Voice of West Indies cricket, Tony Cozier passes away

Popularly known as the 'Voice of West Indies cricket', he had covered almost each and every West Indies series since 1965.

Tony Cozier made his debut as a Test match commentator on radio during West Indies-Australia series in 1965.   -  Getty Images

Tony Cozier, one of the most iconic cricket commentators, passed away on Wednesday. Cozier was admitted to the Bayview Hospital in Bridgetwon, Barbados on Tuesday. He usually was the sole Caribbean journalists acompanying the team in its major tours to Australia, England, India and New Zealand during the 1960s.

Popularly known as the 'Voice of West Indies cricket', he had covered almost each and every West Indies series since 1965. Cozier made his debut as a Test match commentator on radio during the West Indies-Australia series in 1965. He has also commentated for Channel Nine in Australia, BBC Test Match Special and also provided his expertise for the Sky Sports West Indies Cricket commentary team.

His son, Craig, who played hockey for Barbados, is working as a television producer in the Indian Premier League. He was on his way back home on late Tuesday to be with his father. Cozier also has a daughter, Natalie.

He wrote 'The West Indies, '50 Years of Test Cricket’, Tony’s memory and expertise of cricket history and statistics' which had a foreword from Sir Garfield Sobers. Cozier was also the editor of West Indian Cricket Annual, which had 22 editions during 1970s and covered the Shell Shield and Test cricket extensively for the West Indian cricket lovers.

The press box at the Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, was named after him and he was also granted an honorary lifetime membership at the MCC in 2011.

Cozier studied journalism in Ottawa University and has been writing about the sport since 1958.

Earlier, in an interview to PakPassion in 2013, Cozier spoke about his early commentating days.

"I wouldn’t say that any really stand out although there have been ups and downs in the fortunes of the West Indies over the years. When I first came into commentating, back in the ’60s, West Indies were on an up — under the captaincy of Frank Worrell — and I covered the 1963 tour of England when West Indies won 3-1. We had Sobers as captain and we went for some time when we were unofficial World Champions. In 1969 when [Wes] Hall, [Charlie] Griffith, [Conrad] Hunt, [Seymour Nurse, and one or two others all went at the same time, we went downhill and West Indies didn’t win a single Test match between 1969 and 1973.

"There was regeneration under Rohan Kanhai when he was captain. We then had the great period of Clive Lloyd, who took over from Kanhai and moulded the team. New players came in on the tour of India in '74-75; [Gordon] Greenidge, [Andy] Roberts, [Viv] Richards, most of them made their debuts in India and they were the backbone of the team which served West Indies cricket so well for such a long period."

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