Sonny Moonsammy

Full name: Sonny Moonsammy
Born: 02 Jun 1929, Skeldon, Guyana
Died: 27 Dec 1963, Georgetown, Guyana
Batting: Right-hand batsman
Teams: Berbice (Var: 1952); British Guiana Indians (Var: 1954-1958); British Guiana (FC: 1959); All teams
Lists of matches and more detailed statistics

Sonny Moonsammy was born in 1929 at Plantation Skeldon, in Berbice. Technically sound but given to aggression, his approach brought many a fine innings to a premature end. He represented Guyana only twice in first class cricket, in Barbados in 1959, when nearly 30 years old. Selected mainly because Kanhai, Butcher and Solomon were on tour in India, his failure to capitalise on such rare opportunity led to a very short first class career.

Ivan Madray described him as a brilliant stroke-player with a great cover drive and hook, and one of the best fieldmen in the covers ever. Possessing a tremendous arm, he returned the ball fast from the deep to the wicktkeeper with unerring accuracy.

Sometime in 1953, with Guyana in political upheaval over left-wing politics, Moonsammy was late in returning to a national trial match at Bourda, because he went to the airport to receive a left-wing politician. This apparently caused him to lose favour with the Guyana Cricket Board which, at the time, considered left-wing politics to be unpatriotic.

Moonsammy, however, continued to perform well for Berbice in inter-county cricket, and for Skeldon, in the Davson Cup. He also represented Guyana Indians with distinction in the Kawall Cup, and Berbice Indians in the annual Flood Cup tournament between Indians in the three counties.

Pryor Jonas stated later that he had seen him make an innings of 40 that could hardly have been surpassed for sheer brilliance. It was his first knock at Bourda against the country's best, Trim and Gaskin, Hill and Haynes. But he treated them with scant respect. He was amazed at his talent, shining forth like pure gold.

With cricket failing to harness his youthful energy, Moonsammy started a lumber business in Skeldon. After his two belated appearances for Guyana in 1959, he disappeared from the game altogether.

On 27 December 1963, when only 34 years old, Moonsammy was struck by a truck on Lombard Street in Georgetown, while on a business trip to the city. He died shortly after at the Georgetown Public Hospital.

The 04 January 1964 edition of the Berbice Times assessed Sonny Moonsammy's life as follows.

It is hard to believe that such a brilliant personality, so young, so enterprising, has passed to the great beyond without notice...

His life was a shining example — an example which the youths of Berbice should try to emulate. He walked with beggars but was clothed with the garment of a king. His sincerity of purpose, his gentle bearing and dignified manner made him stand out like a lighted torch among his fellow men. He was not only a sportsman and businessman, he was in every sense a gentleman.

The 600-odd people who followed his body to its last resting place were evidence of the high esteem in which he was held in the community. One could rightly say that he possessed that enviable quality which made him a friend of all and an enemy of none. In his person there was always that feeling of sympathy for his neighbour.

During his cricketing career he performed creditably well in Barbados and Jamaica. He could undoubtedly be classified as one of the finest fielders British Guiana has ever produced. He was an artist so to speak and thrilled many with his fine strokes all round the wicket.

Those who are not strangers to him are conscious of the good influence he had among young players at Skeldon on the cricket field. He was their teacher, their inspiration.

With head bowed in reverence we say FAREWELL.

(Based on information from "Ranji To Rohan", by Clem Seecharan.)

Batting and Fielding Averages
Team Format M I NO Runs HS Ave 100 50 Ct
British Guiana FC 2 4 1 53 36 17.66 0 0 0