BestXI: Building an all-time West Indies Championship – Barbados

By May 02, 2020

Barbados’ contribution to West Indies cricket cannot be overstated. This week we continue to try to create the best West Indies Championship or Shell Shield, whatever name you choose to give to our regional 4-day competition, of all time. To do that, we have been coming up with the best XIs of all time from each territory. Last week we took a peak at what a Leeward Islands Best XI would look like and this week, we’ve come to the table with a Barbados Best XI. The cricket-mad country has come up with some of the most talented players in the history of the game, let alone in the Caribbean and the truth is, we could have come up with more than one XI. But here is what we have come up with. Tell us what you think.

 

BestXI - Barbados

Gordon Greenidge

While Gordon Greenidge’s achievements as an opener for the West Indies are the stuff of legends, this XI is about regional cricket and if his record at that level was not the best, he would have been dropped, but it was. Greenidge was incredible as a first-class cricketer, scoring 92 centuries and 183 half-centuries in his 523 matches. He would end his first-class career with an average of 45.88 from 523 matches.

Desmond Haynes

Desmond Haynes formed the greatest opening partnership with Gordon Greenidge in West Indies History. In first-class cricket for Barbados, he was immense as well, scoring 61 centuries and 138 half-centuries to end up averaging 45.9, even more than his great mentor and long-time partner. Haynes would play in 376 games and score more than 26 thousand runs.

Sir Everton Weekes

Sir Everton Weekes makes up a third of Barbados’ most famous trio of cricketers, the three Ws, who as a group, made West Indies into a world force. Weekes played 152 first-class matches and his average of 55.34 is nothing short of brilliant. Along the way, Weekes would score 36 centuries and 54 half-centuries in compiling more than 12 thousand runs.

 

Sir Garry Sobers

Sir Garry Sobers contribution to Barbados cricket is immeasurable. Sir Garry, was at one time, the best batsman the region had ever produced. He remained that way until surpassed by Brian Lara. At the first-class level, Sir Garry was, just as he was for the West Indies, was unmatched, scoring 86 centuries and 121 half centuries in just 383 games. His average of 57.78 was also phenomenal. But Sir Garry also makes this all-time XI team even better with his bowling figures. The great man is one of a very few cricketers from the region to take more than a thousand wickets, doing so at a respectable average of 27.74.


 

Frank Worrell

One of the three Ws, Sir Frank Worrell, needs no introduction and was a shoe-in for this list. In 208 first-class matches, Sir Frank notched up 15,025 runs at an average of 54.24. Included in those 15,000 runs were 39 centuries and 80 half-centuries. Sir Frank’s contribution to this all-time side would also be as its captain. As a skipper, Sir Frank, while not as successful as Clive Lloyd, can be considered the best West Indies captain of all time.

 

Conrad Hunte

Conrad Hunte bat as an opener for most of his career but with the partnership of Greenidge and Haynes sealed as certainties in this all-time Barbados line-up, he has had to fall to the middle order. Hunte’s ability to adapt makes this an easy decision, with the batsman’s very well-known decision to give up his natural aggression for being the sheet anchor in the West Indies side he was part of. At the first-class level, Hunte scored 8,916 runs from just 132 games at an average of 43.92. Hunte scored 16 centuries and 51 half-centuries in his first-class career.

 

Clyde Walcott

Clyde Walcott, another of the Caribbean’s most famed triumvirate, the three Ws and a shoe-in for this list, makes the team as a wicketkeeper but his first-class tally of 11,820 runs in 146 matches would put him here as a batsman as well. Walcott  would score 40 centuries and 54 centuries to cement his place as one of regional cricket’s most severe runscorers.

 

Joel Garner

Joel Garner, Big Bird, was a wicket-taking machine in regional cricket, notching up 881 victims in just 214 matches at the remarkable average of 18.53 runs. With bowling figures like that, it is hardly likely that the very classy batting line-up above will have too much work to do too often.

 

Malcolm Marshall

If having Big Bird in your arsenal weren’t enough, opening the bowling alongside him in this Barbados all-time, all-star team, would be Malcolm Marshall, arguably the greatest fast bowler that ever lived. Marshall is also one of the few fast bowlers to take more than a thousand first-class wickets and in his 408 games, he was on his way to 2000. Marshall’s 1,651 wickets didn’t cost too much either, with the bowler averaging 19.1.

 

Wayne Daniel

Wayne Daniel was fearsome. A big muscular fast bowler, he drove far into the minds of opposing batsmen with searing pace. There were 867 victims of this pace in 266 first-class matches at an average of 22.47.  

 

Sylvester Clarke

Sylvester Clarke was unfortunate not to have played more than 11 Tests but really had to compete with probably the greatest four-pronged pace attack of all time. Had Clarke been born at another time, he certainly would have been seen as one of the greats. In first-class cricket, Clarke was a beast and his 942 wickets in 238 matches suggested there weren’t many in the world who could bat to him for too long, especially when you took his 19.52 average into consideration.

Paul-Andre Walker

Paul-Andre is the Managing Editor at SportsMax.tv. He comes to the role with almost 20 years of experience as journalist. That experience includes all facets of media. He began as a sports Journalist in 2001, quickly moving into radio, where he was an editor before becoming a news editor and then an entertainment editor with one of the biggest media houses in the Caribbean.

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