A dominant force on the domestic cricket landscape is how many in the fraternity have described former Barbados and West Indies youth player George Linton.
Linton passed away this morning at his home in Friendship, St Michael. Linton, who watched cricket at the Yorkshire Ground as recent as yesterday, was 57 years old.
Georgie as he was popularly called, bowled leg-breaks and gogglies, and was more than a capable batsman. For many years he represented the Spartan cricket club in the Division One competition and was one of the Five Cricketers of the Year in 1980.
Linton represented Barbados at both youth and senior levels in the West Indies Cricket Board’s regional competitions and also represented the West Indies at youth level.
“It is difficult, if not impossible, to find any cricketer in Barbados in the last twenty-five years who did not pass through Georgie’s hands, and once given a name he could recite the school which the boy or girl attended and give detailed information on the individual. He was a veritable storehouse of information on primary schools’ cricket. Portly in appearance and affable by nature, Georgie had an inimitable sense of humour and it is hard to find a more likeable personality anywhere in the cricket world. His knowledge and his contribution to cricket in Barbados will be sorely missed. The President, Board of Management, staff and members of the Barbados Cricket Association extend sincere condolences to his sorrowing relatives,” Cricket Operations manager at the Barbados Cricket Association Rollins Howard told Barbados TODAY this evening.
In his latter years Linton tormented batsmen in the Intermediate Division with his crafty spin, often laughing at how he outfoxed them, especially the youngsters who tried to take advantage of “a fat old man”.
Linton did not confine himself to playing the game. He was, for more than 25 years, one of the senior cricket coaches at the National Sports Council and also coached the Combined Schools team, as it was called at the time, as well as the national youth team.
Additionally, he made a substantial contribution as a selector of the national youth as well as senior teams, including being at different times chairman of both selection committees.
Linton played 26 first-class matches for Barbados where he took 78 wickets at an average of 29.75 with 5 for 35 his best innings haul. He also scored 734 runs at an average of 25.31 with 83 the highest of his five half-centuries. He played for Barbados between 1981 and 1990.