Former Barbados and West Indies Wicketkeeper batsman Thelston Payne passed away on Wednesday morning at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. Known as the “heart and soul” of St Catherine’s Club which he represented in the mid-1970s, the 66-year-old finally succumbed to pancreatic cancer after battling it for a few years.
Born on February 13th, 1957 in Foul Bay, St Philip, Payne played just one test match for the West Indies (against England in Trinidad) taking five catches and seven one-day international matches across which he averaged 31.50 with a high score of 60 against Australia.
Famously the understudy for Jeff Dujon in that all-conquering West Indies side, Payne is more well known for his first-class career. In a career spanning eleven years, Payne played 168 first class matches for club and country. He averaged 36.85 for Barbados with six hundreds and twenty-five half centuries. Thelston Rodney O’Neal Payne will always be remembered for what is widely known as one of the best regional hundreds at Kensington Oval. Up against an attack that included Vincent Davis and the great Sir Andy Roberts, the stylish left-hander knocked the ball to all parts, looking every inch an international player.
His death has rocked the institution and the parish of St Philip where he was revered. (JC)