The East Stand at the Windsor Park Sports Stadium has been named after one of Dominica’s greatest sportsmen, Thomas Kentish for his contributions to sports, especially cricket, over the years.
Thomas Zephaniah Kentish has been inducted into the Cricket Hall of Fame here in Dominica as the East Stand at the Windsor Park Sports Stadium has been named after the former Dominica and Windward Island player.
The stand will now be called the “Thomas Kentish Stand”.
Kentish represented Dominica at the senior levels in both cricket and football. He got his first national call-up at the tender age of 14 when he was selected to represent the Dominica Under-19 Cricket Team where he cemented his spot for five consecutive years, during which he represented the Windward Islands and the Combine Islands in the West Indies Under-19 Cricket Tournaments.
In 1975, Kentish would get his senior national call where he went on to represent Dominica until 1993.
Speaking at a ceremony held to unveil the “Thomas Kentish Stand” at the Windsor Park on Friday morning, Kentish said this could be an inspiration to younger players in either cricket or football.
“First of all, I would like to thank the Government of Dominica for bestowing that honor of naming the East Stand after my name. I came in not with that on my mind, that was my gift, that was my talent, I just went out and represent the country with everything I had, just humble. At the end of the day, I think it could inspire other younger players just to be humble, represent your country, either you play football or cricket and the rest is history,” he said.
He described this gesture by the government as an honor to be fitted among some of the great names who have already been inducted into the cricket hall of fame at the Windsor Park.
“It’s an honor now for my name to be in the park with people like Billy Doctrove, Clem John, Kelleb Laurent, Nobert Phillip, Adam Sanford…well these people were my mentors so at least I follow their footsteps. There were a lot of times I played cricket, I played football not getting anything but the most important thing that was my contribution to Dominica,” the Former Dominica and Windward Islands Cricketer said at a ceremony to unveil the naming of the stands.
Kentish took his maiden first-class five-wicket haul in only his second Shell Shield match, returning figures of 6 for 69 against Barbados. He took another two five-wicket hauls during the 1984–85 season, taking 20 wickets from five matches to finish as his team’s leading wicket-taker (and seventh in the overall competition). The previous season, he had been runner-up to Stanley Hinds in the Windwards’ wicket-taking.
Kentish played his last matches for the Windward Islands during the 1991–92 season, aged 34. In his final limited-overs fixture, against Guyana, he took a career-best 4/12 from 7.4 overs, which saw him named man of the match.
Senior Minister and Acting Prime Minister, Hon. Reginald Austrie says the contributions of Thomas Kentish will live on for generations to come.
“TK today is your day, your legacy cannot be erased! So today we induct you into the Hall of Fame of cricket in Dominica and in the Caribbean.”
Thomas Kentish ended his playing career with well over 200 wickets for Dominica and 135 wickets in First-Class cricket at an average of 32.16 and was regarded as one of the leading wicket-takers in Windward Islands Cricket.