Remembering CAP a.k.a Basil (Shotgun) Williams

Today marks the 4th anniversary of the passing of my father and former West Indies Cricketer, Basil (Shotgun) Williams.

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How did he get the nickname, Shotgun?

As an opening batsman, he would always take a good look at the situation then pull the trigger, using his wrist to generate powerful shots that would echo around Sabina park, hence the name SHOTGUN.

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Fun fact

Shotgun is in the history books as one of the elite few players to score a century on his debut with the West Indies. It was a series versus Australia in 1978, where he ended with 257 runs!

More memorable moments

Shotgun was consistent and rarely misfired. He scored 111 versus the best of India in 1979 at Eden Gardens, Calcutta, matching skills with some of the very best in the game.

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‘Williams about to be dropped in the slip. The bowler to suffer was Sheikh’ He was eventually caught at 87 runs in 1978 at Poona in India.

Basil played 7 tests for the West Indies between 1978 and 1979, that included two entertaining centuries. He had an impressive test average of 39.08 and an average of 36.02 in the regional first class game.

Cricket after the West Indies

Shotgun’s passion for the sport continued with his career in local cricket, including his Captaincy of the Jamaica Cricket team.

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HOME AND HAPPY: Jamaica’s victorious cricket team returned home on March 12, 1984 after their thrilling win over the Leeward Island in the Geddes Grant/ Harrison Line Limited over competition in Antigua last Saturday. Photo shows captain Basil Williams with the prized trophy (centre) and manager Bill Bennett (second left).

How was Shotgun remembered by others?
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An excerpt from the SportsStar, of which Shotgun was on the cover – Saturday, December 2, 1978.

Past West Indies Cricket Board President, Whycliffe ‘Dave’ Cameron expressed in his Press release after Dad passed, that ‘Basil was a tough, but fair captain and a no-nonsense guy’.

Persons loved to call him ‘BOASY’.

Which lessons did Shotgun teach and why was he a role model to many?

Shotgun believed that you could be the best player on the squad, but if you failed to have a certain level of discipline that he knew might affect the quality of your game and if he had the power to, sometimes he did, he would let you know that you would not be playing in the upcoming match. He knew his consistency and success not only came with natural talent but discipline, practice and hard work and he wanted to see players under his tutelage acquire similar results doing just that. He was a winner and taught me and my two brothers to be winners as well, with the same fiery, competitive spirit. He was a role model and teacher to many and genuinely wanted to see persons be the best they could be.

When did Shotgun retire?

Shotgun retired from the Jamaica team in 1986 on a high note and remained involved in the sport as a Selector, Board member, Team manager and of course had a few knocks in Club Cricket before he migrated to the US.

If he were alive today, what would he say to Chris Gayle?

Learn how to time the ball!

Continue to Rest in Peace Shotgun a.k.a CAP!

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Shotgun’s first and only selfie with daughter, Gabrielle Burgess a.k.a Suga on October 20, 2014.

By: Gabrielle Burgess

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