CWI and Sport Ministry honour late WI cricket pioneer, Sonny Ramadhin

Gems at Lajoya

Cricket West Indies (CWI) president Ricky Skerritt and Trinidad and Tobago Minister of Sport and Community Development Shamfa Cudjoe have paid tribute to iconic former West Indies spin bowler Sonny Ramadhin, who passed away yesterday at the age of 92.

Ramadhin was the first cricketer of East Indian descent to represent the West Indies, when he made his Test debut against England at Old Trafford, Manchester on 8 June 1950. He was 21 years old at the time and, in tandem with left-arm spinner Alf Valentine, starred in the West Indies’ first-ever Test series triumph in England.

Photo: West Indies mystery spinner Sonny Ramadhin (right) in action against England.
(via Cricketnmore)

Ramadhin took 11 wickets for 152 runs at Lord’s in West Indies’ historic first win, as the Maroon Men went on to take the series 3-1.

Skerritt offered his ‘deepest sympathy’ to Ramadhin’s family and friends and hailed the spinner as ‘one of the great pioneers of West Indies cricket’.

“Many stories are told of his tremendous feats on the 1950 tour when he combined with Alf Valentine to form cricket’s ‘spin twins’ as West Indies conquered England away from home for the first time,” stated Skerritt. “This iconic tour is part of our rich cricket legacy, which was pioneered by Mr Ramadhin and others of his generation. 

“His English exploit was celebrated in a famous calypso—and is still remembered more than 70 years later. Today we salute Sonny Ramadhin for his outstanding contribution to West Indies cricket.”

Photo: The success of West Indies spinners Sonny Ramadhin (left) and Alfred Valentine in the 1950s prompted a rule change by  cricket’s then master, the MCC.

Ramadhin, who played alongside the legendary three Ws Sir Frank Worrell, Sir Everton Weekes and Sir Clyde Walcott, went on to play 43 Test matches in which he took 158 wickets at an average of 28.98 each. His best bowling figures were 7/49 against England at Edgbaston in 1957. 

In his career, he played 184 first-class matches and captured 758 wickets at 20.24 each.

Cudjoe offered condolences on behalf of the Trinidad and Tobago Government.

“Ramadhin was a dominant force through his ability to turn the ball both ways,” stated Cudjoe. “He has proudly represented this country and has inspired many cricketers and sports aficionados, both nationally and internationally. He was indeed a great cricket legend.

“We salute this outstanding sportsman for his dedicated, distinguished and diligent service to Trinidad and Tobago. May his soul rest in eternal peace.”

Photo: Iconic late West Indies spinner Sonny Ramadhin.
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One comment

  1. How many Test matches did Ramadhin, Valentine, Sobers and Gibbs appear in as a bowling unit?
    It never ceases to amaze me. West Indies selectors are consistently wrong. However, they were vindicated in the summer of 1950. Ramadhin and Valentine was the right call. I wonder who those selectors are.
    However, Gibbs was forced to wait from February, 1954 to February 1958 to debut in Test match cricket. Again I wonder who the selectors are.
    Can you imagine the four best spinners in the history of West Indies Test cricket were available from 1954 to 1961? And the four never bowled in the same Test match. Indeed, the career of Gibbs is a reflection of talent and determination overcoming the narrow-mindedness of West Indies selectors from 1954 to 1976.
    If the selectors were not biased against spinners, one wonders how many more series West Indies would have won. Certainly, Ramadhin should not have been forced to shoulder the bowling as he did. I suppose poor captaincy wore out Ramadhin.
    Certainly, Ramadhin was a once-in-a-lifetime talented performer.

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