Victor Eddy…Bowled by WI Selectors
BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - Some may say he was unfairly treated for not been given the opportunity to display his skills at the highest level of the sport, but this son of the soil still enjoyed a successful cricketing career.
Victor Emmanuel Eddy the former St. Kitts, Leeward Islands and Combine Islands all-rounder is said to have been one of the better cricketers in the Caribbean to have never played for the West Indies team.
Born to former St. Kitts and Leeward Islands cricketer, Austin Alwyn Eddy and Cathleen Eddy, Victor was the fifth of sixth siblings who saw the first light of day in College Street but grew up at Seaton Street in Basseterre.
Speaking with SKNVibes, Eddy outlined how his career developed as a cricketer.
“I attended the Basseterre Boys School and, at that level in each district, there used to be an inter-school competition which comprised four schools. Upon leaving primary school I attended the Basseterre Senior High School and it was at the age of 15 I became a member of the Renown Cricket Club.”
He added that playing for Renown is what kick started his career and facilitated his growth as a young cricketer
“My career started with that cricket club from the local level, where I played with that club for more than five years. At the age of 17, I was called for trial matches when the local club matches ended and they selected the best performers.”
Eddy also remembered the first time he represented St. Kitts in the Leeward Islands Cricket Tournament.
“I started as an opening batsman and I first represented the island of St. Kitts in Leeward Islands Cricket Tournament in 1972. Then in 1973 I became the island’s captain when St. Kitts won the Leeward Islands Tournament. I was 18-years old at the time, and since the inception of Leeward Islands Cricket there is no player at a younger age who captained their island’s team to tournament victory.
“In 1974 I made my debut in a Leeward Islands Cricket team and the team played against MCC out of England when they had a tour of the West Indies in that year. I opened the innings in that game and scored 45 runs. The MCC team included the renowned Geoff Boycott.”
Following that period, Eddy then made his debut for the Combined Islands and scored zero and one run against Barbados. But because of Ervine Shillingford’s venture to further his studies he remained in the squad for the season. However, for the most part, he had to carry the towels, water and serve as emergency fielder.
“But when I was given another opportunity, I never looked back and was a regular member of the Combined Islands team from 1975 until my career ended in 1990. But in 1980, I missed one season.
“In 1976 I obtained a contract with Townbury Cricket Club in the North Yorkshire South Durham League and it was a very successful season for me though it was very cold. It turned out good in the end and, based upon my performance, I was fortunate enough that I was reinstated for the same club the following year.
“In 1984 I got a contract from the Northumberland club Ashington, and Guyanese and West Indian batsman Rohan Khanai held the record for the most runs in that league, and in my only season there I broke that record.”
When asked how he feels about not ever breaking into the West Indies team, Eddy highlighted some disappointments he experienced.
“In 1978, Kerry Packer held a cricket tycoon where he got the best playing nations to assemble in Australia for World Series Cricket. West Indies had a series around the same time in India and, based on my record in previous seasons and with Kerry Packer drawing what would have been considered the ‘cream of the crop’ in West Indies cricket, many analysts and journalists said that I should have been in the team even with the best players around and was shocked not to see me in the team, and being one of the better players of spin bowling of any type. So, it was felt that there was a glorious opportunity, but was denied.
“Some may ask what may be my most memorable match in my career. I would say in 1973 when St. Kitts played Antigua in Warner Park. I would say that was my most memorable Leeward Islands Cricket Tournament match where St. Kitts won. But, as the captain, I was instrumental in a great bowling performance where I took 7 wickets for 28 runs, along with Charles Wilkin and Winston Williams who was a wicketkeeper, and held a last wicket partnership which brought us back right into the frame of things.”
He continued: “Cricket analysts, however, will always remember that Tante Mearle match where the Combined Islands played against Trinidad at the Queens Park Oval. And if my memory serves right, Trinidad won the toss and asked us to bat. At one stage we were 11 runs for 3 wickets when I joined Irving Shillingford and we put on a partnership of over 240 runs for the fourth wicket and the match ended in great drama.
Eddy also gave some advice for young cricketers.
“To be a cricketer, you have to be very well-disciplined, very well-committed and have a love for the game and listening to the critics. If you examine the criticism given to you in any area of life and ask yourselves the questions, I think you would be a better person in any way of life. And that is how I looked at my cricket career. My father was my biggest critic and, no doubt, was for the best for his son.”
Eddy still contributes to cricket by providing radio commentary when the game is being played in the Federation and is an influential counsellor to young cricketers.
Victor Eddy retired from First Class Cricket with five centuries in 59 games and 44 wickets.