Thu | Jan 18, 2018

Cozier a true West Indian to the core

Published:Friday | May 13, 2016 | 12:00 AM


For more than 50 years, Tony Cozier's distinctive, excited, passionate voice was heard giving ball-by-ball commentary on the activities and exploits of West Indian cricketers and their rivals, as our Caribbean standard-bearers swung the willow to go beyond many a boundary, or swung the leather at pace to send wickets cartwheeling and batsmen back to the pavilion.

Not only could he talk cricket, but he was also able to delightfully describe the history of any landmark beyond the cricket ground, all with a touch of 'foolishness'. And with his encyclopaedic knowledge of both cricket and his beloved West Indies, he left many transfixed as he delivered volley after volley of metaphors with mellifluous melody.

His extended description of a swipe across the line as agricultural, for example, left a clear image of a machete wielder scything his way through a row of sugar cane with wild abandon.

Cozier made commentating and writing on cricket his vocation, and his vocation made him its own. His vocation obviously brought him much joy, but he never kept joy for himself; he gave it back to us, his listeners and readers.

Barbados may have given us Cozier, but the man himself was more than a Bajan, he was a true West Indian to the core.

What is undeniable is that Cozier always spoke and wrote, with beauty, his truth. England had their John Arlott; we in the West Indies were the better off for our Tony Cozier.

If nothing else, it must be said that Tony Cozier loved West Indies Cricket and that he died with that love still burning strong in his bosom.