffered because of that during the England tour." The eye disease - a "rare case of stigmatism" - was found out almost accidentally in a restaurant by the manager Gerry Alexander. "I was peering into a menu and was holding it really close to my eyes when Gerry asked me what's wrong with me. I hadn't even realised my eye was affected." The right eye had a perfect 20-20 vision but the left eye was giving up on Rowe. He tried spectacles but everything looked "oblong and hazy". "I was told I was soft. I would call it bad luck."

Having lost the fluency that he was known for, Rowe started to turn against himself. He couldn't accept his game, hailed across the cricketing world as the most graceful batting seen in history, was drifting away from him. Paranoia seeped in. In a festive game in England, people had thronged the ground to see him bat. Rain came down to leave the pitch damp and Rowe refused to come out to bat. Michael Holding, a great fan of Rowe, wrote a revealing line. "He couldn't be the Lawrence Rowe that people were expecting." And he didn't come out to bat. "The fear of failure gripped him," Cozier said.

Was he a special batsman? "No-one better than him," Cozier said. "No-one. He was the most graceful batsman that you could dream to see." Rowe was blessed. He was then cursed. Greatness eluded him but luckily, on Monday, as West Indies took on India on the same ground where he had a dream debut, he found some sort of redemption. The man they called Yaga was all smiles at his Sabina Park. It felt good.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • john on October 10, 2011, 16:28 GMT

    I saw the 300 he scored in Barbados. Since then i have and will never in this or another life time ever see batting like that again. During that time every young cricketer wanted to be lawrence Rowe.Could you imagine sitting on high tension wires while lawrence batted and we were not executed? Well i was there!

  • Daivney Thomas on October 8, 2011, 13:43 GMT

    Rowe hurt all of us and he must sincerely apologize for helping to tear west Indies cricket apart. Rowe is very arrogant in many of his interviews he express where he was rob of greatness,no Rowe you were on the decline. When you was drop by the west Indies after your new Zealand tour you were on the decline, there were many west Indian batsmen who were better than you. We had to drop you we needed talent to rule the world of cricket and you have lost yours. The people of the west indies new you are over rated,I can cite many many incidents were you proved you weren't good enough .

  • mr abdul perkins on October 8, 2011, 11:58 GMT

    Nice to read about a time when the west indies were great and even nicer to read posts by fans of windian cricket such as errol andrews and marlon biggs.....its nice to know such passion still exists for windies cricket. As a lifelong fan my very first test series in clear memory was the 1984 england tour as a 8 year old boy. I was mesmirised by garner,marshall,richards,gomes. Its shocking the way the game disintegrated in the mid 90's as Bishop turned out a disapointment, and lara, hooper, adams and chanderpaul couldnt play with the same consistency, team awareness and pride as the class of 1975-1994. Its like the fall of ancient egypt relatively swift and no rejuvenation in site. Why are all the modern windies bowlers short? where are the tall windian athletes going?

  • Pharma7 on July 11, 2011, 1:00 GMT

    Hello! akgedfa interesting akgedfa site!

  • jaswant behari on June 25, 2011, 21:44 GMT

    Mr editor, i wrote earlier on the genius Lawrence Rowe and stated that he played against Kerry Packer at Albion Guyana.This i think is wrong.I did saw him bat at Albion,but it may have been against Australia,i think he made 32 or so runs.I am sorry and i appologise for this error.Rowe of course was a jewel of fine art.

  • jaswant behari on June 25, 2011, 13:33 GMT

    Why not pay respect to this genius of batting?He found himself in a team comprised of only the greats,a team that was on the verge of conquering the word and he did not let them down,it is tragic that his path was crossed with medical issues,but a genius comes once in a lifetime.Honour this greatness.I must say i was lucky to see him during the Kerry Packer series at Albion in Guyana,and i remembered his signature late cut.Hail to greatness.

  • RIchard on June 25, 2011, 8:44 GMT

    I saw Rowe and others at Cape Town for the first match of that rebel tour. For all that was wrong with the tour there is a sense in which it contributed to change in South Africa. I remember well the buzz of excitement that greeted the team. The contrast of hero-worship of a group of very cool Caribbean dudes against the mistreatment of our own people was apparent even in more conservative circles. During the tour there was an incident when Colin Croft (I think) got into the "wrong" carriage on a train (reminiscent of Ghandi!) which was the first time I saw the apartheid government embarrassed by a racial incident (they usually ignored it, or blamed it on "communists and agitators"). Less than 7 years later they unexpectedly flip-flopped and begun the end of apartheid and started the miracle emergence of the rainbow nation. So many factors contributed to that, but I like to believe that Rowe & co. played their part.

