Fredericks Better Than Romain

Date Published: 
Guyana Genealogical & Biographical Society
M'lilwana Osanku

I read with great interest the article, "What if Romain Etwaroo had remained in Georgetown? - written by Shan Razack and printed on page 36 in the Caribbean Daylight issued on Friday September 14, 2007.

I must state I rather enjoyed the article. It brought back many fond memories of my experiences on the cricket grounds in Guyana, particularly in Berbice. It also reminded me of a number of cricketers I had forgotten over the ensuing years. I had forgotten Ivan Archibald and several others. I do not recall The Berbice Times newspapers. I did not recall the Berbice versus Demerara Secondary Schools Boys match.

Shan Razack tells us The Berbice team was captained by Patrick "Sporty" Liverpool, and included the following: Isardat Ramdehal, Anan Sookram, Dowlat Ramgahan, Ricky Bovell, Tyrone Ramnarace, Jairam Bickharry, Leon Smith, Stanley Moore, Lavan Thompson, Adolph Thompson, Scott Joseph, Alex Joseph, Ayube Mohamed and Jubraj Sewsankar and Romain Etwaroo.

It was a shame Shan Razack neglected to name the members of the Demerara team. In fact I was disappointed. I am wondering whether the Thompson brothers and Joseph brothers are from Hopetown.

Romain Etwaroo was a prolific scorer in Berbice cricket. That's a fact. I considered Romain Etwaroo to be a grafter, a batsman who simply accumulated runs by staying at the crease. I do not recall a dominating performance by Romain Etwaroo.

However, I loved watching Isaac Seurnarie bat – even against my beloved cricketer, Joe Doolam, aka Joe Best, and the # 64 Village All Stars teams of the late 1960s and the early 1970s. It is a pity Joe Doolam and his brothers are not honored for their contributions to cricket in that region of the Corentyne.

I was rather familiar with a number of the Etwaroo brothers: Romain, Randolph, Reginald and Tyrone, and the Beassmonie brothers, Gopie and Vinoo, and a host of others who represented Port Mourant in the late 1960s and the early 1970s.

I witnessed many of their performances against Joe Doolam at No. # 63 Village Cricket Ground. Tagore High School was located right next to the ground. In fact, in that era, Randolph Etwaroo was a primary School Teacher employed at New Market Anglican school.

I considered Randolph Etwaroo the best cricketer among the brothers. Joe Doolam was the finest left-arm spin bowler I ever witnessed. I was instructed in the nuances of the game by primarily Randolph Etwaroo, Joe Doolam and Roy Fredericks. I loved hanging out (liming) with Isaac Seunarine and Anan Sookram.

I simply did not recall Tyrone Ramnarace and I do not recall Romain Etwaroo scoring heavily against Joe Doolam. I take solace in the fact the cream often rises to the top. Roy Fredericks is simply the greatest batsman against fast bowling I ever witnessed. Romain Etwaroo? Well not in the same church. Only Rohan Kanhai, Basil Butcher and Alvin Kalicharran were better batsmen than Roy Fredericks.

I am ecstatic good people are honoring Romain Etwaroo. All too often our unsung heroes go unnoticed and under-appreciated. Do you recall a Jefferali a fast bowler from Skeldon? Feel free to enlighten me – will you?