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When it comes to cricket in the northeastern region of the U.S., the name of Alvin “Al” Watson generally comes to mind. Although not a talented cricketer, Al, who passed away recently, took his love for the game to great heights through the promotion of a number of top cricketing events in the region. He staged most of his promotions in Keney Park, Hartford, which he described as “the home for cricket.”Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Watson who came to the U.S. by way of England is credited with playing a big role in the growth and development of the game in the Hartford area. He dedicated almost his entire life to the promotion of the sport and is said to be the individual who brought some organization to the sport in the area.
A former president of the West Indian Social Club and vice president of the Sportmen’s Athletic Club, Watson was at one time the director of the Cricket Hall of Fame, a position which he held for two years. He also was the president of the now defunct American Cricket League. Founder of Sports International, organized to enhance the growth of cricket in the U.S.A., one of his most memorable feats was the visit of the then world champions, the Indian cricket team to Hartford, to play against a select eleven. Watson was also the innovator and coordinator of the popular Six-a-Side tournament that brought a number of international stars to show off their talents at Keney Park.