CWI, GCB, BCB mourn passing of Basil Butcher

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Cricket West Indies (CWI), Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) and Berbice Cricket Board (BCB) on Tuesday issued statements, mourning the passing of the former Guyana and West Indies cricketer Basil Butcher.

Butcher, 86, passed away in South Florida on Monday evening after a long period of illness. Below are the full statements.

STATEMENT BY CWI PRESIDENT RICKY SKERRITT

“It is with great sadness that Cricket West Indies has learnt of the passing of West Indies batting legend Basil Fitzherbert Butcher. Born in Port Mourant, Berbice, Guyana on 3rd September 1933, to St. Phillip, Barbados father Ethelbert Butcher and a Guyanese mother Matilda Butcher.

Basil was the eldest and only boy in a family of six sisters. He later became part of a prolific West Indies batting line-up, that excited world cricket and brought great joy and pride to Guyanese and West Indian people everywhere.

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 Lord’s. 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.

West Indies Cricket has lost a legend and a proud pioneer. After his illustrious playing days, he served both West Indies and Guyana cricket selflessly off the field in administration.”

Basil Butcher represented West Indies in 44 Test matches

STATEMENT BY THE GUYANA CRICKET BOARD

“It was 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.

Basil, 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, then for Guyana and West Indies, registering a phenomenal average of 43.11 from 44 Test matches, inclusive of a magnificent 133 at Lord’s, for West Indies versus England.

After his playing days, Basil Butcher went on to work for the local company of ALCAN, Demerara Bauxite Company, which was situated in Upper Demerara.

There he had the responsibility to develop 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. Vicent Adams.

Their participation became more easily possible through the Butcher-led efforts for Upper Demerara’s involvement in White Cup, North Court and Case Cup Tournaments.

In addition, recognition must be given to his contribution to the other cultural development activities, such as the role he played on the Cultural Committee which helped to form Mashramani.

Basil Ftzherbert 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!”

Flashes of Basil Butcher in his heydays (Taken from Basil Butcher Jr. Facebook)

STATEMENT BY THE BERBICE CRICKET BOARD

“It is with deep sadness that we learnt of the death of our cricketing legend, Basil F. Butcher. Mr. Butcher died yesterday after a long illness in the USA. Basil Butcher, in 1958, became the third Berbician to play Test cricket and went on to represent the West Indies in 44 Test matches before his premature retirement in 1969 at the age of 36.

He scored 3104 runs at the respectable average of 43.11 with seven centuries and 16 fifties. His highest score was 209 not out. In 169 First-Class matches, this legendary Berbician scored 11,628 at the high average of 49.90 with 31 centuries and 54 fifties.

Basil Butcher also had the best bowling figures for a Berbician for many years before Devendra Bishoo replaced him. He took 5-34 versus England.

The BCB salutes the memory of this great and legendary man, who would always have a special place in our heart and those who had the joy of seeing him bat during his career.

He was inducted into our Hall of Fame; is a deserved member of our all-time Berbice eleven and received our highest award, The Tribute to Heroes.

Mr. Butcher was also the father of our past President, Mr. Keith Foster and was a close friend of our current President. He was well known across the Caribbean for his views on West Indies cricket and was very concern about the ongoing crisis in our cricket.

For many years, he was a major donor to Berbice cricket and was always willing to share his vast knowledge with the younger players. After his retirement, he served West Indies cricket as Chairman of Selector and Manager.

We would like to urge all cricket clubs in our county to honour this great man in some way special and a minute of silence should be held before any BCB matches.

The President and Executives of the BCB would like to express our deepest sympathies to the family of the late Basil Butcher and wishes to assure them that we share their grief. It is our hope that God will bless them during this difficult moment and provide them with love.

We have loss a great cricketer and the world is a lot poorer without his charm, kindness and love of humanity. It is our hope that every young cricketer in the county would work hard to emulate Basil Butcher, so that his legacy would live on.

Rest in Peace, our Hero, Friend and Mentor- we shall miss you. Thanks for the memories and the inspirations over the years. We at the BCB would continue to work hard every day to make sure that the legacy started by John Trim, Rohan Kanhai, Ivan Madray, Joe Solomon and Basil Butcher would continue in the future and that their names would forever be in the hearts of every cricketing-loving Berbician.”

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