FORMER Oldham Cricket Club captain Howard Schofield has paid tribute to ex-West Indies Test player Ezra Moseley who has died aged 63.
Moseley, who played in the Central Lancashire League for Littleborough, Oldham and Radcliffe, was killed while cycling in Barbados when he was in collision with a car.
Schofield described paceman Moseley as the quickest bowler he had ever faced, quite an accolade as he had also played against Test players Joel Garner, Curtly Ambrose and Geoff Lawson in the CLL.
The Shaw-based Schofield said: “Ezra was an excellent cricketer and a character.
“I don’t think we saw the best of him at Oldham where the wicket was not bouncy enough for him.
“He was the quickest bowler I have faced and had a smooth action and delivered a deadly yorker.
“What people underestimated was that Ezra was a decent batsman and would get some big scores.”
Schofield, who was saddened to hear of Moseley’s death, added he would have played for the West Indies far more had he not been banned for taking part in a rebel tour of South Africa.
In a statement on Facebook, Radcliffe Cricket Club said: “We are saddened to hear the news that the club legend, right-arm extremely fast bowler Ezra Moseley has passed away at the age of 63.
“Some say he’s the fastest bowler that they’ve either faced or witnessed.”
Cricket West Indies director of cricket Jimmy Adams said: “It came as a shock to hear of the passing of Ezra Moseley, with the tragic news coming out of Barbados.
“The entire CWI family are deeply saddened. Ezra was one of our region’s premier fast bowlers from the late 1970s through the 80s and into the early 90s, when he went on to play for the West Indies after playing professionally in the Caribbean, England and South Africa.”
The fast bowler played two Tests and nine one-day internationals, at a time when the West Indies were blessed with an abundance of top-class pacemen.
Had it not been for a stress fracture in his back, diagnosed at the age of 24, Moseley might well have risen to become a more vaunted member of the seemingly endless line of West Indian fast bowlers that ruled the sport in the 1980s and early 90s.
His two Test appearances came aged 32 on England’s 1990 tour of the Caribbean when Moseley broke the hand of England opener Graham Gooch in Trinidad, with his six wickets coming at an average of 43.50. He also claimed seven wickets in nine one-day internationals.
In all, he claimed 279 first-class wickets at 23.31 in a 135-match career. He also picked up 102 wickets in 79 List A matches.
Moseley joined Glamorgan aged 22 in 1980 and topped 50 wickets in his first two seasons at the Welsh club, but he broke down with a stress fracture of his back in 1982 that required surgery.
He signed for the rebel West Indies side which toured South Africa in 1982-83 and was given a life ban aged 25 from West Indies cricket.
After the bans were lifted, he became the only member of that rebel tour to play for the West Indies.
Moseley later served as a national selector for the Barbados men’s and women’s teams and was also an assistant coach for West Indies’ women’s team helping them lift the 2016 Women’s World T20 in India.
After retiring, he remained in the game as a coach, and ended up at St Michael, one of Barbados’s top secondary schools, where he played a key role in the development of the current West Indies captain Jason Holder.