11th May 2016
The Mason & Guests Show
The Caribbean’s greatest ever cricket writer and broadcaster has died aged 75. His loss will be felt not just in the West Indies, but throughout the world. In his home island, Barbados the national radio station VoB produced a special edition of the Mason & Guests show to mark his passing – and I was asked to provide a brief recorded tribute to him. You can read it below and listen to it here:
The Caribbean has lost one of its true greats.
Tony Cozier was the trusted voice of cricket in the region for fifty years; he catalogued the West Indies’ rise to greatness, and fall from its pedestal. He was intelligent, insightful, analytical, critical and most of all honest.
For at least three generations of cricket lovers he told us what we needed to know about the region’s cricket, helped us to understand, to learn from the successes and failures and documented the modern history of the greatest sporting team the world has ever known.
His was the voice that brought us the news of triumphs and disasters, victories and defeats, glories and ignominies. Tony Cozier spoke to us in our living rooms, in our bedrooms, our kitchens, our cars, bars, and rum shops. We heard him everywhere – and we listened.
Tony Cozier could be heard on our televisions, on our radios and in our newspapers. He wrote books, columns for newspapers and in the modern age for websites too. He was the man we turned to to learn what was happening in West Indies cricket, both on and off the field.
We knew him, admired him and loved him. He communicated with us all, and did so like no other, either in the Caribbean or for that matter, the whole world.
His loss is profound. It’ll be felt not just in the region, but internationally. The tributes to him will pour in from all over, and be heartfelt and generous. He was popular, knowledgable and phenomenally professional. He will be missed throughout the entire cricketing community.
Tony Cozier was a man of the world, and of the West Indies, of Barbados and his beloved club, the Wanderers.
Charting the golden years of West Indies glory through to the modern age with its trials and tribulations, he unerringly and unflinchingly reported events as he saw them – with the skill of the great writer and broadcaster that he was, with an awareness and scholarly appreciation of the past, a journalistic astuteness of the present, and a view to the future.
He mapped for everyone the unfolding narrative of West Indies cricket, and never missed a ball. He had an eye for the nuance of events, and a keen listening ear – and he communicated it all to his listeners – providing both the bigger picture and the intimate detail.
Quite simply he was the greatest writer and broadcaster on the game the Caribbean has ever known. And as a multi-talented commentator for both television and radio he was without doubt the world’s finest.
It is fitting that the West Indies have once again been recently crowned, three times, as he passes – for it was he more than any other who brought us the story of the great days.
The Mason & Guests show pays tribute to Tony Cozier and sends prayers and condolences to his family and friends.
We will not see as a great a broadcaster as him ever again.