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.  

A country blessed with elegant batsmen, picking an all-time best Guyana line-up has been the most difficult of all the countries to date.

While many of the other territories in our all-time West Indies Championship have been blessed with talent throughout, no other country, it seems, has as many talented batsmen on equal footing at the First-Class level.

That is a good problem for a coach to have and if you were coaching this Guyana outfit, it is hardly likely that you come up against a team who could manage a total your line-up could not overhaul.

As usual, we welcome your feedback on whether or not we got this Best XI right. Tell us who we should have kept or who we should not have included, leave a comment under the story on Facebook and we can have a good old-fashioned debate.

 

Guyana’s Best XI

 

 

Roy Fredericks

Roy Fredericks significant ability made him a mainstay in the West Indies side, batting first with another Guyanese opener in Steve Camacho before joining forces with Gordon Greenidge. At the First-Class level, Fredericks was a powerful batsman, relishing the challenge of attacking the most fearsome of pace bowlers of which the West Indies had many. Fredericks, a master of the cut and hook shots, was known at the international level for scoring quick 50s but not converting them to centuries. At the First-Class level, this wasn’t true as Fredericks slammed 40 centuries to his 80 half-centuries on his way to 16,384 career runs at a more-than-respectable average of 45.89. Fredericks would play two more innings after announcing his retirement in 1983, slamming 103 against Trinidad and 217 against Jamaica.

 

First-class career: 1963-1983

Mat    Inns    NO     Runs    HS     Ave       100s    50s    6s      Ct   

223     391      34     16384   250    45.89       40      80      177     0

 

 

Rohan Kanhai (wicketkeeping opener)

With such a dearth of batting in an all-time Guyana line-up, it is interesting that Rohan Kanhai, a lifelong number-three batsman, would be asked to open and wicketkeep, but a stacked middle-order which could take the batting down to eight or nine without much of a shift in quality means Kanhai gets to face the new ball with Fredericks. At the first-class level, Khanai was absolutely brilliant, scoring 86 centuries and 120 half-centuries in a 23-year-long career. Kanhai’s average of 45.89 after 421 games is no small feat, but more than the runs he accumulated, was the way he did it and when he did it. Kanhai was elegance personified but there was real power too. An ESPN Cricinfo article by noted poet, novelist and columnist in Georgetown, Guyana, Ian McDonald, summed it up best.

“You could feel it charge the air around him as he walked to the wicket. I do not know quite how to describe it. It was something that kept the heart beating hard with a special sort of excited fear all through a Kanhai innings, as if something marvellous or terrible or even sacred was about to happen.”

 

First-class career: 1954-1977

Mat    Inns    NO     Runs     HS     Ave    100s    50s      Ct       St

421      675     83     29250    256    49.40    86     120       325      7

 

 

Shivnarine Chanderpaul

The raw emotion of Fredericks’ batting along with the unequalled grace of Kanhai’s may best be tempered with the obdurate efforts of Shivnarine Chanderpaul. Unorthodox technique and all, Chanderpaul could bat for days without bothering himself too much about scoring and this patience made him into a legend of West Indies cricket. But he could get aggressive too when it called for it. On other days, when he was in the mood like the day he faced 478 deliveries against Jamaica in a Red Stripe Cup game at Sabina Park to score an unbeaten 303, he was impossible to remove from the wicket. That determination and those powers of concentration are a big reason behind his 53.17 average after 385 First-Class games. In all, Chanderpaul would notch a whopping 77 centuries and 144 half-centuries during a career lasting 27 years.

