By News Team
15th July 2020
As England continue their series against the West Indies this summer, we’ve taken a look at the greatest batsmen, bowlers and all-rounds to have come out of the Caribbean.
With almost 12,000 Test runs to his name and record tallies in both first-class and Test cricket, Brian Lara is the undisputed king of the batting crease. Lara’s international career spanned a remarkable 26 years and included Wisden Leading Cricketer in the World awards in 1994 and 1995, a world record 400 not out vs England in 2004 and being crowned BBC Overseas Sports Personality of the Year in 1994.
He’s scored more runs than any other West Indies batsman and sits seventh in the all-time runs-scoring table, one spot ahead of former team-mate Shivnarine Chanderpaul and other legends of the game such as Australian Allan Border.
Though six other batsmen in the world have amassed more runs, nobody could quite produce the fireworks that Lara did time and time again. Smashing left-arm spinner Robin Peterson of South Africa for 28 runs in one over remains a record and one that aptly sums up the Trinidadian’s style at the crease.
He was electric, powerful and one of the most talented batsman to have come out of the Caribbean.
Courtney Walsh and Curtly Ambrose
While Lara was the king of the crease, Courtney Walsh would have to be one of the greatest bowler’s in the Test side’s 92-year history. He and Curtly Ambrose were nicknamed the Two C’s during the late 80s and 90s and were cricket’s most-feared bowling attack for some time.
The pair took over 900 Test wickets between them and bowled over 50,000 deliveries, most of which came with plenty of pace and bounce. Both bowled over 1,000 maiden overs and, though Ambrose’s career was slightly shorter and involved 100 or so fewer wickets, each bowler was at their best when they had the other steaming in from the opposite end.
Individually they were superb, together they were almost unplayable, and they’ll long be remembered as a fearsome fast-bowling duo.
Sir Viv Richards
Though sitting behind Lara and Chanderpaul in the all-time Test runs list, Sir Viv Richards is widely regarded as the greatest batsman of all time.
The year of 1976 was perhaps his most astonishing, scoring 1,710 runs, with a monster average of 90, including raising the bat to seven centuries in 11 Tests – that year’s effort went down as a record for runs scored and stood firm for 30 years.
Not only was Richards a master with the bat, he was an admired leader too, captaining the Test side on 50 occasions and never, yes never, losing a series. He is the only West Indies player to have gone unbeaten as a captain in terms of series losses, a testament to his fiercely competitive nature.
Sir Garfield Sobers
While the likes of Richards and Lara made their name mainly with the bat, and Walsh and Ambrose instilled fear into the opposition with their bowling, all-rounder Sir Garfield Sobers could do a bit of everything.
Sobers played 93 Tests, racked up 8,032 runs at an average of 57.78 and chipped in with 235 wickets.
Not only could he contribute with both bat and ball, Sobers’ variation of bowling was fantastic too. Generally a fast-medium left-arm bowler, he could also throw in the odd slower, spin delivery, often bamboozling the batting opposition.
Now one of 10 National Heroes of Barbados, Sobers is a legend of the Caribbean who gave the West Indies cricket team something in every area.