  • Roger on June 24, 2011, 2:08 GMT

    Lawrence remains one of the greats of West Indian and a bit of a tragic hero because of events that prevented him from fulfilling an amazing promise. That innings at Kensington Oval in 1974 will forever remain an innings that stir the imagination of all Caribbean peoples and moreso the young ones. Kanhai and Sobers was still in that team and so was Lloyd, Murray, Kalli, Fredericks, Bernard Julien, Gibbs, Holder and Boyce. This was the nucleus of the team that gave rise to the all-conquering Windies that ended its domination around 1996. It does not matter what anyones says: South Africa was for economic reasons and nothing else - so we all have to be easy on them. They deserve to have earned a livelihood at a time when WI cricket was brimming over with greats. I sometimes wonder if he was part of the Australian tour of 75-76 when WI lost 5-1. I gather from the article that he was part of that team but it appears that he did not do too well.

  • Karl Pinnock on June 23, 2011, 21:06 GMT

    I cannot properly express how delighted and relieved I am that I can finally bury the hatchet with my all time hero and favourite batsman.I saw most of if not all of Lawrence Rowe's innings at Sabina Park.Yagga used to work for an air conditioning company and as an incentive they used to offer him money for each run he scored...so every time he hit a boundry the cry of "dollar worth!"would ring out across'BINA'.People used to run out on the pitch and full his pocket with their money whenever he reached a milestone ...the stats might say Bradman or Tendulkar...but no one can bat like 'Yagga Rowe'there is a DVD I bought at DERRICK HARRIOTTS RECORD SHOP in Kingston of his 175 in World Series Cricket....not very good quality picture...but well worth it.

  • blwe_torch on June 23, 2011, 16:09 GMT

    Thanks for the special comments.....and special thanks to brother Errol Andrews! This was like reliving the olden days..

  • john on October 10, 2011, 16:28 GMT

    I saw the 300 he scored in Barbados. Since then i have and will never in this or another life time ever see batting like that again. During that time every young cricketer wanted to be lawrence Rowe.Could you imagine sitting on high tension wires while lawrence batted and we were not executed? Well i was there!

  • Daivney Thomas on October 8, 2011, 13:43 GMT

    Rowe hurt all of us and he must sincerely apologize for helping to tear west Indies cricket apart. Rowe is very arrogant in many of his interviews he express where he was rob of greatness,no Rowe you were on the decline. When you was drop by the west Indies after your new Zealand tour you were on the decline, there were many west Indian batsmen who were better than you. We had to drop you we needed talent to rule the world of cricket and you have lost yours. The people of the west indies new you are over rated,I can cite many many incidents were you proved you weren't good enough .

  • mr abdul perkins on October 8, 2011, 11:58 GMT

    Nice to read about a time when the west indies were great and even nicer to read posts by fans of windian cricket such as errol andrews and marlon biggs.....its nice to know such passion still exists for windies cricket. As a lifelong fan my very first test series in clear memory was the 1984 england tour as a 8 year old boy. I was mesmirised by garner,marshall,richards,gomes. Its shocking the way the game disintegrated in the mid 90's as Bishop turned out a disapointment, and lara, hooper, adams and chanderpaul couldnt play with the same consistency, team awareness and pride as the class of 1975-1994. Its like the fall of ancient egypt relatively swift and no rejuvenation in site. Why are all the modern windies bowlers short? where are the tall windian athletes going?

  • Pharma7 on July 11, 2011, 1:00 GMT

    Hello! akgedfa interesting akgedfa site!

  • jaswant behari on June 25, 2011, 21:44 GMT

    Mr editor, i wrote earlier on the genius Lawrence Rowe and stated that he played against Kerry Packer at Albion Guyana.This i think is wrong.I did saw him bat at Albion,but it may have been against Australia,i think he made 32 or so runs.I am sorry and i appologise for this error.Rowe of course was a jewel of fine art.

  • jaswant behari on June 25, 2011, 13:33 GMT

    Why not pay respect to this genius of batting?He found himself in a team comprised of only the greats,a team that was on the verge of conquering the word and he did not let them down,it is tragic that his path was crossed with medical issues,but a genius comes once in a lifetime.Honour this greatness.I must say i was lucky to see him during the Kerry Packer series at Albion in Guyana,and i remembered his signature late cut.Hail to greatness.

  • RIchard on June 25, 2011, 8:44 GMT

    I saw Rowe and others at Cape Town for the first match of that rebel tour. For all that was wrong with the tour there is a sense in which it contributed to change in South Africa. I remember well the buzz of excitement that greeted the team. The contrast of hero-worship of a group of very cool Caribbean dudes against the mistreatment of our own people was apparent even in more conservative circles. During the tour there was an incident when Colin Croft (I think) got into the "wrong" carriage on a train (reminiscent of Ghandi!) which was the first time I saw the apartheid government embarrassed by a racial incident (they usually ignored it, or blamed it on "communists and agitators"). Less than 7 years later they unexpectedly flip-flopped and begun the end of apartheid and started the miracle emergence of the rainbow nation. So many factors contributed to that, but I like to believe that Rowe & co. played their part.

