Bridgetown (Barbados) [West Indies], May 19 (ANI): Seymour Nurse was carried to the Kensington Oval for one final inning as family, friends, and well-wishers came to pay their final respects to the departed soul.
Former West Indies batting legend's twin daughters Roseanne and Cherylanne led mourners at the ground for the funeral of Nurse, who passed away on May 6 at the age of 85 following an illness.
Barbados Governor-General Dame Sandra Mason, Prime Minister Mia Mottley, past and present Barbados and West Indies players including Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Wes Hall, and Sir Charlie Griffith, and Cricket West Indies (CWI) represented by board director Enoch Lewis and Roland Holder were among the notable attendees.
In a tribute, Sir Wes said only Sir Garfield and Guyanese Rohan Kanhai batted better than Nurse in the 1960s. He also added 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 of the team after a marathon runner he frequently spoke about. He knew that failure was not the pathway to success, so he practiced very hard to try and correct any flaws in his batting," Wes said in a statement.
"In my book, only Sir Garry and Rohan Kanhai were rated above him in the late 1960s. 'Casso' (Nurse) 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," he added.
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. 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 name among the other wonders of the World stands Barbados' contribution to international cricket," Simmons said.
Simmons further said, "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," he added.
Nurse was laid to rest in the Coral Ridge Cemetery in the southern parish of Christ Church in his native Barbados following the funeral at Kensington Oval on the morning of May 18. (ANI)