Famous Barbadian Cricketers
You cannot go anywhere in Barbados, and even the Caribbean for that matter, and not feel the passion we have for Cricket! Barbados has always had a renowned reputation for producing stellar cricketers. Historically, Barbadians have played a great role in West Indies cricket as well as internationally. Select from the list to learn more about some of these great players.
Sir Garfield St Aubrun Sobers
Playing role– Allrounder
Batting style– Left-hand bat
Bowling style– Left-arm fast-medium, Slow left-arm orthodox, Slow left-arm chinaman
This Barbadian National Hero is said to be the finest all-rounder cricketer in modern history. He broke the record for the highest Test score — 365 — at 21 and was also the first player to hit six sixes in an over in a first-class game. As an all-rounder, he could bowl two styles of spin– left-arm orthodox and wrist spin, and fast-medium opening bowler. He was also a brilliant fielder anywhere on the ground.
Born July 28th, 1936, Sobers demonstrated remarkable aptitude in a number of sports during his childhood, including golf, football and basketball, in addition to cricket. He made his first world class cricket debut on January 31, 1953 at 16 years old. Here, he batted at number nine, scored 7 not out in his only innings and bowled an impressive 4⁄50 and 3⁄92. This match was played against an Indian touring team at Kensington Oval in Barbados.
At age 17, Sir Garfield Sobers then played his second first-class match, also against another touring team. Here, he batted at number five, scored 46 and 27 and took down two wickets. These two showings were impressive enough to earn him a place on the West Indies cricket team, making his third first-class match his Test debut in March 1954 at 17 years old.
Sobers’ first overseas tour with the West Indies took place in New Zealand in 1956. He was 19 years of age. From here he continued to make a name for himself in West Indies cricket, and in 1964 he succeeded Frank Worrell as West Indies Captain. He enjoyed this captaincy up until 1972.
He immediately made quite a statement as captain, as his team defeated Australia by 179 runs in the First Test at Sabina Park. West Indies went on to win the series 2 – 1, the first time West Indies had beaten Australia in a Test series.
On December 14, 1967 it was announced that Sobers would play as captain for Nottinghamshire. It was during this captaincy that he made the history, where he became the first batsman ever to hit six sixes in a single over of six consecutive balls in first-class cricket.
Sir Garfield Sobers retired from cricket in 1974, and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II on a royal visit to Barbados in February 1975 for his outstanding achievements and contribution to the game. Sobers was made a National Hero of Barbados by the Cabinet of Barbados in 1998 he was declared a National Hero of Barbados by the Cabinet of Barbados, an honour bestowed to only ten Barbadians, Sir Garfieldbeing the only living recipient. There is also a statue of his likeness inside of Kensington Oval, a venue with a long cricket lineage. In 2000, Sir Gary was named as one of the five Wisden Cricketers of the Century.
Desmond Leo Haynes
Batting style– Right-hand bat
Born on February 15, 1956, Desmond Haynes is without a doubt one of Barbados’ greatest contributions to the West Indies Team. He is known as one of the finest opening batsmen in the history of cricket.
Growing up, it was quickly realised that he had tremendous aptitude for the sport. He started playing for the Barbados cricket team in 1976 at a young 20 years, and it was only 2 years later in February 1978 that he had his One Day International debut for the West Indies.
At this One Day, Haynes batted a notable 148 off 136balls– the highest ever score for a One Day International debut and the highest ever score at the Recreation Ground in a One Day International. His records still stand to this day.
The 1980s saw him form a formidable partnership with fellow West Indies opening batsman, Gordon Greenidge. This partnership was a force to be reckoned with, as between them they made 16 century stands, four in excess of 200 and a combined total of 6482 runs with an average of 44.07– the second highest for a batting partnership in Test cricket history. They have only been bested by the Australian duo, Justin Langer and Matthew Hayden, who achieved an average of 51.07, although they hit 1,211 runs less.
Also known as the ‘Lion of Barbados’, Haynes is known for his ruthless streak in the game, and his great technique and diligence. In 1991 he was also named He was a Wisden Cricketer of the Year. He later retired in 1997, but not before playing for Middlesex in England and Western Province in South Africa. His last cricket game was played in 1994. After retirement he later served as Chairman of Selectors of the Barbados Cricket Association, President of Carlton Cricket Club, Secretary of the West Indies Players Association and is currently a Director of the West Indies Cricket Board, where he sits on a West Indies “Win World Cup” Committee, Senator and the Chairman of the National Sports Council.
