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Tony Cozier

One of the aspects of Rust writing that I appreciate is that when it comes to obituaries we do not fall victim to hyperbole and hype. Thus in the case of Tony Cozier I agreed with much that was written but not all. He was the voice of West Indian cricket, he was extremely well informed but to call him the best-ever at both radio and television is to underrate Richie Benaud, Brian Johnston and of the moderns Mike Atherton.

It is true that Cozier was not back ward in criticising the West Indian board for its lack of outlook. You cannot lay the blame totally at their door. The English and Australian boards arrangements that the home country kept all the gate money was grossly weighted in their favour. Factor in too that it is a confederation of cricketing countries so less likely to be cohesive: that football and basketball offered a quicker route out of poverty; that few West Indians now play English county cricket. Of course they are the T20 and ladies champions, as well as the under 19, so the future is far more optimistic.

I do not recall Tony Cozier mentioning in the heyday of West Indian cricket, when they went 20 years without losing a test, that they did not conform to an acceptable daily over rate, that the fast bowling was the wrong side of intimidatory, they had no spinner of international calibre and a few sold out to the South African rand rather than their conscience.

Tony Cozier as a journalist like Atherton and Benaud mastered the grammar of commentary, had a fine voice and we shall certainly miss him. It’s just to get the whole story  you need it to read it here on the Rust.

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About Douglas Heath

Douglas Heath began his lifelong love affair with cricket as an 8 year-old schoolboy playing OWZAT? Whilst listening to a 160s Ashes series on the radio. He later became half-decent at doing John Arlott impressions and is a member of Middlesex County Cricket Club. He holds no truck at all with the T20 version on the game. More Posts