Carlton Forbes was a laid-back character until he had the ball in hand, when the opposition would discover his laid-back manner was deceptive. In each of three successive seasons - 1965, 1966 and 1967 - Forbes captured more than one hundred wickets - hardly the actions of a lazy man!
In both 1966 and 1967 he easily topped the Notts bowling table with some very economical left-arm seamers. In 1965 he was just pipped for top place by Andy Corran, the pair forming a vital opening partnership.
In 1959, a new First Class Counties' Second XI Competition was founded. Notts had played their Second XI in the Minor Counties Competition, in which only players qualified by birth or residence could appear. The new Competition had no restriction so Notts were on the look out for bowlers. Forbes - playing as a professional for Middlesbrough in the North Yorkshire & South Durham League - applied and was signed. He took most wickets for the Seconds that year in the new league and made his first-class debut in the friendly game with Cambridge University. At this time Forbes was generally bowling left arm spin. In 1960 he was again the leading Second XI wicket-taker, but also averaged 20.72 with the bat. Finally in 1961, Forbes was qualified by residence to play Championship cricket. He switched to medium pace and proved the best all-rounder in the County side, topping 1,000 runs, though he never again showed this kind of form with the bat, being little more than a useful lower order man.
On the other hand his bowling skills took a leap forward, so much so that by 1966, the Notts Committee Report stated that the entire Notts' attack rested on his shoulders!
After the 1970 season he declined Notts' offer of a new contract, but he did play in one match in 1971. In 1972 he was not seen at all, then in the 1973 summer he re-appeared in six matches, before his career as a county player ended. Throughout his time at Trent Bridge, Forbes also turned out for the International Cavaliers, though when that invitation team had matches against Nottinghshire, or the Trent Bridge Taverners, he opted to stay with his county team.
Carlton Forbes was born in Kingston, Jamaica on 9 May 1936. His early cricket seems to be obscure and even when he played for Middlesbrough, that club's history does no more than mention that he was their professional, despite the fact that the club did particularly well in the late 1950s and won the League title in 1959. After retiring from County cricket he established the New Calypso night club in Nottingham, proving that he deserved his nickname of "Cha-Cha" by his lithe dancing.
In the later 1970s he returned to Ocho Rios, Jamaica, where he died in 2009.
Nottinghamshire First-Class Number: 418