‘Handcuffed’ inside a fulcrum jersey; Remembering Ram! | Life of Sonny Ramdhin

Legendary West Indies spinner Soni Ramdin (92) has a handful of memories that fade into obscurity. Sonny Ramdin, a pillar of West Indies spin bowling in the 1950s and ’60s, was also the first Indian to play for the West Indies cricket team. He has taken 158 wickets in 43 Tests at an average of 28.98. He joined the West Indies at the age of 21 after playing just two first – class matches. Ramdin was a marvel with his unique ability to spin the ball to both sides without making any significant changes in the action.

Ramd, who made his Test debut for the Windies on English soil in 1950, had another legend to play in his first match: Alf Valentine (Valentine became the first player to take 100 wickets for the Windies). Ramdin took just 4 wickets in the first Test of the series in Manchester. The hosts won the first Test. But it was also the Windies’ first victory on English soil in the Test at Lord’s that followed. He took 11 wickets that day. The Windies went on to win the other two matches of the series (3–1). Their first series win on English soil.

Along with the series win, the Windies’ best spin duo of all time was born that day; Ramdin-Valentine alliance. The history of cricket testifies that this series was an unforgettable one in the story of West Indies cricket. Valentine took 33 wickets while Ramdin took 26 wickets in the series. Shortly afterwards, he won the Wisden Cricketer of the Year award in 1951, and Ramd’s Test career lasted until 1960.

There are only three West Indies spinners who have taken 5 wickets on the first day of a Test. Ramdin is one of them. The other two are Alf Valentine and Rakhim Cornwall. With the arrival of Lance Gibbs, Ramd’s brilliance in the Caribbean team diminished. Later the focus shifted to county cricket. Immigrated to England and was active in cricket there as well.

Ramdin is the youngest member of a family who came to Trinidad from India to work in sugarcane plantations. Ramd, who lost his parents as a child, was raised by his uncle. He was attracted to cricket when he came to school. He lived a life that hid curiosity even behind his own name. When he joined the school, the only thing in the first column of his name was the boy. He changed his name from what friends affectionately called Sony. When he was selected for the English tour, he wrote on a piece of paper that he knew the initials were mandatory: KT Ramdin. KT is the initials with the same name. He does not even know what it means.

Ramdin, who has attracted attention due to his short stature, has another reason to get everyone’s attention on the field. The sleeves of his full-sleeved shirt were buttoned at the wrists and tightly fitted. A revelation made in 1999 at the age of 70 shocked the cricketing world. Ramd confessed that he had been cheating the cricket world for thirty years while playing cricket. The controversy erupted when he revealed in an interview with the Daily Mail that he was bowling under the cover of his full-length shirt.

It was through this erroneous er that he took 158 wickets in Tests. Ramdin also revealed at the time that his ‘fake games’ were not known to the outside world because television cameras were not so active. He was only five feet four inches tall and had no choice but to bowl fast and take wickets.

English Summary: Sonny Ramadhin was the first West Indian Test cricketer of Indian origin