Sunday, April 14, 2024

Doyen without equal


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FOR THE PAST five years or so, every time we spoke on the phone, knowing how much he disliked it, I would greet him with “The doyen! How are you doing?”

He would always rebuke me and often remind me why he wasn’t fond of “doyen” – that some people, in referring to him as that deliberately mispronounced it to make it sound like something else.

Tremendous banter, gyaff and expressions of frustrations would ensue. I can’t recall having a brief conversation with him.

In all my years in cricket public relations and communications he called me, on average, 50 times more than any other journalist. He would call to seek simple clarifications and the most basic of information.

He kept mountains of exercise books with the scorecards from the past seasons of domestic cricket pasted onto the sheets to which he would refer during commentary and for his reports and columns.

I respected him immensely for his professionalism, dedication and love and passion for cricket. I learnt from him about cricket journalism and cricket itself more than from any other.

He warmly welcomed me when I entered the profession and, to my continued bewilderment, continued to treat me with the highest respect and dignity throughout.

Never once was our relationship anything less, regardless of how critical he was of the West Indies Cricket Board or how difficult the times were.

He is, simply, without equal. And there will be stories for hundreds of years to come about the legend he was.

Walk good, Coz. I will miss you terribly. We all will. Cricket will.

Deepest condolences to Jillian, Craig and Natalie. – IMRAN KHAN


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