Cricket West Indies CEO Johnny Grave believes the development of a ‘culture of respect’ by regional players, and other stakeholders involved in the sport, would serve as a more effective solution than the prospect of broad fines levied against individuals for misconduct.

Recently, disparaging public outbursts directed towards other players from veteran West Indies players Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels has brought the issue of player discipline once again to the fore. In addressing the matter, CWI president Ricky Skerritt had previously expressed disappointment with the incidents.

 Outside of just the latest incidents, however, the region has had a long history of players choosing to air grievances in a public manner.  While some have suggested the implementation of public fines for instances of bringing the sport into disrepute as a solution, things can get more complex when the players are not directly contracted to the CWI.  Grave believes the best solution lies in a cultural shift.

“Individual cricketers that are outside of the framework of our cricket or contractual system can clearly talk openly and freely,” Grave told the Mason and Guest radio show.

“What I’d really want, rather than the ability to punish players, is to be able to create a culture of mutual trust and respect between all the stakeholders.  So, if there are disagreements or disputes, they are appropriately dealt with inhouse, and if we have to agree to disagree every now and again that will happen,” he added.

“I’d much rather have a culture within Cricket West Indies of mutual respect where we are not relying on a code of conduct or punishment.”   

West Indies T20 specialist and former captain of the One-Day International team, Dwayne Bravo had some interesting choices to make during an interview on Cricbuzz, leaving out some big names on a list of five of the best T20 players in the game today.

Bravo, who was interviewed by Cricbuzz’s Harsha Bhogle, was given six players to choose from in each of five rounds of choices and here’s what he came up with.

In the first round, Bravo was made to choose from among Australia’s Matthew Hayden and David warner, India’s Virender Sehwag, New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum, and the West Indies’ Dwayne Smith and Chris Gayle.

Bravo chose Gayle.

The second round saw Bravo having to pick one of India’s Gautam Gambir and KL Rahul, England’s Johnny Bairstow and Joss Buttler, and Australia’s Shane Watson and Chris Lynn.

Bravo chose Watson.

India’s Virat Kohli was lined up against teammate Ambati Rayudu and Suresh Raina, as well as South Africa’s Faf Du Plessis and New Zealand’s Kane Williamson.

According to Bravo, while Raina is his favourite batsman, he would have to go with Kohli.

Up next were India’s Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant and Yuvraj Singh, Australia’s Michael Hussey, England’s Ben Stokes, and South Africa’s AB de Villiers.

Bravo went with de Villiers.

In the final round Bravo had a major struggle with picking from a grouping of India’s Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Hardik Pandya, Australia’s Glenn Maxwell, and the West Indian pair of Andre Russell and Kieron Pollard.

Bravo eventually went with Dhoni.

So Bravo’s choices as the top-five players today, given the imitations of the choices put to him were Chris Gayle, Shane Watson, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, and Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Given the grouping of choices, is Bravo correct?

It is unfortunate that in a 24-year-long career, West Indies legend George Headley only managed 22 Tests. An intervening World War and the difficulties of travel made Test cricket in the 1930s and ‘40s a much less regular occurrence than it is today.

Still, Headley’s wildcard selection to the SportsMax Ultimate XI Test cricket competition is perhaps no surprise and certainly not unwarranted.

Headley, averaged more than 60 in those 22 Tests, a remarkable feat when you consider how much time might elapse between games at the highest level. In those 22 Tests, Headley also scored 10 centuries and five half-centuries, which suggest when he got going, chances are you were going to staring down a three-figure innings.

Headley was solid when his West Indies teammates were considered ‘vulnerable and impulsive’. Headley was the first immortal at Lord’s, scoring a century in both innings of a 1939 Test against England.

Other greats, like Sir Len Hutton and Clarrie Grimmett, have all expressed sentiments suggesting they were very impressed with Headley’s batting. Sir Len said he had never seen a batsman play later than did Headley, while Grimmett said he was the strongest on-side player he had ever bowled to.

Test statistics aside, Headley’s first-class achievements playing in England tell a story of his class as well. He scored heavily at every turn, matching the exploits of the modern-day greats stride for stride.

