Arthur Barrett, cricket's quiet storm, dead at 73

By March 06, 2018

Jamaica and West Indies all-rounder Arthur Barrett has died after a brief illness. Barrett suffered a stroke several months ago and was ailing until his death on Tuesday. He was 73.

Described as a man, who spoke very little and kept to himself, Barrett was a key player in Jamaica winning its first regional cricket title, the Shell Shield, back in 1969.

Former West Indies and Jamaica cricketer Maurice Foster, who played with Barrett on that title-winning team, said he was shocked by news of Barrett’s passing.

“I had been in touch with him regularly for about four months after he got the stroke and he was undergoing treatment. He was in and out of the hospital for a while and I spoke to members of the family this morning and even though they knew he wasn’t well, they were still overcome with grief,” Foster said.

“Despite the fact that I knew he was not well I was shocked when I heard of his passing.”

Foster described Barrett as a team player who committed himself to giving his best on the field of play.

“He was the consummate team player; very, very quiet. He kept to himself, hardly ever spoke, but he had this quiet ability and once he had a job to do he would give it 100 percent, totally committed to his team,” Foster recalled of his former teammate.

“I remember in 1969, Easton McMorris was captain of the Jamaica team when we won the Shell Shield for the first time, Arthur was very instrumental in Jamaica winning the competition that year.

“We played the Combined Islands in a game where we lost some early wickets. Arthur was batting about seven or eight and he made a 102 in the game, and he picked up five wickets in the first innings and five in the second and led Jamaica to maximum points. I don’t think anyone else has achieved that feat of a century and 10 wickets to date.”

Foster said Barrett would take that form into Barbados where “he took 5 for 16 in that game and routed Barbados and Jamaica, in the end, won the Shell Shield for the first time.”

In all, between 1966 and 1981 Barrett played 57 first-class matches for Jamaica during which he took 169 wickets at an average of 31.21. He played six Tests for the West Indies between February 1971 and January 1975 during which he took 13 wickets at an average of 46.38.

When his Test and first-class career ended Barrett would go on to play an integral role in the success of the Melbourne Cricket Club, Foster recalled.

Afterwards, he faded into obscurity.

“He became kind of an introvert. He would go to church on Sundays and he would go home. You wouldn’t see him out,” Foster recalled.

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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