Paul-Andre Walker

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.

The Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCo) is set to resume testing of athletes on Monday, June 15 after a month and a half of no activity because of the threat of COVID-19.

Former West Indies paceman, Kenneth Benjamin is of the belief that Antigua’s improvement in cricket cannot be left up to schools but must be tackled at the club and community level.

The Guyana Jaguars are the winners of the inaugural All-Time West Indies Championship after a rip-roaring week of cricket online.

According to the vote, the Barbados Pride were the team to finish second while the Jamaica Scorpions were third.

Rounding out the six-team table were the Leeward Islands Hurricanes and Trinidad and Tobago Red Force, who tied for fourth, while the Windward Islands Volcanoes found themselves rooted to the floor.

 

 

 

So, according to the fans of regional cricket, Guyana, with an elegant batting line-up, led by none other than the greatest West Indies captain of all time, Clive Lloyd, would find a way to get it done against an all-powerful Barbados unit.

Barbados, of course, boasts the most powerful team on paper, with Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes opening, followed by a middle-order with the likes of the three Ws, Conrade hunte, and the greatest all-rounder the game has ever seen in Sir Garfield Sobers as well as an opening bowling pairing of Joel Garner and Malcolm Marshall.

According to the voting, done over the last week, the powerful hitting of Chris Gayle, in tandem with the unmatched consistency of George Headley and the fearsome bowling attack of Patrick Patterson and Michael Holding, backed up by Courtney Walsh and the most prolific regional bowler of all time, Nikita Miller, would help the Jamaica Scorpions get the better of Brian Lara and Ian Bishop from the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force, as well as the combination of Richie Richardson, Viv Richards, Andy Roberts and Curtly Ambrose from the Leeward Islands Hurricanes.

The Jaguars won the voting with a massive 44.44 per cent of the votes, while The Pride mustered a commendable 35.19 per cent.

The Scorpions were well beaten into third with just 16.67 per cent of the votes going their way, but they were street and lane better than the Hurricanes and the Red Force who shared 1.85 per cent of the votes. The Volcanoes are yet to register a vote in the conversation.

I think I will leave the voting open for another week just to see if the fans of regional cricket change their minds over time. You can vote by clicking here. If there are any changes, next week I will mention them in whatever we choose as our next BestXI to pay attention to.

Please feel free to comment on the voting to date in the comments section on Facebook or Twitter. Pick the rundown of places from 1-6 you would have chosen. We always want to hear from you.  

Former Trinidad and Tobago International Brent Sancho believes coaches at the youth level emphasize on winning instead of development, which has led to the detriment of the youth programme in the twin-island republic over the last few years.

Two weeks ago a young footballer was shot and killed in Jamaica. Not long before that, the United States of America had a rejuvenation of its #BlackLivesMatter campaign following the death of George Floyd, who died after a policeman, Derek Chauvin, kneeled on his neck for almost nine minutes, camera rolling and all.

It has been heartening for me to see black people from all over the world standing, marching, kneeling, lying face down, repeating Floyd’s last words ‘I can’t breathe’ together to say enough is enough.

The reach of the Black Lives Matter movement has been incredible since Floyd’s death, reaching all over Europe, Canada, the Caribbean.

But I am now hoping that there is another type of spill-over effect.

Already, there is very little talk about the young man, Shemar Nairne, who was one of eight people murdered on a random Wednesday in Jamaica.

Nairne played football for a living and he isn’t the first sportsman to be impacted by violence. Sports can no longer stand on the sidelines (the irony is obvious here), while the ills of society go without highlight.

For a long time, sports has sought to stay out of the fray for fear that it will be used for political gain and lose its purity, its independence.

But in Jamaica, just as has been the case in other countries, sport isn’t immune to the problems of the society it grows from.

I asked the question, what will be sport’s response to the murder of Nairne and by extension the wanton violence that pervades an increasing number of spaces on the island of Jamaica?

The responses were the very generic indignation that something like this could happen and the condolences to the family. It was not a George Floyd moment.

Sports, like music, are great at bringing people together in Jamaica.

I can remember watching Shell Cup football and being able to run through the spaces between the seats as Jamaica beat Trinidad and Tobago 2-0 to lift the crown.

The peanut vendor never had to chance his arm when selling his product to me and hope that I was decent enough to pass the money person-to-person across rows of fans to get him his due. He came to my feet to sell me the salted delights and was in no danger of blocking anyone’s view.

