There has never been a better place to follow a Test match than from the seat next to Tony Cozier. From a BBC commentary box, with West Indies either demolishing the opposition or being demolished - there has not been much middle ground over the last four decades - you were informed, educated and entertained, just as Lord Reith once demanded. Whatever was happening at the Kennington Oval, or the Kensington Oval, the listener would be soothed and transported by the soft, lilting Bajan tones of a master broadcaster.

Tony would first inform by effortlessly describing the action. He always obeyed the old Test Match Special rules because he never missed a ball; he rarely made a mistake but, when he did, he would interject quickly with a "Correction: that was Richards's 11th boundary - there was also an all-run four." Accurate reporting was his first, essential, port of call. Then, if there was time and space - but only if that was the case because of a lull in the cricket - he would both educate and entertain by disappearing down some byway, which might unwittingly reveal his encyclopaedic knowledge of the game.

The meander might relate to Everton Weekes's six-hitting in Test cricket. Why were there so few? Tony might explain how Weekes, a majestic third of Barbados's Three Ws, was a pragmatic powerhouse who considered aerial shots too great a risk. Tony would know that at first hand from watching Weekes as a boy, and because he was a friend for over six decades - just as he remained a friend of just about every West Indian cricketer thereafter, from Holder (Vanburn) to Holder (Jason).

So Weekes, by now 91, was far from the only prominent cricketer at Cozier's funeral in Bridgetown in May 2016. Garry Sobers and Clive Lloyd were there; Wes Hall conducted the service. Phil Simmons, the West Indies coach at the time, attended too, his presence a reminder of Tony's fearlessness as a journalist. Indirectly, Simmons once caused Tony to be abused in Trinidad because he had dared to suggest in a column that Simmons, a local, should be dropped from the Test team. This was never going to go down well in Port-ofSpain, but it did not stop Tony expressing his view.

Michael Holding was committed to work at the Headingley Test against Sri Lanka at the time of the funeral, but his love of Tony was obvious in a moving, tearful recollection of his great friend during a tribute on TMS. Holding explained that, if Cozier had something to say, true lovers of Caribbean cricket always listened. And so did the players.

It would be commonplace to see Cozier, Holding and Viv Richards meet up after another disappointing day of Test cricket for West Indies (we are now in the 21st century). They would share their frustrations, which accelerated from their tongues - one Bajan, one Jamaican, one Antiguan - at alarming speed. Soon it became impossible to decipher what they were saying. But the general impression was clear: they cared deeply about the game in the Caribbean.

Cozier was the most objective of broadcasters in the best traditions of TMS, but away from the microphone he was no neutral. The decline of West Indies cricket, especially in the Test arena, pained him, and he wrote about it passionately and clear-sightedly, latterly on ESPNcricinfo - to the extent that the West Indies board no longer welcomed him as a TV broadcaster. For a doyen of cricket journalism, this was a travesty and an insult. Needless to say, it did not prevent Tony from speaking his mind.

To watch him at work at a Test match was an education. He would move from the TV commentary box to the press room to the radio box, never hurried, yet never stopping. He mastered all three disciplines long before most of those around him had entered a media centre. On TV, he recognised it was not necessary to talk all the time, a lost art; he concentrated on the game, rather than the cringeworthy in-jokes of a previous generation of cricketers. And he might write three newspaper pieces a day, in crystal-clear prose.

Yet he will be remembered most for his work on radio. He had all the tools of the great broadcaster, among them that soothing voice and a fount of knowledge unsurpassed by any other commentator or summariser of my experience. He may not have been a first-class cricketer, but in his youth he opened at club level against Hall and Griffith: he knew the problems of playing. Add humour and a sense of timing, plus a deep love of the game, and you have an all-rounder of Sobers proportions. He was always a generous broadcaster, never seeking to dominate.

Yet he could be ruthless. Just occasionally, if he decided, say, that the great Geoffrey Boycott was proffering a particular point of view a little too frequently, he would talk on and on himself, never to the detriment of the coverage. Beyond the confines of the media centre he possessed a wonderful zest for life. Tony liked to party. And, with the help of his wife, Jillian, whose wedding anniversary he never forgot (the crafty Cozier contrived to get married on his birthday), and his children, Natalie and Craig, he threw wonderful bashes.

In tributes to Tony, just about every cricket journalist on the planet mentioned getting lost on the way to his beach hut somewhere on the east coast of Barbados. Everybody was invited; everybody accepted; most got there in the end. The last time I saw him was in 2013 in Cardiff. His body was frail, though not his voice, nor his mind. Towards the end of a meal in the basement of an Italian restaurant there came the strains of Elvis Presley. Tony's antennae were alerted: he started to sing. The diners on the next table were South Africans following the cricket - and, it turned out, just as keen on Elvis. And there was Tony, delicately dancing around the tables with one of the wives, a smile on his face, and a sparkle in his eye.

Vic Marks played for Somerset and England, and is the cricket correspondent of The Observer, as well as a regular summariser on Test Match Special. He and Cozier first worked together in 1990.