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The first Trinidadian to score a Test century at Trinidad

The first Trinidadian to score a Test century at Trinidad : ‘One Test Wonders’ are those who have had the privilege of playing in only one Test match in their entire career. However, this term is also used to denote the players who had done exceedingly well in only one Test match, mostly their debut and there after failed to live up to the expectations.

Born on 22 January, 1921, at Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, Andrew Gordon Ganteaume made his First Class debut as a wicket-keeper for Trinidad and Tobago in 1941.

When England toured in 1947-48, Ganteaume played in two tour games. He had high scores of 101, 47*, 5 and 90 but batted very slowly which did not clearly impress the ‘men who matter.’

However, an injury to the opening batsman, Jeff Stolmeyer, saw Ganteaume being picked up for the second Test played at Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, between 11th and 16th February, 1948.

Replying to the England’s first innings score of 362 runs, West Indies opened their innings with Ganteaume and George Carew. The opening duo put up a partnership of 173 runs for the first wicket. Carew eventually got out scoring 107 runs.

Ganteaume then went on to add 53 runs in the company of (Sir) Everton Weeks (36) for the second wicket and another 80 runs for the third wicket with (Sir) Frank Worrell (97) before getting out after a well made 112 runs, batting very slowly for 270 minutes. He was not called to bat in the second innings.

This was the first century by a Trinidadian in Trinidad.

The rain-marred Test ended in a draw. However, the slow approach of Ganteaume cost him the place in the Test squad and he was replaced by John Goddard for the third Test.

Thereafter, he made it to the preliminary squad of 24 for the tour to India and Pakistan in 1948-49 but could not make it to the final squad of 16. He was also not considered for the England tour in 1950.

Discarded from the Test squad, Ganteaume played for Trinidad and Tobago, albeit irregularly, and ended his career with 2,785 First Class runs from 85 innings at an average of 34.81 and 5 centuries to his credit.

Having played just one Test innings, his batting average in Tests remained at an impressive 112 and a century.

Ironically, Ganteaume also held an ‘anti-establishment’ stand that also came in the way of his selection.

Martin Williamson, cricket journalist had remarked, “Ganteaume probably paid as much for his anti-establishment attitude as for slow scoring. He was certainly not someone who was going to bow and scrape to the white players who still dominated the region”s cricket’.

Much later he went to become Test Selector and also served as the Manager of the West Indies team in 1973-74.

Ganteamue passed away at a ripe age of 95 in February, 2016, when he was oldest surviving West Indies cricketer.

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