But Headley’s contribution to West Indies cricket cannot be overstated. He was the first great batsman of the region, paving the way for an avalanche of eye-catching wonders from the Caribbean.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: George Alphonso Headley

Born: May 30, 1909, Colon, Panama

Died: November 30, 1983, Meadowbridge, Kingston, Jamaica (aged 74 years 184 days)

Major teams: West Indies, Jamaica

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Legbreak

 

Test Career: West Indies (1930-1954)

Mat    Inns    NO     Runs      HS         Ave     100s    50s    

22         40      4      2190       270*      60.83      10       5     

 

Career Highlights

  • Nicknamed the “black Bradman”
  • Tallied 2190 runs from 40 innings at an average of 60.83
  • Scored 10 centuries and 5 half-centuries
  • Highest score of 270*
  • Played 16 of his 22 Tests against England

Among the most difficult batsmen to dismiss in the modern era of Test cricket, Shivnarine Chanderpaul revelled in unorthodoxy while carving out one of the most successful careers in West Indies and world cricket history.

While purists become obsessed with technique and style, Chanderpaul was a living example of the fact that there are other ways to be consistent and prolific in Test cricket over a long period.

His 11,000-plus Test runs put him just behind Brian Lara as the most prolific West Indies player. He was also the second to achieve the 10,000-run landmark after the more celebrated Trinidadian.

Chanderpaul at first struggled to convert fifties into hundreds, but once he achieved his initial breakthrough he scored three in four Tests against India in 2001-02, and two more in the home series against Australia the following year, including 104 as West Indies successfully chased a world-record 418 for victory in the final Test in Antigua.

Among his greatest contributions was his ability to hold a fragile West Indies middle-order together after Lara had retired. Against Australia in 2012, in the series in which he got to 10,000 Test runs, ‘Tiger’ as he is known in the Caribbean roared loudly with scores of 103*, 12, 94, 68 and 69, for an aggregate of 346 in five innings.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Shivnarine Chanderpaul

Born: August 16, 1974, (Unity Village, East Coast, Demerara, Guyana)

Major teams: West Indies, Derbyshire, Durham, Guyana, Guyana Amazon Warriors, Khulna Royal Bengals, Lancashire, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Stanford Superstars, Uva Next, Warwickshire, Warwickshire 2nd XI

Playing role: Batsman

Batting style: Left-hand bat

 

Test Career: West Indies (1994-2015)

Mat        Inns        NO     Runs      HS       Ave         BF           SR           100s        50s

164          280        49      11867    203*      51.37     27395      43.31          30           66

 

Career highlights

  • Most runs scored at number five in Test history (6883)
  • Highest average by a number six with at least 20 innings (66.29)
  • Joint 6th fastest century in Tests (69 balls)
  • Scored 66 Test half-centuries, two shy of Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 68
  • Scored 30 Test centuries and averaged 51.37 in his career
  •  

Few in world cricket made batting look more sublime. 

Lara’s style would mesmerize not only common spectators but professional cricketers, inclusive of his opponents as well.

Brian holds the record for the most Test runs in an innings when he scored 400 not out against England in Antigua. That marked the second time the little genius was doing this after Matthew Hayden with 380 against Zimbabwe at Perth had broken his world record of 365. That 365 was also scored at the Antigua Recreation Ground and also came against England.

But even before the big triple century and the quadruple century, it was clear Lara had an appetite for big runs. In Australia, Lara scored 277 before he was eventually run out, but went on to score eight more double centuries.  Only Donald Bradman with 12 and Kumar Sangakkara with 11 have more scores over 200.

Outside of his records and the number of runs he has scored, Lara was a stylist, who many have tried to mimic to varying degrees of success. Lara's walk to the crease was as impressive as Viv Richards', complete confidence on show. Then there was an eye-catching high backlift that would not change whether he was attacking or defending. His shots were a mixture of elegance, precision and power that has not been replicated to this day. It was said before his decline began that setting a field for Lara was a pointless endeavour because he could always find the gaps anywhere they were. 

He was also a game-changer and had the talent to change the nature of a match in very short order. In two hours of Lara being at the crease, an opposition could lose four and a half days of dominance.