He can also be found playing golf for relaxation and enjoyment. You can read more about Desmond Haynes in his biography Lion of Barbados.
Cuthbert Gorden Greenidge
Batting style– Right-hand bat
Bowling style– Right-arm medium
Gordon Greenidge was born on May 1, 1951 in Barbados where there was a love, zeal and passion for cricket. He later moved to Reading, UK in 1965 with his parents, and quickly became a middle order batsman for his school, Sutton Secondary School.
Admittedly a ‘lousy fielder’ in the beginning, Greenidge admits that he was only interested in batting. He realised that he quickly needed to master this side of cricket in order to progress in the game. He took to running the streets of Southampton past midnight in an effort to get fitter. This certainly paid of, as Greenidge is ranked as one of cricket’s best fielders in the world.
With his increased successes and personal achievements, it soon became quite clear that Gorden Greenidge was Test material. After some speculation on whether he would go on to play for England, or the West Indies. He later chose the West Indies citing the need “to see what cricket was like back home and to try my luck”.
His Test debut came in the 1974⁄75 India vs West Indies Test at Bangalore. In the 1980s he made up one half of a formidable partnership with fellow West Indies opening batsman Desmond Haynes. Between the two of them they made 16 century stands, four in excess of 200 and a combined total of 6482 runs– the highest total for a batting partnership in Test cricket history.
Described as “brooding and massively destructive”, one of his most notable feats was scoring a double-double century performances against England in the 1984 summer Test series. He scored 214 runs during the second Test at Lords in June 1984, and then followed up with 223 runs during the fourth Test at Old Trafford during the last five days of July.
Greenidge has played 108 Test matches scoring 7,558 runs with 19 centuries, and he has also played 128 One Day Internationals, scoring 5,134 runs and 11 centuries. His last Test was West Indies vs Australia at St John’s, The Frank Worrell Trophy, in 1990⁄91.
Cuthbert Gordon Greenidge later went on to become the coach of Bangladesh in 1997, helping them become champions of ICC Trophy in 1997 along with the chance to play at their first World Cup finals in 1999. His efforts were honoured by Bangladesh as the government granted him honorary citizenship of the country.
In Barbados there is a primary school named in his honour– the Gordon Greenidge Primary School. Greenidge plays an active role for the school, and also has a side hobby of owning Akita dogs. Other notable achievements are in 1977 he was named Wisden Cricketer of the Year, and in 1986 he was the Hampshire Cricket Society Player of the Year.
Sir Frank Mortimer Maglinne Worrell
Batting style– Right-hand bat
Bowling style– Left-arm fast-medium, Left-arm slow
Sir Frank Worrell is famously known for two notable lifetime achievements– he was the first black captain of the West Indies cricket team, and he was the only batsman to have been involved in two 500-run partnerships in first-class cricket.
Born August 1, 1929, Worrell made his West Indies debut as a player in 1947-48 versus the England team of Gubby Allen, barely missing a century on this debut. Around this period, cricket was always captained by a white man. Worrell smashed these colour barriers, largely thanks to a campaign run by the then editor of The Nation newspaper in Trinidad, C. L. R. James.
Evidence of Worrell’s humanity and comradery was shown when on February 3 1962, Nari Contractor, the captain of the touring Indian team, received a serious career-ending head injury from a bouncer bowled by West Indies fast bowler Charlie Griffith. Worrell was the first player from both sides who volunteered to give blood in a bid to save Nari’s life. This day is remembered by the state of West Bengal in India as ‘Sir Frank Worrell Day’, where every year on this day the Cricket Association of Bengal organises a blood donation drive.
Sir Frank Worrell’s illustrious 16 year cricketing career spanned 51 Tests during which he scored 3,860 runs at an average of 49.48 with nine hundreds. His highest score was 261 against England at Trent Bridge in 1950. As a bowler, during his career he ousted 69 wickets at 38.72 a piece, with his best score being 7 – 70 against England in the Headingley test of 1957.
He later retired from the game in 1964, and went on to manage the West Indies during the 1964-65 visit by Australia, further grooming Sobers to be a West Indies captain. Worrell was officially knighted in 1964, becoming known as Sir Frank Worrell. Another achievement of note is that he was named Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1951.
