The cricket fraternity lost another legend this time a legend from the Caribbean. At the age of 86, former West Indies batsman Basil Butcher passed away on Monday (December 16) in Florida after battling a prolonged illness. He represented West Indies in 44 Tests, from 1958 to 1969, scoring 3104 runs at an average of 43.
Butcher, the first cricketer of Amerindian descent, is best remembered for his knocks in England – his 133 at Lord’s in 1963 and 209* in Nottingham in 1966. In 1970, he was also named one of Wisden’s Cricketers of the Year.
In his debut series against India, he scored 486 runs at 69.42 which included centuries in Kolkata and Chennai.
Butcher was handy with the ball specially against England when he bagged a fifer at Port of Spain in 1968. He couldn’t add any Test more wickets, having bowled only twice later, but finished with 7 centuries and 16 fifties in his Test career.
“With a heavy heart I announce our Dad, Husband, Brother, Grandfather, Great-Grandfather and former Guyana and West Indies batting star Basil Butcher Sr. passed earlier this evening in Florida after a long illness,” Butcher’s son Junior wrote in a post on social media.
Butcher played his last Test against England at Headingley in Leeds in 1969. Butcher scored 35 and 91 in the first innings and second respectively that came in a losing cause.
His first-class career spanned from 1954 to 1973, in which he played 169 games – mostly for Guyana, scoring 11628 runs at an average of 49.90, including 31 centuries and 54 fifties.