29th March 2016
The Mason & Guests Show
Former Trinidad & Tobago and West Indies off-spinner, Rangy Nanan died last week aged 62 following a heart-attack. He had been in declining health for some time. The Mason & Guests show asked me to provide and record a brief tribute to him. You can read it below and listen to it here:
Spare a thought this week for the passing of Rangy Nanan, who died last Wednesday aged 62. One of the Caribbean’s finest off-spinners, he took 272 wickets for Trinidad & Tobago between 1973-1991, & 366 in all 1st-class cricket at 23.1 in 94 matches.
He played in a solitary Test match in Pakistan in 1980 & took 4 wickets: Imran Khan, Wasim Raja, Abdul Qadir & Iqbal Qasim, as West Indies won by 156 runs, & eventually won the 4-Test series 1-0.
But in an era when the West Indies were blessed with a plethora of great quicks, successive captains stuck rigidly to their 4-fast bowler game plan, & Nanan didn’t feature again – although he remains, uniquely, the only Test cricketer with a palindromic surname.
Rangy Nanan was generally regarded as the best spin bowler in the Caribbean throughout the 1980s, his best year being 1986 when he picked up 33 wickets in 6 games at 15.3.
He captained Trinidad & Tobago from 1984-1991, skippering them to the 1985 Shell Shield title, their only such triumph in a thirty-year period from 1976-2006. At the time of his retirement he was the all-time leading wicket-taker in the 1st-class regional competition.
Post-playing he was a policeman, a liaison officer for the West Indies cricket team, & he was inducted into the Trinidad & Tobago Cricket Board’s Hall of Fame in 2015. TTCB President, Azim Bassarath said, “Rangy was one of a kind.”
Former West Indies manager, Omar Khan observed that Nanan was “a consumate professional… and a great servant to Trinidad & Tobago and West Indies cricket.”
While Brian Lara said, “I learnt a lot about the art of playing spin bowling from him,” adding, “I will miss him.”
In a press release the WICB expressed its regret at the passing of Nanan, and offered “condolences to his family and close friends”, sentiments echoed by Trinidad & Tobago’s Minister of Sport & Youth Affairs, the Honourable Darryl Smith.
The Mason & Guests show would like to add its thoughts and prayers to those mentioned, and salutes the memory of Rangy Nanan.