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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

when Kiwis flew ! - Calypso Kiwi !!

Everyday around 8 pm, I check FB – not only to see the likes for my posts !! but the Cricket Q that R Balasundram (Marine Bala Sir) puts up on his FB page.  In attempting to answer (there are handful of people, who jump to answer these Qs !) – one gets to read and know more interesting things – Cricket trivia. 


Its  Advt reads :  The original, and now famous, Calypso Lemonade recipe was created in 1985 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, by the owner of the King Juice Company Inc. The idea was simple – make an authentic, delicious lemonade made with real lemons and real sugar. We made the lemonade in small batches and delivered it locally on the company truck.  Can you imagine what ‘Calypso Kiwi’ is about !! 

In the midst of 100s of Cricketers, there is   Logan van Beek, New Zealand's Dutch export, who is back down under again.  The allrounder played U-19 cricket for New Zealand, now represents Netherlands, and is hoping to get back in black to play senior cricket for New Zealand again!! 

Bala’s Q of date readHe was a wicket-keeper as well as a football goal-keeper. While he played Test cricket for two countries, in football, he was not an international but played in the country's (one of the two countries) premier football league final. Incidentally, his grandson represented the Netherlands national team.. Identify this wicket-keeper cum goal-keeper.  Sounds interesting !! (music to my ears, as I could decipher the answer !!) 

It was Sam Guillen  .. ..  a   solid wicketkeeper and useful batsman, Simpson Guillen, better known as Sammy, is one of only dozen + men  to play Test cricket for two countries (the  recent ones being  Kepler Wessels, John Traicos, Boyd Rankin & Gary Balance)       

Simpson Clairmonte "Sammy" Guillen (1924 – 2013) was one of the few men to have played Test cricket for two countries. He played five Test matches for the West Indies and three for New Zealand in the 1950s, including New Zealand team's first victory, over the West Indies. He sealed the win by stumping Alf Valentine in what was his final Test. 

Guillen was born in   Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago,  in a Cricketing family.  Victor Guillen, Simpson's father,  was a Test umpire in the West Indies.  Queen's Park Oval's outdoor practice nets are named after the brother of Simpson - Noel Guillen.  Jeffrey Guillen, more famous in real estate   played cricket competitively.  

Guillen held the further rare distinction of also playing in the final of New Zealand's premier association football competition, the Chatham Cup, gaining a runners-up medal for Western AFC in 1954. Unsurprisingly for a wicket-keeper, his position in the Western side was goalkeeper. 

             His grandson is  Logan van Beek who plays for the Canterbury Wizards in cricket and for the Christchurch Cougars in the NBL. Internationally, he represented the Netherlands  since 2012 and represents Wellington in New Zealand domestic cricket. He is an all-rounder who bats right-handed and bowls right-arm fast-medium.   Van Beek was born in Christchurch, New Zealand, holds a Dutch passport through his paternal grandparents, who immigrated to New Zealand in the 1950s. On his mother's side he is the grandson of former Test cricketer Sammy Guillen.  

Van Beek was in the New Zealand squad for Under-19 World Cup in 2010. He also played high-level youth basketball as a point guard, representing New Zealand at the 2009 FIBA Under-19 World Championship.  Van Beek first played for the Netherlands against English county Essex in the 2012 Clydesdale Bank 40.  

No film studio on the planet would have touched the script for Kiwi Calypso: an uplifting tale of how a plucky nation famous for flightless birds, wind, and unnecessarily confrontational rugby dances, overcame the odds to beat the greatest cricket team ever assembled in their own backyard.  New Zealand beating West Indies in Jamaica was the memoir of Simpson and was titled ‘Calypso Kiwi’ !!   Simpson resided in Christchurch with his wife Val Guillen, a former wicketkeeper for the province of Canterbury women's team.  

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
8th Feb 2023. 

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