In the winter of 1966/7, he accompanied the West Indies team to India, and was diagnosed with leukaemia while there. This disease proved fatal as he died only one month after returning to Jamaica on March 13, 1967, at the age of 42.
Sir Frank Worrell was a world-class batsman and a stellar slow left arm bowler and swing bowler during his cricketing career. He was well loved around the world and especially in Barbados, evidenced by the huge crowd that gathered when his body was brought home in mid March of 1967. There was also a memorial service was held in his honour in Westminster Abbey, the first time such an honour was granted to a sportsman.
Barbados has preserved the memory of this great man with a Sir Frank Worrell Bust, unveiled on February 27, 2002 at the front of the Combermere School Hall– his old secondary school in Barbados. There is also a Sir Frank Worrell Pavilion at this school. Sir Frank Worrell makes up one of the great 3Ws who dominated West Indies Cricket in the 1950s. The other ‘Ws’ are Sir Clyde Walcott and Sir Everton Weekes.
Everton DeCourcy Weekes
Batting style– Right-hand bat
Bowling style– Legbreak
Born on February 26 1925, Everton Weekes later went on to become one of the great 3Ws, who utterly dominated West Indies Cricket in the 50s. The 3Ws (Sir Frank Worrell, Sir Clyde Walcott and Sir Everton Weekes) all were born within seventeen months of each other, and within one mile of the famed Kensington Oval. Incidentally, all three ‘Ws’ were friends.
The term ‘3Ws’ was first coined by a British journalist during the 1950West Indian tour of England when the trio certainly made quite an impression. In honour of this amazing trio, the University of the West Indies in Barbados has a 3Ws Oval, with a 3Ws Monument bearing the bust of the three legends directly opposite.
Everton Weekes grew up in humble conditions, with his father emigrating to Trinidad to work in the oilfields when Weekes was just eight. As a boy, Weekes had always been attracted to cricket, and was also a skilled football player, representing Barbados a few times. He was often seen assisting the Kensington grounds-men, using the opportunity to witness world-class cricket up close.
Before Weekes made his Test debut for the West Indies Team, he had also played for Westshire Cricket Club in the Barbados Cricket League (BCL). In those days, domestic cricket fell under two umbrellas– the Barbados Cricket League (BCL) and the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA). The BCA certainly was the more prestigious of them as this was where the selectors looked for those who were picked for the full Barbados side. Top, promising players in the BCL had to hope to find some way of crossing over to a BCA team if they wanted to progress to First Class level in the game.
This crossover came for Weekes after he had committed some Army service. The year 1943 saw Weekes enlisting in the Barbados Regiment, where he served as Lance-Corporal. He was later discharged in 1947. This brief stint in the military however enabled Weekes to play cricket for the Garrison Sports Club in the BCA.
Weekes made his First Class debut February 24, 1945 for Barbados against Trinidad and Tobago at Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain. He was 19 years of age. Here he batted at number six, with scores of 0 and 8. Starting out, it can be said that Weekes was a fair batsman, and it was only until 1946⁄7 when he came more into his own batting his maiden first-class century, 126 against British Guiana at Bourda, Georgetown, averaging 67.57 for the season. He then came to the attention of West Indian selectors in 1947⁄8.
At age 22, Everton Weekes made his Test debut for the West Indies team against England at Kensington Oval on January 21, 1948. Perhaps his most noted feat took place in 1948/9, when he scored a test-record five centuries in consecutive innings. Some of his other statistics are a combined 338 test runs from a batting partnership with Sir Frank Worrell, and the three centuries scored against New Zealand in 1956. In 1951, as a result of his outstanding performance Test series in England in 1950, he was named Wisden Cricketer of the Year.
Weekes’ illustrious test cricket career came at an end when he retired in 1958 due to an aggravating thigh injury. However, he continued First Class cricket up until 1964. Post retirement, Weekes was appointed a Barbados Government Sports Officer in 1958, appointed coach of the Canadian side at the 1979 Cricket World Cup, executive of the Barbados Cricket Association and in 1994 was appointed as an International Cricket Council match referee, refereeing in four Tests and three One Day Internationals.
Weekes has also published his memoirs, titled Mastering the Craft: Ten years of Weekes, 1948 to 1958, in December 2007 and also became a Justice of Peace.