 

Career Statistics

 

Full name: Brian Charles Lara

Born: May 2, 1969 (age 51)

Place of birth: Santa Cruz, Trinidad and Tobago

Height: 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)

Batting style: Left-handed

Bowling style: Right-arm leg break

Role: Batsman

 

Test Career:   West Indies (1990-2006)

Mat      Inns    NO   Runs      HS      Ave      BF         SR        100s     50s    

131      232     6     11953   400*   52.88   19753        60.51       34       48     

 

Career highlights

  •  Record holder for highest individual score in Test history (400*)
  •  Only player to reclaim world record for highest individual Test score 
  •  Only player to have two 350+ scores in Tests
  •  Third most double centuries in Tests (9)
  •  One of 13 players to score centuries against all Test-playing nations  
  •  Scored 20 per cent of team runs, only Don Bradman and George Headley have scored higher
  •  Scored the largest proportion of his team’s runs, 53.88 per cent in one Test
  •  A record three of his innings placed in top 15 of Wisden’s top 100 list (2001)

Sir Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards, Viv, was the epitome of confidence. No bowler during the 1980s or early ‘90s, an era marked by quality tear-away quicks, can lay claim to intimidating the man dubbed ‘The Master Blaster’. Conversely, there are not many bowlers and/or captains, who can say they weren’t intimidated.

His Test career average and the number of runs he has scored, centuries and half-centuries he has racked up, matter very little to anybody who has seen Viv play. For them, he is greater than even those whose records far outstrip his. Why, because Viv changed the game. He was the precursor to the dominant batsmen of the ‘90s and even now, more than 20 years later, the greatest of them are, in part judged, by whether or not they have a little bit of Viv in them.

The Matthew Haydens and Chris Gayle’s of this world may never have existed if not for the trend Viv set.

Everything about him exuded confidence and when he sauntered to the crease, for that is the only way to describe it, the fielding team knew they were in trouble, and the crowd, whether at home or abroad, knew it too.

But Viv wasn’t all bluster. He could bat too. His average of 50.23, as well as his 24 hundreds and 45 fifties, say as much.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards

Born: March 7, 1952, St John's, Antigua

Major teams: West Indies, Combined Islands, Glamorgan, Leeward Islands, Queensland, Somerset

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm slow, Right-arm offbreak

 

Test Career: West Indies (1974-1991)

Mat    Inns    NO     Runs          HS     Ave    100s          50s   

121    182    12     8540          291    50.23  24          45    

 

Career Highlights

  • Bestowed Antigua & Barbuda’s highest honour, Knight of the Order of the National Hero (1994)
  • First batsman to score a Test century at a strike rate of over 150 (1986)
  • Joint 2nd fastest century in Tests (56 balls)
  • Scored 8540 runs at an average of 50.23
  • Produced 24 centuries and 45 half-centuries in 182 Test innings

While Sir Garfield Sobers is undoubtedly the greatest all-rounder of all time, meaning he was good with bat and ball, and in his case, in the field as well, his ability with the willow puts him in the argument as one of the greatest batsmen the world has ever seen as well.

Sir Garry being the greatest batsman of all time used to be an argument between himself and Australia’s Sir Don Bradman. But in recent times there has been a proliferation of greats who have put their names up in serious ways, however, his quality is undoubtable and the length of time his records lasted were part proof of this fact.

An elegant but powerful batsman, Sir Garry would make his mark on Test cricket with not just the number of runs he scored, but because of the manner in which he scored them.

Elegant through the covers, he was also savage square of the wicket on both sides. Such was his talent that his 365 not out, a record which would last 36 years, came when he was just 21 years old. If there is ever any wonder at how good Sobers was, Don Bradman, a man with the highest Test average the world has seen, and nobody has come close, said this of an innings he saw Sobers play.

“the greatest exhibition of batting ever seen in Australia,” said Bradman after Sobers, playing for the World XI, destroyed an Australian bowling attack, inclusive of Dennis Lillee, on his way to 254.

