World Cup 2019: No shortage of star value at Old Trafford

Published: Jun 28, 2019, 08:26 IST | Harit N Joshi

Among the handful of West Indian fans present at Old Trafford yesterday to cheer for their team against India, was Leon Kuma Rodney, the president of Antigua Board Cricket Association

World Cup 2019: No shortage of star value at Old Trafford
Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association president Leon Kuma Rodney and his wife Shevaniese at Old Trafford yesterday. PIC/HARIT N JOSHI

MANCHESTER: Farokh Engineer, India’s 1975 World Cup ’keeper and two-time World Cup-winning captain Clive Lloyd brought the trophy to Old Trafford ahead of the India v West Indies match yesterday.

Engineer, 81, was thrilled to hold the World Cup trophy. “It was an unbelievable feeling. I never got an opportunity to hold this trophy in my career, but to lay my hands on it finally was simply superb. When I got to know about this honour this morning, I was very excited,” Engineer told mid-day minutes after doing the honours. For Manchester-based Engineer, Old Trafford is his home ground. Born in Mumbai, Engineer played 46 Tests and five ODIs between 1961 and 1975.

Antigua Cricket prez at Old Trafford

Among the handful of West Indian fans present at Old Trafford yesterday to cheer for their team against India, was Leon Kuma Rodney, the president of Antigua Board Cricket Association. He was present with his wife Shevaniese and sat with a bunch of WI fans. Not many in the group of fans were aware about his involvement with the game in Antigua, the region which produced some of cricket’s greatest players like Sir Vivian Richards and Sir Andy Roberts.

Rodney was obviously disappointed that no Antiguan player was part of the West Indies World Cup team. “Yeah, it is a bit sad, but the best players have to represent the West Indies team. It’s immaterial where the players come from,” Rodney told mid-day.

He is scheduled to leave for home after this match. “We were here for the New Zealand game and now for this match. We will head back home after this match as I have to be involved in the preparations at Antigua. The India ‘A’ team arrive on July 7 and then, the India senior team will tour the West Indies in August,” Rodney said.

Gayle, a superstar

IT was a sea of Blue fans like it has been at every World Cup match for India so far. However, while the crowd support was fully behind India, there was one exception. Every time the ball went to Chris Gayle there was a huge applause for the big-hitting West Indian. A diving slide from Gayle in the 20th over to stop a cut shot from Kohli racing to the boundary received the loudest cheer not just from the crowd but also from the Indian skipper. Gayle enjoys a lot of fan-following from the Indian public after his prolific performances in the Indian Premier League over the years.

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