Barbados honours this son of its soil with a roundabout in his name. The Everton Weekes roundabout is located in the Warrens district and is sponsored and maintained by the CIBC First Caribbean Bank.
Batting style– Right-hand bat
Bowling style– Right Arm Medium Pace
Born June 28, 1888, George Challenor was one of the first eleven players to play Test cricket for the West Indies. He was one of the several white players on the team who were descendants of the colonists.
Challenor was one of four brothers to play cricket, and was described by Gerry Wolstenholmein his book The West Indian Tour of England 1906 as ‘a member of the famous cricketing family who should score a fine average. He is an attractive bat who combines brilliant hitting with sound defence. He is young but most promising’.
During his cricketing career he belonged to three teams: Barbados, West Indies and Marylebone Cricket Club. His First Class debut came when he was 17 years for Barbados in the 1905-06 Inter-Colonial Tournament in Trinidad. Here he scored 94 runs. His performance earned him a place on the West Indies team who was ready to do in Tour of England in 1906. On this tour he scored 1017 runs, one of only 3 tourists to reach a thousand runs.
His high performance on the Barbados team also led to him being chosen for the 1923 West Indies tour of England. Here he had a particularly good run, scoring 1,556 runs in first-class matches with six centuries and an average of 51.86 runs per innings.
Overall, Challenor played 95 First-class matches with a total of 5,822 runs at a respectable average of 38.55. He was good enough to score an unbeaten 237 - his highest score at First-class level. That was, by far, the best of his 15 centuries. He also scored 29 half-centuries in his 25-year career.
The West Indies team progressed to Test status when George Challenor was 39 years old and he was chosen to be on the initial West Indies Test cricket team. He had his Test debut at the 1928 England Vs West Indies, 1st Test at Lordâs Cricket Ground in St John’s Woods. He turned 40 during this tour, and understandably was not in as great a form as his earlier years. He scored only 29 runs (29 and 0) in his first match. He played only three Tests for the West Indies, scoring 101 runs at an average of 16.83.
George Challenor died in Barbados in 1947 at 59 years old. He left behind a legacy in cricket, being one of the first players in West Indies Test cricket, and he is the first West Indian to reach the milestone of 5,000 First Class runs. His achievements also earned him membership to the Marylebone Cricket Club.
Batting style– Right-hand bat
Bowling style– Right-arm fast
Affectionately called ‘Big Bird’ because of his towering height at 6ft 8in, Joel Garner has caused many a batsman to quake because of his superb fast bowling skills. He is certainly one of the tallest bowlers to ever play Test cricket.
Born December 16, 1952, Joel Garner was one of a few West Indies fast bowlers that helped secure the team’s dominance in Test and One-day cricket. Garner was known to throw a devastating Yorker, which is a term used to describe a delivery which hits the cricket pitch around the batsman’s feet. One of England’s captains, Mike Brearly, stated “The trouble is that Garner’s hand delivers over the top of the sightscreen, which makes him impossible to sight early”, he said. “When you have one ball getting up chest height and another coming in at your toenails it’s jolly difficult to survive, especially when you’re looking for quick runs as we were.”
Barbados certainly has a way of bringing forth outstanding cricketers, and Garner certainly was no exception. By the time he reached secondary school he was extremely familiar with the sport. To his advantage, he had Wes Hall and Charlie Griffith as coaches, who were both known to be devastating with the ball. According to Garner, “At school we had Seymour Nurse and Everton Weekes as the main coaches, and sometimes Manny Martindale…We knew they were great players and we all wanted to get as far as they’d done. It was Charlie who made me change my action. I used to deliver with a round-arm, double swing which he said would not do at all. In a few months I was doing it the correct way.”
His debut Test performance was West Indies v Pakistan at Bridgetown, Feb 18 – 23, 1977. Here he took 25 wickets. Between his first Test match in 1977 and his retirement in 1987, Garner played 58 Tests, taking 259 wickets at an average of barely above 20, making him statistically one of the most effective bowlers of all time.
In the 1979 Cricket World Cup, Garner crushed England’s hopes with a world class performance of 5 for 39– the best ever performance by a bowler in a final. Garner also showed his devastating traits in One Day Internationals. He is the only player with more than 100 ODI wickets to average under 20, while his economy rate of just over 3runs per over, and average of less than 20 runs per wicket are also the best ever for any bowler who took more than 100 wickets.
