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W Indies spin great Ramadhin dies, at 92

Sonny Ramadhin, the West Indies spinner whose exploits in a famous series win over England have been immortalised in song, has died at the age of 92.

Born in Trinidad, Ramadhin, the first player of Indian descent to represent West Indies, played 43 Tests and took 158 wickets.

Most famously, in partnership with with Alf Valentine, the pair took 59 wickets – including Ramadhin’s own career-best figures of 11-152 in the fabled win at Lord’s – as the West Indies beat England 3-1 in 1950, their first series victory in the country.

The pair’s brilliance on that breakthrough tour inspired the famous Calypso song “Cricket, Lovely Cricket”.

After his international career, Ramadhin joined Lancashire in 1964, and was the county’s oldest surviving former player prior to his death.

Ramadhin’s son-in-law Willie Hogg and grandson Kyle Hogg both went on to play for Lancashire.

“Sad day – great innings grandad,” Kyle Hogg wrote on Twitter.

Ramadhin, who bamboozled batsmen with offspin and legbreaks delivered with no discernible change of action, came on the 1950 tour as a near-unknown at 21 who’d played just two first-class matches.

Yet he finished the series with three five-wicket hauls and a ten-for, his 26 wickets coming at 23.23.

Tributes are expected to be made to Ramadhin during England’s tour of the Caribbean, with a three-match Test series beginning in Antigua on March 8.

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