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UPP political leader Harold Lovell has received endorsement for his integrity and leadership skills from national hero Sir Vivian Richards.

The cricketing legend stunned listeners to the Snakepit show on Observer radio on Saturday night by calling in to share his views during a debate about Lovell’s contributions to the nation.

The 64-year-old former Finance Minister has yet to officially declare his intention to run in the next general elections but he is expected to do so shortly. The Antigua Grammar School-educated politician and barrister has also previously held portfolios for tourism, civil aviation and foreign affairs.

Long-term cricket fan Lovell was a regular fixture at matches during Sir Vivian’s heydays.

“While I was in England, Harold was in England at the same time and wherever I was playing that guy would turn up and he would make me feel so proud as an Antiguan and Barbudan,” Sir Vivian, 68, recalled.

“The love I got from that individual and the love that I think he himself has for people is paramount.”

The retired cricketer, widely regarded as one of the greatest batsmen of all time, also alluded to the Black Lives Matter movement, crediting Lovell with being “instrumental” in raising awareness of issues affecting black people.

“The colour of our skin seems to be hated by so many different races and we have got to stand up as people and be proud and let them know exactly who we are as people – and Harold did that in the early days. They tried to educate us as much as they can and now it’s being played out for real,” Sir Vivian told the show.

“I can only offer my utmost love … he’s such a wonderful individual and it’s just great to know and hear some of the tributes to him tonight,” he said, referring to fellow listeners who had previously called in to express their backing for the former St John’s City East constituency representative.

Sir Vivian added, “I can tell you that that guy is a good guy.”

UPP political leader Harold Lovell
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