 

First-class career: 1991-2018

Mat    Inns    NO     Runs      HS      Ave    100s    50s         

385      626    108    27545     303*   53.17     77     144               

 

Basil Butcher

Very ‘wristy’ was one way to describe Basil Butcher, a batsman who was extremely reliable for both the West Indies and Guyana. His ability to turn deliveries around the ground belied his name, he certainly was no butcher, but rather thrived on the art of batsmanship. He was also notoriously good at blocking out his circumstances and there is a famous story about him opening a letter that told him of his wife’s miscarriage during a match against England at Lord’s. Butcher would go onto the field after reading the letter and while visibly upset, score a match-saving 133. For British Guiana in the first instance, and for Guyana in the second, innings like that became quite a bit of a staple for Butcher. In 169 matches he would score 31 centuries and 54 half-centuries. Australian commentator, without seeing his exploits at the First-Class level, described Butcher as the most difficult of all West Indians to get out. Butcher was also a competent leg spinner, taking 40 wickets in his career at an average of 30.42 and with a strike rate of 54.8.

 

Mat    Inns    NO     Runs     HS     Ave    100s     50s    

169      262    29      11628    209*  49.90     31       54   

 

 

Carl Hooper

Carl Hooper was a cool customer, rarely ever looking troubled at the crease. At the international level, this proved problematic because he would get out and it was rarely understandable how it happened. At the First-Class level though, those lapses of concentration that led to him ending with a 36.46 average were absent. Hooper scored 69 centuries at the First-Class level and was one of the most prolific West Indies batsmen of all time, more than 23,000 runs at an average of 47.68. He had 104 half-centuries to boot in a career that spanned 21 years. In those 21 years, Hooper also turned his arm over a few times, ending his career with 555 wickets at an average of 35.30.

 

First-class career (batting): 1984-2004

Mat    Inns    NO     Runs      HS      Ave      100s    50s         

339      535     52     23034     236*   47.68       69     104                     

 

First-class career (bowling): 1984-2004

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

339                46464    19595     555      7/93    35.30    2.53    83.7    18        0

 

 

Clive Lloyd

Standing at 6ft 5in, Clive Lloyd was a dominant figure in World Cricket, but as a First-Class cricketer, those 6 feet plus grew to at least 10. Averaging just south of 50, the hard-hitting former West Indies captain was a man for the moment. If you wanted to see Lloyd at his best, put his team in trouble and that would be an almost eventuality. Seventy-nine times Lloyd would pass the three-figure mark including a career-best 242 not out, and he would get to a half-century or more on 172 other occasions.

 

First-class career: 1963-1986

Mat    Inns    NO     Runs     HS      Ave    100s    50s         

490     730      96     31232    242*   49.26     79     172      

 

      

 

Alvin Kallicharran

Alvin Kallicharran could play all the shots in the book, but not only that, he could do it with a certain poise and grace almost unparalleled even today. Usually, with the kind of genius Kallicharran displayed, there comes episodes that may hinder that genius. There was none of that for Kallicharran who averaged 43.64 over the course of 505 first-class games. That average had been coming down as well, because Kallicharran, played long past the point where he was still at his best. He holds the record for the highest number of centuries from a Guyanese bat, the figure standing at 87, and 160 half-centuries to boot, with only Clive Lloyd having scored more. He would end his career with 32,650 first-class runs under his belt, again, another record for a Guyanese batsman.

 

First-class career: 1966-1990

Mat    Inns    NO     Runs      HS      Ave     100s    50s        

505      834     86     32650     243*   43.64      87     160           

 

Colin Croft

Colin Croft’s modus operandi was aggression and you couldn’t tell if he really meant to kill you after a vicious bouncer whizzed by your ear. With his very noticeable lean to the left side of the wicket, Croft would get the ball to angle towards a right-hander quite sharply before it would straighten off the pitch. That movement with pace and bounce was difficult to navigate for even the most proper of batsmen and only the very talented would survive for too long. In just 121 first-class matches, Croft would claim 428 scalps and some of those wickets were literally scalps, at the incredibly low average of 24.59. His strike rate of 49.3 makes him the most dangerous bowler Guyana has ever produced.

