The pastoral quote, “Death ends a life, not a relationship,” by Mitch Albom encapsulated the atmosphere at Inshan Ali Park, Preysal, yesterday, as local cricket and community icon Rangy Nanan was laid to rest at the village cemetery.
The former Trinidad and Tobago off-spinner passed away at age 62 at the Couva Medical Centre on Wednesday morning after ailing for almost two years.
Nanan, who played 94 First Class matches for TT and one Test Match against Pakistan (1980-1), was paid tribute to by numerous speakers who shared fond memories of him.
Remembering Nanan’s lifelong legacy were Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board (TTCB) chief executive officer Suruj Ragoonath; TTCB president Azim Bassarath; ex-national cricketer Zaheer Ali; senior police officer Christopher Lewis; Justice Prakash Moosai; Nanan’s primary school principal Zahir Baksh; childhood friend Theo Cuffie; and Nanan’s son, Kevin, who delivered the eulogy.
In Baksh’s opening address, he urged the current TT Red Force team to mirror the dedication and commitment that Nanan showed throughout his lengthy career as a cricketer and administrator.
“They have to kill me to out (dismiss) me,” said a teary-eyed Baksh. “This is what Rangy lived by as a player and I believe that the national team has lost this style of competitive spirit.
Rangy developed his passion for the sport very early and has earned the respect of cricket fraternity throughout this country and the wider region.” Nanan’s close friend Cuffie, who has been residing in the Cayman Islands for the past two decades, broke down in tears while reminiscing on their brotherly relationship which began while growing up in the Preysal community.
He recalled his final words with Nanan the very night before he passed on.
“We talked all the time and Rangy always used to call to update me on who died and who got married in the community,” Cuffie joked. “I spoke to him on Tuesday night and promised to call him on Wednesday but it was not to be, he had already passed away. This village of Preysal grew me as a child, just as they did with Rangy.” In Bassarath’s address, he extended condolences from the West Indies Cricket Board, and hailed the many works of Nanan both on and off the field.
He also reminded the gathering present of Nanan’s 2015 induction into the TTCB Cricket Hall of Fame - a move which was well deserving of the ex-national player.
Ali also lauded Narine who was a Preysal Cricket Club lifetime member. As part of a personal tribute to Nanan, he intends to approach the TTCB to host a special spin-bowling camp in memory of the deceased.
Additionally, chairman of the Preysal Club for the past 17 years Tony Harford, expressed his heartfelt thanks to Nanan for his undying commitment to the Central-based team. With the start of the NGC Twenty20 Festival scheduled to get underway this week, all Preysal players will be fitted with black arm-bands in a move of respect and mourning of the ex-cricketer.
Meanwhile, Kevin honoured his father by revealing to all the strength and loyalty he showed to his life partner and wife, Martha. She was paid a special tribute to as well, having been the backbone and lifetime supporter of Nanan.