In its centenary celebrations, the International Cricket Council
has awarded five medals of honor to five officials who have made
significant contributions to the game in the US. The ICC invited the
USA Cricket Association to recommend five people after it had asked its
regions to submit candidates. Clifford Hinds is a recipient of the
By Peter Simunovich
Hinds’ moment of glory as a cricketer happened 26 years ago. He was
picked to represent the United States Hall of Fame team for a friendly
one day match against the powerful India Test team on a matting wicket
in Hartford, Connecticut.
At the time, India boasted some of the world’s best players like Sunil Gavaskar, the great opener, and bowler Ravi Shastri.
“It was an exhibition game and the crowd only wanted to see India
bat. Whenever we took a wicket the crowd groaned,” Hinds recalled in an
interview with DreamCricket.com.
While it happened a long time ago Hinds vividly recalled his innings
when he scored “I think about 29,” he said. But there was a special
moment for the now 64-year-old former opening batsman and wicketkeeper.
He remembers facing Shastri, who delivered a ball on the off stump
and rising. He stepped back and square cut the ball to the boundary. He
said that it was his moment of glory as a player and he still remembers
the ball and the stroke as if it had happened yesterday.
While this may still be deeply embedded in Hinds’ mind, it was his
ability on the management side of cricket that he was honored by the
International Cricket Committee with a medal of recognition for his
long service to the game in the US.
“The award makes me feel appreciated and I am honored to be
recognized by my peers and the ICC. It has given me more motivation and
to do a little more to enhance the game in the United States,” he said.
“I am extremely proud to have it.”
Hinds, who is from Jamaica and has lived in the US since 1974, says
he is optimistic about the future of the game in the US, but he also
added: “US cricket as at the cross roads --- we have young,
enthusiastic and motivated players.
“But I don’t think there is enough money and it is hard to get
sponsorship. I think we have players, the skill and knowledge and a CEO
(Don Lockerbie) who is doing a good job so far.
“One major drawback is the lack of a field with international
standards that would attract international players to compete here and
that would bring sponsors. Sponsorship would help motivate players at
“I think if we had an international team playing here it would attract crowds and encourage youngsters to play.”
An insightful man with a vision for the game, Hinds studied
political science in Puerto Rico and then graduated from Ohio
University with a Masters in Government, which is virtually the same as
political science. He continued his studies at Fordham University in
New York and graduated with a law degree. He worked as an attorney and
lives in Passaic, New Jersey.
While growing up in Jamaica he played cricket and soccer as a center
forward or inside right, winning several rural championships. He also
competed in track and field as a high jumper and in 100 meter to 400
In 1967 he was invited to compete in the national cricket trials in
the West Indies and competed against future test batsmen Maurice Foster
and Easton McMorris. He also played against Rudolph Cohen, who was
selected to tour England, but did not play a Test.
In Jamaica local cricket, Hinds played against Lawrence Rowe, the
great West Indian top order batsman, who made a double century and
century in his first Test, and ‘keeper Desmond Lewis and batsman Basil
Williams, who both played in Tests.
As a student in Puerto Rico he scored five goals with University of
Puerto Rico in an 8-0 win against Catholic University in an Inter
America University soccer game. He went on to play in a semi
professional soccer league in Puerto Rico with Guyama.
But it was cricket that Hinds chose to compete in when he moved to
Brooklyn, New York, 35 years ago and was opening bat and wicketkeeper
with Cornwall in the New York Cricket League. He later played in the
Metropolitan Cricket League in New York with the Wanderers Cricket
Club, which was based in New Jersey.
While still a player with the Wanderers, Hinds began his
administrative career as a manager of the Metropolitan Cricket League
All Stars team and then was appointed corresponding secretary of the
He then rose to vice president from 1989 to 1995 and president from
1996 to 2001. When he was elected president he chose to stop playing
because he felt “it was a conflict of interest.”
The Metropolitan league, under Hinds’ leadership, grew from 14 teams
to 22 with about another 120 players competing. In 2001 he left the
Metropolitan League and was Regional Director of the New York Region
for the next three years.
In 2004 he created a data base of player information in the New York Region while he was Director of Operations.
Hinds helped set up an interleague competition of the seven New York
leagues and a tournament where players represented their countries of
origin in 50-over games. Last year it was changed to a 20/20 format.
But it was his role in forming an Under 19 competition several years
ago with Krish Prasad , now chairman of the United States Cricket
Association’s Cricket Committee and Gary Nasimento. At the time Prasad
was president of the Eastern American Cricket League and Nasimento was
a board member and a player in the league.
“We started with two teams and last year we had eight. We were one
of the first to have an Under 19 competition and we took teams to
California and word quickly spread around,” said Hinds, who also had a
hand in starting an Under 15 comp.
Hinds sees the future of US cricket with youth and that developing youngsters will benefit the national senior team.
In May this year, Hinds was the manager of the national Under 19
tournament in New York and also was head administrator for the Under 15
Americas Cup tournament in August.
“The pleasing part of dealing with youngsters is watching them
develop to a national level. It is just great seeing players like Greg
Sewdial, Andy Mohamed and Regis Burton play for the US in the Under
19s. Kavishwar Bridgepaul was named as an Under 19 reserve,” he said.
Hinds has also coached, but it is recruiting and management where he has excelled.
“Everything seems to work, we have had a little bit of success and I seem to draw people,” he said.