 

First-class career: 1971-1982

Mat    Inns     Balls      Wkts   BBI     Ave     Econ   SR       5w     10w

121     21101   10527    428     8/29    24.59   2.99    49.3     17        1

 

        

Roger Harper (allrounder)

With 567 wickets under his belt, Roger Harper is most decidedly a bowling allrounder. His average of 25.97 at a strike rate of 66.7 bares this truth out but he could also bat, having scored 10 centuries and 36 half-centuries in the 200 first-class matches he has played. Harper, like many allrounders, never wanted to be left out of the game and would make his presence felt in the field as well, picking up and throwing down the stumps all in one motion or cutting off a certain boundary. You couldn’t hit it in the air to him either because his buckets for hands would make no mistake. A tall offspinner, Harper turned the ball depending on the pitch he was bowling on but depended more on deception in flight to get him wickets. His height meant he could make a ball look like it was in the air for a long time when it really wasn’t, as well as he could spare in quick yorkers that would leave a batsman strangled for time to get his feet out of the way.

 

First-class career (batting): 1979-1997

Mat    Inns    NO     Runs     HS      Ave    100s    50s         

200      263     43     7480      234    34.00     10      36                      

 

First-class career (bowling): 1979-1997

Mat    Balls      Runs      Wkts    BBI     Ave     Econ    SR      5w     10w

200     37825    14726      567     6/24    25.97   2.33     66.7     28       3

 

 

Reon King

Reon King is quite possibly the most underrated bowler in the history of West Indies cricket, especially after fast-bowling royalty, Michael Holding, said he could neither bat, bowl nor field. King only played in 19 Tests for the West Indies but lost a yard of pace largely because of a niggling heel injury. Before that though, King generated good pace through an effortless run-up that some ironically likened to Holding’s. Before his career came to an end though, King managed 95 first-class games and 293 wickets at an average of 27.48. His figures, had he been able to remain fit may have surprised Holding. His 11 five-wicket hauls and one 10-wicket haul suggests he could turn a match.

 

First-class career: 1995-2007

Mat    Balls    Runs     wkts   BBI     Ave     Econ   SR     5w     10w

95      16120   8053      293    7/82    27.48   2.99    55.0    11       1

 

Lance Gibbs

Lance Gibbs is the most successful spinner in West Indies history, once holding the world record for most number of wickets in Test cricket history. He was no less of a standout in regional cricket. Generating immense spin with his long fingers, Gibbs was also accurate to a fault. More than a thousand batsmen at the first-class level found him impossible to deal with and his strike rate of 27.22 is proof positive of the danger he posed to them. But Gibbs’ ability to single-handedly turn a match was the real gift the spinner possessed, having taken five wickets in an innings on an unbelievable 50 occasions, and laying claim to ten 10-wicket hauls.

 

First-class career: 1953-1975

Mat    Balls    Runs      Wkts   BBI     Ave    Econ   SR      5w    10w

330     78430  27878     1024   8/37    27.22   2.13   76.5     50     10

The all-time West Indies Championship is shaping up quite brilliantly and after this week, we’ll have just one more territory (Guyana) to pick an all-time best team from.

This week figuring out who the best players from Trinidad and Tobago could not have been a more difficult prospect.

The twin-island republic has created some wonderful talents over the years it has been a part of the West Indies Championship and to find XI has been a task and a half.

One of the interesting things about the territory is the number of all-rounders of real quality it has produced. Those allrounders compete with the specialists in a real way, making picking the team on the strict premise of six batsmen, a wicketkeeper and four bowlers very interesting.

But here is our effort at doing so.

As is usual, we ask you, the fans, to help us pick this team. Comment on Facebook and let us know if we missed anybody.

Best XI

Jeffrey Stollmeyer

Jeffrey Stollmeyer’s contribution to cricket in the West Indies is a thing of legends, the batsman running the West Indies Board of Control during a tumultuous time that involved the Packer series. Before that though, Stollmeyer produced first-class cricket for Trinidad and Tobago that only Brian Lara would surpass, averaging 44.61 throughout a career that would include 14 centuries and 38 half-centuries in just 117 games.

