His name rings a bell. For those who loved the great West Indian team of the Seventies and Eighties, the name Alvin Issac Kallicharran rekindles memories of a nuggety left-hander, whose stylish batting style and appetite for big runs thrilled the purist. Thirty-four years after the legendary West Indian played his last Test match, another Kallicharan is making cricket headlines in the West Indies. On May 11, Trinidad and Tobago’s Under-15 captain Kirstan Kallicharan scored an unbeaten 404 in a 35-over under-14 school match in Port-of-Spain. He came in at No. 3 and in the 10th over. In May last year, he had smashed Brain Lara’s high-school record.
Kirstan, turning out for the Vishnu Boys Hindu College in a Secondary Schools Cricket League U-14 quarterfinal against Valencia High School, clobbered 44 fours and 31 sixes. He scored his century off just 35 balls. The Hindu College Boys won by 459 runs after Valencia, with no stomach for a fight, were shot out for a paltry 89 in the 24th over.
Last year in May, Kirstan erased Lara’s name from the record books. Lara’s long-standing record for the highest individual score in Trinidad and Tobago’s Secondary School Cricket League was broken by Kirstan. Playing for Hindu College, Kallicharan scored 194 against Carapichaima East. The innings contained 26 fours and six sixes. Hindu College won by 197 runs but the highlight of the match was Lara’s record of 168 going for a toss.
At a time when West Indian cricket has not been known for its Test performances, Kirstan’s effort has prompted Trinidad and Tobago Sports Minister Anil Roberts to say that they may have unearthed a new Brian Lara (or may be an Alvin Kallicharran, who scored 12 Test hundreds at an average of 44.43).
Speaking to the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian, Roberts said, “It not only takes skill and physical strength to deliver such an amazing performance, but clearly this young “phenom” has a level of mental discipline that belies his age.”
Roberts said, “This innings reminds me so much of the drive and discipline Brian Lara exhibited while he was at Fatima in the late 80’s. I witnessed that first hand as a student and now as Minister, I see Kallicharan clearly signalling that he too, has the potential to become one of the sport’s greatest batsmen.”
Speaking about the knock in the Trinidad and Tobago Express newspaper, Kirstan said: “At the beginning I was just batting normal, just aiming to make a hundred but when I got to my century I realised I could score more and more and I just continued to bat.”
According to Vishnu Boys coach Tarandath Sammy, the 14-year-old also scored a double hundred earlier this season, hitting 215 in an Under-16 game for his school.