Interestingly, Sobers career with the bat started slowly. For his first 14 Tests, he averaged a mere 30.54 and had scored just three 50s. Then from 1958 until his career ended, he played 79 Tests and actually averaged 62.90, scoring all of his 26 centuries during this period.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Garfield St Aubrun Sobers

Born: July 28, 1936, Chelsea Road, Bay Land, St Michael, Barbados

Major teams: West Indies, Barbados, Nottinghamshire, South Australia

Playing role: Allrounder

Batting style: Left-hand bat

Bowling style: Left-arm fast-medium, Slow left-arm orthodox, Slow left-arm chinaman

Height: 5 ft 11 in

 

Test Career: West Indies (1954-1974)

Mat    Inns    NO     Runs    HS      Ave       100s    50s             

93       160     21      8032    365*    57.78       26      30                      

 

Career highlights

  • Named as one of five Cricketers of the century by Wisden (2000)
  • Knighted for his services to cricket (1975)
  • Former record holder for highest individual Test score, 365* (1958-1994)
  • 2nd highest average as a number four and 3rd highest as a number five in Tests (63.75 & 59.21)
  • First player to hit 6 sixes in an over at the First Class level

“I like that about him,” Sir Curtly Ambrose had said about young West Indies pacer Alzarri Joseph. Sir Curtly was speaking about the fact that Joseph never seemed to smile and was most displeased when one of his deliveries got treated poorly. Sir Curtly saw in young Alzarri, some of what was very present when he bowled for the West Indies. An unyielding tenacity was present. He never liked to get hit and he certainly never liked to be bowling to one person for too long. He had to get you out and on 405 occasions, he did.

Sir Curtly’s tools were his height and his accuracy. From around 10 feet up, he would spare deliveries onto a length just outside offstump, aptly called the ‘corridor of uncertainty.’ Ambrose’s height meant he extracted steep bounce which could undo a batsman if he attempted to play forward to a delivery maybe nine times out of 10, he should have. But you wouldn’t have time to go back either because the ball was too full, leaving batsmen with no option but to abandon their footwork and use just their hands and eyes. Now movement became important because playing from your crease meant you had no time to react if the ball moved. Entering the fray are now caught behind, in the slip, at bat pad or short, extra cover, forward short leg, or even the deathly sound of a drag on. Sometimes a batsman may just end up going bowled.

That nagging line and length also meant Ambrose was ridiculously difficult to score off and has the best economy of any bowler with more than 400 wickets.

Sir Curtly’s best came against Australia in 1992-93 at the WACA where he decimated the opposition with 7-1, and again against England when he had 6-24 the following year at the Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad and Tobago. Those spells are, to this day, considered among the most legendary, not just in the West Indies, but anywhere.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Curtly Elconn Lynwall Ambrose

Born: September 21, 1963, Swetes Village, Antigua

Major teams: West Indies, Leeward Islands, Northamptonshire, UWI Vice Chancellor's Celebrity XI, West Indies Masters

Playing role: Bowler

Batting style: Left-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm fast

 

Test Career:   West Indies (1988-2000)

Mat    Inns    Balls     Runs     Wkts   BBI       BBM     Ave      Econ     SR        4w    5w   10w

98       179     22103   8501      405     8/45      11/84   20.99     2.30      54.5      21     22      3

 

Career Highlights

  • Took 405 wickets at an average of 20.99
  • Best average for bowlers over 400 wickets
  • Best economy rate for bowlers over 400 wickets
  • Best figures in an innings 8 for 45

Michael Holding was fast. But you never knew it from the way he ambled to the crease and quietly allowed the ball to kiss the pitch before the batsman was faced with the violence of it all.

The name given to Michael Holding because of his quiet and elegant run up was, interestingly, not delivered by the batsmen who were invariably sent packing after or amid one of his spells, it came from the umpires, who never heard him approaching the wicket and could only watch as batsmen hurriedly tried to move into positions to counteract a delivery aimed solely at causing destruction.

There are many who say Holding was the quickest of all time but his Rolls Royce-esque technique made others more recognizable as genuinely scary quicks.

Bowling to England opener Geoffrey Boycott in 1981, Holding delivered six deliveries the last of which cannoned into the usually defensively sound batsman's off stump, sending it careening toward the wicketkeeper. It is widely accepted that this was the best over of all time. The five deliveries prior came at no cost, with Boycott failing to get a bat on four and edging the first just short of Vivian Richards at second slip.

It was Boycott, who at the time was the best batsman in the world, said there had never been quicker than Holding.

