Former Nevisian leg spinner, Eyone JOHNNY Rawlins of Government Road passed away on Tuesday 7th June.
Rawlins who was hospitalized for a period of time, died at the Medical Ward of the Alexandra hospital.
Legendary left arm leg spinner for Nevis, Leewards and the West Indies, Elquemedo Willet, spoke in glowing terms of ‘JOHHNY.’
He stated that he rated him as the best all-rounder in the wind ball category of Cricket, in his time. He recalled a particular innings he played at the then Grove Park, against ‘pretty decent bowling’ and scored a rapid half century.
He recalls that he made it into the Nevis team in 1972 versus Montserrat but is not certain whether or not he ever represented Nevis after that, as he Willet went off to play Cricket in England that same year.
He referred to him as ‘a decent right arm wrist spinner,’ who utilized the flipper for variety.
He was never as accomplished at batting the hard ball but was always a fighter.
Willet recalls that several years ago, JOHHNY was nigh unto death but kept insisting: “Me Nar give up!”
He actually got out of the Hospital and shortly thereafter, was seen bowling to the All Stars female Cricket team, as they prepared for a tournament.
Willet also pointed to the fact that Johnny was one of the guys from Government Road, who served as a mentor, as he along with many other youngsters, learnt the wonderful game of Cricket at the famous BUKKO Park.
Former Nevis all-rounder, Al Liburd recalls vividly that Johnny did not play in the game in St.Kitts in 1972 because Willet played in that game but when Willet went off to England, Johnny replaced him in the Montserrat game. He stated that Jim Allen and the Montserrat captain at the time, featured in an outstanding partnership of well over 100 runs and Johnny was the one who eventually broke the partnership. He also indicated that Johnny then got the opportunity to play in front of his home crowd at Grove Park, in the next match versus Antigua.
Al Liburd referred to him as a hard worker and very determined.
Former West Indies all-rounder, Carl Tuckett, who is the son of Rawlins, paid a warm tribute to his dad as he reminisced on the days when he would bowl at him for long periods, in practice sessions at the Netball complex.
Rawlins also played for the Nevis Masters’ Cricket team in his latter years and was always quite jovial and ready to share a joke..