“The Negro will have to build his own government, industry, art, science, literature, and culture before the world will stop to consider him.” — Marcus Garvey
Will the world stop to consider Garth Gregory Garvey, the 26-year-old Jamaican cricketer?
Jamaica’s history of producing world-class athletes across different sports is not only well-known globally but also well documented.
Historically, cricket is one of the most popular sports played on the island — a game that is part of the legacy of colonialism and once considered to be the sport of the elites.
Over the years, the country has produced some of the best cricketers not only in the Caribbean but around the world.
These include players such as: Michael Holding, Jeffrey Dujon, Lawerence Rowe, Courtney Walsh, Collie Smith, Jimmy Adams, Jackie Hendricks, Alfred Valentine, Allan Rae, Maurice Foster, Chris Gayle and George Headley — arguably not only Jamaic’s best cricketer, but also one of the best the world has seen.
The fact is the country has a rich legacy in cricket; therefore, it is not surprising to see a young talented cricketer with the sign of great promise appearing on the cricket scene within the country.
However, much to the chagrin of a star hungry local and international cricket fan base, too often many talented cricketers appear and disappear.
Who can forget young players with bright prospects, such as Leon Garrick, Marlon Tucker, Ricardo Powell, Xavier Marshall, Franklyn, Rose, among others who came, saw, but never conquered?
Now, one of the most talented young cricketers to arrive on the scene is Garth Garvey, touted by many local aficionados as one of the most gifted young players in Jamaica as well as the Caribbean, a diamond in the rough as some would cast him.
One fan who has seen Garvey at the crease while on song described him as “The Full package, very good talent, and hard-working individual,” and added, “I hope Jamaica gives him the chance he deserves.”
The question, however, will Garvey do justice to his talent or the name of Garvey proud?
Marcus Garvey is Jamaica’s first national hero. He was a proponent of Black nationalism in Jamaica and especially the United States where he created a ‘Back to Africa’ movement — a leader of a mass movement called Pan-Africanism and founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League. He also became an inspirational figure for later civil rights activists.
The name Garvey, therefore, is bound to stir talking points in the commentary box among the more informed commentators.
At age 26, Garth Garvey has been around the Jamaica cricket setup for a long time.
He began honing his cricketing skills at St. Jago High School where he spent his formative years playing in the ISSA Grace Shield and Under19 competition.
He currently plays for Kingston Cricket Club and has been rewarded for consistent performances in national two-day competitions in recent seasons.
He is a right-hand opening batter and knows how to score double centuries as he has a few to his credit. Additionally, he is a right-arm medium pacer who no one can scoff at when he has the ball in hand.
Garvey ended with the most runs and centuries in the national Senior Cup earlier this year.
The top-order batsman told the Jamaica Observer newspaper that his call-up to the Jamaica Scorpions cricket squad comes at the “right time” after a couple of seasons knocking on the door of the national selectors.
He further noted, “To get selected is always good but I have to thank God. Nothing happens before its time, and I think this is the right time, so let’s see what happens during the season.”
Additionally, he said, “I’m elated; it’s a good feeling to have the chance to represent your country. Playing for Jamaica is an honor, and anybody playing local cricket would like to get that [opportunity]. This is my first year at the regional level, and I’m just looking to do my best, try not to pressure myself, and just to be the Garth Garvey that I know, and hopefully, I can get in some good performances.”
The Scorpions will play the champions Guyana Jaguars in their first encounter at the Providence Stadium on Thursday, and fans are no doubt anxious to see Garvey showcase his talent as well as announced to the cricketing world that he belongs and is a top tier player.
Scorpions squad — Paul Palmer (captain), Trevon Griffith, Assad Fudadin, Brandon King, Garth Garvey, Fabian Allen, Romaine Morris (wicketkeeper), Derval Green, Damani Sewell, Dennis Bulli, Paul Harrison, Keno Wallace, Jason Dawes.
Yvad Billings, Readers Bureau, Fellow
Edited by Jesus Chan
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