Former Leewards batsman Hayden Walsh dies at 46

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ST JOHN’S, Antigua, (CMC) – Police are conducting investigations into the death of former Leeward Islands opening batsman Hayden Walsh who passed away here Saturday evening.

Walsh, who played 18 first class matches for the Leewards between 1987 and 1993, passed away around 4:30 pm as he and his family were enjoying an outing at the Dove Cove hotel near Dry Hill on the island’s west coast. He was 46 years old.

Police spokesman Senior Sergeant William Holder said that although the cricketer died in a swimming pool, they were yet to confirm whether he actually drowned or died as a result of some other reason. The exact cause of death will be determined when a post mortem is conducted.

As word spread of his death, family and friends along with local cricket personalities converged on the scene, including Leeward Islands Cricket Association president Gregory Shillingford and Antigua and Barbuda Cricket association head, Enoch Lewis.

Following Walsh’s playing career which yielded 851 runs at an average of 28, he became involved in coaching and administration and perhaps became best known for establishing a cricket academy for young players.

The Antigua Technical Cricket Academy, originally known as the Technical Cricket Clinic, was founded in 1999, with approximately 20 boys between ages five to 13 years.

Since then it has been successful in churning out players to the national youth and senior teams. Players like Devon Thomas, Olando Peters and his son Hayden Walsh Jr were products of the academy.

He was also an active member of the ABCA and was last year given a mandate by the organisation to create a Cricket Development Committee to address the waning standards in the sport

Walsh created a committee which included the likes of legendary players Sir Vivian Richards, Richie Richardson and Curtly AmbrosE.