David Holford, former West Indies allrounder, has died in Barbados, his homeland, at the age of 82. Reports indicate he was ailing for some time. He was a legspinner and lower-middle-order batter who featured for West Indies in 24 Tests between 1966 and 1977, picking up 51 wickets and scoring 768 runs with a hundred to his name.

He captained Barbados in the 1970s and led them to five Shell Shield titles. He also represented Trinidad and Tobago.

Holford was the first cricketer to score 1000 runs and pick 100 wickets in the competition. He also featured in the Kerry Packer series in 1978.

The highlight of his career came when he made a disciplined 32 while sharing a 127-run stand with his cousin Garfield Sobers against England at Old Trafford in 1966. He spoke later about the knock and his fondest memory, picking up Fred Titmus as his first international scalp, in this interview.

In the following test at Lord’s, he made a match-saving 105, coming in with West Indies in trouble at 95 for 5 the second innings, with another big partnership with Sobers. This time, it was an unbroken 260 run-stand that bailed them out. West Indies went on to win that series 3-1.

With the ball, his career-best was the 5 for 23 against India at his home ground in Barbados in 1975.

His career was preluded by leaving Harrison college and becoming a member of the Spartan Club. Post-retirement, he went back there as President. Furthermore, the positions he held included Director of the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA), Chairman of the Selection Committee and Manager of the West Indies team in the 1990s.

BCA president, Conde Riley, paid tribute to Holford’s contributions to Barbados.

“As an administrator, David was a no-nonsense person,” he said. “He always spoke about what Barbados’ cricket meant to Barbados and he paid a lot of attention to the preparation of our national teams.

“As chairman of the West Indies selection panel, he was responsible for picking Shivnarine Chanderpaul at a very young age and the rest is history.”

Ricky Skerritt, President of Cricket West Indies, fondly remembered Holford and showered heaps of praise.

“David Holford epitomized the values of cricket both on and off the field, and was the quintessential West Indies cricketer and ambassador. As a player, he was a top-quality allrounder and captain who gave his utmost at all levels.

“He had a hand in the development of several young players across the region, not just in cricket but in several other fields of endeavour. David’s legacy is therefore one of service and dedication to Barbados and West Indies cricket. CWI hereby extends our deepest condolences to his wife, Marva, and all family and friends.”