Through the years we have been treated to a masterclass of talent from the West Indies, from the post-war brilliance of the ‘Three W’s’ of Walcott, Worrell and Weekes to the glory days of 1980’s.
Attempting to condense a century of sublime cricketing talent into one team is no mean feat. To acknowledge every great Windies player would have resulted in a list to rival the Encyclopedia Britannica. However, the following present one of the most formidable forces that could ever have taken to the field.
Gordon Greenidge MBE – One of the most demonstrative batsmen to ever grace the crease, his partnership with Desmond Haynes has gone down in history as one of the most powerful seen in the history of the game. In the mid 1980’s the imposing pair of Greenidge/Haynes helped a Windies team which would later be described as a ‘team from the gods’ become the dominant force in the game.
George Headley - Hailed as the ‘black Bradman’, Headley averaged 60.83 in a 24-year test career, the only West Indian to ever achieve such a feat. Reperesnting his country between 1930 and 1954, Headley will be remembered as the finest player of his era.
Brian Lara - A name that rings in the ears of every cricket fan, from the avid to the complete novice. A man whose 400 not out against England remains the only quadruple century to date.
Viv Richards- One of two West Indians to make it into Wisden’s five cricketers of the century. In 1985-86 season Richards hit the fastest ever test century, off just 56 balls. This record still remains today. He also remains the only West Indies captain never to have lost a test series.
Sir Garfield (Garry) Sobers - The second West Indian to be named in Wisden’s list. In 1968, Sir Garry made sporting history, hitting six sixes in an over for Nottinghamshire against Glamorgan. The bowler on the other end of Sobers barrage, Malcolm Nash, when questioned about the feat answered "I was just part of history and there was nothing I could do.” In fact, this was the way in which many of Sobers opponents would feel throughout an illustrious career which included 28,314 first class runs.
Malcolm Marshall - Possibly the finest fast bowler that the Windies have ever produced. He struck fear into the heart of every batsman and with personal best first class bowling statistics of 8/71 it is not hard to understand why.
Michael Holding - Became known as ‘Whispering Death’ for his quiet, elegant approach to the crease, followed by one of the quickest and flushes deliveries ever seen. The over he bowled to Boycott in 1981 is still seen by many as the finest and yet most terrifying piece of bowling ever witnessed. His elegance and pace epitomised everything that is admired about the Windies.
Curtley Ambrose- A man of few words off the field and an intimidating force on it, he once responded to an interview request with ‘Curtley talk to no man’. Ambrose can best be described as using a ball with a ‘Sleeping Bounce’, which plagued the defences of even the most seasoned batsmen.