Vivalyn Latty-Scott remembered as knowledgeable, meticulous cricketer


Vivalyn Latty-Scott remembered as knowledgeable, meticulous cricketer

Observer staff reporter

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

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In her time Vivalyn Latty-Scott made all and sundry proud and the former Jamaica and West Indies Women's cricketer, who passed away on Sunday, is remembered for her stubborn determination and outstanding contribution to the game.

“She was a driving force of women's cricket and most people might not have known that she was a part of the Jamaica Blind Cricket Association where she used to coach the team and she was very competitive. She knew the rules and everything and because of her knowledge of the game, she didn't take anything for granted,” veteran sports journalist Courtney Sergeant told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.

“She was one of those persons who push women's cricket and it may have sounded controversial when she spoke but she was a direct individual and one of those beacons for women's cricket. It was an evening of relaxation watching her and Dorothy Hobson, Yolanda Geddes-Hall and others play,” he added.

Born in Clarendon, Latty-Scott went through the club set-up at Lucas and Kensington before gaining national selection for Jamaica and then the West Indies in the 1970s and 1980s.

The 82-year-old, who passed away in Florida, was the first female cricketer to take five wickets in the first Test match for the West Indies against Australia at Jarrett Park in Montego Bay in 1976.

A determined and passionate middle-order, right-hand bat and off-spinner, Latty-Scott set herself apart as an accomplished all-rounder during her playing days and was named Sportswoman of the Year in 1976 following her tremendous exploits for Jamaica and the West Indies, where she played against India and toured England with the regional side.

Aside from playing, Latty-Scott broadened her horizon in the sport and served as an umpire. She was also inducted into The University of West Indies Hall of Fame.

Latty-Scott was so good that there was a postal stamp created in her honour.

Yolanda Geddes-Hall, the former Jamaica and West Indies captain, remembered Latty-Scott for her remarkable commitment to the game.

“She was one of the most dedicated players who I have known and she was my vice-captain of the Jamaica team, but when it was the West Indies team, as far as I am concerned, I always had two vice-captains because she was like another one.

“We always talked and when it was her time to bowl we would discuss all the different aspects of field setting and so on and during the preparation we would go into details with that,” Geddes-Hall told the Observer.

“The only problem was I used to clean my shoes everyday and wiped down my bat with oil and she said if she followed me and clean the shoes she is going to make ducks because it happened on two occasions, so she said she going with the dirty shoes.

“She was deep into the cricket and when she couldn't get a stroke, she would stay in the evening with her husband Scottie [Lloyd Scott] at RJR and she would practise until she perfected the stroke.

“We were usually roommates for more reasons than one; one is that we would talk cricket in the night and the other is that I got along with her very well. Other people might have found her miserable but it's because she is very meticulous about everything and she wanted the cricket to be like that.”

Another veteran journalist, Lance Whittaker, also paid tribute to the late Latty-Scott, whom he views as an outstanding cricketing figure and influencer in more ways than one.

“Frankly, I was jolted by news of her passing. I had not been in touch with her for such a long time and all my memories of this very sharp, positive and self-assured person seem so detached from news that she was ailing for some time.

“I remember my days at Radio Jamaica when we offered her stints as an analyst for our cricket broadcasts which she handled very efficiently because she knew so much about the game from all angles — player, team captain, coach and umpire,” Whittaker shared.

“Our current West Indies women do not play Test cricket but they did in Latty-Scott's time and her achievements as the first West Indies woman to take five wickets in a Test match and being the only cricketer in Jamaica's history to win the Sportswoman of the Year award, gives her an indelible spot in the island's sporting history,” he ended.

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