Inside the Elite Division
with Keith Holder
Date Published: 2020-07-15
BCA Top 40: Winston Chase, 53, upstages “crest fallen” Richard Stoute as oldest top division debutant
Bridgetown, Barbados, July 15 - (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.
Chase - “I felt elated to represent Wanderers at First division cricket”
There were several remarkable stories in the decade of the 1990s in the BCA First division Championship.
The fact that two “old men” made their debut in the space of four seasons at the highest level of the island’s domestic Competition was a big talking point.
Popular entertainer Richard “Dick” Stoute, a medium-pacer, had his first taste of the top league Championship at the age of 47 in 1993 for Carlton against Police in the seventh round at Black Rock (now known as the Desmond Haynes Oval).
Stoute was, however, upstaged in 1997 by Winston Chase, a tall, 53-year-old fast bowler, who turned out for Wanderers against eventual champions St. Catherine at Bayfield in an 11th round match, which the home side won by 59 runs to complete a fifth straight victory.
And his appearance left Stoute feeling “very bad and crest fallen” after begging Chase not to “break his record”.
Chase, then a Management Development Officer, Ministry of the Civil Service, had been enjoying a good season in the lower divisions of the Second and Intermediate. He was drafted in for Pedro Collins, a former Barbados and West Indies left-arm pacer, who played the last of nine First division matches that season in the previous round against BCL at Dayrells Road.
“I felt elated to represent Wanderers at First division cricket,” recalls Chase, now the Registrar, Employment Rights Tribunal.
“It showed that my success in the bowling department both at the Intermediate and Second division did not go unnoticed.
“I replaced Pedro Collins. I never enquired as to the reason. That season I took 50 wickets, 38 in the Second division and 12 in the Intermediate. It would have been good if all were in one division,” Chase told BCAcricket.org.
Chase failed to take a wicket while conceding 39 runs in eight overs including one maiden after coming on as first change in a St. Catherine first innings total of 130 all out off 32.5 overs on a green but slow pitch following Wanderers’ luck of the toss.
Only two batsmen reached double-figures - big-hitting opener Terry Watson and all-rounder Horace “Minus” Walrond - co-incidentally both scored 38.
Wanderers were then bundled out for 40 in 23.2 overs with a top score of eight from Guyana-born opener Gavin Beresford, as fast bowler Dayne Maynard, who represented Barbados both at the junior and senior levels, grabbing six for 18 off 11.2 overs.
Chase did not bowl in the second innings with St. Catherine scoring 36 for seven declared off 13 overs as seamer Victor “Vibert” Greene, with first-class experience for Barbados and West Indies ‘B’, snatching five for nine off seven overs.
Set 127 for victory, Wanderers were dismissed for 67 in 25.3 overs. Beresford again hit the top score (26), this time at No. 3.
Chase scored one not out and two not out, batting one before the roller in both innings. Left-arm spinner Ray Armstrong, a well-known vocalist, who played for the Barbados Under-19 team, was absent in the second innings.
Though he didn’t have any success with the ball, Chase still remembers the pace he exhibited.
“At that time I was quick… quick enough to take wickets. However, I never took any in the match but I had the batsmen under some pressure,” Chase said.
Stoute, known for his sense of humour, maintains he begged Chase not to break his record.
“It was a very bad feeling,” Stoute told BCAcricket.org.
“When I spoke to Chasie, he told me he was about to break my record as he was selected to play for Wanderers in a First division game. I asked him how old he was and I was told 53.
“I said, ‘Chasie are you sure’? Your Mum must have taken up the wrong baby. You are much younger than that. He insisted he was 53. I told him he was about to break the only record I had in cricket so tell the Wanderers captain you pulled a muscle. He said ‘no Stoutie”, I am punching in.
“I told him I would rather him break one of my long-playing record albums than my cricket record. Then he said, ‘Stoutie this is my first “Test” match and I playing’.
“I was crest fallen. I listened to the commentaries on the radio that day, hoping that he would change his mind.”
Stoute, however, congratulated Chase.
“Chasie is one of the nicest people I have played cricket with. I had the honour of playing two seasons of Over-40 (Masters) with him for Wanderers. Congrats Chasie, well played,” Stoute said.
Three seasons later, Chase turned out for Wanderers in another First division match - the 13th and final round - against Schools North at Dayrells Road. He scored four and 0, batting at No. 11 and No. 9, and took two for 26 off 5.3 overs in the first innings including the scalp of burly fast bowling all-rounder Ryan “Chicken Breast” Nurse (51), who two years later made his first-class debut for Barbados. The match was drawn with Schools North taking first innings points, scoring 188 all out in reply to a total of 159 all out.
Mind you, Chase is indeed still active in the game, representing Windward in the Division 2 Championship as recently as last season at the wonderful age of 75.
And without doubt, he played for the Lucas Street, St. Philip club in this year’s Masters Competition.