CWI, GCB mourn the passing of Windies batsman Basil Butcher

By December 17, 2019

Cricket West Indies (CWI) and the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) have delivered messages of condolence at the passing of West Indies cricketer Basil Butcher.

Butcher, who played for the West Indies from 1958 to 1969, died in Florida on Monday after a long illness at the age of 86.

In 1963, Butcher scored a second-innings knock of 133 in a drawn Test at Lords against a potent England attack led by Fred Truman. In a match that pundits hail as one of the greatest Test matches, Butcher scored those runs after learning of his wife’s miscarriage moments before he walked out to bat.

Described as a wristy, resolute number-four batsman, Butcher played 44 Test matches for the West Indies he scored 3104 runs at an average of 43.11. He scored seven centuries including an unbeaten top score of 209 against England in 1966, that helped the West Indies turn the match around and pull off a 139-run win.

He also had success with his occasional leg-spin, Butcher took 5 for 34 against England in Port of Spain during the 1967/68 series. Four of those wickets came in just three overs.

His accomplishments are remembered among the many iconic performances in the annals of West Indies cricket.

“It is with great sadness that Cricket West Indies has learnt of the passing of West Indies batting legend Basil Fitzherbert Butcher,” CWI President Ricky Skerritt said in a statement on Tuesday.

“The name Basil Butcher is forever etched on the honours board at Lord’s cricket ground, as one of a select group of players who have scored a Test Hundred at Lords. Cricket West Indies would like to extend sincere condolences to Basil’s wife, Valerie Pamela Butcher, children Brian, Bruce, Basil Junior, Blossom and the extended Butcher family.

Meanwhile, the Guyana Cricket Board also expressed their sadness at Butcher’s passing.

“It is with great sorrow that the executives and staff of the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) learnt of the passing of former Guyana and West Indies batsman, Basil Fitzherbert Butcher,” the statement said.

“Basil Fitzherbert Butcher was clearly a great son of our soil and has contributed tremendously to the cricket structure and development of Guyana’s cricket. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time, as we share their pain and grief. May his soul rest in eternal peace.”

Butcher scored 11628 runs at an average of 49.90 for Guyana during a First-Class career in which he scored 31 hundreds and 54 half-centuries.

According to the GCB, Butcher, who hails from Rose Hall Town, Correntyne, Berbice, played in the then Davson Cup First Division  Cricket Competition for Port Mourant, the same club that former West Indian players Rohan Kanhai, Joseph Solomon, Alvin Kallicharran and the late Ivan Madray and many others played for.

Butcher went on to play the Jones Cup Inter-County Tournament before representing Guyana and West Indies.

After his playing days, Butcher worked for the local company of ALCAN Demerara Bauxite Company in Upper Demerara.

There he had the responsibility to developing cricket in the community, with the first national representatives from Linden coming up under his tutelage, inclusive of such names as Vibert Joheshen and Dr Vincent Adams.

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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