West Indies Test legend Andy Ganteaume dies
Trinidad and Tobago batsman Andy Ganteaume, whose record in Test cricket history is so unique that it is unlikely that it will ever be broken, has passed away peacefully at his home in Santa Margarita on Wednesday.
Ganteaume, who turned 95 last month, had been the oldest Test cricketer alive, but his unique record is this – if the stipulation of minimum 20 matches required is lifted, he has international cricket’s highest batting average – 112.
Ganteaume had scored 112 in his only Test innings, against England in Port of Spain in 1948. Unfortunately, he was never selected in the Windies first XI ever again, mainly because they had a formidable batting lineup which was hard to break into – comprising Walcott, Worrell, Weekes, Sobers, Kanhai, Rae, Stollmeyer and Gomez.
It was also said that Ganteaume had been too slow in his innings, and this was a reason why he was never given a chance again, but it was also agreed that he deserved another chance on the 1949 tour of India, and also the 1957 tour of England where he had staged a comeback by scoring 800 runs for Glamorgan in a season.
It had also been said that Ganteaume’s anti-establishment attitude and his underprivileged background were also things which came in the way of his international selection.
Ganteaume’s 112 a famous performance in our history: WICB
His playing career ended without another chance in the international arena, and he played 50 first class games, scoring 2785 runs at an average of 34, with five centuries. He had a penchant for strange records – he can also lay claim to top scoring (9) in the lowest ever innings (16) in Windies first class history.
After retirement, he had been national team manager and selector.
“He is one of the stalwarts in Trinidad & Tobago and West Indies cricket. We must always remember the contribution of the pioneers and forefathers of our game,” WICB president Dave Cameron had said when he had turned 95.
“We salute Andy Ganteaume, one of the patriots of our great game. His most memorable performance on the field is his 112 – and that will forever be a famous performance in our history. Andy has also contributed a lot off the field as well, especially with the development of our cricket.
“He has contributed immensely to the game in the Caribbean as a wonderful player and administrator.”