 

First-Class career: 1938-1957

Mat    Inns    NO     Runs     HS     Ave     100s     50s

117      194     16     7942      324    44.61     14       38 

 

 

Joey Carew

Joey Carew is the first man to lead Trinidad and Tobago to back-to-back Shell Shield titles. On the way to doing that, the legendary Trinidadian scored 13 centuries and 43 half-centuries at an average of 38.47. Carew was a stylish opening batsman, who, from the looks of him, should have scored more runs than he did, and he scored a lot.

 

First-Class career: 1955-1974

Mat    Inns    NO     Runs    HS     Ave     100s     50s 

129      221    18      7810     182    38.47     13       43  

 

 

Brian Lara

Brian Charles Lara’s name is always in the discussion when someone asks who is the greatest batsman of all time. The legendary left-hander made his presence felt in the First-Class arena as well, scoring 501 not out in a County Championship match for Warwickshire against Durham at Edgbaston. Those 501 runs can be added to a mammoth 22,156 the man dubbed The Prince of Port of Spain was to score in a fabulous career. He would end that career with not just the highest aggregate of runs for a Trinidad and Tobago batsman, but with the highest average of 51.88 and the most centuries and half-centuries, the number adding up to 65 and 88 respectively.

 

First-Class career: 1987-2008

Mat    Inns    NO     Runs     HS      Ave    100s    50s  

261      440     13     22156    501*   51.88     65      88    

 

 

Larry Gomes

It is interesting that Larry Gomes was seen as too diffident in the early days of his career, but those signs of a man lacking self-confidence were merely the coverings of a batsman learning what were his strengths and deciding to be the rock that would hold everything else in place without too much fanfare. That approach would lead to 32 first-class centuries and 63 half-centuries, figures that only the greatest batsman to come out of Trinidad and Tobago would eclipse. Gomes would end his first-class career with an average of 40.56, with only Brian Lara and Jeffrey Stollmeyer ever achieving higher. His tally of 12,982 runs was no small figure either.

 

First-Class career: 1971-1988

Mat    Inns    NO     Runs    HS      Ave       100s    50s

231      370     50     12982   200*   40.56        32      63 

 

 

Gerry Gomez

Gerry Gomez is one of those rare cricketers who can do it all. Averaging 43.64, inclusive of 14 centuries and 29 half-centuries, Gomez was a fine First-Class batsman, but he was also a fine medium pacer, bagging 200 wickets over the course of his 126-match-long career. Those 200 wickets came at an average of 25.26. The batting allrounder has taken 10 wickets in an innings on two occasions to combine with the five times he has had five-fers.

 

First-Class career: 1937-1956

Batting

Mat    Inns    NO     Runs     HS      Ave      100s     50s    

126      182     27      6764     216*   43.63      14       29      

Bowling

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

126               15178    5052      200     9/24   25.26    1.99    75.8                5         2

 

 

Charlie Davis

Charlie Davis can count himself unfortunate not to have had a significant West Indies career, the middle-order batsman doing his reputation no disservice in the 15 games he played at the top. As a West indies batsman he only played 15 Tests but scored four centuries and four half-centuries to end his career with an average of 54.20. His talent is clear, as at the First-Class level his 41.32 average is special as well, the batsman scoring 14 centuries and 28 fifties in his 90 games.

 

First-Class career: 1960-1976

Mat    Inns    NO     Runs     HS     Ave     100s     50s   

90       152     18      5538     183    41.32      14       28 

 

 

Denesh Ramdin (wicketkeeper) 1.59 dismissals per innings

Being the wicketkeeper of choice in a Trinidad and Tobago all-time best XI is no easy thing, with the likes of Deryck Murray in the list of those to choose from. However, with 15 centuries and 33 half-centuries to add to his 433 dismissals at the first-class level is hard to ignore. Murray had more but from nearly twice as many games with the two achieving a similar 1.5+ dismissals per match. The difference between the two is in their batting. Murray could bat, but scored just 10 centuries from his 362 games, compared to the 15 Ramdin has scored from just 161.

