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Give it up to Jackson

Give it up to Jackson


If there were an award to be given to the most consistent local cricketer over the past decade, no other candidate would be in line but Orlanzo Jackson.

He is the perfect example of hard work, self motivation and a penchant for cricket.

A late bloomer, Jackson, from the North Central Windward village of Chester Cottage, unlike many other youngsters, never represented St. Vincent and the Grenadines at the youth level.{{more}}

Jackson first made the senior national team in 1997, known then as Orlanzo Pope. It was an onward march into the Windwards team for the regional competition in 2001, then known as the Busta Cup.

But it has been his unswerving commitment to local cricket that has set him apart. Jackson has taken out a patent on the Zepton Greaves trohphy, the symbol of award for the top all rounder in the annual premier division competition.

He has etched his name on that trophy four times in the last six years at the annual awards of recognition, held by the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Cricket Association.

Topping that, though, is his acclamation of capturing the most wickets in the Premier Division, ten times, spanning from 1997 to 2007, with his only year of drought being 1998.

Jackson has also recorded a rare feat in local cricket history when he scored a double century, 211, and bagged eight wickets versus in Spartans in 2003.

Considered unlucky not to have moved on to the regional team, Jackson has 91 wickets at the first class level playing for the Windwards from 2001 to 2004. Jackson last represented the Windwards in 2005 in the KFC Cup, the limited overs version.

Despite this, Jackson still has aspirations of playing for the Windwards. At age 33, Jackson is optimistic.

“I still have a few years of first class cricket in me. I just want to continue playing cricket for some time”, he said.

But he is downplaying the rumour that long standing Windwards captain Rawle Lewis, himself a leg spinner, has played a pivotal part in stalling his regional representation.

“I have heard that rumour, too, but I am not paying much attention to it”, Jackson circumspectly said, with a suspecting facial expression.

He, however, pinned his loss of a contract in the English Leagues on his limited first class appearances in the last three years.

“I lost my contract to play in the leagues because I did not make the stipulation of playing five first class matches in 18 months,” he lamented.

In 1998, Jackson played for Bishop Thorton in the Yorkshire set up, scoring 518 runs and bagging 43 wickets. He represented East Boldon of Sunderland in the 2004-2005 season, and was voted the Best All-rounder, with 718 runs, and 60 scalps with his leg spin-googly repertoire.

Jackson, though, has tasted what it is like to be in a West Indies team, when he served as an emergency fielder in a One Day International versus New Zealand in 2003, here at the Arnos Vale Playing Field.

Jackson, at the helm of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines senior team in the Windwards tournament in 2003, successfully lifted the title, the last time this country has done so.

He capped off 2003 when he was named the Sports Personality of the Year.

Employed as a cricket coach in the Department of Sports within the Ministry of Tourism, Youth and Sports, Jackson also serves as the national women’s coach and has thrown his assistance with the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Cricket Academy, and is currently the man in charge of Central Windward Academy.

A team motivator, a chatter box and bubbly character when on the field, Jackson is the complete opposite off the field, leading a quiet life.

But while cricket is his first love, Jackson is an ardent table tennis and tennis player.

“I use these sports to help with my footwork and my agility”, Jackson admitted.

Imbued with that passion for cricket, Jackson is bent on giving back to the sport as much as he can, while enjoying the best of his remaining playing days.