Former West Indies spinner Sonny Ramadhin has died aged 92. Details of his passing are to be confirmed.
A bowler who could make the ball turn both ways, Ramadhin played 43 Tests between 1950 and 1961 for 158 wickets at 28.98. He was instrumental in West Indies' first Test win in England, at Lord's in 1950; West Indies won that game, the second of the series, by 326 runs with Ramadhin bamboozling the batters to take a match haul of 11 for 152.
West Indies would go on to register huge wins in the third and fourth Tests as well, to complete a landmark and wholly unexpected series victory. Ramadhin along with his spin partner Alf Valentine led the wickets charts by a mile. Bowling right-arm offspin and legbreaks with no obvious change in his action, Ramadhin finished the series with three five-wicket hauls and a ten-for, his 26 wickets coming at 23.23.
Ramadhin, "a small neat man whose shirt-sleeves were always buttoned at the wrist" to quote ESPNcricinfo's profile of him, got the call-up for that England tour at 21 after just two first-class games. Both he and Valentine were surprise picks for the series but would go on to bowl a lot - 377.5 and 422.3 (with the next highest being 181) overs respectively. The pair's exploits on that tour sparked the famous Calypso song "Cricket, Lovely Cricket".
"On behalf of CWI, I want to express our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Sonny Ramadhin, one of the great pioneers of West Indies cricket," board president Ricky Skerritt said. "Mr Ramadhin made an impact from the moment he first stepped onto the field of World Cricket. Many stories are told of his tremendous feats on the 1950 tour when he combined with Alf Valentine to form cricket's 'spin twins' as West Indies conquered England away from home for the first time.
"This iconic tour is part of our rich cricket legacy, which was pioneered by Mr. Ramadhin and others of his generation. His English exploit was celebrated in a famous calypso - and is still remembered more than 70 years later. Today we salute Sonny Ramadhin for his outstanding contribution to West Indies cricket."