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Nari Contractor returns to Queen's Park Oval

Former Indian cricket captain Nari Contractor paid a whirlwind visit to the Queen's Park Oval on Wednesday for the re-launch of the Sir Frank Worrel Memorial Blood Drive, in memory of the late West Indies cricket captain.

cricket Updated: Mar 13, 2009 15:07 IST

No, India is not playing any cricket match in Trinidad or the West Indies anytime now. Nor did he come to see the West Indies Cricket team lift the Wisden Trophy from England.

He came in Port-of-Spain for a humanitarian and emotional cause. Former Indian cricket captain Nari Contractor paid a whirlwind visit to the Queen's Park Oval on Wednesday for the re-launch of the Sir Frank Worrel Memorial Blood Drive, in memory of the late West Indies cricket captain.

During the Indian tour of the West Indies in 1962, Contractor was severely injured by a bouncer and sustained a fractured skull which required two-life saving surgeries and several blood transfusions, and Sir Frank was one of the first donors to give blood to Contractor before he could have returned to India.

The Sir Frank Worrel Memorial Committee in conjunction with the National Blood Transfusion Service, the Friends of the Blood Bank Association, the University of the West Indies and the University of Trinidad and Tobago form part of this resurgent initiative.

Prof Mootoo, chairman of the Blood Drive, recalled the dire effort to save the life of Contractor.

"During India's 1962 cricket tour to the West Indies, their captain Nari Contractor was severely injured in their tour match against the West Indies in Barbados. He was struck by a vicious bouncer and sustained a fractured skull. Contractor required two life saving operations and several blood transfusions during his hospital stay before being able to fly back to India," he said.

"The late Sir Frank Worrel was among the first donors to give blood during the crisis, followed by several players from both sides, in an effort to save Contractor's life."

Contractor in his address said unknown to most people in the Caribbean, each year on Feb 3, there is a blood donation drive in the state of West Bengal in India to commemorate Sir Frank Worrel's magnanimous act to save his life.

The presence of the Indian cricket team in 1962, just before Trinidad and Tobago gained independence from Britain on Aug 31, 1962, was a cause of much jubilation and Contractor as the captain was revered as, indeed, were all members of the Indian team.

Several Indian families in Port-of-Spain have named their children either "Nari" or "Nari Contractor".

Indians - principally from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar - came to Trinidad and Tobago between 1845 and 1917 to work on the faltering sugar and cocoa plantations.

Some 148,000 Indians came in Port-of-Spain and over 98 percent of them remained.

Contractor is visiting several other Caribbean islands before he returns to India.

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