Legendary former West Indies captain, Clive Lloyd, has called for a redoubling of efforts to get regional bowlers to achieve peak fitness levels as part of realizing ambitions to consistently challenge the world’s best.

In assessing the difference between the fitness levels of some of the current crop of bowlers and those who dominated oppositions in his time, Lloyd admitted that the players of yesteryear had the advantage of much heavier involvement in English County Cricket.

“Joel Garner was a big fellow, but he was terribly fit.  Walsh was a big fellow, tall fellow, but he was fit.  Those guys were accustomed to playing in County cricket, where you would have to bowl four spells a day and travel the next day and start again.  They got accustomed to that, our guys are not accustomed to that,” Lloyd told the Mason and Guest radio program.

He, however, insists there should be no excuses when it comes to athletes being in the very best physical shape for cricket.

“We should have our young men fit, we have the climate and we have the coaches.  You should have fitness guys there who are strong, mentally, like Dennis Waite.  When he says run four laps, you have to run four laps,” he added.

“We don’t do enough of that.  I think that is why our players are not bowling as many overs as they should.  You ask Malcolm Marshal at 4:30 in the afternoon ‘Malcolm I’d like four overs from you’.  He would say ‘no skip, I will give you six’.  That’s the sort of thing you need, Walsh wanting to bowl, Crofty you can’t get the ball out of his hands.  We have to get that kind of hunger again.”

 

 

 

  

 

 

West Indies legend Sir Andy Roberts insists the region’s fall off in producing top-class bowling talent is due to the unwillingness of the current generation to put in the hard yards required to be successful.

For decades, the region was the producer of fearsome fast bowling talent, which often left opposition batsmen with plenty to think about.  The likes of Roberts, Joel Garner, Malcolm Marshall, Wes Hall, and Michael Holding are only a few of the names who could leave opponents with plenty to dread once they strode to the crease.

Many will point to the pace-bowling lineage being broken with the end of twin towers Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh, with no bowler since managing to come close to consistency matching that once fearsome legacy.

“I don’t think that these guys are prepared for the hard work that fast bowling entails,” Roberts told the Mason and Guest program.

“If you look at it, most players now prefer to play T20s, it's only four overs.  I must say that fast bowling is hard work, I would say donkey work, but I just believe they are not prepared,” he added.

In recent times, some have blamed poor preparation of the region’s pitches for suffocation of the Caribbean’s fast bowling talent, Roberts, however, does not agree.

“A lot of people blame the pitches, but I always ask, Pakistan is supposed to have some of the slowest pitches in the world, yet still they produce some of the fastest bowlers in the world.  How do they do it and we can’t,” Roberts said.

 “People believe that during the 60s, 70s, and 80s we used to have really fast pitches, that is far from the truth.  We used to have Kensington Oval, the ball used to swing around and move off the seam on the first day, but after that, it became one of the best batting pitches in the region.  It has nothing to do with pitches, it has a lot to do with the work ethics of the young cricketers, they don’t want to work hard.”

A panel of experts thought better of booting Glenn McGrath from the early reckonings for a place among the SportsMax Ultimate XI team with the Aussie eventually forcing his way into the final picks.

In the final analysis, India seems the place for producing One-Day International (ODI) players of real quality with the country holding onto four of the 11 spots up for grabs in the team.

At the top of the order in the SportsMax Ultimate XI are Indians Sachin Tendulkar and Rohit Sharma, while current India skipper Virat Kohli holds one of the three middle-order spots and Mahendra Singh Dhoni holds onto the wicketkeeper-batsman place in the side.

The West Indies, having won two World Cups in its history and making a final and a couple of semi-finals, are not far behind the Indians, holding down three places with Viv Richards hanging onto a middle-order place and Joel Garner making being part of the bowling attack.

Pakistan, who won the World Cup in 1992, led by Imran Khan also get two spots with the winning captain holding onto the allrounder position and Wasim Akram, the man who was seen as his heir apparent, asked to run in and swing the ball at pace.

Sri Lanka has for its only representative, Muttiah Muralitharan, while the Australian interest in the side has been decimated with just McGrath still standing from the plethora of greats they have produced.

