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Cricket legend Tony Cozier dead at 75

Press AssociationPress Association 11/05/2016

West Indian cricket commentator Tony Cozier, who has died aged 75, has been lauded for his love of cricket and someone able to deftly navigate the delicate politics of the Caribbean game.

The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) confirmed his death, on Wednesday, in his native Barbados.

Local media had reported in recent days that Cozier was seriously ill.

He had been admitted to hospital earlier this month for tests related to infections in his neck and legs.

"He represented West Indies wherever he went. He educated people around the world about our cricket, our people, our culture and who we are. His voice was strong and echoed around the cricket world," said the WICB.

"He enjoyed West Indies victories and shared the pain when we lost. He gave a lifetime of dedicated service and will be remembered by all who came into contact with him."

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said Cozier contributed to the game around the world.

"Like generations before me I had the great privilege of listening to Tony Cozier bring Caribbean cricket to millions of Australians," Sutherland said.

"His mellow West Indian accent, astute observations and clever turn of phrase added to the colour and excitement of Caribbean tours to Australia.

"Tony will be sadly missed around the world ... by fans who held deep affection for him and his commentary talents."

Former Australian player and broadcaster Kerry O'Keeffe tweeted: "One word to describe the late West Indian cricket broadcaster Tony Cozier....warm. RIP outstanding human!"

Colleagues have remembered him as a fierce fighter for the credibility of the Caribbean game.

"I spent so much time with him in the commentary box, on tours, going out for dinner and having meals and drinks with Tony Cozier. He enjoyed life, he enjoyed his cricket, he worshipped cricket and he worshipped West Indies cricket," former West Indies bowler and now commentator Michael Holding said.

"And he would take on people who tried to criticise West Indies cricket unfairly.

"Whenever he saw things to praise, he would praise them, and whenever he saw things he needed to criticise he would criticise them, irrespective of whether he thought it would go down well or not."

The International Cricket Council added on Twitter: "Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Tony Cozier today. One of the truly great voices of cricket. A huge loss for the cricket community."

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