Florida: Former West Indies batsman Basil Butcher has passed away after prolonged illness, Cricket West Indies confirmed on Tuesday. He was 86.
“Sad news for the West Indies Cricket Family. Former Guyana and West Indies batsman Basil Butcher died earlier today (Monday) in Florida, according to his son Basil Butcher jr.,” CWI said in a tweet.
Butcher, who made his Test debut in 1958 against India, played 44 Tests for the West Indies, amassing 3104 runs with seven centuries and 16 fifties at an average of 43. He was the first person of Amerindian descent to represent the West Indies.
He is best remembered for his knocks in England — his 133 at Lord’s in 1963 and 209* in Nottingham in 1966. In India, Butcher had scored 486 runs at an average of 69.42, including centuries at Calcutta (now Kolkata) and Madras (now Chennai).
The right-handed batsman struggled until the 1963 tour of England, where he rediscovered his form by making 383 runs which included an innings of 133 from a team total of just 229, helping the West Indies to a draw at Lord’s. The innings became legendary because during the interval he came to know through a letter that his wife had a miscarriage back home in Guyana.
Butcher was also an occasional leg-spinner. He took five Test wickets which all came in the one innings, 5 for 34 against England at the Port-of-Spain in 1967-68. He was a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1970.