KEN ABLACK was the Caribbean voice on the BBC’s radio commentary for West Indies’ historic, triumphant England tour of 1950 (starring the three Ws and “those two little pals of mine, Ramadhin and Valentine”) and for their disappointing return seven years later, a series that marked the start of Test Match Special’s ball-by-ball commentary.
Ablack was a producer for the BBC’s Caribbean Service at the time. As a left-arm spinner he had played three matches for Northamptonshire after the war. His commentary was slow and precise along the lines of Don Mosey, though with a melodic Trinidadian, rather than Yorkshire, accent.
On his return to Port-of-Spain in 1962 he joined the Civil Service and was an adviser on broadcasting to two separate governments, serving for a time as chairman of the National Broadcasting Service. He continued commentary on regional and international cricket into the seventies and, as member of the Queen’s Park Cricket Club, seldom missed a major match at Trinidad’s famous Test ground. He was also a keen and, his partners attest, very good bridge player. Tony Cozier
Robert Kenneth Ablack was born on January 5, 1919 and died on December 15, 2010, aged 91.