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Spin twins Ramadhin and Valentine back together again

The Cricket Hall of Fame on Wednesday, April 4, officially inducted former West Indies spin bowling star Sonny Ramadhin in his absence at a brief ceremony at the Hall. Sportmen’s Athletic Club’s Sports Coordinator Patrick Hamilton accepted the accolades in his honor.

Born in Trinidad & Tobago, Ramadhin is a former West Indian cricketer, who was a dominant spin bowler in the 1950s. The first of many West Indian cricketers of Indian origin, his birth certificate had no first name, simply the descriptive “Boy.” This easily turned into Sonny, giving rise to his “official” name.

One of five Wisden Cricketers in 1951, he was recognized with the Hall’s Golden Age Award which is awarded to players who were overlooked by the cricketing community. When you  Ramadhin Valentine consider that his spin partner, the late Alfred Valentine, was one of the first inductees into the Hall, many may be wondering why he is just being inducted. According to the Hall’s officers, they did not know how to find him and no one had nominated him. Fortunately, last year they had a visitor, Malcolm Butcher, from England, who came from the same area where Ramadhin resides. After making a tour at the Hall, Butcher wanted to know why Ramadhin was not included among the inductees there. After returning to England, he (Butcher) made the necessary contacts and went ahead and nominated him.

At the age of 20, Rmadhin who was selected for the West Indies tour to England in 1950 along with fellow spinner Jamaican Valentine, dominated the English batting in the series. The duo who was dubbed the “spin twins” took 59 wickets between them. West Indies won the series, three matches to one, which was their first series victory in England. Ramadhin was the first bowler to take two five-wicket hauls in his first test matches against England.

The 1950 triumph of the West Indies led calypsonian Lord Beginner to write the first deluge calypso “Ramadhin and Valentine,” to celebrate West Indian cricketers, giving rise to the term calypso cricket. Though he was a wrist spinner, Ramadhin’s leg-break hardly turned; hence the description of him as an “off-spinner.”

He has lived in England since going over there to play league cricket in the 1950s. His grandson, Kyle Hogg was a right-arm medium-fast bowler who played for the Lancashire team between 2001 and 2014.

In 1988 Ramadhin was celebrated on the 75c Trinidad and Tobago stamp.


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