 

First-Class career: 2004-present

Mat    Inns    NO     Runs    HS      Ave      100s    50s     Ct          St

161      273     36     7115     166*   30.02      15      33       393        40

 

 

Learie Constantine

Learie Constantine is one of the first truly great allrounders to come out of the West Indies. Most decidedly, a bowling allrounder, Constantine took 438 first-class wickets at an average of 20.48 and at an even more incredible strike rate of 45.5. His 24.05 average with the bat could be higher but his five centuries and 28 fifties tell the story of a hard-hitting lower-order batsman who could win you a game from both sides of the game. He was also a remarkable fielder, who saved tonnes of runs and almost never dropped a catch.

 

First-Class career: 1955-1974

Batting

Mat    Inns    NO     Runs    HS     Ave    100s    50s   

119      197     11     4475     133    24.05     5       28     

Bowling

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

119               17393     8991      439      8/38                20.48    3.10      39.6                 25       4

 

 

Tony Gray

Tony Gray was tall, strong and really quick. His six-foot, six-inch frame generated alarming bounce and when his pace was added to that it made for nightmares. In just 122 First-Class matches Gray bagged 451 wickets at an average of 22.80. His strike rate of 45.5 makes him an elite bowler, probably worthy of more worldwide acclaim than he received.

 

First-Class career: 1983-1995

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

122                20548    10283         451       8/40                  22.80    3.00   45.5                19        4

 

 

Sonny Ramadhin

With buttoned sleeves, Sonny Ramadhin neatly pulled down 758 wickets, the most for a Trinidad and Tobago bowler, making him the most successful bowler, let alone spinner in the history of the twin-island republic’s history. If Ramadhin’s impact on the West Indies team was impressive, his impact on First-Class cricket was incredible. His best figures of 8-15 cannot find many matches, while his economy rate of 2.04 strangled many a team over the 16 years he twirled his offbreak.

 

First-Class career: 1949-1965

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

184                44937   15345      758      8/15                20.24    2.04     59.2                51      15

 

 

Ian Bishop

Back injuries slowed Ian Bishop, who when he started, was incredibly quick, making spectators gasp at the thudding of the ball into the wicketkeeper’s gloves despite the man behind the stumps standing halfway toward the boundary. Even as his pace slowed, Bishop remained a real threat, swapping some of that pace for guile and know-how. He still ended up with 549 wickets at an average of 23.06 and a strike rate of 48.3.

 

First-Class career: 1986-1999

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

159             26554     12665         549     7/34             23.06      2.86   48.3                23       1

The Windward Islands have waited for a long time to get going in the production of long-standing West Indies players since the grouping of islands never started playing in the region’s first-class competition until 1959.

The group of islands made up of Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines have never won the West Indies Championship as it is called today, but they have produced some good cricketers along the way.

In continuance of creating an all-time West Indies Championship we have sought to have a look at the best players from each territory in a bid to see just what that competition would look like.

 

Windward Islands Best XI


Devon Smith (Grenada)

Devon Smith is one of the most prolific scorers in the history of first-class cricket in the region and over the last 22 years, he has almost consistently put his hands up for a chance to play at the Test level. He has not performed particularly well there, with just one century and eight half-centuries in 43 games, but at the first-class level, in 217 matches the opener has scored 38 centuries and 63 half-centuries at an average of 39.78.        

 

First-class Career: Grenada 1998-present

Mat    Inns    NO     Runs      HS        Ave      100s      50s   

217     395      26     14681     212      39.78       38        63


 

Irvine Shillingford

Irvine Shillingford was so talented that he made his first-class debut at just 16 years old, though he never played again until he was 20. Batting against a touring Australian side, and despite enjoying a fruitful career for the Combined Islands with 11 centuries and 28 half-centuries, he would not get a West Indies opportunity until he was 32 years old. Still, in just four games, he scored a century of 120, but there was little in between and he was dropped.

First-class Career: Dominica 1961–1982

Mat    Inns    NO     Runs     HS     Ave     100s     50s   

92       157       8      5449     238    36.57      11       28

 

Lockhart Sebastien (Dominica)

Lockhart Sebastien earned his place among the greats of Windward Islands cricket with 19 years of dedicated service. It didn’t hurt that he was super talented as well, scoring five centuries and 33 half-centuries in 92 first-class games. His average of 32.89 along with his attitude to leadership makes him a good fit for any batting line-up.