But then I can also remember that less than a decade later, I could not move more than a few inches either side of me when the Reggae Boyz were making their historic trek towards a first World Cup berth and the peanut vendor could not hear my screams for his attention. But Bunny didn’t mind. He was very much in the black with the number of orders he was getting. And violent crimes were down.

I say all that to say, Sports and music,  have a major part to play in getting the perpetrators of violence in Jamaica to stop.

Just as the Black Lives Matter campaign has gained worldwide traction and I witnessed as people like dancehall icon Bounty Killer waved placards in front of the US Embassy calling for an end to injustice for all black people, I want a concerted response from sports stars in Jamaica.

Football clubs, cricket clubs, track clubs must lead the way in bringing about an understanding of the importance of life.

I am fully aware of the fact that #GhettoLivesMatter is about putting an end to police excesses, but I believe the slogan can mean something bigger.

For some reason, and by ‘some’ I mean I know all the reasons but will not get into it, it is largely the poor who suffer at the hands of violence and this is a bigger statement than saying the police always brutalize the poor.

That being the case, #GhettoLivesMatter is apt.

Let’s hear the voices of the Jamaica Olympic Association, the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association, the Jamaica Football Association, Netball Jamaica, the Inter-Schools Sports Association, the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the sports stars who fall under all these umbrellas.

Justice for Shemar Nairne. #GhettoLivesMatter      

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

In 1993 a score of 284 was challenging and when Pakistan’s Basit Ali took a liking to Curtly Ambrose, Anderson Cummins and Carl Hooper, the West Indies were in trouble.

It was the final of the Pepsi Champions Trophy in Sharjah and the West Indies faced a powerful Pakistan inclusive of Saeed Anwar, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Saleem Malik.

Electing to field first, The Richie Richardson led West Indies must have thought they were in a great position after Anwar and Aemer Sohail struggled to get going, scoring 16 from 26 deliveries and 10 from 40 respectively.

Things looked even more promising when Sohail was caught at slip by Brian Lara off the bowling of Kenny Benjamin.

Inzamam was not known for really pushing the scoring rate and his 30 from 51 deliveries would not have scared the West Indies but there were signs that the tide was turning with Malik at the other end putting on a good display.

Malik would go on to score 84 from 96 deliveries but that was after Courtney Walsh had Inzamam caught by Desmond Haynes.

While Malik’s batting was inspired and helped to bring some stability to a flagging innings, it was the entrance of Basit Ali that really turned the game around for Pakistan.

Basit wasted no time in getting to work, hoisted Ambrose over midwicket for a massive six on one occasion, the innings including five such strikes. Ali wasn’t just dealing in sixes though as he slammed 12 boundaries on his way to a 67-ball century. The final 50 of that 100 took just 25 deliveries.

Basit would end unbeaten on 127 from 79 balls with wicketkeeper Rashid Latif on two for company while Pakistan were 284-4, a much better position than they had seemed they would get into.

The opening pair of Desmond Haynes and Phil Simmons, who had replaced the retired Gordon Greenidge was broken up as a 24-year-old Brian Charles Lara walked at the top.

The move was made to get the innings going and give the West Indies the best chance at chasing down what, at the time, was a mammoth total.

The Trinidad and Tobago batsman, already seen as arguably the best in the world, was up for the task, even after losing Desmond Haynes for just three.

Ata-ur-Rehman did not have a long international career but had a growing reputation for getting the better of good batsmen and when he rubbed Haynes’ edge on the way through to Latif Pakistan must have felt they were in a good place with the West Indies at 29-1.

Simmons had been struggling for form in international cricket but he was in a belligerent mood and proceeded to form a partnership worth 111 with Lara. Simmons accounted for 42 of that century partnership, scoring his runs from 38 deliveries before he was caught and bowled by Malik.

Lara had already been the dominant partner, scoring 69 runs from the 111, but had to take a back seat as another stylish left hander took over the reins.

Keith Arthurton would score 44 during that fateful final, slamming his tally off just 30 balls from a partnership with Lara worth 73.

At 213 for three and Lara having scored 100 from 93 deliveries, the game was over as Richardson pushed the ball around in a bid to ensure there were no hiccups for the West Indies.

