Tony Becca remembered as a champion of sports journalism

By February 28, 2019
The late cricket writer Tony Becca who died on February 28, 2019 at the St. Andrews Hospital in Kingston. The late cricket writer Tony Becca who died on February 28, 2019 at the St. Andrews Hospital in Kingston.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) and the Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) have both issued statements offering messages of condolence to the family of veteran cricket writer Tony Becca who died in hospital on Thursday.

Becca, 78, died in the St. Andrews Hospital from complications brought on by the onset of dengue.

During his illustrious career in sports journalism that began in 1974, Becca covered more than 100 Test matches before retiring. However, he still wrote a weekly column for the Daily Gleaner, the last of which was published on Sunday, February 24.

The column was on the Jamaica Cricket Association (CWI) Annual General Meeting and elections due later Thursday evening.  Becca, who is a life member of the JCA, will be honoured and remembered at the AGM to be held at Medallion Hall Hotel in Kingston, about a kilometre from where Becca died early Thursday morning.

The results of Thursday’s elections could have a bearing on whether CWI President Dave Cameron gets another term in office.

“West Indies cricket has lost a champion who spent his distinguished career chronicling the ups and downs of the sport he loved so much.  Tony Becca has always made an effort to be fair in his writings about West Indies Cricket,” Cameron said in a statement.

“Tony Becca lived through the glorious years when West Indian bowlers swept all before them and gifted Caribbean batsmen battered the opposing bowlers,” Cameron continued.

“Driven by the glory, his eyes had seen as the WINDIES juggernaut tore through world cricket in the 1970s and 1980s, Tony also agonized as our fortunes dipped and he lashed out at administrators and players alike.

“For over four decades he helped this region understand the game.  His body of work is one which will be difficult to replicate. Cricket West Indies along with other groups across the Caribbean region and in the USA Diaspora have paid tribute to him because of his work.”

Meanwhile, the JCA, headed by Billy Heaven said Becca’s “invaluable contribution to the sport as an administrator and journalist will continue to inspire all of us connected to the sport.”

“The thought-provoking nature of his column influenced numerous healthy debates on the past, present and future of cricket globally and locally. He will be missed. We are all blessed for having known him,” the JCA said in a statement released Thursday afternoon.

“To Mr. Becca’s wife Cecilia and immediate family, we pray that the happy memories of his life will strengthen you in this time. To his friends and the cricket family let us rally ‘round each other to celebrate the life of a great man and honour his contributions.”

A minute’s silence was observed at the Windies Championship game between the Jamaica Scorpions and Leeward Islands Hurricanes that began Thursday. Players are also wearing black armbands as a mark of respect.

 

 

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 SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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