  • Roger on June 24, 2011, 2:08 GMT

    Lawrence remains one of the greats of West Indian and a bit of a tragic hero because of events that prevented him from fulfilling an amazing promise. That innings at Kensington Oval in 1974 will forever remain an innings that stir the imagination of all Caribbean peoples and moreso the young ones. Kanhai and Sobers was still in that team and so was Lloyd, Murray, Kalli, Fredericks, Bernard Julien, Gibbs, Holder and Boyce. This was the nucleus of the team that gave rise to the all-conquering Windies that ended its domination around 1996. It does not matter what anyones says: South Africa was for economic reasons and nothing else - so we all have to be easy on them. They deserve to have earned a livelihood at a time when WI cricket was brimming over with greats. I sometimes wonder if he was part of the Australian tour of 75-76 when WI lost 5-1. I gather from the article that he was part of that team but it appears that he did not do too well.

  • Karl Pinnock on June 23, 2011, 21:06 GMT

    I cannot properly express how delighted and relieved I am that I can finally bury the hatchet with my all time hero and favourite batsman.I saw most of if not all of Lawrence Rowe's innings at Sabina Park.Yagga used to work for an air conditioning company and as an incentive they used to offer him money for each run he scored...so every time he hit a boundry the cry of "dollar worth!"would ring out across'BINA'.People used to run out on the pitch and full his pocket with their money whenever he reached a milestone ...the stats might say Bradman or Tendulkar...but no one can bat like 'Yagga Rowe'there is a DVD I bought at DERRICK HARRIOTTS RECORD SHOP in Kingston of his 175 in World Series Cricket....not very good quality picture...but well worth it.

  • blwe_torch on June 23, 2011, 16:09 GMT

    Thanks for the special comments.....and special thanks to brother Errol Andrews! This was like reliving the olden days..

  • norris on June 22, 2011, 20:10 GMT

    as a youth of about 9 or 10 years old when rowe began capturing the attention of cricket fans with his play for jamaica and then the west indies, i added immensely to my vocabulary by way of the radio commentary of his batting. words like scintillating, majestic, par excellence, vintage, stupendous and repetoire were all use in the description of yaga's batting. i idolised him and even tried copying his style as a batsman, even though i never saw him bat in person.what i did see was television coverage of the his 102 against the aussies in 1975. in that innings i saw rowe again and again play one particular shot that still gives me goosebumps everytime i reflect on it. rowe was dispatching jeff thompson, who must be regarded as one of, if not, the fastest bowlers of all time, to the cover boundary, and was doing it as easy and as elegant as if he were playing against a spinner. surely the man's batting was blessed with a 'touch of class'.

  • Arif Rahman on June 22, 2011, 14:02 GMT

    Lawrence Rowe was first choice for XI but due to sudden problem in his eyes he had to withdraw from playing XI at Bangalore during first test in 1974-75 India-WI series. In his absence a debutant was given his test cap, his name was Viv Richards who failed in both innings. Second Test at New Delhi saw Rowe coming back but again same problem and Viv got another go. This time he scored 192* and won the game for WI. Rowe was sent back to WI and Viv became what everyone knows. Cricket was poorer by the loss of Rowe but gained immensely with the advent of Sir Viv.

  • blackie on June 22, 2011, 13:08 GMT

    I was not even a cricket fan as yet in 1973 but my cousins who were, were making a big fuss about Lawrence Rowe and cricket on tv. I watched a lot of it and it was clear there was something special about this guy. The simple fact that most of the men in my family stopped what they were doing just to watch him play was remarkable. It takes a big man to apologise for an action in these days when 'every one is right' in their own eyes. Congrats Lawrence Rowe. You've given us memories of what was. If Windies never scale those heights again, at least we can say we've been there through you.

  • Ben on June 22, 2011, 10:39 GMT

    Thanks for the story. He was the nmost graceful cricketer of time. I think that the rebel tour did some good for cricket. South Africa cricket can actually thank the rebels for helping them get back into the world scene again. These guys were somewhat ambassadors, and changed South Africa cricket.

  • Suresh Rajamani on June 22, 2011, 6:27 GMT

    I am not saying Rowe should not be honoured by Jamaica. By all means. Just want to say, spare a thought for the cricketers who were in the same(or worse) economic situation but still did not succumb to the apartheid Rand.

