Forbes personified the typical laid-back approach that West Indian cricketers had to the game in the 1960s. Unhappily for the opposition, his laid-back manner was deceptive. In the three successive seasons of 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.
Back in 1959, Forbes was playing as a professional for Middlesbrough in the North Yorkshire & South Durham League. It was the year of the foundation of the First Class Counties' Second XI Competition : Notts played their Second Team in the Minor Counties Competition, but in this only players qualified by birth or residence could appear. The new Competition had no restriction. Notts were on the look out for bowlers and Forbes 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. For some inexplicable reason 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.
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.