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Full name William Thomas Burton
Born January 31, 1878, Black Rock, St Michael, Barbados
Died August 22, 1946, St Michael, Barbados (aged 68 years 203 days)
Major teams British Guiana
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm medium
William Burton, a fast bowler, struggled to make his mark as he was pf mixed race and lacked the background to gain entry to Barbados's only non-white club. He worked as a practice bowler for Pickwick CC and was used in practice matches to sharpen up white batsmen chosen to represent the island. In 1899 he emigrated to Demerara which had far less strict rules on colour (other promising coloured players took the same route) and he bowled well enough in his first season to gain selection for the 1900 England tour where he took 78 wickets at 21.55 (the matches were not accorded first-class status). Against touring sides from England in 1901-02 and 1904-05 he was effective and was chosen to tour England again in 1906. But that ended in acrimony when he was sent home after refusing to carry out menial duties for white members of the side. That ended his cricketing career and also made him virtually unemployable, and he was forced to emigrate again, this time to Panama. He returned to Barbados shortly before his death so that he could "die where I was born".
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