CRICKET: Sonny Ramadhin, West Indies legendary spinner, dies aged 92 – The Guardian

—  Ramadhin’s death confirmed by Friarmere CC in Oldham

— Spinner helped West Indies to first Test series victory in England in 1950

PHOTO: Sonny Ramadhin was the first man of Indian heritage to represent West Indies. Photograph: Topical Press Agency/Getty Images
THE GUARDIANSun 27 Feb 2022 

‘Those two little pals of mine’ – Sonny Ramadhin and Alf Valentine were among Wisden’s Five Cricketers of the Year in 1951

His partnership with Alf Valentine, the Jamaican slow left-armer, was legendary, never more so when the pair first came together in England in 1950; they shared 59 victims as a West Indies team also containing the three Ws – Frank Worrell, Everton Weekes and Clyde Walcott – made its presence felt on the world stage with a 3-1 series triumph.

The feat was immortalised on both sides of the Atlantic in the song Victory Calypso. Its composer, Lord Beginner, was among the first arrivals on the HMS Windrush in 1948 and was one of the fans who celebrated on the Lord’s outfield after Ramadhin’s match figures of 11 for 152 set up a 326-run win in the second Test.

A surprise pick that year aged 21 and after just two appearances for Trinidad, Ramadhin became a dominant force through his ability to turn the ball both ways, taking his 758 first-class wickets at an average of 20.24 and finishing with 51 five‑wicket hauls. The news of Ramadhin’s passing was first announced on Sunday morning by Friarmere CC, the Pennine Cricket League club in Delph, Oldham, where he was president.

Ramadhin had settled in the north‑west of England after his playing days, having featured in the Lancashire league, played two seasons for Lancashire in the 1960s and then enjoyed a further spell with Lincolnshire in the Minor Counties Championship. His grandson, the former seamer Kyle Hogg, also played for Lancashire.

Tributes are expected during England’s latest tour of the Caribbean and the three-match Test series for the renamed Richards-Botham trophy that starts in Antigua on 8 March. The tour moves to Barbados for the second Test that begins on 16 March, before its conclusion in Grenada the following week.

Also read:

CRICKET: Sonny Ramadhin: ‘In 1950 we had the three Ws – England had Len Hutton’ Read more

— Also view

LORD BEGINNER – Victory Test Match– Calypso

Lord Beginner accompanied by the Calypso Rhythm Kings with his song celebrating West Indies defeating England at Lord’s in 1950. Writing credits go to Egbert Moore (aka Lord Beginner) the song was originally composed by Lord Kitchener. I’ve taken the audio from the 2002 release ‘London Is The Place For Me: Trinidadian Calypso in London, 1950-1956’         — See Lyrics below

Cricket lovely Cricket,
At Lord’s where I saw it;
Cricket lovely Cricket,
At Lord’s where I saw it;
Yardley tried his best
But Goddard won the test.
They gave the crowd plenty fun;
Second Test and West Indies won.

With those two little pals of mine
Ramadhin and Valentine.

The King was there well attired,
So they started with Rae and Stollmeyer;
Stolly was hitting balls around the boundary;
But Wardle stopped him at twenty.
Rae had confidence,
So he put up a strong defence;
He saw the King was waiting to see,
So he gave him a century.

With those two little pals of mine
Ramadhin and Valentine.

West Indies first innings total was three-twenty-six
Just as usual
When Bedser bowled Christiani
The whole thing collapsed quite easily;
England then went on,
And made one-hundred-fifty-one;
West Indies then had two-twenty lead
And Goddard said, “That’s nice indeed.”

With those two little pals of mine
Ramadhin and Valentine.

Yardley wasn’t broken-hearted
When the second innings started;
Jenkins was like a target
Getting the first five in his basket.
But Gomez broke him down,
While Walcott licked them around;
He was not out for one-hundred and sixty-eight,
Leaving Yardley to contemplate.

The bowling was superfine
Ramadhin and Valentine.

West Indies was feeling homely,
Their audience had them happy.
When Washbrook’s century had ended,
West Indies voices all blended.
Hats went in the air.
They jumped and shouted without fear;
So at Lord’s was the scenery
Bound to go down in history.

After all was said and done
Second Test and the West Indies won!

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  • wic  On 02/28/2022 at 1:03 am

    As a 10 year old at the time in then Br. Guiana, I recall hearing and reading of his exploits with Alf. Valentine during that remarkable Test series in England and I later learned the words of the calypso sung in their honor. I never had the opportunity to meet either of them but later met Walcott when he came to BG to work with Bookers in some capacity of promoting Sports on the sugar estates?Well done Sonny Ramadhin, you had a long innings and may you RIP.

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