Holding’s career only lasted 60 Tests but in the 12 years it took to get through those games, 249 wickets fell. On one particular occasion, the West Indies toured England, who had a big-talking skipper known as Tony Greig. In an interview, Greig had said his England side were going to “make the West Indies grovel.”

In the fifth Test of the series at The Oval, with the West Indies already leading 2-0, Holding had his revenge.  

The paceman would start with 8-92 after the West Indies had racked up 687 on what was thought to be a docile pitch. Holding was 22 years old and in his first year of cricket.

Six of those eight wickets were batsmen who were bowled, while the other two were sent back, out leg before.

In his second innings with the ball, Holding would end with figures of 6-57 and was declared man of the match, despite Viv Richards 291.

It was after that game that umpire Dickie Bird coined the phrase Whispering Death.

“I couldn’t hear him when he was running in. It was the most fantastic piece of fast bowling I had ever seen,” said the experienced umpire.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Michael Anthony Holding

Born: February 16, 1954, Half Way Tree, Kingston, Jamaica

Major teams: West Indies, Canterbury, Derbyshire, Jamaica, Lancashire, Tasmania

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm fast

 

Test Career: West Indies (1975-1987)

Mat    Inns    Balls      Runs       Wkts    BBI      BBM       Ave    Econ   SR    4w     5w     10w

60     113       12680    5898        249      8/92     14/149   23.68   2.79   50.9    11     13        2

 

Career Highlights

  • Nicknamed “Whispering Death”
  • Best match figures by a West Indian (14/149)
  • Captured 249 wickets at 23.68
  • Had a strike rate of 50.9

It's been more than 40 years since the West Indian off-spinner Lance Gibbs snared his 308th victim and overhauled Fred Trueman to become the leading wicket-taker in Test cricket.

Tall and thin he had a short bouncing run-up to the wicket. Phenomenally accurate he was seldom collared, and usually got through an over in a couple of minutes.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Lancelot Richard Gibbs

Born: 29 September 1934 (age 85)

Place of birth: Georgetown, British Guiana

Batting style: Right-handed

Bowling: Right-arm off-break

Test Career: West Indies (1958-1976)

Mat         Inns         Balls        Runs       Wkts        BBI          BBM        Ave         Econ       SR            4w           5w           10w

79           148           27115      8989         309         8/38       11/157      29.09       1.98        87.7           11           18               2             

 

Career Highlights

  • Oldest player to reach 300 Test wickets (41)
  • Held record for most wickets in Tests (1976-81)
  • Captured 309 wickets at 29.09
  • 87.7 strike rate is the worst of any bowler over 300 wickets

The longtime ethos of hard work bringing forth success is perfectly exemplified in Courtney Andrew Walsh, West Indies’ all-time leading wicket-taker in Test cricket and at one time world record holder.

Walsh was the first bowler over 500 wickets in the history of the game, but that honour came from being the man who the West Indies used to use to plug overs. Initially, Walsh was a back-up bowler, who would do the hard work of running into the wind while preferred specialists like Malcolm Marshall or Michael Holding and even Sir Curtly Ambrose ran in with the wind at their backs.

Doing that kind of work made the wiry Walsh strong and when it was finally his time to be the strike bowler, he had the added benefit of being able to run in for almost inhumanly long spells at high pace to boot.

Walsh formed one of the games great opening partnership with Ambrose, the two accounting for 421 Test wickets between them in just 49 outings.

Walsh was also a man of very strong character, something that belied his almost jovial nature. It would seem that nothing mattered to him but the truth was anything but.

He loved bowling at the highest level and that may be why he did it for 17 years.

But never was that strength more called on than when the West Indies decided to drop him for the only time in his career.

Walsh had never been dropped at any level but his reaction was impressive. The pace bowler returned to first-class cricket in the West Indies and dominated proceedings, taking 30+ wickets and forcing his way back into the Test side. Until his retirement in 2001, nobody has ever dared to think of dropping him again.

If it is hard to bowl well on a stacked team, it is even more difficult to do so on one that is in the habit of losing, yet in 2000, a year before his retirement and at 37 years old, Walsh took 93 wickets, the most in the world that year. Two pacers have since surpassed Walsh’s 519 wickets, in England’s James Anderson and Australia’s Glen McGrath, but they too are fine fast bowlers worthy of all-time great platitudes.

