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Basil Butcher obituary

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Batsman whose determined character and solid defence held together many West Indies Test innings

In the dashing era of 1960s Caribbean cricket, Basil Butcher was the sturdy backbone around which many a fine West Indies score or victory was built. Although a stellar batsman in his own right, the unassuming Butcher, who has died aged 86, was generally content to play second fiddle in the middle order to whoever was at the crease – confident in the expectation that when the big guns were gone he would still be there, pushing the total to respectability and beyond.

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In this vein he was at the very heart of the Frank Worrell-led West Indies team that established the Caribbean as a premier cricketing force and captivated the Commonwealth with the vibrancy of its play. While not technically as correct as some of his colleagues, he possessed a tremendously solid defence as well as a good eye and an ability to punish the bad ball – qualities that allowed him to build many substantial innings. In his 44 Test matches from 1958 to 1969 he scored 3,104 runs at an average of 43.11, including seven centuries.

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