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Christiani and Stayers dead

Robert Christiani, the former West Indian batsman, has died a couple of days after the passing of Charlie Stayers, the former West Indian allrounder, according to the CaribbeanCricket.com website. Christiani, who was 85, died in Toronto recently.

Christiani, who was a right-handed opening batsman, scored 896 runs at an average of 26.35 from 22 Tests. Known as "Sugarfoot", he was famous for being unlucky enough to be dismissed for 99 on his Test debut, against England in 1947-48 - he is one of three players to share that unwanted distinction. He later did make a Test century, 107 against India in 1948-49. He averaged 40.50 in 88 first-class matches, scoring 5103 runs with a highest score of 181.

Christiani came from a well-known cricketing family in Guyana, and began his career as a lower-order batsman. His older brother, Cyril, played four Tests for West Indies in the 1930s, while Harry and Ernest, two other brothers, played first-class cricket for British Guiana.

The news of Christiani's death comes on the back of the passing of Stayers, who died recently in Britain at the age of 67. Stayers played four Tests for West Indies, all against India in 1961-62. He played 17 first-class matches, for Bombay in India as well as British Guiana, before his career ended prematurely when he was only 26.