West Indies news February 18, 2016

One-Test wonder Andy Ganteaume dies aged 95

ESPNcricinfo staff
22

Andy Ganteaume (standing second from left) with the West Indies squad ahead of the 1957 Lord's Test © PA Photos

Andy Ganteaume, the former West Indies and Trinidad & Tobago wicketkeeper-batsman, has died at the age of 95. He passed away on Wednesday in Santa Margarita, St Augustine, T&T. Ganteaume was West Indies' oldest living Test cricketer, and the world's second oldest, behind South Africa's Lindsay Tuckett.

Ganteaume scored 112 on Test debut against England in 1948, but never played for West Indies again. He had added 173 for the first wicket with George Carew, who had hit a century of his own, in the first innings of that drawn match at the Queen's Park Oval. Ganteaume did not get a chance to bat in the second innings and therefore became the only player to finish with a batting average of over 100.

Ganteaume, however, had a longer first-class run - 50 first-class matches over 23 seasons making 2785 runs, including five centuries, at 34.81 - playing as often as his work in the Trinidad Civil Service would allow. Having had no formal coaching, he made his first-class debut for Trinidad a few weeks after his 20th birthday in 1941 and, batting at No. 8, stroked 87. In 1957, he toured England with West Indies but did not make the playing XI for any of the Tests.

It is said he paid as much for his anti-establishment attitude in an era when white players still dominated the region's cricket, as for slow scoring in his only Test. Jeff Stollmeyer, West Indies' regular opener, whose injury had allowed Ganteaume to debut, said later: "Andy's innings in its later stages was not in keeping with the state of the game. His captain was forced to send a message out to him to get on with it."

Ganteaume had also been a regular member of Trinidad's football team. After his playing career, Ganteaume served as a selector and West Indies' team manager.

The WICB had lauded Ganteaume's contribution to the game when he turned 95 last month. "We salute Andy Ganteaume, one of the patriots of our great game," WICB president Dave Cameron had said. "Andy has also contributed a lot off the field as well, especially with the development of our cricket... A wonderful player and administrator."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • doctor1 on February 19, 2016, 23:21 GMT

    Well played Andy. If you add his age to his Test score and divide by 2 he will still 'score' over 100. Not every cricketer has that average. But Andy was active outside cricket and that did wonders for his self-confidence. Rest in Peace.

  • Lsteve on February 19, 2016, 21:56 GMT

    PELHAM_BARTON

    Thank you for your contribution and for your correction. Yes, I have read Cozier's piece which was excellent as usual.

    Also, I saw a good part of Boycott's innings on BBC TV at the time and thanks again for reminding me of the deficiencies of the Indian attack during that innings. You are quite correct. I still maintain, however, that England would not have dropped a batsman who made a century against Lillie and Thomson, even it he took a day to make the first 80. They did not drop Trevor Bailey who took seven hours to make 68 in Australia in 1959. I think it was in 1959.

  • Pelham_Barton on February 19, 2016, 16:10 GMT

    Lsteve on February 18, 2016, 20:55 GMT: I hope by now you will have seen Tony Cozier's piece which fills in quite a lot more of the story. One small factual correction to your comment is that Jeff Stollmeyer did not actually return to the team until the 4th Test - Andy Ganteaume played in the 2nd Test.

    You have mentioned the case of Geoffrey Boycott. Again, there are further points beyond the simple statement that he was dropped after scoring 246 not out. These include the fact that he only scored 106 on the first day, when 114 overs were bowled, and two of the Indian bowlers went off injured about half way through that first day, so at least some of his slow scoring was against a depleted attack. Please note that I make no comment on the rights or wrongs of the decision to leave him out of the team for the following Test.

  • Marabellaboy on February 19, 2016, 0:11 GMT

    Andy played one of life's great knocks. It is a pity he fell short of his Century. The pain of being dropped after that solitary innings will hurt you no more. RIP.

  • JohnYelton on February 18, 2016, 21:58 GMT

    Ganteaume must always have wondered "what if" he had been selected for a whole series, but all the evidence is that he would have been a marginal batsman at test level. It is not surprising that he was not asked to bat in the second innings if the intent really was to go for the victory, which apparently it was. Weekes and Walcott opened, and Williams promoted from 9 to 3 to have a slog. Williams had, in the previous test, broken the Windies record for a fast 50. Ganteaume, regardless of this one innings, was thought to be a plodder.

    That is not to say he was not unlucky, but we should also remember how few tests were played in those days. He did, as has been commented on, tour England later but did not impress that he was good enough for the first XI. If it were not for his colleague's injury he might never have played test cricket, and then we would not be discussing him at all. As it is, his is a name imprinted on my brain because of his strange record!

  • Lsteve on February 18, 2016, 20:55 GMT

    Andy was batting with Worrell. Gomez was captain of WI. Gomez wanted to declare to let England bat. Worrell felt that there was not enough time in the game to force a win and he and Andy opted for batting practice. Had Andy played in the next test Stollmeyer would have to be left out. Stollmeyer was one of the rulers of WI cricket. Therefore, Andy was left out and an excuse had to be found.

    When the captain sent a note to Worrell and Andy to score quickly, it was Worrell who is said to have told Andy: "Let us sun them (the English) some more". No one dared think of dropping Frank Worrell even in those early days. He was, at the time, the premier WI batsman and owned the No 3 spot in the line-up after the great George Headley gave it up.

    Only Geoff Boycott was said to have been dropped for slow batting after making 246 n.o. England later wished to have slow batter years later.

  •   Werner Blomberg on February 18, 2016, 20:35 GMT

    I'm grateful for Andy's service

  • marisule on February 18, 2016, 16:33 GMT

    My deep condolence to Mr. Ganteaume and family. I had the pleasure working with him as his laison officer during his tenure as Manager of the West Indies side in the 80's. Wonderful gentleman. May he rest in peace

  • Starvybz on February 18, 2016, 16:31 GMT

    @nothirdman that is because you are referring to this hundred as a single amount when in actuality it is a collection of 112 runs, 13 fours and the rest in singles, twos and threes. Given that scoring system in cricket is done on the basis of tallying, one amount added onto another etc., Andy has every right to have a batting average of 112.0.Since the number of runs scored = 112 divided by number of times out =1 which gives us a batting average of 112.

  • Redboy on February 18, 2016, 15:26 GMT

    Seems like the writing was on the wall when Andy was denied a second innings knock where he may have had the opportunity to be among the runs as West Indies reached 72 for 3 (5 batsmen batted). That John Goddard was to come back in to be captain in his native Barbados for the next third test and Stollmeyer would be fit again for the fourth test .The story will continue to confuse us for generations to come .

  • No featured comments at the moment.