What is interesting is that the West Indies, despite its rich history of creating fast-bowling juggernauts, did not produce anybody, save Walsh’s partner in crime, Ambrose, to get close to Walsh’s massive haul. Ambrose ended his career with 405 wickets.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Courtney Andrew Walsh

Born: October 30, 1962, Kingston, Jamaica

Major teams: West Indies, Gloucestershire, Jamaica

Playing role: Bowler

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm fast

 

Test Career: West Indies (1984-2001)

Mat    Inns    Balls      Runs     Wkts   BBI      BBM     Ave     Econ    SR     4w    5w     10w

132    242      30019    12688     519      7/37   13/55    24.44   2.53     57.8   32     22        3

 

Career Highlights

  • Held record for most wickets in Tests (2000-04)
  • First bowler to reach 500 wickets
  • 3rd most wickets by a fast bowler
  • Best match figures as captain (13/55)

President of Cricket West Indies (CWI) Ricky Skerritt has strongly hinted that he expects to see action taken against veteran batsman Chris Gayle, following a recent public outburst, which mainly disparaged former teammate and Jamaica Tallawahs assistant coach Ramnaresh Sarwan.

In the now-infamous YouTube post, Gayle accused Tallawahs franchise chief executive Jeff Miller and owner Krish Persaud of "playing a game".  His fiercest criticism was, however, reserved for Sarwan who he accused of having a role in his unexpected dismissal from the franchise.  In the video, Gayle referred to Sarwan as a ‘snake’ and described the former batsman as ‘worse than the coronavirus’.  Sarwan has denied any involvement in the non-renewal of Gayle’s Tallawah’s contract and insisted the assertions made against him were false.

Skerritt, who called the incident unfortunate, said CWI was keeping a close eye on the situation, but insisted that for now the prerogative of taking action would be in the hands of the CPL to which Gayle is contracted.

"It cannot be good for West Indies cricket obviously. It is certainly not something that I enjoyed reading about," Skerritt told Trinidad radio station i955fm in a recent interview.

“If however, a player is contracted to a club or a franchise or to Cricket West Indies, then (due to) the contract they have signed, that kind of behaviour brings that contract to some level of disrepute. So, I would expect that this most recent matter is not over,” he added,

" I think Chris is going to face…I'm sure there's some kind of discussion taking place at the moment between Chris and the CPL because Chris is signed into a franchise team."

The CWI boss, however, went on to make it clear that the CPL still fell within the remit of the regional cricket governors and as such, they would be keeping an eye on the matter.

"If he was on contract with Cricket West Indies, and to a certain extent it is by being in the CPL, so we kind of have a watching interest. But we'll wait and see what happens,” Skerritt said.

While insisting he expected the due process to run its course, Skerritt said he hoped the outburst would not lead to the cricketer’s career coming to a premature end.

"I hope it doesn't become a world matter in terms of the career of Mr. Gayle because it's been a very outstanding career and I really wouldn't want to see it being brought to an end by this event."

Gayle has since joined the St Lucia Zouks.

 

 

Legendary Pakistan fast bowler Wasim Akram has recently recalled an incident in which iconic West Indies batsman Viv Richards scared him senseless, during a series that ended with a fiery Test match, in Barbados, in 1988.

Pakistan had strolled to a 9 wickets win over the West Indies in the first Test before the teams drew the second encounter.  The famed West Indies were left battling to stave off defeat when Akram remembers the clash with Richards in the final Test.

“He would have hit me a lot in 1988. He was a muscular guy and I was very skinny. It was the last over of the day and I was bowling at a good pace. I had realized by then that I had become fast. Viv Richards realized I was a difficult bowler and saw I had a quick-arm action. I bowled a bouncer at him, and his cap fell off.  Getting Viv Richards cap to fall was a big deal,” Akram revealed in a recent talk with cricket commentator Aakash Chopra.

  “There was no match referee back then and I went up to him and sledged him in my broken English. He spat after staring at me and said don’t do this man. I understood nothing but just the man’s word. I said ok, no worries and went to my captain Imran Khan and told him Richards was warning not to abuse him or else he will beat me up. Imran Khan said don’t worry about that and just bowl him, bouncers. I bowled him a bouncer again and abused him after he ducked. On the last ball of the day, I bowled an in-swinger and he was bowled. I went up to him and gave him a good send-off, shouted go back and all,” he added.

