Hunte’s bat for Legends museum
THE Cricket Legends of Barbados museum has a new piece of memorabilia.
In a presentation yesterday during the tea break of the first Digicel Test match between West Indies and Australia at Kensington Oval, Barbados’ Ambassador to Washington, John Beale, handed over the bat which was used by Sir Conrad Hunte in the first ever tied Test match to cricketing legend, Sir Garfield Sobers.
Beale said the bat had been handed over to him by American, Dick Ruffin, with the understanding that it would be kept permanently at the Cricket Legends Of Barbados, Fontabelle headquarters.
Along with Sir Garry, three other West Indies players who were part of that 1960 team: Seymour Nurse, Reverend Wes Hall and Cammie Smith were also present at the ceremony, which also included former players Desmond Haynes, Richie Richardson, and Joel “Big Bird” Garner.
Well-known cricket commentator, Tony Cozier, noted that what made the bat that much more special was that the signatures of all of the players of the two teams were engraved on the bat, as well as those of the players from New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria that played against the West Indies on that 1960-61 tour.
Also inscribed on the bat is Sunday June 4, 1961. Presented to Dr Frank Buchman on his 83rd birthday by Conrad Hunte and Chester Watson on behalf of the West Indies.
During that famous tied match between West Indies and Australia at Brisbane, West Indies made 453 runs in the first innings with Sobers stroking 132. Australia replied with 505, as Norm O’Neill made 181, before returning to dismiss West Indies for 284 in their second innings.
Set 233 to win, Australia was crusing on 227 for seven, requiring just six runs from what was then an eight-ball over.
However, two batsmen were run out in successive balls, leaving the scores tied in what will go down in history as one of the most famous Test matches of all time. (RB)