(Jamaica Gleaner) Noted cricket journalist and former Gleaner Sports Editor Tony Becca passed away yesterday morning.
He was 78 years old.
The news of his passing was confirmed by his wife, Cecilia, who advised that the Melbourne Cricket Club stalwart was pronounced dead at 4:50 a.m. at the Andrews Memorial Hospital, weeks after contracting dengue fever.
He had been showing signs of improvement but things took a turn for the worse this week when he suffered a ruptured colon, requiring an emergency surgical procedure on Tuesday.
He died of cardiac arrest yesterday morning.
Becca, born November 10, 1940, had been battling a series of illnesses over the past few years.
Meanwhile, Cricket West Indies President Dave Cameron offered his condolences:
“West Indies cricket has lost a champion who spent his distinguished career chronicling the ups and downs of the sport he loved so much. Tony Becca has always made an effort to be fair in his writings about West Indies Cricket.
“Tony Becca lived through the glorious years when West Indian bowlers swept all before them and gifted Caribbean batsmen battered the opposing bowlers. Driven by the glory his eyes had seen as the WINDIES juggernaut tore through world cricket in the 1970s and 1980s, Tony also agonized as our fortunes dipped and he lashed out at administrators and players alike. For over four decades he helped this region understand the game. His body of work is one which will be difficult to replicate. Cricket West Indies along with other groups across the Caribbean region and in the USA Diaspora have paid tribute to him because of his work.
“Tony and I did not see eye-to-eye on everything but his criticism was always well reasoned, courteous and respectful.
He would lay down the odd googly, of course, to keep things interesting, but I always respected his views, drawn from the depth and width of his experience covering the sport.
He had a good innings and his mark will long be remembered on the cricket pitches of the West Indies and beyond”.