ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Cricket West Indies has hailed Sonny Ramadhin as “one of the great pioneers” after the legendary spinner died on Sunday at age 92.
Ramadhin, an off-spinner, formed a now storied partnership with left-arm spinner Alf Valentine which famously led West Indies to a 3-1 series win against England in 1950.
The partnership became immortalized in song when calypsonian Lord Beginner penned and sang “Cricket, Lovely Cricket” in tribute to that Test series victory.
All told, Ramadhin played 43 Tests and claimed 158 wickets at an average of almost 29, and featured in 184 first class games, picking up 258 wickes at a shade over 20 apiece.
“On behalf of CWI I want to express our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Sonny Ramadhin, one of the great pioneers of West Indies cricket,” said CWI president Ricky Skerritt.
“Mr Ramadhin made an impact from the moment he first stepped onto the field of World 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.
“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.”
Born in Trinidad in 1929, Ramadhin went on to make his Test debut against England at Manchester in 1950, in a squad headlined by the legendary Three Ws – Sir Frank Worrell, Sir Everton Weekes and Sir Clyde Walcott.
He finished with two wickets in each innings – Valentine grabbed eight in the first innings – as England wrapped up a 202-run win.
However, Ramadhin snatched five in the first innings of the second Test at Lord’s and six in the second innings, West Indies winning by 326 runs before going on to dominate the series.