Inside the Elite Division
with Keith Holder
Date Published: 2020-06-09
Road to The BCA Top 40: Popular entertainer Richard Stoute makes top division debut aged 47
Bridgetown, Barbados, June 9 - (www.bcacricket.org) - This year, 2020, marks the 40th in which Keith Holder has been compiling statistics on the premier Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) Championship.
Formerly known as the First division since 1892, it was rebranded as the Elite division in 2012 - three years after the promotion and demotion system was introduced.
To mark his four decades of keeping track on the performances of all the teams and players, Holder will ultimately feature a BCA Top 40 in batting, bowling and fielding (most runs, most wickets etc).
Over the next couple of months, he will be highlighting the leading performances in each season.
“Whitest ever” boots on show as Richard Stoute walks onto field
One of the fascinating stories of the 1993 BCA First division Championship related to the debut of one Richard Stoute at the ripe age of 47, for Carlton.
Stoute was then arguably the oldest player to make his first appearance at the highest level of the island’s most prestigious Competition. And he enjoyed it immensely.
Known for his trademark white shoes, Stoute reportedly sported the “whitest ever” boots seen on a cricket field.
And by the next day, there was a spectacular picture of him in the Sunday Sun newspaper, sending down a delivery with zest.
Following is the story, written by Keith Holder, of Stoute’s dramatic call-up as it appeared in the Sun On Saturday on September 11, under the headline: Stoute in Div. 1 debut for Carlton
At an age when many club cricketers have either retired or are simply enjoying themselves in lower divisions, popular local entertainer Richard “Dick” Stoute is set to make his Division 1 debut.
Stoute, a 47-year-old slow medium bowler, has been drafted into the Carlton team for its seventh round Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) Mount Gay match against Police at Black Rock today.
Fate is the reason for his big break.
Rain washed out play on the first two days and then batsman Trevor Haynes had to pull out of the team because of a death in his family.
Yesterday, Stoute received a call from Carlton captain Dale Ellcock telling him of his good fortune.
“I was extremely delighted when Dale told me that I would be playing. It was always my dream to play First division cricket and it has finally come at the ripe age of 47,” Stoute told The Sun on Saturday.
So excited is Stoute that he feels confident he can perform creditably if given a chance to bowl. And he has even contended it will be difficult to get him out of the team if he takes wickets.
Stoute has been an entertainer for 33 years but describes cricket as “my first love”.
He started playing the game in the Barbados Cricket League (BCL) competition for Rangers at the age of 14 and represented three other BCL clubs - Beverley Hills, Westham and Renrode - before joining the YMCA in the BCA Division 2 Competition in the early 1970s.
Stoute moved to Carlton in 1977 and has played either in the Second on Intermediate divisions. He boasts of taking a hat-trick against YMCA en route to figures of seven for 46 at Pinfold Street in a Division Two match in 1985.
Now Stoute reflects on performance and preparation for the match
Twenty-seven years later, Stoute reflects on the match which ended in a no result. He took one for 37 off 13 overs, dismissing No. 9 Desmond Linton for five.
Police 168 all out (49.3 overs) (Leslie Reifer 63, Stanton Proverbs 33, Geoffrey Mapp 21; Allan Rogers 4-25, Sheldon Stuart 2-20).
Carlton 19-0 (4 overs) (Wilbur Bruce 17 not out).
“I took one for 37 off 13 unchanged overs with two catches dropped off my bowling. Geoffrey Mapp and Leslie Reifer were the lucky batsmen,” Stoute told BCAcricket.org.
“When I got selected the Thursday evening I went home and started putting white ace on my boots. The next day I bought a new pair of pants. I wanted to make an appearance on the ground in a helicopter from the Light Aeroplane Club accompanied by a beautiful young lady.
“My boots were whiter than anybody in White Hall. The story you wrote is pinned on my wall. Not even Clyde Walcott could move that,” Stoute quipped.
“Though I lived opposite the Carlton Club house, I was going to taxi to the base and fly from there but unfortunately none was available.
“Two weeks later I went to Government House to receive my insignia of the Barbados Service Star. Sir Clyde Walcott was standing next to me when the Governor General, Dame Nita Barrow, said to me: “I see you are still playing cricket and Sir Clyde Walcott said, ‘but Dame, Richard made his debut at 47 for Carlton and I made mine for Barbados at aged 16, so by the time he plays for West Indies, he will be 110 years’.
“Dame Nita said to him, ‘my delight, don’t mind that, he is still playing. You can’t even bend now. Leave him alone. I almost died laughing and Cyde laughed as well.”
“I got George Linton’s brother (Desmond Linton) out, caught at mid-on (by Peter Thompson, who was the top wicket-taker that season with 72 scalps) and play was held up for five minutes. I was jubilant and Linton walked slowly back to the Pavilion like he was at a military parade.
“Sheldon Stuart dropped Mapp at mid-on and every time I see Sheldon, up to this day, he runs for cover. He says ‘alright Stoutie, not again man’.
Two years later, Stoute, the father of now experienced Empire and Barbados Pride all-rounder Kevin Stoute, had one more taste of top division cricket.
He again turned out for Carlton, this time against YMPC at Beckles Road in the 11th round. YMPC won by eight wickets.
Stoute scored two not out and 12 at No. 11 and No. 9, took a catch in the first innings to remove Stephen Lorde for a “duck” off Trevor Haynes, who grabbed seven for 52, but he did not bowl a single ball.
Carlton 111 all out (33.3 overs) and 217 all out (75.1 overs).
YMPC 233-9 declared (43.4 overs) and 96-2 (22 overs).