Bridgetown, Barbados, May 6 - (www.bcacricket.org) - Outstanding former Barbados and West Indies batsman Seymour Nurse died at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital here today after a long illness.
Nurse, 85, was a powerfully-built batsman and excellent close fielder right out of the top drawer. He played 29 Tests between 1960 and 1969, scoring 2523 runs including six centuries and ten half-centuries, at an average of 47.60.
He finished his Test career with a magnificent 258 against New Zealand at Christchurch in March, 1969. It remains the highest score in a batsman’s final Test innings.
Batting in very poor light Nurse "punished the New Zealand pace bowlers with superb drives off the back foot" in an innings described by Wisden as a "magnificent display of aggressive but responsible batting" featuring 35 fours and one six.
In 141 first-class matches, Nurse amassed 9489 runs with 26 centuries and 40 half-centuries, at an average of 43.93.
He was a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1967.
Nurse also distinguished himself as a coach at the Barbados National Sports Council. In addition, he served as a member of the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) Board of Management and was a national selector as well as a Barbados team manager.
Locally, he played for the famous Empire Club.
Nurse was the father of twin daughters Roseanne and Cherylanne.
The BCA and Cricket West Indies (CWI) both expressed sadness at Nurse’s passing.
“The Barbados Cricket Association mourns with the family, friends and colleagues of the legendary Seymour Nurse. Though we mourn, we are thankful that Barbados and West Indies cricket is richer because of his selfless contribution,” said BCA president Conde Riley, who is also a CWI director.
“I was fortunate to visit Seymour two weeks ago in the company of Sir Wesley Hall, Sir Charles Griffith, Desmond Haynes and BCA vice-president Calvin Hope but news of his passing still came as a surprise.
“On behalf of the directors, staff and membership of the Association, we extend deepest condolences to his family,” Riley added.
CWI president Ricky Skerritt said: “We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of West Indies batting legend Seymour Nurse on Monday in his native Barbados, after battling illness. The Caribbean and the game have indeed, lost a true legend.
“Seymour was one of the greatest batsmen ever to play the game and typified all the best of West Indian batting – flambuoyant stroke-play combined with powerful hitting and an insatiable appetite for runs.
“Like most of the West Indian players of his generation, he not only enjoyed playing internationally, but he displayed his batting artistry on every opportunity he got in club matches for his beloved Empire and for Barbados in the West Indies first-class championship.
“Seymour will be fondly remembered not only for the legacy he created on the field of play, but the way he represented the game off the field.
“On his retirement from the game, he served as a mentor and coach to many great West Indies players and was an astute administrator and selector.
“I was rather fortunate to work closely with Seymour when he was the liaison officer for the West Indies Under-19 team in the 1980s, and over the years, I always enjoyed our conversations about the game whenever we had a chance to speak.
“He was always humble and helpful, and never hesitated to give support and advice to young players.
“Seymour was passionate about sport in general and he developed a love for horse racing, leading to him becoming a steward for the Barbados Turf Club.
“On behalf of the Directors, Management and Staff of Cricket West Indies, and all lovers of West Indies cricket, we salute his legacy and his contribution to the game in the Caribbean, and mourn his loss alongside his family, friends and the cricket-loving people of Barbados and the Caribbean.”