Basil Williams, the former West Indies opening batsman, has died at the age of 65. Williams played seven Tests during 1978 and 1979 when the West Indies line-up was weakened by the defection of many leading players to World Series Cricket and he proved an effective replacement, scoring 469 runs at 39.08.
He also became the tenth West Indian to score a century on Test debut, when he struck 100 off 118 balls in the second innings against Australia in Georgetown in 1978. He performed well in that series and was picked for the tour of India later that year, where he scored 111 in Kolkata, but after the return of the WSC players he was dropped.
The Wisden report of Williams' debut hundred noted that he "kept on playing his shots in spite of several narrow escapes, particularly against [Jeff] Thomson", and that having scored his century he hooked the next ball and was caught at fine leg.
"We mourn the loss of another servant of the game in the Caribbean," WICB president Dave Cameron said. "Indeed, the Jamaica Cricket Association and the Kensington Cricket Club family of which he was a part for all of his life will miss him.
"I knew 'Shotgun', as he was affectionately known, having been a member of Kensington for so many years. He was captain of the first team and I had the honour of playing with him. He was a tough, but fair captain and a no-nonsense guy."
Williams made his debut for Jamaica in February 1970 and ended his first-class career in 1985. He struck five centuries in his 46-game first-class career and averaged 36.02.