When I was working with the Sri Lankan cricket team many years ago, a Buddhist priest said to me: "There is nothing in this life that we can have for very long. People and things come into our lives, then leave us, and we are left sad and aching because of our attachments."
Tony Cozier during the 2007 World Cup Super Eights match between WI and England at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados. Pic/Getty Images
Tony Cozier's death has left millions of people throughout the Caribbean and beyond sad and aching because of their attachment to Tony and because of their admiration and respect for his skills as a journalist. He was the most respected cricket writer, broadcaster and cricket historian to have come from the Caribbean. He was a brilliant commentator and was superbly descriptive and highly disciplined.
Tony was truly a Caribbean man. He was the voice of West Indies cricket. I believe that he is one of the most significant West Indians of our time. One of the highest blessings in life is a friend with whom we can respond openly and with whom we can share freely and equally. To me Tony was such a friend.
When he was writing his last article, "Mitchell Should Let the Legends Lead", he telephoned me from Barbados and discussed the article. Tony was a very strong advocate for the reform and restructuring of West Indies Cricket Board and was very keen to see a resolution to the current crisis in West Indies cricket.
Just before the conversation ended he said, "Rudi, before we both die I hope we will see a resolution to the current mess in West Indies cricket. CARICOM prime ministers are divided and will not act. The legends are our only hope. They must take the lead because they are the only people left who can influence the process and bring about change."
Tony was part of the Television team during Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket in Australia in the seventies that revolutionised the TV coverage of cricket. That initiative has since been copied and improved by TV stations around the world.
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