Tribute to former Windies cricketer Alfred Scott

Monday, July 16, 2018

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Dear Editor,

Alfred Homer Patrick Scott attended St George's College in the 1940s. He represented the school at Sunlight Cup cricket and later played Senior Cup club cricket for Kingston Cricket Club. After school he did various jobs. He also started a small business, but that turned out to be unsuccessful.

He did very well in the local senior cup cricket competition, and at one stage he was referred to as “six a match”. This was because he routinely took at least six wickets in every game.

Scott was a talented, right-arm leg-spinner. Playing for Jamaica against the Indians in 1953 he had match figures of seven for 96 in 38 overs. His wickets included Mankad, Roy, Hazare, Manjrekar and Umrigar. “This resulted in his controversial inclusion in the Test team and the dropping of Ramadhin.” (Geo Beckford, MCC Tour Brochure 1954)

At 18 years, 242 days, he became the seventh-youngest player to represent the West Indies in Tests when he was selected for the 5th Test against India at Sabina Park. His friends say Scott thought that “important” players on the team did not think he should have been selected over Ramadhin and wanted to see him fail. When Polly Umrigar was miss-stumped twice off his bowling and, as The Gleaner reported, “The first being difficult, but there was no excuse for the second,” Scott felt something was up. This seemed to have unsettled him and his bowling deteriorated. Umrigar went on to score a hundred and Scott ended the match with figures of none for 140.

Unfortunately, he played only one first-class game after his only Test and his career ended before his 20th birthday, playing only five first-class games (including his one Test). It is felt that the experience turned him away from first-class cricket and he just continued playing some local cricket.

His very good friend Dennis Reynolds tells me that he had a brilliant mind but was misunderstood by many.

After retirement, he worked as a radio announcer in Jamaica during the 1960s. He migrated to England in the late 1960s and served for a while in the British Army. He later went to live in the United States, where he was a cab driver for many years.

In his first-class career he played five games and scored 38 runs averaging 12.67, with three catches. He bowled 155.1 overs taking 18 wickets at 33 runs each.

His father, Oscar “Tommy” Scott also played first-class cricket for Jamaica and represented the West Indies in eight Tests in the 1920s and 1930s. He was the 80th player to represent the West Indies in Tests.

Alfred Scott was born on July 29, 1934 in Spanish Town, St Catherine, and died on April 28, 2018 in New York, USA.

Carl Bell

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