First-class career: 1971-1989

Mat    Inns    NO     Runs   HS     Ave    100s     50s   

92       162      12     4934   219    32.89     5        33

Andre Fletcher (Grenada)

Andre Fletcher, now a veteran of the Windward Islands set-up, has time and again, saved his team from a worse fate than it would first appear they were destined to suffer.

However, Fletcher has had the tendency to be inconsistent, but when he gets it right there are few bowlers in the region to contain him.

First-class career: Grenada 2004–present

Mat    Inns    NO     Runs     HS     Ave    100s      50s   

71       126       8       3678    123    31.16    5          22    

 

Dawnley Joseph (St Vincent)

Dawnley Joseph is possibly the most popular cricketer from the Windward Islands not to have played for the West Indies. Joseph scored five first-class centuries and 18 half-centuries on his way to a 30.89 average.

First-class career: 1986-1999

Mat    Inns    NO     Runs    HS     Ave     100s   50s   

68       124      5       3676    149    30.89     5       18    

 

 

Daren Sammy (St. Lucia)

Daren Sammy’s exploits in first-class cricket as an allrounder certainly help him make this list. As a bowler, he has taken 10 five-wicket hauls and bagged four on six occasions, while scoring two hundreds and 22 half-centuries to boot. But Sammy is also the man you want fighting in the trenches with you, leading the troops. He is the man for tight situations. With the ball, he has 217 wickets and with the bat, 3,549 runs.

        

First-class career (Batting): 2002–2013

Mat    Inns    NO     Runs          HS     Ave     100s    50s        

96       158      9       3549          121    23.81      2       22                     

 

First-class career (Bowling): 2002–2013

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

96                  13744   6312       217    7/66   29.08   2.75    63.3      6       10

 

Junior Murray (Grenada)

Junior Murray wasn’t originally a wicketkeeper but rather a batsman. He began keeping wicket but never looked very elegant because he was seen as too tall and heavy-handed, however, the combination of his keeping and his batting in combination were dangerous for opposition. His 368 dismissals in just 149 matches is an impressive statistic, while his average of 30 means he is always in the game.

 

First-class career: 1992–2002

Mat    Inns    NO     Runs    HS     Ave    100s    50s    Ct          St

149    251       30     6830     218    30.90   11       30     337         31

Kenroy Peters (St Vincent)

While just a medium-pacer of diminutive stature, Kenroy Peters could sometimes hit the bat hard with his skiddy kind of action and found a fair amount of success bowling for the Windward Islands over the course of 18 years. He bagged 232 wickets in just 78 matches at an average of just over 20.

 

First-Class Career: 1999-2017

Mat    Balls    Runs     Wkts   BBI      Ave       Econ    SR       4w      5w    

78      11601  4726      232    7/36     20.37     2.44     50.0      9          0

 

Shane Shillingford (Dominica)

It is hard to believe that Shane Shillingford has been playing first-class cricket for 20 years but he has. In those 20 years the right arm offspinner has managed 587 wickets at an average of 24.32. Shillingford could produce a mixed bag. He would bowl quickly, exchanging flight and guile for bounce and bite. But those flight variations could come as well if it needed to.

 

First-Class Career: 2000-present

Mat    Balls        Runs      Wkts   BBI     Ave     Econ   SR      4w     5w  

132     31564      14278     587     8/33    24.32    2.71   53.7    43       11

 

Winston Davis (St Vincent)

Had Winston Davis been born in any era except the one he was, he would have been a regular Test-playing quick.

And Davis was quick. That pace brought him 608 wickets at an average of 28.48 with a strike rate of 54.2. He took four wickets in an innings on 28 occasions and had seven fivers.

