Cricket: The Greats

Cricket history shows that Jamaica did not play regular first-class cricket until 1964.

The country played in the inaugural Shell Shield first-class competition, winning it on the fourth attempt, but then had to wait until 1977-1978 for their next title when they shared the one-day title with Leeward Islands.

From 1986 to 1992, Jamaica won six titles (three first class and three one-day). Jamaica won the double in the 1999-2000 season. In the 2004-2005 season, Jamaica came back after a two-year drought, however, with seven wins in ten regular season matches to win the Carib Beer Cup, before defeating the Leeward Islands by eight wickets in the final to take the Carib Beer Challenge title as well.

The list of prominent cricketers who have represented Jamaica include Jimmy Adams, Gerry Alexander, Jeff Dujon, George Headley, Michael Holding, Lawrence Rowe, Alfred Valentine, Courtney Walsh, Patrick Patterson and Frank Worrell. Headley was considered as the first great West Indies batsman.

The Facilities

Jamaica’s main cricket ground is Sabina Park in Kingston, which has hosted 144 first-class games since 1895 including matches during the 2007 Cricket World Cup in the Caribbean.

Other main cricketing venues are Trelawny Multi-Purpose Sports Club, which staged the opening ceremony of the 2007 Cricket World Cup in the Caribbean; Alpart Sports Club Ground in St Elizabeth, Kensington Park in Kingston, Jarrett Park in Montego Bay and Chedwin Park in St Catherine.

Cricket: The Women

Jamaica has also produced one of the top women’s cricketer in the world in Stafanie Taylor. She is currently ranked number two in the International Cricket Council (ICC) batting rankings behind Indian star Mithali Raj.

Taylor was presented with the International Women’s Player-of-the-Year trophy at the West Indies Players’ Association Awards ceremony on Jue 5 in Trinidad.

She scored heavily in the inaugural ICC Women’s Challenge in South Africa last October, opening with a magnificent 147 en route to gathering 390 runs at a staggering average of 97.

Shanel Daley, the daughter of former first-class batsman Aaron Daley, is also a member of the West Indies Cricket team.