  • Hutch on June 22, 2011, 4:53 GMT

    If the cricketing world can forgive SA. for there transgression on 30 million black people. Jamaica should forgive Mr. Rowe longtime ago. what WICB as done to improve the condition of our cricket for 25 years. they still treat our players like slave working for there masters in the field. Yagga we love you, looking to see you in Masters Legend game in Ja. October, we know the the young cricketer is waiting to see you at coaching clinic. god bless

  • marlon rohoman on June 22, 2011, 4:45 GMT

    congrads jamaica,guyana now its ur turn,enough of the red,green and orange stand.lets hear bout the the lance gibbs end and the colin croft end,the clive lloyd media center,rohan khanai and kalicharran stand,we got great heroes too,lets honour them,pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeee

  • Cecil Goddard on June 22, 2011, 4:32 GMT

    As a young school boy in Barbados, I was at Kensington Oval to see Lawrence Rowe in that match against England in 1973.......... What a batsman... you don't see batsmen like that today. He struck the ball with great force and superb elegance. On that day he destroyed the English bowlers............ everyone. I remember saying to myself.......... "I wouldn't want to be the bowler to be bowling at this batsman."

  • Hugh Pitter on June 22, 2011, 4:03 GMT

    Yagga, congratulation on the recent honor bestowed on you by the Jamaica Cricket Board, in which you so richly deserve. It takes a man to admit his mistakes and move on. I am very proud of you. All the best in your future endevours. Hugh Pitter.

  • Desmond Chase on June 21, 2011, 23:39 GMT

    Lawrence George " Yagga" Rowe was one of the finest strokeplayers to ever play the game.There was a Jamaica cricket commentator who lived in England by the name of Lawrence.I cannot remember his first name, but his brilliant commentary while describing the great Rowe's batting was sensational.Tony Cozier was excellent too, but Lawrence was extra special .Cozier in those days edited an annual West Indies cricket magazine describing the previous west indies series and to read his writing on some of Rowe's innings was truly breathtaking. I often wondered what had become of this great WI cricketer who schoolboys in the late 60's and early 70's idolized like if he was a God. I was privileged to see Rowe scored 51 runs at Bourda I think it was against the Aussies and to this day it was one of the best innings I ever saw.To me, Gary Sobers was the greatest WI batsman followed by Richards and Lara and Lawrence Rowe( sheer batsmanship not statistics.

  • Anil on June 21, 2011, 23:01 GMT

    @Keith Rechards, people care, and truly so; that's why this article was possible that that's why so many others responded positively. If you did not care, why care to ask 'who cares'? I guess being insensitive to matters that are largely sensitive to a wide population is a disease--mental or physical; and needs attention.

  • vernal gordon on June 21, 2011, 21:35 GMT

    i was at saina park for all five days of the test as my frien lawrence rowe made his test debut and made history as he scored his double century and century in the second innings. it was just a class act of batting that he displayed . i was so nervous watching as i wanted him to score those centuries and yes he did it with class. go yagga.

  • Srini on June 21, 2011, 20:40 GMT

    I don't recall much of Rowe playing, first WSC and then in-out of WI team robbed me of that, but from what his peers say of him, must have been very good. Pity he didn't realize his full potential. If the kind of team and personal management existed in his time, things could have been much different for him.

  • roots on June 21, 2011, 18:01 GMT

    This is 2 times lawrence rowe made me cryonce when he went to south africa and now when he man up and appologize, the truth of the matter is i don´t think rowe and that lot realize how much they did hurt the majority of carribean people. iam from gall hill b´dos alvin greenidge had a house there i could see his house from my mum´s house, i remember being in barbados on holiday, and having this evil urge to burn the place down. by the way the best innings i saw by rowe was a fifty playing for derbyshire, there has never been a player with so much time to play his shots. It takes a man to appologize, i Findit in my heart to do so i hope the whole carribean do the same.

  • Errol Andrews on June 21, 2011, 17:55 GMT

    This is the best series of posts I have seen in a long time, all very passionate descriptions of the great batsman.as I sit here in Baldwin, New York,checking to see if my epistle of posts were published,i found my self nodding and smiling as i went through each post.ESPN should contact Yags and hand him a framed copy of all these excellent posts, as well as doing a piece on the short but great career of one of the superlative talents to grace the sporting world.It would be nice if, upon been made aware of these posts ,Yags would personally do a thank you post through ESPN.

  • couvaexpress on June 21, 2011, 17:41 GMT

    I know of one individual who paid his admission to the Queens Park Oval, took his seat, then saw Rowe play the deftest of late cuts. The guy promptly announced that he was leaving the Oval to re enter because he had just gotten his money's worth.