In October 2010 Garner was named interim manager of the West Indies for the tour of Sri Lanka, and he currently is the President of the Barbados Cricket Association.
Batting style– Right-hand batsman
Bowling style– Right-arm off-break
Seymour Nurse was born in Barbados on November 10, 1933. As a young boy, Nurse excelled in both football and cricket, but was forced to abandon his ambitions in football after a nasty leg injury and an admonition from his father to leave the rough sport of football and pursue cricket.
His first club was Bay Street Boys’ Club in the Barbados League, which had also seen the likes of Sir Garfield Sobers, Conrad Hunte and Charlie Griffith. His First Class debut was in 1958 for Barbados, with the following year seeing him back an astounding double-century against the English tourists. This feat was described by Wisden saying “Nurse, a promising young batsman, and the established Sobers, shared a third-wicket stand of 306 and paved the way for the highest score ever made by a Colony side against M.C.C.”
It also caught the eye of West Indies officials, and although he was not initially called to play in the first Test, he was soon after called to play for the Caribbean team after an injury caused Worrell to drop out. His Test debut was in the third game of the series West Indies v England at Kingston, Feb 17 – 23 in 1960.
Between 1960 and 1966 a series of mishaps occurred. He injured his ankle from a fall during the Australian 1960tour, and in 1963 during his first tour of England he painfully pulled a muscle. There was also the pervading perception, according to Wisden, that Nurse had a “temperament not really suitable to the rigours of international cricket”. This led to him not being a permanent fixture in the West Indies team in the early 60s. He was also competing for middle order with other team members of enormous talent, such as Worrell, Sobers, Solomon and Butcher.
The next time he appeared was in the first Test against Australia in 1965 as an opening partner to Hunte at Sabina Park. They scored disappointedly (15 and 17) and Nurse was placed in lower order in the third Test. He also batted modestly here, but was yet again retained for the fourth Test which took place in Barbados at Kensington Oval. Perhaps it was the feel of being at home, but whatever it was, Nurse showed what his potential was by scoring his maiden Test century– 201 runs including 30 boundaries. This secured his spot on the West Indies team.
Nurse went on to the 1966 West Indies tour of England, where he scored a staggering 501 runs in the Test series at an average of 62.62, on both counts only surpassed by his captain, Sobers. He also displayed power and fluency in his strokes evidenced in the third Test at Trent Bridge Nurse scored 93 in the first innings from a total of only 235.
He was named Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1967 after his incredible display at the fourth Test at Headingley where he scored his first century against England.
Nurse retired from his Test cricket career after the West Indies tour to Australia and New Zealand in 1968 – 69after a series of disheartening events– a move many felt was premature as he was arguably now on top of his game. This gave him a total of playing in 29 Tests and 141 first-class matches scoring 9,489 during his career.
His early retirement puzzled many people, and Seymour defended his position saying “My aim was always to play for Barbados and the West Indies, and having achieved this I was satisfied. Life has been good and I must say I’m happy, I played for my people and they showed me great respect”.
He later went to manage and coach the Barbados team and was a Barbados Cricket Association board member.
Sir Conrad Cleophas Hunte
Batting style– Right-hand bat
Bowling style– Right-arm medium
Born May 9, 1932 in Barbados, Conrad Hunte, like many black Barbadians around that time, grew up in poor conditions. Coming from a family of nine, Hunte later went on to become one the greatest West Indian batsmen.
At age 12, thanks to the determination of his father to make sure he had a good education, Hunte won a scholarship to attend Alleyne School, a secondary school in Barbados. It quickly became apparent that Hunte was certainly more skilled in cricket than academics. His potential was spotted by the school’s games-teacher, Mr. Harley C. Cumberbatch, who soon placed him on the school’s cricket team with boys much older than himself. To further motivate him, Mr. Cumberbatch would offer Hunte a shilling every time he made 25 runs.
He later went on to play cricket from a club, Belleplaine Sports and Social Club, under the umbrella of the Barbados Cricket League. At this time in Barbados, cricket was under the umbrella of two organisations– the Barbados Cricket League (BCL) and the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA). The BCA was certainly the more elite and prestigious of the two, whereas the BCL accommodated players from poor and rural Barbados.
With the calibre of the BCA being so high, it was no wonder Hunte first attracted attention when he batted 137runs for the BCL in an annual match against the BCA in 1950. He was the first BCL player to make a century in this annual game.
