A great innings
Many tributes have been pouring in following yesterday’s death of veteran cricket writer and former sports editor of The Gleaner, Tony Becca. Becca, who carved out a career as one of the top cricket writers in the Caribbean, died at age 78 at the Andrews Memorial Hospital in St Andrew. Born at Seaforth, St Thomas, he is one of three West Indians who have covered more than 150 Test matches, with his first coming in 1974.
A past student of Wolmer’s Boys’, Becca played cricket, football, table tennis, and hockey while at school. He is the author of a number of celebrated cricket books such as Touch of Class, a book about talented Jamaican batsman Lawrence Rowe; Souvenirs: Reservoir of Memories; and Cricket, Lovely Cricketers – The Best of My Time.
Dr Peter Phillips, opposition leader
Tony Becca was a giant of Jamaican sports journalism. We shared a love of cricket, and this, over many years, solidified our friendship. His passion for and reportage of sport, in particular, cricket in Jamaica and the region, elevated many Jamaican and, indeed, West Indies players on to the world stage. He saw Caribbean sports as a large extension of who we are as a people, and he believed that our sports on the world stage was a powerful declaration of nationhood and independence.
Dave Cameron, president, Cricket West Indies
Tony Becca has always made an effort to be fair in his writings about West Indies cricket. For over four decades, he helped this region understand the game through his eyes. His body of work is one that will be difficult to replicate. Cricket West Indies, along with other groups across the Caribbean region and in the United States diaspora, have paid tribute to him because of his work. We would like to express condolences to his family, friends, and the cricket fraternity. May his soul rest in peace.
Carole Beckford, sports administrator, former Gleaner employee
Tony employed me as a college student in 1987 and helped me grow as a journalist. He was always pleasant and caring even in making hard decisions. We stayed in touch for all these years, and he always had words of encouragement. He covered cricket at every level. He was always a source for me. I will miss the conversations.
Cliff Hughes, media personality, broadcaster
Tony Becca belonged to that outstanding group of cricket writers in the period of decolonisation. They understood and interpreted for us what cricket meant to our identity as West Indians. Becca was one of the finest.
Gordon Robinson, Gleaner columnist
Very sad to hear of the death of iconic cricket writer Tony Becca. He helped to shape my appreciation for cricket over several decades. He will be remembered.
Wavell Hinds, president and CEO, West Indies Players’ Association (WIPA)
The WIPA family would like to express deepest sympathies to Tony Becca’s family and friends and to salute a true cricket enthusiast who covered cricket for over 45 years. We are extremely grateful for his contribution to cricket as well as his many words of encouragement and advice. We are all very saddened by this news, and we extend our prayers and wishes for strength to Mr Becca’s family and the entire cricket fraternity at this challenging time. Becca’s love and passion for cricket, and sports in general, a love and passion shared by the people of the West Indies, will certainly be missed. May his soul rest in peace.