  • VJ on June 21, 2011, 17:35 GMT

    Nice to hear about Lawrence Rowe and learn about him..can some one pls upload his videos..It would be a treat to watch and would be learning lessons for youngster . Cheers

  • stonebull on June 21, 2011, 16:25 GMT

    nobody talking about the latest of late cuts actually taking the ball out of the keeper's gloves.i'm happy they forgave those guys because less than 10 years later south africa were admitted back into the fold. so since we made up with s.a. we must do the same with the "rebel" players.

  • McArthur on June 21, 2011, 16:07 GMT

    Lawrence George (as he is affectionately known in Barbados) was the most sublime batsman I have ever seen. His 302 against England is widely regarded as one of THE great innnings ever at the fabled Kensington Oval. As a proud West indian, though, LGR represents the epitome of what West Indian cricket is about. Loved in Jamiaca, idolised in Barbados and cherished everywhere in these islands. He played the great game with peerless skill and made it looked good with his pure West Indian non-chalance. Was a ball ever picked so elegantly off the stumps to go hurrying to the fence while the bowler stops mid-shout almost fooled that he had LGR bowled? Do you recall the casual whistling while playing those dazzling stokes? He weaved a spell with his strokes that (like Sobers before him and Richards and Lara after him) bonded hese diverse islands together as one great Nation - one purpose, one goal, one Hero. Thanks for the memories Yaga.

  • davidh on June 21, 2011, 14:45 GMT

    That magic era referred to as the golden years of West Indian cricket will be forever etched into the memories of all who were priveleged enough to live through it...Rowe was special. He never managed to achieve the mantle of greatness because of his physical failings but what a player. if you thought that Greg Chappel was elegant then think of another couple notches above that. I remember old timers talking about a Sobers late cut in the Queen's Park Oval against one of the Indian spinners, Sobers went forward, was beaten in the flight and was still able to get back and late cut for four...well according to those old timers the only man who could play the late cut better was Rowe. I saw him make a hundred in the Caribbean and this was classic West Indian batsmanship, Rowe with his pure technique and silky skills was a direct descandant of Headley, Worrel at al. Good to see that recognition has come to one who will always be part of Caribbean cricketing legend and folklore.

  • Richard Gill on June 21, 2011, 14:37 GMT

    I was present at the West Indies England Test match at Sabina park Kingston in February 74, the only white man in the crowd other then the press box and the pavilion. WI had Sobers, Kanhai, Lloyd, Kallicharran and Fredericks in their batting order but the star was Rowe and his batting reflected that status. He made 120, was supremely untroubled throughout and I can still imagine I can see a hook shot he played that screamed to the square leg boundary.

  • Curdy Brown on June 21, 2011, 14:22 GMT

    I wonder why they call him "Home Bread"? They say because he can only score runs at home. But I think he used to be a good batsman.

  • Guest on June 21, 2011, 14:19 GMT

    @ Keith Richards: Clearly you don't, so why bother to post?

  • Venkat on June 21, 2011, 13:55 GMT

    After his sensational debut, Rowe became my instant hero in distant India, and I followed his matches and batting stats with great interest. His 73-74 series against England was his high point, his 73 England tour was disappointing as also the 74-75 tour of India. I remember sitting about 10 feet from the WI team at a tour match in Hyderabad - Rowe batted briefly but showed his class - his understudy then, Viv Richards, was in animated banter not aware that Rowe would opt out of the first Test in Bangalore a week later.

    It is difficult to imagine an already strong WI team with Rowe in full flow - his health was what held him back. It was hard to imagine his life in obscurity in Florida but with the current gesture, Rowe has gained redemption.

  • JERRY BACCHUS on June 21, 2011, 13:05 GMT

    Could not get a better stroke maker than the man who whistled wheh he batted. I am proud to say I bowled my slow left arm spinners to him in the nets at Bourda before the New Zealand test.Little gossip,there was an ongoing rivalry with him and Kallicharran and he was feeling uneasy about playing at Bourda. Being the typical school boy,I wanted to see him stop whistling as I bowled my best to him.He simply said to me when I asked him what tune or song it was"I really can't tell". He even gave me a ball with his authograph which was stolen by some smart ass.My mom was upset that I did'nt take more care of it. YES.I can say I saw the best stroke maker of my time and I bowled to him in his prime.

  • philip gunraj on June 21, 2011, 12:59 GMT

    I saw Mr Rowe at bourda against the english men,he did not make many but he had them catching grass in the slips.What a wonderful batsman he was.

  • Marlon Biggs on June 21, 2011, 12:56 GMT

    Lawrence Rowe was one of the all time grates that we understand but the Jamaica cricket board need to understand that it is not right to honor indiscipline behavior for 28 years he was band and never saw it fit to give an apology instead he left the country yet they award him over greats like Alf Valentine , Jeff Dujon and Jackie Hendriks among others who never put their country or national team under such shame ... don't get me wrong he was a great player i never saw him play in fact i were not even born yet just manage to read about him and watch clips but his choice years ago was wrong and i don't think its right to award him over those who chose to do the right thing.