Very soon after he impressed onlookers with his century, he was selected to make his First Class debut for the Barbados team against Trinidad and Tobago on home grounds at Kensington Oval in 1950. He was a mere eighteen years of age. Here he scored 78 runs (63 and 15), which helped him make the transition from the BCL to a club, Empire Cricket Club, under the BCA.
Hunteâs cricket career slowed down a bit, and he made a move to England in 1956 with the hopes of landing a professional contract in English league cricket. He was successful as he soon signed to Leyland Motors Cricket Club in the Northern League in 1956, and in the following year he signed to Enfield Cricket Club in the Lancashire League. It seems that he had found a good match in Enfield, as he stayed with them for six seasons (1957−1962), something that rarely occurred as league professionals usually go from club to club. In 1959 he had even set a club record for the most runs scored in one season.
Hunte’s debut Test with the West Indies came a little later than expected and had a telegram not gone astray he would have debuted in 1957. However, his debut occurred not too long after in 1958 against Pakistan during their tour of the West Indies. He was 25 years of age.
During this match he opened with Rohan Kanhai and made 142 runs in his first innings. In the third Test of the same series he made 260, including a spectacular partnership of 446 with Garfield Sobers, which was then the second-highest partnership in history. In the fourth Test of the series, Hunte made another century. He finished his debut series with 622 runs at an average of 77.75, and the West Indies won the series 3 – 1.
In 1964, because of his strong performance in the West Indies’ series win in England in 1963, he was one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year. This series saw him score two centuries– 182 in the first innings of the summer as West Indies won by 10 wickets and 108 not out as the West Indies won by eight wickets. The West Indies won the series 3 – 1.
After this tour of England Frank Worrell, the West Indies Team captain, retired and was replaced by Garfield Sobers. This move was a disappointment for Hunte, who had hoped to be selected for captaincy. He however continued to play for the team, with noted performances such as the 1965 Australia series where he scored a total of 550 runs. This held the record of the highest series aggregate without a century up until 1993.
A life-changing moment for Hunte occurred in 1961, when on the West Indies’ tour of Australia he saw the film The Crowning Experience, about the life of the black American educator Mary McLeod Bethune. This film was promoted by Moral Re-Armament (MRA), a multi-faith organisation promoting absolute moral and ethical standards of behaviour. Thereafter he devoted the rest of his life to coaching and religious work. According to Peter Short, chairman of the West Indies Board during much of Hunte’s career, “Many people talk about Christianity. Conrad Hunte lives it”.
Hunte retired from cricket in 1967 to work full time for the MRA, which has made a profound impact on his life. In his bid to improve race relations around the world, in 1991 Hunte offered his coaching services in South Africa to help develop cricket in the black townships and promote reconciliation between the races, as the country was now coming out of the Apartheid. He worked as National Development Coach for seven years. He has been quoted speaking of this situation saying “The United Cricket Board faces two tensions, the first being the high expectation of the population who want more black players in the national team. The other problem is that although the development programme has been going on for 15 years, it takes at least three generations to produce superstars. We have to have black players at the top level but they have to be qualified to be there”.
Hunte was later conferred the highest honour in Barbados in 1998– a Knight of St. Andrew (KA) of the Order of Barbados. He was elected to the presidency of the Barbados Cricket Association, with plans to revive cricket in the country, but he died two months later of a heart attack playing tennis, while in Australia to speak at a conference of the MRA.
Malcolm Denzil Marshall
Batting style– Right-hand bat
Bowling style– Right-arm fast
Malcolm Marshall was without a doubt on of the finest, if not the finest, fast bowler at Test level cricket has ever seen, despite his ‘short’ stature at 5 feet 11 inches. He was one of the stars of the West Indies team who dominated international cricket for more than a decade from the mid-1970s.
Born April 18 1958, Marshall made his First Class debut for Barbados against Jamaica in February 1978. One the heels on this debut later down the year, he made his West Indies Test debut at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore against India on December 15, 1978. He played in three Tests on this India tour, taking 37 wickets in all first-class games. He also learnt to swing the ball while on tour.
The Hampshire County Cricket Club had seen enough of Marshall to enlist him for the 1979 World Cup. He remained with this team until 1993. One of his notable feats for the club was in 1982 when he took 134 wickets for Hampshire in a 22-match championship.
