Former Dominica, West Indies, and Windwards player Irvine Shillingford have died after a long battle with illness.
See below his cricketing information.
Irvine Theodore Shillingford (born 18 April 1944) is a former West Indian cricketer who played four Tests and two ODIs in 1977 and 1978. He also played a further 88 first-class games, 49 of them for the Combined Islands, whom he represented from its inception in 1961 until the team’s dissolution in 1981. He also played first-class cricket for the Windward Islands.
His Test career began when he was selected for three Tests of the five-match 1976–77 home Test series against Pakistan, replacing Maurice Foster who had made 19 runs from number six in the first Test. Shillingford had made the most runs in the Shell Shield the previous season, with 257, and though he was aged nearly 33 he was given a chance. He made 39 from number five in the first West Indies’ innings – in an 81-run partnership with opener Roy Fredericks, helping the West Indies to a lead of 136 runs on the first innings. Shillingford only made two runs in the second innings, but the West Indies still won with six wickets to spare.
Shillingford was retained for the third Test and held a catch to dismiss Khan in the first innings, as Pakistan made 194. After the West Indies lost Fredericks early on, Gordon Greenidge, Viv Richards, and Alvin Kallicharran took West Indies to 193 for 3 when Shillingford came into bat, and batted for 315 minutes, hitting fifteen fours and one six in a career-best 120. Despite Shillingford’s century and a lead of 254, the West Indian bowlers could not back up the batsmen, and Pakistan made 540 in the second innings to secure the draw.
However, in the fourth Test, Shillingford made two sub-25 scores as he was dismissed twice by the opposing captain, leg-spinning all-rounder Mushtaq Mohammad, as Pakistan won the match by 266 runs. Shillingford was thus dropped for the final Test at Sabina Park, with Barbados all-rounder Collis King replacing him.
Shillingford was also selected for one Test match against Australia in 1977–78 when the West Indies made nine changes from the previous Test due to players’ involvement with World Series Cricket. He made three and 16 in a three-wicket loss, and though the team remained much the same for the fourth Test, Shillingford was replaced by Guyana batsman Faoud Bacchus. He also played two ODIs during that series, making 24 in the first match which the West Indies won, and 6 off 17 balls in Australia’s second match.
Shillingford continued to play domestic cricket until 1981–82, enjoying a Shell Shield victory with his Combined Islands team in 1980–81 and also playing four matches for the Windward Islands the following season. However, his final season was not his greatest – with 112 first-class runs at a batting average of 18.66, he failed to pass fifty a single time, though his team finished second in the Shell Shield table.
A gifted batsman he was with a dazzling square cut. When that particular shot was executed, no one moved from his position. It was off to the races. He holds a special place in the commentary box of Jeff Charles and Reginald St. Having Shillingford.
A fine and very talented batsman and cricketer, I was very privileged to see many of his five innings all the way back to college regional tournaments in the Windward Islands. Had he been selected very early on to represent the West Indies when in his youthful prime, my take is we would have seen many very prolific performances from him. The prayer is the region could produce three or four batsmen of his quality which would help stem the very dismal tide of recent West Indian batting production on all fronts.
Comments are closed.