 

Ultimate XI:

Sachin Tendulkar, Rohit Sharma, Viv Richards, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, MS Dhoni, Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Joel Garner, Glenn McGrath, Muttiah Muralitharan

 

Last week fans were left aghast after a panel of experts and the SportsMax Zone picked a middle-order from three-five, without Brian Lara, a man generally agreed to be the region’s best-ever batsman.

 

Fanalyst Picks

Sachin Tendulkar, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Brian Lara, AB de Villiers, Jacques Kallis, MS Dhoni, Muttiah Muralitharan, Wasim Akram, Curtly Ambrose, Glenn McGrath

 

That decision stood with the panel and the experts and the SportsMax Zone’s combining to create an unbeatable 60% of the total votes.

The same was true for Curtly Ambrose, who the fans decided was the ultimate One-Day International bowler but had to watch as the Zone and the panel left him out in favour of Joel Garner.

Fans also did not get their way with the allrounder pick for the Ultimate XI, as, once again, the Zone and the panel joined forces to pick Imran ahead of their favourite, Jacques Kallis.

Still, there was some joy for the Fanalysts, who benefit from voting for McGrath.

McGrath was not in the final XI picked by the SportsMax Zone, who had to watch as one of their picks, Michael Holding was left out.

 

Zone Picks

Sachin Tendulkar, Rohit Sharma, Viv Richards, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, MS Dhoni,

Imran Khan, Muttiah Muralitharan, Wasim Akram, Joel Garner, Michael Holding

 

Panel’s Picks

Sachin Tendulkar, Rohit Sharma, Viv Richards, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, MS Dhoni,

Imran Khan, Muttiah Muralitharan, Wasim Akram, Joel Garner, Glenn McGrath

The foreboding image of a 6ft 8 inch bowler running in and delivering at lively pace from a height closer to 10 feet made many of the world’s best batsmen tremble in their boots.

That was Joel Garner for a decade.

Those characteristics, plus the ability to deliver toe-crunching yorkers with regularity also made the towering Barbadian one of the most lethal and miserly bowlers of his era.

At Lord's in 1979 he simply blew England's slim hopes away with 5 for 38, the best figures ever in a World Cup final. It included a spell of 5 wickets for 4 runs, and he was on a hat-trick twice.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Joel Garner

Born: December 16, 1952 (67), Enterprise, Christ Church, Barbados

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

Bowling style: Right-arm fast

Height: 6 ft 8 in

 

ODI Career: West Indies (1977-1987)

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

98           98           5330      2752      146        5/31       5/31       18.84        3.09       36.5       2             3            0

 

Career highlights

  • Highest ranked ODI bowler per the ICC best ever bowling ratings
  • Best-ever figures in a CWC Final, 5-39 in 1979
  • He picked up 146 wickets in 98 ODIs at an average of 18.84

Of the top wicket-takers, few have a lower average than Joel Garner’s 20.98.

Garner made his debut for the West Indies in 1977 and became an integral part of the outstanding West Indian cricket teams of his era, alongside Colin Croft, Michael Holding, Andy Roberts, and Malcolm Marshall to form some of the most daunting bowling partnerships in cricket history.

Not blessed with great speed like many of his contemporaries, Garner used his height to good advantage. Standing at 6-foot-eight, the Barbadian was able to extract steep bounce and use his unerring accuracy to deadly effect.

That accuracy, when combined with his toe-crunching yorkers, made Garner more than a handful. That he did not take more than 258 wickets is down to the other bowlers he bowled in tandem with more than any inability to penetrate the defence of the world’s best batsmen.

In fact, as alluded to above, Garner was one of the stingiest bowlers in all forms of cricket and averaged just less than five wickets per Test throughout his career.

He was selected Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1980. In the 1983–84 Test series against visiting Australia, Garner took 31 wickets.

 

Career Statistics

Full Name: Joel Garner

Born: December 16, 1952, Enterprise, Christ Church, Barbados

Bowling style: Right-arm fast

Height: 6 ft 8 in

 

Test Career: West Indies (1977-1987)

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

58        111    13169   5433     259    6/56    9/108     20.97   2.47    50.8    18      7       0 

Career highlights

  • In his time, the tallest fast bowler to play Test cricket (6’8”)
  • Nicknamed “Big Bird”
  • Took 259 wickets at 20.97
  • Career best figures 6 for 56
  • Never took 10 wickets in a match

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.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.