Sun | Jan 24, 2021

Cricket has lost a stalwart in ‘Pinnie’ - ​Former players and family reminisce following the passing of Renford Pinnock

Published:Sunday | November 3, 2019 | 12:40 AMLennox Aldred - Sunday Gleaner Writer

Former Jamaica and West Indies batsman Maurice Foster chuckled when asked yesterday to talk about his long-time friend and teammate Renford ‘Pinnie’ Pinnock, who passed away on Thursday ago after a long illness.

The former Jamaica wicket-keeper batsman died at the age of 82 following a lengthy battle with prostate cancer. Pinnock represented Jamaica between 1964 and 1975 during which time he scored 2,644 runs with a top score of 176 at an average of 41.31. He scored six centuries and 16 fifties during his career.

One of those centuries was a masterful debut hundred back in 1964 against the Legendary West Indies fast bowling duo of Wes Hall and Charlie Griffith at Kensignton Oval in Barbados.

Foster, who was a roommate with Pinnock for many tours, remembers the special moments shared with Pinnie.

Hard worker

“I was at the other end when Pinnie made that hundred in the second innings against that mighty Barbados attack, he had the confidence because, in his first innings, he made 60 odd, it was a sight to behold. He was not as talented as many other players but he was fearless and always showed true grit and determination, he was a hard worker and one that dedicated his life to the sport,” said Foster.

Foster also reminisced about his many partnerships with Pinnock including a match-winning one against the Combined Islands.

“Most of my milestone innings involved Pinnie, we always seem to end up batting together and he was very dependable and a consummate human being. When you talk about a hard worker, that was him, he used to always travel with a skipping rope, and when everyone was asleep, you could hear Pinnie skipping in the hallway in the hours of night,” added Foster.

Former Jamaica captain Easton McMorris echoed the sentiments shared by Foster, as he captained Pinnock in the 1968 and 1969 Shell Shield seasons.

“We are going to miss Pinnie, he was always a jovial person and very meticulous. Pinnie would go on tour with scissors, sewing thread and tablets to help out in an emergency, we were a family and a united force back in those days,” said McMorris.

Another former teammate Lindel Wright summed up how Jamaica lost a true champion.

“He was a true gentleman and a wonderful human being, I remember batting with him during a game against a Rothmans team that included Sir Gary Sobers, Allan Knot and John Snow and he played some lovely shots in that match. My only regret is that Pinnie did not go on to play for the West Indies, I believe he was that good of a player and he should have been selected,” said Wright.

Jovial demeanour

Pinnie was also known for his jovial demeanour, and Maurice Foster remembered one particular instance when Pinnock was coming off a rich vein of form and was sure to be selected for the tour to Australia. However, he did not make the team, and Foster remembered how Pinnock responded to the snub.

“We all felt that Pinnie was surely going to make the West Indies team because he was very prolific with the bat, but I remember it like yesterday, he turned to me and said jokingly, Fos, if dem don’t select mi, I not going.”

According to daughter Esther Pinnock, her father was a multitalented man who excelled in many other sports.

“While we are overwhelmed and saddened by his passing, we can’t mourn without laughter. Daddy was a great source of entertainment and one who was dedicated to the sport, he was very good at boxing and he was also considered to play for Jamaica in football during his days at the boys’ club in Spanish Town. he will definitely be missed as we have lost a noble human being said,” said Pinnock.