  • Marlon Biggs on June 21, 2011, 12:55 GMT

    Lawrence Rowe was one of the all time grates that we understand but the Jamaica cricket board need to understand that it is not right to honor indiscipline behavior for 28 years he was band and never saw it fit to give an apology instead he left the country yet they award him over greats like Alf Valentine , Jeff Dujon and Jackie Hendriks among others who never put their country or national team under such shame ... don't get me wrong he was a great player i never saw him play in fact i were not even born yet just manage to read about him and watch clips but his choice years ago was wrong and i don't think its right to award him over those who chose to do the right thing.

  • Devon L Wilson on June 21, 2011, 12:36 GMT

    I must confess, when I was growing up with my friends in Jamaica, all of us wanted to be Lawrence Row! He was Godified ( Sorry new Word) by us.

    The other person we Honor was Sir Tony Cozier for us those two people meant everything to us. If Mr. Cozier was not commentating it was not fun, if Rowe was not batting it was no fun.

    I never condemned Lawrence for going to South Africa, for me, I thought it was a good thing they went, within the depth of my heart, I believed it help to propelled the breaking of the south African Regime.

    How can we who knows how to sin, condemns another sinner! Cricket was his life, and I am sorry he had to apologized to the word in order to be accepted as a true loyal cricketer.

    But he did what was in his heart. I am so happy that Jamaica Honor the great bats man. Forgive is greater than the honors of a million Princes, Jamaica I am proud of my Land of wood and water, a people that personified love in many ways! Thank you. We need to honor Sir Tony

  • Errol on June 21, 2011, 12:26 GMT

    Yagga was special. I recalled him caressing a ball with an imperceptible flick of his wrist. The ball raced all the way slightly ahead of a desperately chasing fielder all the way the boundary for four, all along the ground. A spectator then got up and responded i can leave now i have had my money's worth. That simply graceful effort was like poetry in motion. and that alone was worth every dollar spent to eneter the stand

  • Longmemory on June 21, 2011, 12:23 GMT

    Strange, the effects of time on our viewpoints. When I was young, I absolutely detested the brown (Sri Lankan) and black (from the Caribbean) players who went to S Africa. I found it so hard to believe that one of my favorite batsmen of all time - Alvin Kallicharan - would do something like that. But as the years have gone by and I've understood the economic pressure some of these guys were under, I've become more sympathetic. Rowe had a special problem because his career was already cut short by freak bad luck. I find it much harder to forgive the Embureys, Gooches, Knotts, Gattings and other "first world" white cricketers who had made a good living off the game - but still went to apartheid South Africa to make an extra buck. I'm happy Rowe is rehabilitated by his fellow Jamaicans, but I cannot forgive the white lot and their greed.

  • lbw375 on June 21, 2011, 12:00 GMT

    I remember one year Lawrence Rowe batted at the Melbourne/Milo Festival in Kingston and made 20 odd or so runs and the place was jam packed, they cheered his strokes and when Rowe got out, half the spectators left talking about how good he looked.

    I never saw Rowe bat, but people whose opinions I rate very highly practically go into orgasms talking about him. Enough said..

  • Taff Gafoor on June 21, 2011, 11:59 GMT

    Yes, I remember Lawrence Rowe's debut against New Zeeland. No one had TV in those days on the Essequibo Coast in Guyana. I was glued to the old Phillips radio, listening intently to each and every word of the coverage. I savor those moments. And yes, I still get emotional about them, especially Lawerence Rowe's debut perfromance in both innings of that game. PS. Lawrence Rowe and WI players of that era, have left us with a legacy of fond memories, and so does The Clive Lloyd era. It is great to reflect upon those eras, especially in light of our current one. I only hope that the current generation of WI fans can have WI cricket stamped in their soul, as my generation.

  • cricpurist on June 21, 2011, 11:49 GMT

    As a young Indian fan seeing the exploits of Gavaskar in early 70's I would wonder if he was the best batsman in the world. But I was always corrected coz he was not even the best opener of the world. The best batsman then was Barry Richards. And then suddenly one fine day the whole world knew the crown belonged to Lawrence Rowe. And he was pretty much known for that till another Richards walked in. Vivian Richards. The rest as they say is history. Batting was never the same after that.............................

  • vel on June 21, 2011, 5:32 GMT

    Nice to hear this after long back

  • Michael Chambers on June 21, 2011, 3:55 GMT

    Dear Mr. Rowe, I am happy that your blessings have finally arrived. Please send a thank you note to Prime Minister Patterson, Past President Campbell and Mr. Tony Becca for sowing the seeds for your pardon. They believed in you long before anyone else did.

