Sonny Ramadhin was the first East-Indian to play international cricket for the West Indies. A cricketing pioneer, his stunning efforts with the ball ensured a lasting legacy on the game in the Caribbean and beyond.
Born in Trinidad after his grandparents had emigrated there from India, it was on the island nation that the young spinner learnt his craft. Always with his long-sleeved shirt buttoned at the wrist, Ramadhin thrived as soon as he entered the First-Class scene for Trinidad; claiming 5/39 and 3/67 in his debut match against Jamaica.
Quickly selected for the West Indies thereafter, Ramadhin had played just two First-Class matches before his international debut against England in 1950. An historic tour, he claimed 11 wickets at Lord’s in his second Test as the Windies recorded their first victory there. Across the four Tests, he managed an astonishing 26 wickets; his ability and guile on display from the first.
Enjoying a successful 11-year international career, Ramadhin was renowned for his ability to turn the ball both ways at will, with an imperceptible change in action. Enough to claim 158 Test wickets, he is fondly remembered for the indomitable partnership he shared with Alf Valentine; the duo working in tandem to bamboozle batting line-ups around the world.
Following his retirement from the international game, Ramadhin enjoyed success for Lancashire and Lincolnshire – ultimately conclsuing a stunning First-Class record with 758 wickets.
A great of cricket in the West Indies, Ramadhin elevated the status of spin bowlers in the Caribbean and beyond.
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