Richardson would end unbeaten on 15 from 50 deliveries, while Carl Hooper scored five from 11 to also finish not out.

Lara was the final wicket to go, taking the West Indies to 273-4 before Mushtaq Ahmed had him caught behind.

The innings, which interestingly did not include a single six, was made, in large part, courtesy of 21 boundaries. The 143 deliveries Lara faced, nearly half the innings, made the victory over Pakistan a fairly run-of-the-mill affair after the West Indies got to 285-4 with almost five overs still to be bowled.

Once there is a commitment from the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) regarding safety protocols and the Ministry of Health gives the all-clear, Trinidad and Tobago is all for hosting the entire tournament in the country.

Last week it was reported that the CPL were intent on presenting a proposal to T&T Prime Minister Keith Rowley for the country to host the entire tournament at two venues, the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Torouba and the Queen’s Park Oval in St Clair.

This week, Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs, Shamfa Cudjoe, said the government was “very, very much open” to the proposal.

The CPL and the Ministry of Sport met on Thursday to discuss plans for a tournament under the health protocols that have become standard since the beginning of the spread of COVID-19.

T&T already has a three-year deal with the CPL where it is to pay US$1 million to facilitate the hosting of semi-finals and finals in addition to the Trinbago Knight Riders’ home games. According to Cudjoe, the financial element of the proposal is not something that has been broached just yet.

"The proposal speaks primarily to the health protocol, and doesn't cover budget or anything of that sort. I must commend CPL for taking this time out to touch on and examine each and every part of the health protocol - from quarantine period after the players land, as to how they are going to be housed, how they are fed and how to maintain social distancing, even rules as to whether saliva or sweat can be used on the ball - they went into detail," said Cudjoe speaking on i95.5fm radio out of T&T.

Cudjoe also went on to say the CPL was recommending a mid-August date for the commencement of the tournament, which would be played in 25 days featuring double headers at both venues.

The Sports Minister said the CPL would be bringing budgetary proposals to the discussion table next week, and that a more concrete answer regarding the safety of hosting the tournament in the country which has remained largely unaffected by the virus with just 117 reported cases to date would be given at that time.

The Barbados Tridents are the defending champions of the Hero CPL.

Picking an all-time best XI for the different territories that make up the West Indies and compete in the annual West Indies Championship was a six-week challenge of monumental proportions.

It took scores of hours to produce it and on occasion, you the reader had to help us out in compiling what we believe to be the six best teams ever assembled from the Caribbean.

Now there is another monumental task in front of us, you included.

While everybody has a team they would like to see win an all-time best XI West Indies Championship, could you really look at a list of the teams we have been posting for the last six weeks and objectively pick a winner?

Could a Leeward Islands team led by the great Sir Isaac Vivian Richards with bowlers like Sir Andy Roberts and Sir Curtly Ambrose, backed up by the batting of Richie Richardson lift the title?

Or would the all-round power of a Barbados team with the likes of the three Ws, and a bowling attack led by Malcolm Marshall be too much?

Maybe the Jamaicans with the powerful Chris Gayle leading from the first ball and Patrick Patterson scaring the bejesus out of batsmen could surprise everybody.

But there is also a Trinidad and Tobago team led by Brian Lara and backed up by the bowling of Ian Bishop, Sonny Ramhadin, and Tony Gray.

Of course, any team with the powerful batting that Guyana has on display cannot be written off.

The potential for how a competition like this would go are incalculable. In fact, asking around the office, I got many different answers about how a competition of this nature would pan out.

Of course, for most in the office, Barbados were hard to deny but the other positions switched around often.

 

All-Time Best West Indies Championship results, office style

 

Lance Whittaker

Barbados, Jamaica, Leeward Islands, Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana, Windward Islands

 

Leighton Levy

Barbados, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Leeward Islands, Jamaica, Windward Islands

 

Kwesi Mugisa

Barbados, Leeward Islands, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana, Windward Islands

 

Paul-Andre Walker

Barbados, Leeward Islands, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica, Windward Islands

 

Donald Oliver

Barbados, Leeward Islands, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana, Windward Islands

 

Now you get to vote on who would win the championship as well. You can vote by clicking here. As usual, you are invited to discuss the virtual championship and the way it has panned out on Facebook or Twitter.  

