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Ricky Craig – A Champion On And Off The Pitch


Ricky Craig

By Orin Davidson
Ricky Craig batted splendidly for two countries for years in a distinguished cricket career on and off the field.

Now that he has passed on, the sport in the United States and Barbados has been plunged into deep sorrow.

After a relatively short stint at the crease, Craig bowed out at 53 years after serving in the highest positions in the United States of America Cricket Association.

In its history, USACA never had an official who served two stints as vice president and once as president. Craig held that distinction for several years until he returned to his native Barbados a few years ago.

In the process he became the first West Indian to hold the top U.S. post after serving two stints as director for the North East Region which in the mid 1990’s comprised New York, Connecticut and Philadelphia.

Current USACA treasurer Selwyn Caesar remembers Craig as a dedicated USACA official who always fought for the upliftment of the sport.

“His main goals were to qualify United States to play One Day Internationals (ODI) and to acquire first class facilities,” Caesar told Cricket International. “He was a down-to-earth person who was always willing. All in all he was a dedicated boss.”

Upon assuming office, Craig streamlined the process for serious competition cricket here for national teams.

He was the first person to acquire national team sponsorship. At the time Craig negotiated with immigrant businessman Roy Mascerenas to fund the team’s debut exposure in the ICC Trophy competition in 1997, which was for associate member countries only.

The series was staged in Malaysia and Craig acquired the first paid United States coach in former West Indies vice captain Roger Harper.

“He paved the way for our national teams to be properly represented overseas, added Caesar. “ At the worst of times he was able to balance his cricket commitments quite capably with his full time job.”

Craig’s efficiency in the board rooms was matched by his exploits as a player. According to Caesar, the Barbadian was one of West Indies’ best junior opening batsmen in his day. With Winslow Ashby he shared in two double century opening partnerships for Barbados in Regional junior competition.

He subsequently denied himself the chance of attaining greater heights in the sport by leaving Barbados to attend college in America.

Craig subsequently climbed the ladder at Chase Manhattan bank here to become a vice president after college. He then switched to a foreign service career by taking up the Consul General position for the Barbados Government in New York.

During that period, Craig served on USACA.

After his term of duty ended he returned to Barbados where he immediately was appointed the first CEO of the Barbados Cricket Board.

He held the position for two years before parting ways controversially with the BCB.

“His death is very painful for all of us who were closely associated with him in America and Barbados,” said Caesar who remains the longest serving USACA official.

Craig leaves to mourn a son and a daughter.

Cricket International extends condolences to the former USACA president’s family and friends.
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