His stellar 1982 performance made him a fixture in West Indies Test cricket from 1982 – 1986. In the 1983⁄84 match against India, he took 33 wickets, averaged 34 with the bat and made his highest Test score of 92. Notably, he turned down an offer of US$1 million to join a rebel West Indies team on a tour to South Africa, a country still suffering international sporting isolation due to apartheid.
Marshall’s career-best took place in 1988 at Old Trafford when he performed 7 – 22 and ended the series with 35wickets in five Tests, at 12.65.
At the age of 33 in 1991, Malcolm Marshall retired from Test cricket after the England Vs West Indies, 5th Test at The Oval, London, 1991. He retired from county cricket two years later, and became coach to the West Indies’ team, a position he had to retire from when his illness was first diagnosed. This illness, colon cancer, was first diagnosed just before the start of the World Cup in 1999. He had had an abdominal operation and announced that he was hoping to return. However, he passed away later down the year on November 4 1999.
Malcolm Marshall will always be remembered in cricketing history for his formidable bowling skills. Pakistan captain, Wasim Akram, described him as “One of the cleverest fast bowlers in cricket. His skills were to pick the mistakes of batsmen straight away and pick their weaknesses. He was a nice fellow off the field but a fierce competitor on it.” Peter Short, the former West Indies Cricket Association President also inputted about Marshall, “Malcolm was one of the world’s greatest fast bowlers, a great thinker and a well-balanced individual who gave his best whether batting or bowling”.
Sir Clyde Leopold Walcott
Batting style– Right-hand bat
Bowling style– Right-arm fast-medium
Fielding position– Wicketkeeper
One of the famous 3Ws, a name coined for three West Indian batsmen from Barbados who dominated West Indies Cricket in the 1950s, Clyde Walcott was born January 17, 1926 and went on to become one of cricketâs finest batsmen. The other ‘Ws’ are Sir Frank Worrell and Sir Everton Weekes. Interestingly, they were all born within a short distance of each other in Bridgetown, Barbados and they all made their Test cricket debut against England in 1948.
Walcott made his First Class debut for Barbados in 1942 in Trinidad on his 16th birthday. Three years later he scored a staggering 314 not out for Barbados against Trinidad in 1945, as part of a batting partnership with school friend and fellow 3W legend, Frank Worrell. Walcott and Worrell had a combined total of 574, a then world record for any partnership in first-class cricket. During the period of 1942 – 1948, Walcott had no regular place in the order when playing for Barbados, and was seen as an all-rounder, a wicket-keeper batsman.
His West Indies Test debut came in January 1948 against England in Bridgetown, and he went on to help the West Indies with their first Test victory against with his unbeaten 168 in the second innings of the 2nd Test at Lord’s Cricket Ground. He also scored a century in both innings of two Tests in the series against Australia in 1955, when he became the first batsman to score five centuries in a single Test series, totalling 827 runs from 10 innings. However, despite that staggering aggregate, the Australians still won the series.
Clyde Walcott, although a commendable wicket-keeper, was first and foremost a batsman, and despite his bulky form, he was, according to Martin Chandler at cricketweb.net, “remarkably light on his feet for a man of his build. He also, again unusually for a tall man, was a punishing hooker and puller”.
Former England all-rounder, Trevor Bailey, also wrote of him in 1968 “Clyde Walcott’s batting was in keeping with his build, massive and powerful .…..He had the ability to hit good length deliveries with astonishing ferocity using a straight bat off both front and back foot. Drop the ball just a fraction short and back it would come so hard that, unless the bowler or fielder were unlucky enough to be in the way, it was inevitably a boundary. Exactly the same thing happened if the ball was slightly over-pitched, except that then Clyde would belt it off his front foot”.
In 1951 he went on to play for Enfield in the Lancashire Leagues up to 1954. In 1954 he made a move to Georgetown in Guyana (then British Guiana) to be the cricket coach for the British Guiana Sugar Producers’ Association. His role was to develop cricket in a country that had always been considered to be the weakest of the Caribbean nations. He also played first-class cricket for the country, and by 1956 he was captaining the side.
The year 1958 saw him play for the West Indies against Pakistan, where scored his fifteenth and final Test century and also recorded his highest series average, 96. He had played four out of the five Tests as a result of a return of an old back injury. He had initially retired after this Test series, but was convinced to return to play the last two Tests in 1959⁄60 when England visited the Caribbean again. The English were determined to finally win a series in the Caribbean. He was persuaded after promises to be paid as a professional as he had been treated as an amateur in the Test series against Pakistan.
