Barbados’ Prime Minister Mia Mottley has hailed late West Indies great, Seymour Nurse, as “a true cricket icon and gentleman” and has credited him with influencing successive generations of Barbadian cricketers.
Nurse, who played 29 Tests for West Indies between 1960 and 169, passed away here last Monday at age 85, following a long battle with illness.
Following his playing career, Nurse devoted much of his time as a youth coach at the National Sports Council, helping to shape the careers of several who went on to represent Barbados and West Indies.
“Though Mr. Nurse made a name for himself, his country and the whole Caribbean back in the 1960s as a batsman of immense class on the West Indies cricket team, he would have in more recent times endeared himself to countless younger Barbadians through his work as a cricket coach,” Mottley said in a statement.
“Time’s journey being what it is, not one child he coached as he visited schools around the country as an employee of the National Sports Council, would have had the opportunity to see him execute any of the exquisite batting shots for which he became a legend while wearing the West Indies cap.
“However, the life lessons he imparted to them while wearing his coach’s hat for so many years, I am sure would have positively impacted countless young minds on and off the field – and no doubt will continue to live on, even after his death.”
Nurse gathered 2523 runs at an average of 47.60, hitting six hundreds – the last of which was a monumental career-best 258 against New Zealand in Christchurch which signalled his international farewell and age 35.
His maiden Test hundred was also a double – 201 against Bob Simpson’s Australia at Kensington Oval here in 1965.
Legendary former skipper Sir Garry Sobers, who played alongside Nurse, described his fellow Barbadian as a player on whom any captain could depend.
“He was always the kind of person that you wanted in your team because he could play so well – he was such a great player and you could rely on him,” Sir Garry, the country’s only living National Hero, told the Nation newspaper here.
“It is very sad to hear of the passing of Seymour, who has given so much not only in cricket, but in football as well.
“I never saw him play football, but the reports about him on the football field have been glowing. He was a tremendous goal-scorer, so he was a good sportsman.”