According to Akram, who had Richards caught for 67 in the first innings, before dismissing him for 39 in the second, the issue was far from concluded.

“I went back to the dressing room with Imran Khan. In Barbados, the dressing of two teams is in front of each other. I was tired and taking off my shoes when a guy told me to come out of the dressing room. I asked, ‘who is calling me’ and he said you better come out man. When I went out, I saw Viv Richards standing without his shirt,” Akram recounted.

“He was sweating and had his bat in his hand, he also had his pads on. I got scared and ran back to Imran Khan. I told him that Viv Richards was waiting for me with a bat in his hand. Imran Khan asked ‘what should I do. It’s your fight, go and handle it’. I said skipper what are you saying, you have developed this strong body and are telling a skinny guy like me to face him. I went out and told him sorry. I told him that nothing of this sort will happen again and he said you better not, I will kill you.”

 

Former president of Cricket West Indies (CWI) Dave Cameron has advised the world’s smaller cricket boards to use the circumstances of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic to call for more equity in the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) revenue-sharing agreement.

Sporting entities across the globe continue to battle the economic fallout from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the spread of the virus bringing a halt to almost all international sport.  In cricket, specifically, the massive disparity between the previous earnings of the ‘big three,’ England, India and Australia and the rest of the smaller nations leaves them even more vulnerable to financial devastation.

The issue of economic disparity was one that was broached by the Cameron-led CWI administration two years ago in a paper to the ICC termed the ‘Economics of Cricket’.  The revenue-sharing model had been adjusted in 2017, but Cameron believed it still fell well short of a truly equitable system.  The former president believes the coronavirus emergency that has greatly exacerbated the situation, shows the dangers of the current model.

"With the current COVID-19 pandemic wreaking financial havoc, the less wealthy cricket boards like West Indies, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa, and Zimbabwe will suffer more if they don't stand up,” Cameron said in an interview with the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian.

"The gap between wealthier and less wealthy cricket nations is widening and will contribute to less wealthy nations being less competitive and the devaluing the international cricket product. The gap immediately expedites the flight of talent away from bilateral international cricket as the less wealthy cricket nations are disadvantaged in funding their professional domestic and national retainer contracts.

"Given the current situation with the COVID-19, the gap will widen further as the less wealthy cricket nations won't be able to sustain investment in cricket and player development, infrastructure and administration," said Cameron.

 

 

 

 

Jimmy Adams never made our Jamaican BestXI West Indies Championship team and that may be the most unfortunate omission of the lot, with others like Alfred Valentine, Nehemiah Perry, Roy Gilchrist, and Alan Rae also missing the cut.

However, there is no doubt that Jimmy is one of the finest competitors the West Indies has produced and his efforts slowed a degradation in the region’s cricketing fortunes in no uncertain terms.

On May 29, 2000, on the final day of a Test series against Pakistan in Antigua, visiting captain Moin Khan stood on the verge of history.

Moin was about to be the first Pakistan captain to win a series in the Caribbean. But Jimmy, the captain of the West Indies at the time, stood in his way.

Pakistan would eventually earn a series victory in the Caribbean, the hosts capitulating almost 20 years later, but on that day, Jimmy was determined not to suffer the ignominy of losing at home.

The three-Test series was tied at 0-0, making the final Test very much a final.

Pakistan had been sent into bat on the first day but had been bowled out early on the second morning for 269 on the back of Mohammad Yousuf’s unbeaten 103.

The West Indies hadn’t fared much better in their first innings, with Shivnarine Chanderpaul’s 89 and Jimmy’s 60 barely get them over the mark to be all out for 273. Jimmy had bat four hours for that 60, while Shiv’s defiance had lasted even longer, the Guyanese batsman holding out for five and a half hours.

I say holding out because Pakistani left-arm pacer, Wasim Akram, was in his element, taking 6-61 in that first innings to outdo Courtney Walsh’s 5-83 in the same stanza.