The placement of the other teams will depend on how many votes they get as a team that wins. So if Barbados gets the second-most votes, then they will have finished second in the virtual competition and so on and so forth.  

For the purposes of ease, here are the teams once again. You may click on any headline to learn more about the names you may not be familiar with:

 

BestXI: Building an all-time West Indies Championship – Leeward Islands

Kieran Powell, Stuart Williams, Richie Richardson, Viv Richards, Keith Arthurton, Runako Morton, Ridley Jacobs, Andy Roberts, Eldine Baptiste, Kenny Benjamin, and Curtly Ambrose.

 

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

Gordon Greenidge, Desmond Haynes, Sir Everton Weekes, Sir Garry Sobers, Frank Worrell, Conrad Hunte, Clyde Walcott, Joel Garner, Malcolm Marshall, Wayne Daniel, and Sylvester Clarke.

 

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

Chris Gayle, Easton McMorris, George Headley, Lawrence Rowe, Maurice Foster, Collie Smith, Jeffrey Dujon, Michael Holding, Courtney Walsh, Patrick Patterson, and Nikita Miller.

 

BestXI: Building an all-time West Indies Championship – Windward Islands

Devon Smith, Irvine Shillingford, Lochart Sebastien, Andre Flecher, Dawnley Joseph, Darren Sammy, Junior Murray, Kenroy Peters, Shane Shillingford, Winston Davis, and Nixon McLean.

 

BestXI: Building an all-time West Indies Championship – T&T

Jeffrey Stollmeyer, Joey Carew, Brian Lara, Larry Gomes, Gerry Gomez, Charlie Davis, Denesh Ramdin, Learie Constantine, Tony Gray, Sonny Ramadhin, and Ian Bishop.

 

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

Roy Fredericks, Rohan Kanhai, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Basil Butcher, Carl Hooper, Clive Lloyd, Alvin Kallicharran, Colin Croft, Roger Harper, Reon King, and Lance Gibbs.  

When the SportsMax Zone and a panel of experts consider the monumental task of picking its four bowlers for SportsMax’s Ultimate XI One-Day International (ODI) team, there will be an omission of monstrous proportions.

The panel will not be considering the impressive ODI career of one of Australia’s greatest pace bowlers, Glenn McGrath.

Yesterday, the panel was asked to shortlist a shortlist of pace bowlers so they could discuss what the final list of bowlers looks like this evening. The results were shocking.

From a list of 12 fast bowlers, only six have remained for consideration by the panel.

The evening began with Dennis Lillee, Allan Donald, Shane Bond, Shaun Pollock, Curtly Ambrose, Brett Lee, McGrath, Richard Hadlee, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Chaminda Vaas, Joel Garner, and Michael Holding.

The panel will consider no more, the cases of Lee, Bond, Pollock, Ambrose, McGrath, and Donald.

There wasn’t complete unison in the decision, however, as statistician and sports writer Zaheer Clarke believes McGrath’s figures over the years, in particular, his World Cup figures makes it absurd that he is not to be considered for the final three placings in SportsMax’s Ultimate XI ODI team.

Later this evening on the SportsMax Zone at 4:30 pm Eastern Standard Time and 5:30 pm in the Eastern Caribbean, the panel will discuss which three of Australia’s Lillee, Pakistan’s Akram and Younis, the West Indies’ Garner and Holding, and New Zealand’s Hadlee will take the three fast-bowling spots up for grabs.

At this point, like Clarke, Fanalysts believe the panel to be spewing hogwash with at least two of their decisions.

For the Fanalysts, Wasim Akram, Curtly Ambrose, and Glenn McGrath are the three best ODI pace bowlers the world has ever seen.

Remember, you can vote on what you want your Ultimate XI to look like by going to SportsMax.tv and clicking on the banner or clicking on the link here.

The Fanalyst vote counts for 40% of overall votes, while the panel of experts and the SportsMax Zone have 30% each.

To date, the Zone and panel have picked the same ODI Ultimate XI line-up, with that list looking like Rohit Sharma and Sachin Tendulkar as the openers, AB de Villiers, Viv Richards and Virat Kohli as the middle order batsmen 3-5, Mahendra Singh Dhoni as the wicketkeeper, and Imran Khan as the all-rounder.

The Fanalysts have differed regarding the middle-order and the all-rounder, going for Brian Lara to join de Villiers and Kohli, and Jacques Kallis to do all things cricket.

