By Neto Baptiste
Former sportsmen and women who have contributed to the development and growth of the country are, in most cases, not given the level of respect and recognition they deserve.
This is the view of former national, Combined Islands and West Indies fast bowler, Sir Andy Roberts, who said authorities tend to look down on the contributions made by sportsmen and women.
“There have been lots of remarks like ‘oh he’s only a cricketer’ and I am quite sure you’ve heard that more than once or he’s only a footballer but as far as putting this country on the map it is the same cricketers and the same footballers who put Antigua on the map so we need to embrace the sports men and sports women a lot more than we are doing because I think through sports this country can develop and develop more significantly than it is doing at the moment,” he said.
Sir Andy, in 1974, became the first Antiguan and Barbudan to play for the West Indies. Looking back, the former fast bowler said he was under tremendous pressure to perform as he was being looked at as the measuring stick for all Antiguan players to come.
“Being the first Antiguan to play and being the first to make the headlines I realised that I cannot fail because this is opportunity for people to know there is a small island name Antigua but even so, in England we had Danny Livingston who played a significant role in promoting Antigua in England and a lot of people didn’t know he came from Antigua,” he said. Sir Andy went on to claim 202 wickets in 47 Tests and 87 victims in 56 ODI matches during his career which spanned 1974 to 1983.