For Release Upon Receipt - March 13, 2017
In a special ceremony on March 7, 2017 in Hartford, Connecticut, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice-Chancellor of The University of the West Indies (The UWI) was inducted into the US Cricket Hall of Fame–the oldest such organisation in the world–in recognition of his many contributions to the advancement of West Indies and world cricket.
Sir Hilary who began his cricket career playing at youth level for Warwickshire County in England, where he was mentored by West Indies legends Rohan Kanhai and Lance Gibbs, chose instead the path to academia. While a student at Hull University, he played semiprofessional as an all-rounder, seamer and middle order batsman, for Hull City and later in Barnsley town in the prestigious Yorkshire league. On returning to the Caribbean he played for The UWI Mona Campus team in Jamaica, which he captained, and then for the Cave Hill Campus team in Barbados where he established a Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) record. He was the only player in the history of the BCA to top the runs and wickets tally in the same season.
However, it was his contribution to cricket as an administrator, scholar and strategic innovator that was the core of the citation read by Michael Chambers, Director of the Hall of Fame. He spoke of Sir Hilary's innovations, such as setting up and chairing The CLR James Cricket Research Centre, the Sagicor West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) High Performance Centre, the Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC) team, the Sir Frank Worrell Memorial lecture series, and the creation of the picturesque 3Ws Oval at The UWI. Mention was also made of his five years of service as a director of the WICB, chairman of the Barbados National Sports Council, and Vice President of the London based Commonwealth Sports Ministers Advisory Committee.
Mr. Chambers also referenced the many books written and edited by Sir Hilary, including his biography of Sir Everton Weekes: Mastering the Craft, and his two volume work: The Development of West Indies Cricket. Vol. 1: The Age of Nationalism, Vol. 2: The Age of Globalization, which was described by Scyld Berry in Wisden Cricket Monthly as “the most important cricket book ever written".
Sir Hilary in response, said he felt somewhat like an imposter to be in the company of great Hall of Famers such as Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Vivian Richards, Michael Holding, Sir Wesley Hall, and Courtney Walsh and Jeffrey Dujon who are his dear friends and living heroes. He added that as a boy he had but one ambition which was to play cricket for the West Indies, and that his choice of a life in academia has left an 'unhealing' wound within his soul.
About Professor Sir Hilary Beckles
Professor Sir Hilary Beckles is an Economic Historian, was installed as the 8th Vice-Chancellor of The University of the West Indies (The UWI) on 30, May, 2015. Before assuming the office of Vice-Chancellor of The UWI, Sir Hilary was Principal and Pro Vice-Chancellor of the University’s Cave Hill Campus in Barbados for thirteen years (2002-2015). Sir Hilary is a distinguished university administrator, and transformational leader in higher education.
For his complete biography, visit: www.uwi.edu/VCBiography.asp
About The UWI
Since its inception in 1948, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged, regional University with well over 40,000 students. Today, The UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with four campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Open Campus. The UWI has faculty and students from more than 40 countries and collaborative links with 160 universities globally; it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology and Social Sciences. The UWI’s seven priority focal areas are linked closely to the priorities identified by CARICOM and take into account such over-arching areas of concern to the region as environmental issues, health and wellness, gender equity and the critical importance of innovation. For more information, visit www.uwi.edu
(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)
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