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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 May, 2004, 06:54 GMT 07:54 UK
Windies star Valentine dies
Alf Valentine
Valentine was key in the first West Indies victory in England
West Indies legend Alf Valentine has died at his home in Orlando, Florida, a month after his 74th birthday.

The former left-arm spinner had been ill for some time after undergoing back surgery and suffering a stroke, which affected his speech.

Valentine, from Jamaica, played 36 Test matches for the West Indies in which he took 139 Test wickets at 30.32.

He formed a feared spin attack with Sonny Ramadhin in 1950 in a famous maiden series victory in England.

Valentine took seven wickets in the opening Test at Lord's as the tourists won their first Test match in England.

And his match figures of 116-75-127-7 still include a Test record as no other bowler has bettered the 75 maidens since.

The spin twins were celebrated in a Calypso song "Those little pals of mine - Ramadhin and Valentine" which was a hit that year.

"He was a marvellous team man, a gentleman in all respects with a joie de vivre which endeared him to his colleagues," said former team-mate Jackie Hendriks.

After his last Test in 1963 Valentine enjoyed a successful spell in the English leagues before retiring to America.

West Indies spinner Lance Gibbs
"I learnt a lot from just talking with him"

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