Warren Barrett

Warren first played for Guernsey in 1961 and over a record 23 appearances was the scourge of Jersey cricketers. He became the leading run scorer in the Channel Islands with 523 runs and the leading wicket taker in Guernsey with 50 wickets, one behind the legendary Jersey bowler Barry Middleton. He was capped in 1961, his being #27.

He soon made his mark in local cricket in 1962 by top scoring with 77 in 84 minutes for the GICC against the MCC. The reporter wrote that “Barrett’s innings overshadowed that of the England Batsman Ramon Subba Row earlier in the day. He produced practically every shot in the book and scored freely all around the wicket but fell to a catch at deep mid wicket after hitting 12 boundaries.”

In 1963 had there been a man-of-the-match he would certainly have been its recipient. He top scored again with 76 in a total of 194 and then took 3 wickets for 17 in 11.3 overs and a catch in a comprehensive victory over Jersey.

He came to the island, after schooling in Gloucester from 1947 to 1955, to teach at the Boys Grammar School where he was involved in the coaching of hockey and cricket.

He not only played in many Inter-Insulars but also the annual Guernsey Cricket Association match against the Jersey Cricket League and the GICC v JICC clashes. Such was his ability that he is still the Guernsey leader in inter-insular cricket in all four categories – batting 523 runs, bowling 50 wickets, catches 12 and appearances 23. His best performances for the Inter-Insular side were in 1963 scoring 76, in 1972 scoring 58, 1976 scoring 75 and 1978 with 54. As a bowler he was rarely without success, his best being 17-5-20-5 in 1974, and 31-9-52-7 in 1975. In total he bowled 278 overs with 59 maidens at a strike rate of 15.5 and an economy rate of an impressive 2.78. He also took 4 wickets on 4 occasions, once in 1973  and a further 3 times in the 1980s. He holds the record partnership of 151 with Ricky Mills. These were just in the full Inter-Insular matches, he was also as successful in other representative matches.

In 1972 John Le Poidevin wrote an article: ‘Talented Barrett may be lost to island’,  in which he states, “Guernsey’s cricket scene has been brighter this season through the presence of Warren Barrett. The talented all-rounder has lived in the island for many years but had played little cricket in the past decade. This summer he has been a regular – and it is somewhat ironical that the season could well be his swansong so far as the island is concerned. Warren leaves Guernsey at the end of the summer in pursuit of further academic honours. It seems that if he achieves his aim Guernsey may not have a suitable position for him.  While wishing him good luck in his studies, I for one will regret his absence from our cricket fields. Cricket discussions invariably lead to comparisons between one good player and another. Opinions naturally differ as to who is the best cricketer in the island. My memory of the top players in the immediate post-war period is not sufficiently clear to enable me to compare Warren with them. But I have no doubts that Warren Barrett is the best island-based cricketer I have seen in the past 20 years. He first came on to the Guernsey cricket scene as a member of the St Luke’s College (Exeter) cricket team. In his early years in the island he thrilled cricket lovers with his fluent batting and his versatility as a bowler made him a constant attraction. Then his work prevented him from playing evening cricket and, a true competitor, he did not take kindly to the tea and cream-bun atmosphere of our friendly afternoon cricket. This season we have seen more competitive afternoon cricket and Warren has been an important part of it. Better, he has been able to play regularly for Pilgrims in the evening league and has restored this old club to something like its former glory. I think it is fair to say that Warren is not as good now as he was – but he has shown remarkable flashes of brilliance to convince any doubting Thomas of his ability. An evening league 78 was an example and his one-man show against MCC another. I’m hoping that Warren is keeping his best performance of the season for August 19 – that he will bat, bowl and field at his best against Jersey and help Guernsey to win the season’s big match for the first time in years.”

He started the Guernsey Touring Cricket Club in 1977 with a tour to Holland and then ventured to North America, Barbados, and various tours to the UK (Oxford, Sussex, Kent, Yorkshire, Dorset and Surrey) giving the opportunity of exposure to a good standard of cricket for many island class players.

Had he played nowadays he would have relished the challenges of the ICC cricket that is played and one can only guess at how outstanding he would have been.

He gained an Open University BA degree in the early 1980s

His son Mark lives locally but his daughter Jessica moved to Perth, Australia where he was a frequent visitor, especially in winter. He has 4 grandchildren.

Warren’s prowess was not restricted to cricket, he was also a good golfer. In 1982 he won the L’Ancresse Golf Club’s Afternoon Fourball League with Ken Carre beating Bobby Eggo and Jim Eker 4 and 3 in the play-off.

He was a keen musician and was on the Guernsey scene for many years including playing weekly at the Duke of Richmond.

He died on 21st April 2011

Warren was listed 33rd in the All time Top 100 Guerney Sporting Heroes  by Rob Batiste in his Big Book of Guernsey Sport, published in 2016.

 

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