2nd October 2014
Patrolling the Boundary – a view from the outfield
Lance Gibbs turned 80 on Monday of this week, and the Trinidad Express (without giving an author’s credit) celebrated the event ahead of the big day by noting that he would be the 16th living West Indian Test cricketing octogenarian.
A nice little recognition by the Express, except that they’d overlooked one. And not just anyone, but the great Sonny Ramadhin! Perhaps he’s so long gone to Lancashire that he’s been forgotten? Hardly.
Reds Perreira was as quick to react and return as Roger Harper fielding a full-blooded Gooch drive. He dropped a line to the paper (and to me too):
Sonny Ramadhin was left out! He is 85.
A speedy and embarrassed follow up item was published, revealing that the forgetful miscreant was none other than the legendary Tony Cozier. Even the greats sometimes have momentary lapses – and he was appropriately chastened and contrite – but it was a good excuse for a brief recollection of that little pal of his, and mine, and the world’s.
Whenever a cricket list appears that features eleven or more names it is irresistible (at least for me) to try and compose a playing XI, hopefully balanced, in full batting order, with Captain and ‘keeper. I made my selection, and consulted the Chairman of the panel:
Just had a little fun picking an XI out of those guys:
1. Andy Ganteaume
2. Cammie Smith
3. Everton Weekes
4. Basil Butcher
5. Seymour Nurse
6. Joe Solomon
7. Roy Miller
8. Jackie Hendriks (wk)
9. Tom Dewdney
10. Lance Gibbs
11. Sonny Ramadin
12th men – Binns, Pairaudeau, Scarlett, Scott, Furlonge and Rodriquez.
A little top heavy with batsmen, and Gibbs and Ramadhin are bowling a lot of overs! Dewdney and Miller share the new ball, and Solomon and Butcher will have to turn their arms over a bit too.
I couldn’t decide who had the leadership qualities to marshall this disparate bunch.
Can I leave the nomination of a captain to you?
I may go with Pairaudeau in place of Smith. He got more scores than Cammie. Weekes will be my Captain with Hendriks as his deputy.
Yes of course. I was going to do the same – but having met Cammie several times, I played the ‘personal bias’ card – he is such a genuinely lovely man! But then selection is about tough decisions! I’m sure skipper, Sir Everton will be able to help the ‘youngster’ get over his disappointment.
I read my XI out to Lance Gibbs on this week’s edition of ‘Mason & Guests’, and he also queried the omission of Pairaudeau:
LC: “I don’t agree with that team! Ganteaume only played one Test Match. Bruce Pairaudeau was an opener, and he was a good player. I will study your squad!”
I think I have to bow to the superior knowledge of such illustrious judges.
Okay Bruce, you get a game. Put your pads on.
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.