    We must continue to create and celebrate our own heroes, then and only then will our history have meaning.

    Michael Chamber, Director Cricket Hall of Fame U.S.A

  • Roy on June 21, 2011, 3:25 GMT

    The WICB and Team management should be fired especially otis gibision the coach.

  • CHARLES NARINE PERSAUD on June 21, 2011, 2:06 GMT

    Lawrence George Rowe was the best thing I saw at Bourda. That late cut was a beauty and the cover drive was the best.There was no effort in his strokes.That 302 against England was heard on radio but you could have seen it by the way it was broadcasted.Some say he was half blind,but if he was full sighted I wonder how may more runs he could have scored.400 was too small for his ability.

  • Michael Anderson on June 21, 2011, 1:51 GMT

    These are really some wonderful stories about Lawrence Rowe , but a few decades have passed all that is available are just written records of the wonderful innings he has played. Are there any videos of these graceful innings available to share with cricket fans around the world?

  • Errol Andrews on June 21, 2011, 1:42 GMT

    Lawrence Rowe was the D. Brown of batsmen.While Dennis Brown was the Yagga Rowe of all singers.Funny, they hit our conciousness about the same time. 1972. Two stupendously talented Jamaicans bustin out at the same time.The world could not have known its fortune having being bestowed the gift of these two men.

  • P on June 21, 2011, 1:40 GMT

    great post. west indians even today young and old know their cricket and history.there's sobers, kanhai , richards , lara , gavaskar , tendulkar. But ask any bajan on that day at kensington oval . On that day Lawrence Rowe was the greatest batsman to have walked on this planet.

  • Errol Andrews on June 21, 2011, 1:25 GMT

    Pt.3 My favourite Lawrence Rowe stroke?Thats tough since he played all the shots ,from the late cut all the way around to the leg glance,with supreme grace and elegance.If I am compelled to choose one though ,it would have to be the back foot cover/extra cover drive off the shortish ball just outside off stump from a fast bowler, that rises just below the rib cage.Yep Rowe, a relativlely short man, would climb to his full height,right foot placed back almost touching off stump.Then on the balls of his feet, at full height he would drive to cover using a perpendicular bat.the ball would race to the out field as he almost never mistimed it.Its the yagga stroke that Tony cozier used to fittingly call majestic!

  • Errol Andrews on June 21, 2011, 0:59 GMT

    pt.2 In that innings against Guyana in seventy 72 ,I cannot remember him being beaten by a single ball So imperious was his batting,against the likes of Gibbs,Ramnarace,Shivnarine,Matthews and a young skinny fast bowler on whom Yagga was paticularly severe that day ,his name was Croft,Colin Croft we would hear from him again later in the decade in a reversal of that role,but that day, at Bina,Yagga treated him badly.Thankful that The grand Doyen of cricket commentators , the great Tony Cozier is still around to see this day.It is so fitting, given that Cozier called Yags debut against NZ in 72. It cant get any better that a Tony Cozier calling any good innings.When Tony Cozier calls a good Yagga Rowe innings it is a cricket purist nirvana!Yep, Cozier is the best of them all, Arlott , Martin Jenkins et al included.Yagga fans are welcomed to contact me via the provided email address.Thanks.

  • Errol Andrews on June 21, 2011, 0:25 GMT

    This piece moved me to tears.Thank you sooo much.Yes yags had his obvious shortcomings as a human being and a transgression as morally egregious as what he did, is the sort of thing best left to one and their god to sort out.Yes it was that lousy a thing to do.I was 14 yrs old in 1972 and had just gotten interested in the game.That I became a raging fanatic through my high school years at Dinthill Technical in linstead, was due in no small part to the arrival on the test scene of the great Lawrence George.Before his stupendous 214 and 100 not out debut, he made 147 caught Pydanna( wktkpr) bowled Sydney Matthews,at BINA against Guyana in a shell shield match.All of thirteen years old, I was able to watch that innings from start to finish on black and white tv.It was the PUREST Lawrence Rowe innings that I have seen and I have seen pretty much all the known yagga specials .Yep,peak high front foot, back foot,the late cut,the dab sweep it was orthodoxy allied to grace.(continued

  • Carl on June 20, 2011, 23:57 GMT

    Ah Lawrence Rowe what a batsman. I vividly remember as a youngster in Jamica my ears were glued to that old transistor radio when he made that triple century at Kensington Oval in Barbados. It was a moment of pure excitement and pleasure for me a young cricket fan. For me that was cricket lovely cricket. The good old days of West Indies cricket.

  • Keith Richards on June 20, 2011, 23:55 GMT

    Who cares??????????

  • Software Star on June 20, 2011, 23:25 GMT

    Thanks for writing about him..

    This man has so much aura. My Dad can go on an on about him coz he managed to see him bat live in England.