Sir Richard Hadlee was a bowler of unparalleled skill. He moved the ball both ways, in the air and off the pitch and could hit any crack in a pitch from 17 yards with a consistency that was almost robotic.

Hadlee improved at everything he did. Initially he was not the best at the ODI game, but over time he would improve to the point where Only Joel Garner, Dennis Lillee and Michael Holding could boast better averages than he did.

At the 1983 World Cup, Hadlee’s last, the New Zealand paceman conceded just 2.88 runs per over in 13 matches.

In his first 34 ODIs Hadlee only took 38 wickets at an average of 27.89 and a woeful strike rate of 50.5.

But from January 1982 until the end of his career in 1990, the pacer bowled in 81 matches. Over that period he took 120 wickets at an average of 19.55 and with a strike rate of 35.5.

  

Career Statistics

Full name: Richard John Hadlee

Born: July 3, 1951 (age 68), St Albans, Christchurch, Canterbury

Major teams: New Zealand, Canterbury, Marylebone Cricket Club, New Zealand Invitation XI, Nottinghamshire, Tasmania

Batting style: Left-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm fast

Height: 6 ft 1 in

 

ODI Career:   New Zealand (1973-1990)

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

115    112       6182   3407    158    5/25      5/25     21.56   3.30   39.1    1       5         0

 

Career Highlights

  • Captured 158 wickets from 115 matches at an average of 21.56
  • Took five 5-wicket hauls in ODIs
  • 1st player to 1000 runs and 100 wickets in ODIs

Glenn McGrath’s final One-Day International was the final of the ICC Cricket World Cup in the Caribbean. Australia won that World Cup and McGrath was named its Man of the Tournament.

McGrath went out at the top, having claimed 381 scalps in 250 games at an average of 22.02.

His strike rate of 34 and his economy rate of 3.88 in a time made for batting puts him firmly as one of the greatest bowlers of all time. In Australia, that honour has always belonged to Dennis Lillee but today, McGrath joins that conversation, no doubt.

At that 2007 World Cup McGrath bagged 26 wickets, the moment made more spectacular because he had just returned from caring for his wife, who was battling cancer. She would succumb to her fight with cancer in 2008.

McGrath was adept at bowling that ‘nagging’ length where batsmen could not go forward or hop onto the backfoot. He would hit that spot for days if his body could manage to keep up. And batsmen had to be content with scoring from other bowlers or risk heading back to the pavilion for an early shower.

Playing against Namibia in 2003, the World Cup rookies had not yet understood that McGrath was a bowler best left alone for as long as possible and as often as possible. That naivety brought a World Cup record for McGrath, his 7-15 marking the best-ever figures at the tournament.

So on song was McGrath on that day in 2003 that at one point Australia had three slips and two gullies to the paceman’s bowling.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Glenn Donald McGrath

Born: February 9, 1970 (50), Dubbo, New South Wales

Major teams: Australia, Delhi Daredevils, ICC World XI, Middlesex, New South Wales, Worcestershire

Playing role: Bowler

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm fast-medium

Height: 1.95 m

 

ODI Career: Australia (1993-2007)

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

250      248     12970    8391         381    7/15     7/15       22.02   3.88     34.0      9        7          0

 

Career Highlights

  • Claimed 381 wickets at an average of 22.02
  • Most wickets by an Australian in ODIs
  • Most wickets in CWC history (71)
  • Best average in CWC history with minimum 1000 balls (18.19)
  • 7 for 15 against Namibia in 2003 is best ever CWC figures
  • Took a wicket with last ball of Test, ODI & T20I careers

Control is one of the hallmarks of a good fast bowler. Add pace to that and you have the ingredients for a great fast bowler. Add pace to that and you have Australia’s, Brett Lee.

Brett Lee is tied with Glen McGrath for having taken the most wickets in ODIs by an Australian. But to prove the point about pace and control being the hallmarks of greatness, while it took McGrath 249 ODI matches to clock his 380 wickets, Lee did so in just 219 when he dismissed England’s Ian Bell at Lord’s.

On the way to those 380 wickets at an average of 23.36, Lee had to suffer through numerous injury setbacks and quit Test cricket two years before he called time on his international career in a bid to extend his run in the shorter versions of the game.

