One of the wonderful things about radio is that you make your own mind up about the person whose voice you can hear and it’s rare that you get it right.
I first heard Tony Cozier’s voice commentating on cricket during the Headingly Test in August 1966, England were defeated by an innings and 55 runs despite a dogged partnership by Basil D’Olviera and Ken Higgs. I was at scout camp in the Vale of Glamorgan and I remember one of the older boys making a comment about the West Indian commentator that these days would be considered downright racist.
Tony Cozier was from Barbados and had the accent to prove it. It wasn’t until I went to Bristol to watch the WI v Pakistan match in the World Cup in 1999 and was able to see into the commentary box with binoculars whilst listening to Test Match Special with an earpiece that I realised that the man I presumed looked like Sobers, Hall or Lara was white.
He came to cricket comentary from journalism and it showed in his approach. His wonderful voice was part of the coverage of every West Indian tour, a knowledgable, informative and entertaining commentator who was able to see and acknowledge faults in his own team and deeply regretted their fall from the pinacle of world cricket. He also knew that was the way with sport.
Another part of the sound of summers has left us RIP Tony Cozier, a full obituary here.