    Could somebody pls pls pls upload some videos of his batting on youtuble.. I haven't found even one.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Software Star on June 20, 2011, 23:25 GMT

    Thanks for writing about him..

    This man has so much aura. My Dad can go on an on about him coz he managed to see him bat live in England.

    Could somebody pls pls pls upload some videos of his batting on youtuble.. I haven't found even one.

  • Keith Richards on June 20, 2011, 23:55 GMT

    Who cares??????????

  • Carl on June 20, 2011, 23:57 GMT

    Ah Lawrence Rowe what a batsman. I vividly remember as a youngster in Jamica my ears were glued to that old transistor radio when he made that triple century at Kensington Oval in Barbados. It was a moment of pure excitement and pleasure for me a young cricket fan. For me that was cricket lovely cricket. The good old days of West Indies cricket.

  • Errol Andrews on June 21, 2011, 0:25 GMT

    This piece moved me to tears.Thank you sooo much.Yes yags had his obvious shortcomings as a human being and a transgression as morally egregious as what he did, is the sort of thing best left to one and their god to sort out.Yes it was that lousy a thing to do.I was 14 yrs old in 1972 and had just gotten interested in the game.That I became a raging fanatic through my high school years at Dinthill Technical in linstead, was due in no small part to the arrival on the test scene of the great Lawrence George.Before his stupendous 214 and 100 not out debut, he made 147 caught Pydanna( wktkpr) bowled Sydney Matthews,at BINA against Guyana in a shell shield match.All of thirteen years old, I was able to watch that innings from start to finish on black and white tv.It was the PUREST Lawrence Rowe innings that I have seen and I have seen pretty much all the known yagga specials .Yep,peak high front foot, back foot,the late cut,the dab sweep it was orthodoxy allied to grace.(continued

  • Errol Andrews on June 21, 2011, 0:59 GMT

    pt.2 In that innings against Guyana in seventy 72 ,I cannot remember him being beaten by a single ball So imperious was his batting,against the likes of Gibbs,Ramnarace,Shivnarine,Matthews and a young skinny fast bowler on whom Yagga was paticularly severe that day ,his name was Croft,Colin Croft we would hear from him again later in the decade in a reversal of that role,but that day, at Bina,Yagga treated him badly.Thankful that The grand Doyen of cricket commentators , the great Tony Cozier is still around to see this day.It is so fitting, given that Cozier called Yags debut against NZ in 72. It cant get any better that a Tony Cozier calling any good innings.When Tony Cozier calls a good Yagga Rowe innings it is a cricket purist nirvana!Yep, Cozier is the best of them all, Arlott , Martin Jenkins et al included.Yagga fans are welcomed to contact me via the provided email address.Thanks.

  • Errol Andrews on June 21, 2011, 1:25 GMT

    Pt.3 My favourite Lawrence Rowe stroke?Thats tough since he played all the shots ,from the late cut all the way around to the leg glance,with supreme grace and elegance.If I am compelled to choose one though ,it would have to be the back foot cover/extra cover drive off the shortish ball just outside off stump from a fast bowler, that rises just below the rib cage.Yep Rowe, a relativlely short man, would climb to his full height,right foot placed back almost touching off stump.Then on the balls of his feet, at full height he would drive to cover using a perpendicular bat.the ball would race to the out field as he almost never mistimed it.Its the yagga stroke that Tony cozier used to fittingly call majestic!

  • P on June 21, 2011, 1:40 GMT

    great post. west indians even today young and old know their cricket and history.there's sobers, kanhai , richards , lara , gavaskar , tendulkar. But ask any bajan on that day at kensington oval . On that day Lawrence Rowe was the greatest batsman to have walked on this planet.

  • Errol Andrews on June 21, 2011, 1:42 GMT

    Lawrence Rowe was the D. Brown of batsmen.While Dennis Brown was the Yagga Rowe of all singers.Funny, they hit our conciousness about the same time. 1972. Two stupendously talented Jamaicans bustin out at the same time.The world could not have known its fortune having being bestowed the gift of these two men.

  • Michael Anderson on June 21, 2011, 1:51 GMT

    These are really some wonderful stories about Lawrence Rowe , but a few decades have passed all that is available are just written records of the wonderful innings he has played. Are there any videos of these graceful innings available to share with cricket fans around the world?

  • CHARLES NARINE PERSAUD on June 21, 2011, 2:06 GMT

    Lawrence George Rowe was the best thing I saw at Bourda. That late cut was a beauty and the cover drive was the best.There was no effort in his strokes.That 302 against England was heard on radio but you could have seen it by the way it was broadcasted.Some say he was half blind,but if he was full sighted I wonder how may more runs he could have scored.400 was too small for his ability.