In truth, Lee also wanted the freedom to bowl fast, knowing he had a maximum of 10 overs to get through. At his best, he would begin bowling the new ball and getting prodigious outswing. When the ball got a little older, Batsmen had to watch their toes as a man who could get up to 160 clicks, was now bowling rapid reverse swing.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Brett Lee

Born: November 8, 1976 (43), Wollongong, New South Wales

Major teams: Australia, Kings XI Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders, New South Wales, Otago, Sydney Sixers, Wellington

Playing role: Bowler

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm fast

Height: 1.87 m

 

ODI Career: Australia (2000-2012)

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

221      217    11185   8877             380    5/22    5/22      23.36   4.76     29.4     14        9       0

 

Career Highlights

  • Secured 380 wickets at 23.36
  • 8th on all-time ODI wicket-taking list
  • 5th fastest to 100 ODI wickets (55th match)
  • Part of Australia’s 2003 ICC CWC winning team

Curtly Ambrose was fast and standing at 6 ft 8 ins, he created steep bounce from just back of a length. Nobody, but nobody found it easy to deal with the pacer, even when much of the pace had gone close to the end of a 12-year career with the West Indies.

The difficulty with negotiating Ambrose’s awkward bounce meant the ODI game was suited to him since batsmen had to go looking for quick runs but against Sir Curtly, that may be to your peril. But Curtly, who didn’t depend much on swing, also had cutters off the pitch, both inward and outward.

The angle he bowled from lent itself naturally to the ball darting in and then holding its line after pitching, bringing the outside edge of the bat into play. However, you would be wrong to think this was always going to happen, as Sir Curtly was also notorious for getting the ball to jag back prodigiously from outside off stump. That would create many instances of batsmen dragging on, or just getting bowled. Then there was his yorker. An expert at delivering it, the ball coming from 10 feet up was notoriously difficult to negotiate.

Sir Curtly was also very accurate, and so often, when he would take wickets, they would be taken in bunches because new batsmen got no wayward deliveries or warm-ups they could leave alone until they get their eye in. Sir Curtly was interested in getting you to play.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Curtly Elconn Lynwall Ambrose

Born: September 21, 1963 (56), Swetes Village, Antigua

Major teams: West Indies, Leeward Islands, Northamptonshire, UWI Vice Chancellor's Celebrity XI, West Indies Masters

Playing role: Bowler

Batting style: Left-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm fast

 

ODI Career: West Indies (1988-2000)

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

176      175    9353    5429     225    5/17    5/17     24.12   3.48     41.5       6        4        0

 

Career Highlights

  • Captured 225 wickets at 24.12
  • Took four 5-wicket hauls in ODIs
  • 2nd most wickets by a West Indian in ODIs

Coming from great cricket stock through his Dad, Peter Pollock who bowled for South Africa through the 1960s and his uncle, Graeme Pollock, who many regard, despite him having few opportunities to prove it, as the finest left hander the game has seen, Shaun Pollock was almost expected to be a good cricketer.

He was.

Shaun could bat a bit but it was as a fast-medium bowler that he really excelled.

Partnering with Alllan Donald, who was a few yards quicker, Pollock helped South Africa to become one of the most dangerous bowling and fielding unites in One-Day International cricket.

Pollock’s attributes were his doggedness and his willingness to do the hard yards that came with running in and putting the ball on a good spot outside off stump, not too close to the batsman for him to come onto the front foot and not so far back that he could afford to hang bat and wait either. The corridor of uncertainty was Pollock’s best friend.

But from that length, Pollock was able to create even more uncertainty with the fact he was able to move the ball in both directions.

Pollock has amost 393 ODI wickets at an average of 24.50. It is no wonder he makes a list of all-time great ODI players.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Shaun Maclean Pollock

Born: July 16, 1973 (46), Port Elizabeth, Cape Province

Major teams: South Africa, Africa XI, Dolphins, Durham, ICC World XI, KwaZulu-Natal, Mumbai Indians, Natal, Warwickshire

Playing role: Allrounder

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm fast-medium

 

ODI Career: South Africa (1996-2008)

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

303    297    15712          9631 393    6/35          6/35 24.50 3.67          39.9   12     5          0

 

Career Highlights

  • Secured 393 wickets at an average of 24.50
  • 6th most wickets in ODIs
  • Most ODI wickets at home (193)
  • Took five 5-wicket hauls in ODIs
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