WEST INDIES BATTING LEGEND NURSE LAID TO REST
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Seymour Nurse took to Kensington Oval on Friday for one final innings, as family, friend and well-wishers came to pay their final respects to the deceased West Indies batting legend of the 1960s.
Nurse’s twin daughters Roseanne and Cherylanne led mourners at the World-famous ground for the official funeral of Nurse, who passed away on May 6 at the age of 85 following illness.
Barbados Governor-General Dame Sandra Mason, Prime Minister Mia Mottley and members of her Cabinet, as well as Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson were also among the attendees.
Past and present Barbados and West Indies players, including the legendary Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Wes Hall and Sir Charlie Griffith, were also present.
Cricket West Indies was represented by board director Enoch Lewis and Roland Holder, a protégé of Nurse at local club Empire for whom they both played.
In a glowing tribute to his former Barbados and West Indies teammate, Sir Wes said only Sir Garfield and Guyanese Rohan Kanhai batted better than Nurse in the 1960s.
He said Nurse knew that failure on the field would impede his success and worked extremely hard to develop his elegant and stylish stroke-play.
“Seymour was called ‘Castle’ by all members ofthe team after a marathon runner he frequently spoke about,” said Sir Wes.
“He knew that failure was not the pathway to success, so he practised very hard to try and correct any flaws in his batting.
“In my book, only Sir Garry and Rohan Kanhai were rated above him in the late 1960s. ‘Casso’ was created competitive and he adapted brilliantly to the changing conditions in the game and that is why he was so successful against England in 1966 and against New Zealand in his final Test series in 1968.”
Sir Wes also described Nurse as a dear and special friend, who was friendly and compassionate off the field with a dignity few people could conceive.
He said Nurse’s skills as a coach were also noteworthy and he sought to develop the skills of the whole person and not just their playing talent.
“‘Casso’ was not like some coaches of today who seems to coach like how the Pythagoras Theorem is taught in Mathematics,” he said.
“This Theorem has not changed in the 60 years that I have left school, but cricket has changed. The point I am making is that a person is coaching the game, they must understand the dynamics of the society in which they are coaching.
“The coach must also understand the thought pattern of their charges and develop them mentally. A coach should understand that some aspects of the game have changed. A coach should not be coaching like if he is teaching Mathematics that doesn’t change.”
Legendary Barbados and West Indies opener Desmond Haynes, President of the Barbados Cricket Association and CWI director Conde Riley and Adrian King, current president of Empire, also paid tributes to Nurse.
Former Attorney-General and Chief Justice of Barbados, Sir David Simmons, a personal friend, eulogised Nurse as “a batting legend and classical player with strokes that were pleasing to the eye”.
He said Nurse was also part of a Barbados legacy to the game that helped the people of the island assert their “self-confidence and self-belief” immediately following political independence from Britain.
“In March 1967, a unique event took place at this cricket ground,” he said. “A Barbados cricket team, including Seymour, competed against a team of Test players from the Rest of the World.
“Barbados lost the game. But the fact of defeat in that single game must not be allowed to derogate from another inescapable fact that namely among the other wonders of the World stands Barbados’ contribution to international cricket.”
Sir David added: “I think for decades before 1967 and arguably up to 15 years ago, it could be confidently asserted that nowhere else in the World was there more enthusiasm and skill for cricket than in the 166 square miles that constitute the land mass of Barbados. . .
“Barbados’ expression in that game against the Rest of the World was not a display of arrogance. It symbolised far more. . .It was a rejection of self-doubt. Barely five months earlier, this country had gained political independence from Great Britain and that singular action was an announcement to the World that we were possessed of that self-confidence and competencies that would enable us to manage our affairs for ourselves.”
Nurse was laid to rest in the Coral Ridge Cemetery in the southern parish of Christ Church in his native Barbados following an official funeral at Kensington Oval this morning.
Source: CWI Media