However, both Tests were drawn and England emerged finally victorious in the Caribbean after thirty years of trying. Walcott subsequently retired after this Test series in 1960, and from First Class cricket in 1964. He had played in 146 first-class matches, scoring 11,820 runs and averaging 56.58 in his 44 Tests. He scored 40 centuries, with his highest score being 314. He was named Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1958, and Indian Cricket Cricketer of the Year in 1948⁄49.
He later went on to become heavily involved in cricket administration, managed and coached various cricket teams and was also a cricket commentator. Other notable achievements were President of the Guyana Cricket Board of Control from 1968 to 1970, a vice-president of the Barbados Cricket Association, Chairman of the West Indies selectors from 1973 to 1988, and he managed the West Indies teams that won the Cricket World Cup in 1975 and 1979, and also in 1987. He was also President of the West Indies Cricket Board from 1988 to 1993, awarded the Barbados Gold Crown of Merit in 1991, and became a Knight of St Andrew in the Order of Barbados in 1993.
He ended his career at the ICC. He was an International Cricket Council match referee in three matches in 1992, and became chairman of the International Cricket Council from 1993, the first non-English person and the first black man to hold the position. He was knighted for services to cricket in 1994. Sir Clyde Walcott passed away August 26, 2006, but not after forever etching his name in history as a legend in cricket. He is also featured in the 3Ws Monument, a monument dedicated to the memory of 3Ws — Sir Frank Worrell, Sir Clyde Walcott and Sir Everton Weekes.
Charlie Christopher Griffith
Batting style– Right-hand bat
Bowling style– Right-arm fast
Born December 14 1938 in Barbados, Charlie Griffith went on to become one of the most fearsomely effective fast bowlers cricket has ever seen.
He started playing cricket at a young age and started as a wicket-keeper-batsman. After spending two years with the Crickland Cricket Club, he joined Windsor where he played as an off-spin bowler. However, it was when he joined Lancashire that he honed his skill as a fast bowler during one game, finishing with figures of 7 for 1. In his first season with Lancashire, at just 19, he claimed seventy-three wickets, including a spectacular hat-trick. The next club he joined was Empire, and it was during his first season that he came to the attention of the Barbadian selectors.
Griffith made his First Class debut for Barbados against the Marylebone Cricket Club in 1959 at 21 years. He impressed onlookers when in the space of two overs he had dismissed seasoned English players Colin Cowdrey, Mike Smith and Peter May. He wasnât done yet. The next day saw him take down Ken Barrington, Smith again, and Ted Dexter.
During the 1960s Griffith formed a formidable fast bowling partnership with fellow Barbadian, Wes Hall, and the dynamic duo shared an opening attack which ranks now as one of the finest and fastest of all time.
There was an unhappy event in his career where in March 1962, at a match between Barbados and the touring Indians, a delivery from Griffith hit Nari Contractor’s temple, cracking his skull. Fortunately Contractor survived the blow, but the injury certainly ended his international career. Not surprisingly, this is not an event Griffith likes to bring up. Later in this same match, Griffith was no balled as a thrower for the first and only time in his life.
Griffith was surely a formidable bowler, and Wisden describes him as “a determined man who regards the occasional bouncer as a legitimate weapon of the pace bowler’s armoury and uses it not to intimidate batsmen but to dismiss them”.
His West Indies Test debut was against England in Port of Spain 1960, after just one first-class match, and it was not until the fifth Test of the series that he won international recognition and shared the new ball with Hall, the bowler he considers the best and fastest in cricket today. He had to wait until the tour of England in 1963 to play with the West Indies again.
On this English tour, Griffith was an early success with eight for 23 and five for 35 against Gloucestershire at Bristol and five for 37 against the Champions at Middlesbrough– feats that made him an automatic choice for the Tests. His deadly yorker stumped many an English batsman, and he finished the tour with 37 more wickets than Sobers, the next most successful West Indian bowler. In 1964, Griffith was subsequently named one of Wisden’s Cricketers of the Year.
After his playing days were over, Charlie Griffith later served as an administrator on the Barbados Cricket Association’s Board of Management and was also a West Indies Cricket Board member.
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