A Sense of History and Wonderment

15th September 2014

Picking the Spin from the Rough – stuff well worth reading

The Caribbean has been blissfully looking back this week at its proud heritage, as the West Indies became the 3rd Test playing nation to reach the 500 mark.

WI’s Manager and acting Coach, Sir Richie Richardson explained that cricket is in the Caribbean genes, which may help to explain the incredible strength of WI teams of the past.

Cricket Country debated and selected its all-time West Indies XI, while many other writers shared their memories and impressions of some of WI’s cricketing greats.

Fazeer Mohammed paid tribute to Sir Frank Worrell; while Mark Nicholas recalled his favourite innings by Sir Vivian Richards. Abhishek Mukherjee recalled when Garry Sobers took 5 wickets in 5 balls; and Martin Chandler profiled Keith Boyce, the ‘forgotten fast man’.

Boyce died on his 53rd birthday in 1996, while Collie Smith was only 26 when he died in 1959. Smith was one of those who featured in an All Out Cricket feature on cricketers ‘cut off in their prime‘. Collie was also the subject of a calypso by Laurel Aitken back in 1963.

Others profiles well worth reading are this brief pen-pic of MC Frederick; this of West Indies’ greatest supporter, Keith the Pipe Man, from back in July; and this one of the great Caribbean radio commentator, Reds Perreira, who back in April shared a few memories with the Georgetown Cricket Club in Guyana.

Also looking back were Tony Becca who examined how cricket coverage has changed in his time; John Hotten, the Old Batsman, conjured memories of attending the 1979 World Cup Final between WI and England; and Tony Cozier, who recalled that and other West Indian triumphs at Lord’s. Cozier’s item appeared on the new website by the West Indies Players’ Association.

Elsewhere, Roland Toppin took a look at the different play-off formats of the IPL and CPL; Cricket Country provided articles looking at cricket’s obscure lexicon, and then a players’ lexicon; while the Cricket Widow, Kathleen Galligan shared with us her sketches ‘decrypting cricket speak’. Kathleen also wrote a delightful article about the wonderful feel of bat on ball. And I can reveal that that’s my kit she’s wearing in the second photo.

Finally, a long overdue return for the adjudications of another friend of mine, former Test umpire, John Holder. He is the ‘Supreme Court Judge’ in the Observer’s splendid (English) summer series, You Are the Umpire. In it, John answers readers’ questions, and provides solutions to knotty problems involving the Laws of cricket. The weekly strip is skilfully illustrated by Paul Trevillion, and the latest series recently concluded. But I thought it’d be fun to dip into their back catalogue, and provide regular links to a few former puzzles, starting this week very appropriately with England and Barbados’, Chris Jordan.

David Oram

David Oram is the resident ‘statto’, and sometime presenter of ‘Mason & Guests’ – Voice of Barbados’ weekly cricket talk show, the leading cricket radio show in the West Indies – hosted by the Caribbean’s principal  radio commentator, Andrew Mason. You can tweet me at DavidOram@colblimp1983.


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