But Pakistan were in for more trouble in their second innings as the West Indies pairing of Curtley Ambrose (3-39) and Reon King (4-48), demicated the Pakistani lineup, restricting them to just 219. Inzamam-ul-Haq stood firm with a fighting 68 that included a pulled six through midwicket off Ambrose and Yousuf, who made 42.

Three days of the Test had elapsed and the West Indies had the two remaining to chase down 216 for victory. Seemed easy enough at the start, but on a wearing pitch and with masters of the art of bowling the reverse swing like Akram and Waqar Younis running in, who knows.

There was also the formidable spin threat of Mushtaq Ahmed and Saqlain Mushtaq as well as the dangerous, largely underrated Abdul Razzaq.

At the end of day four, the picture did not look any clearer, as Jimmy Adams on 15 would return on the final morning with the score on 144-4.

Openers Sherwin Campbell (6) and Adrian Griffith (23), had not given the middle order puch protection, but Wavell Hinds (63) and Shiv (31) had sought to restore some composure to the innings, but they too had fallen before the fourth day had ended, Akram the orchestrator of three of the four wickets.

Ramnaresh Sarwan was to enter the fray on the final morning and much was expected of him if the West Indies were to overhaul the 72 runs needed to win the match. A draw certainly wasn’t in question.

But Sarwan fell victim to the brilliant Akram, who snared his fourth wicket, getting the diminutive right-hander out leg before.

Ridley Jacobs then committed a sin early on the final morning, going run out for five. With Adams and the bowlers at the crease at 169-6, the West Indies were treading murky water.

Defeat was in the air, but so was Jimmy.

Franklyn Rose didn’t last long, waiting around for just 13 balls for his four runs, while Ambrose scored eight runs that included a six.

He was almost run out in the interim but it never mattered as Mushtaq would prove his undoing.

Things looked grim but the West Indies were getting ever closer.

Rose had gone at 177-7, and Sir Curtly had taken the Windies to 194-8.

King stayed around long enough for Jimmy to score a few runs and take the score to 197-9, but Akram struck again, bowling him all ends up as the pacer took an inelegant waft at a straight delivery.

Out came Courtney Walsh, who after his five-for in the first innings, and 1-39 from 20 miserly overs in the second, would not have expected to have more work to do, but he did.

The West Indies were still 19 runs adrift and nobody but nobody wanted to see Walsh, who had the unenviable record of not scoring on 36 occasions.

And Walsh could have, and likely should have been given out off the second ball he faced, as he was caught bat pad off the bowling of Mushtaq. Umpire Doug Cowie didn’t see it and there was no third umpire to plead Mushtaq’s case.

But Walsh would have to face more of Mushtaq because Jimmy was not letting him anywhere near Akram.

“When Walsh came in, I remember telling him that the only chance we had was for him not to face Wasim. He said fine, and that he would do the best he could against Saqlain or whoever else it was from the other end. I told him, "Look, either it will work or it won't work, but it's going to take time. I'm going to refuse runs because I'm going to try not to have you face Wasim," Jimmy recollected.

The crowd at the Antigua Recreation Ground gave Jimmy a hard time for refusing runs, booing and the like, but they never understood what he did and what he had the discipline to employ. Akram was a master and would not need too many deliveries to get rid of Walsh.

But calamity was never far away and Walsh and Jimmy ended up in the same crease during what should have been an easy run.

“I can't remember where the ball went. All I know is that Courtney was ball-watching. I just thought at some point he would actually look at me and run. I said to him, "Courtney, you've got longer legs than me, so you need to try and get up to the next end." And Courtney was telling me: "Well, I might have longer legs, but you are still quicker. So you give it your best shot."”

Fortunately, Mushtaq and Younis Khan conspired to miss the catch in the former’s case and throw poorly in the instance of the latter.

Adams, somewhere around 2pm on the final day, would dab a ball into the outfield with the scores tied and that would be the end of that.

Akram would end the game with 11 wickets, two short of 400, and Jimmy, in his second series as captain, was over the moon, scoring 60 and an unbeaten 48.

“For West Indies it was a good end to a very tight Test match. But I will never discuss that Test without paying tribute to Wasim. He is the best fast bowler I have ever played, not just in that Test, but in my career. I put more value on that 48 than probably most of my Test hundreds because of the situation, the pressure, the quality of the bowling,” Jimmy would say of the game years later.

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