RING MASTER: "I've always been a contender," says Walsh.
On Wednesday, May 22, legendary Jamaican cricketer Ambassador Courtney Walsh was the guest of honour at The Contender boxing competition inside the Chinese Benevolent Association on Hope Road, where he was presented with a special plaque in recognition of the esteemed place he now holds in Caribbean sporting history.
The supremely humble and articulate icon, who in 2000 broke the record for holding the most test wickets in world cricket, was touched by the gesture. "I'm very happy and honoured to be recognized at this event," he said, "because I've always been a contender from my days playing for Jamaica and the West Indies. So to come here and get an award like this is a special achievement."
For the record, the lifelong cricket player has always been a fan of the sport of boxing. "I've been to fights in London, and I've been following [the sport] from the Muhammad Ali days, Joe Frazier, way back," he tells TALLAWAH. "So to see the tremendous spirit of this series and how it's going well, it tells you that it's something worth supporting, and so I'm very happy to be here."
At Wednesday's staging of The Contender, Walsh also served as prize presenter to the triumphant participants. For sponsors Wray & Nephew, selecting Walsh as their honoree was really a no-brainer. "[He] is a proven contender within the international sporting arena, and as such, we found it fitting to honour him [here], at our marquee televised sporting series," explains Cecil Smith, marketing manager. "Walsh's presence will, without a doubt, motivate our participants."
Walsh, now 50, is one of only four bowlers to have bowled over 5000 overs in test cricket and represented the West Indies from 1984 to 2001, captaining the squad in 22 Test matches. He is a member of the Order of Jamaica."