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Courtney Browne

Courtney Browne square drives during his brilliant 90 against Trinidad and Tobago

Date October 29, 2005 Compliments of the Nation News

Trinidad and Tobago batsman Samuel Badree bowled by BarbadosÕ Dwayne Smith at the Brewery on Tuesday. The keeper is Courtney Browne.THE ANNOUNCEMENT by Courtney Browne that he has decided to give up the captaincy of the Barbados cricket team and to retire from first-class cricket came as a shock this week.

Browne explained his decision by saying: "It is a direct consequence of a development in my professional life and an opportunity for promotion that has been offered to me."

We are not sure what is the development in his professional life because his professional life has been that of a wicketkeeper-batsman.

There is no doubt, however, that at 34 years of age he is right in saying that his decision is in his own best long-term interest.

The appointment of the 24-year-old Ryan Hinds was made at an emergency meeting of the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) board of management following a recommendation from the selection panel.

 BarbadosÕ Floyd Reifer (left) holding onto the ball and celebrating as captain Courtney Browne (right) appeals for a catch off Windward IslandsÕ Craig Emmanuel yesterday.Browne's stint as a West Indies player came to an end last year when, not for the first time, he was harangued because of what was regarded as an unforgivable error on his part as a wicketkeeper.

He went on to lead Barbados in the recent KFC knockout competition and not only to personally do well, but to lead the team to the finals. He may have spoken out of turn at the conclusion of that match when certain circumstances of the game seemed to have gone against Barbados.

His comments did not get the benefit of supporting comments from either his manager or coach. One is therefore led to believe that this may be the development in his professional life to which he referred.

If it is, then he did the right thing.

If it is not, his retirement is still well-timed, given the need for transition in the Barbados team.

Indeed, Browne's announced retirement contrasts sharply with that of Sherwin Campbell, also a former captain, who would have been discarded for the last time by selectors this week when they chose a team to prepare for the forthcoming regional series, and he was not included.

A man of the substantial contribution of Sherwin Campbell should have walked away one year ago, rather than stick around to be ignored by the selectors.

We await a formal retirement message from Campbell before paying tribute to him for his contribution to the game. But to Browne we join the president of the Barbados Cricket Association Tony Marshall in saying that Courtney has been a tremendous Barbados ambassador and a servant of West Indies cricket.

His leadership has been inspirational and as he moves into the shadows, he can look back on his career with great pride and satisfaction.

Barbados owes him much for his exploits in our name. He not only served with distinction, but he led with appropriate firmness and dignity at all times.

We wish him well in his new opportunity with Cable & Wireless and hope that his services are not lost to other aspects of cricket in Barbados.


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Dwayne Smith pommels another delivery six during his explosive 94 which came off just 63 balls at the 3Ws Oval against Jamaica yesterday. (Picture by Gordon Brooks.)

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