 

First-class career: 1979-1992

Mat    Balls     Runs     Wkts   BBI     Ave    Econ   SR     4w     5w   

181     32987   17316    608     7/52    28.48   3.14   54.2    28       7

 

Nixon McLean (St Vincent)

Tall and muscular, Nixon McLean could get quick and while he never made a very effective Test bowler, at the first-class level, the 506 wickets he took said different. McLean didn’t move the ball too often, but on a good pitch for fast bowling, he could be a handful. He hit the pitch hard enough to cause problems.

 

First-class career: 1992-2006

Mat    Balls     Runs     Wkts   BBI     Ave     Econ   SR     4w   5w 

149    26258    13925    506    7/28    27.51   3.18   51.8     19     3

The Caribbean has created many of the great cricketers in history and quite a number of them would have been greater still had they not had such keen competition for places in a stacked West Indies side.

A few weeks ago, we decided to have our own West Indies Championship featuring the all-time greatest sides from the region and a mouthwatering contest is set to unfold if you look at the teams we have come up with over the period.

Today we turn our attention to Jamaica, a country that has produced fast bowlers of the highest quality, but also every other type of cricketer you can think of. The country has had brilliant representation at the West Indies level behind the stumps, as well as with the bat.

As is usual, we invite your comments on the team we’ve selected because everybody has their favourites. For the purposes of consistency, we’ve made up the teams using six batsmen, a wicketkeeper, and four bowlers.

On occasion, somebody gets left out who people think it incredulous to do so. Do not hesitate to tell us where we went wrong by commenting under the article on Facebook or on Twitter.

 

BestXI: Jamaica

 

Chris Gayle 180 matches, 13,226 runs, 333 HS, 44.83 avg, 32 (100s), 64 (50s)

Christopher Henry Gayle’s fame and claim to greatness has come largely from his exploits in T20 cricket. However, the tall, powerful, imposing left-hander, even before that was one of the most dominant batsmen in Jamaica’s rich cricketing history. Gayle has scored more first-class runs than any cricketer the country has produced. His 13,226 runs have come at a healthy average of 44.83, only surpassed by Maurice Foster and the colossus of West Indies cricket, George Headley. Gayle has also scored 32 centuries in the format, again, the figure is only surpassed by Headley, who has 33. But Gayle stands alone in the number of half-centuries he has scored, slamming 64 of them.

 

Easton McMorris – 95 matches, 5906 runs, 218 HS, 42.18 avg, 18 (100s), 22 (50s)

Easton McMorris struggled for the West Indies when he got his chances at that level in the early 1960s, but for Jamaica, he was immense, averaging 42.18 as an opener and scoring 18 centuries and 22 fifties in just 95 matches, ending his career with 5,906 runs under his belt.

 

George Headley - 103 matches, 9921 runs, 344* HS, 69.86 avg, 33 (100s), 44 (50s)

George Headley needs no introduction really, his 22-match stint at the very top of cricket is legendary, but as a first-class cricketer, he was even more consistent, averaging nearly 70 over the course of 103 games. He scored 9,921 runs, including 33 centuries and 44 half-centuries.

 

Lawrence Rowe – 149 matches, 8755 runs, 302 HS, 37.57 avg, 18 (100s), 38 (50s)

Lawrence Rowe’s first-class average of 37.57 belies the impact he had on the game in Jamaica and certainly throughout the Caribbean. Crowds would come to regional matches just to see ‘Yagga’ bat. But he wasn’t bereft of runs when his career ended, scoring 18 centuries and 38 fifties from his 149 matches. The style with which he put together the majority of the 8,755 runs he scored was something to watch. According to teammate, Michael Holding, Rowe was the best batsman he ever saw. Unfortunately, Rowe was troubled with his eyesight, as well as an allergy to grass, of all things. That may have spoilt his performances somewhat, but at his best, there was no better batsman.

 

Maurice Foster 112 matches, 6731 runs, 234 HS, 45.17, 17 (100s), 35 (50s)

Maurice Foster was one of the most prolific runscorers in the 1960s and 70s and it was said, his ability to play fast bowling came from his love for table tennis where he was a West Indies champion at one time. In just 112 matches, Foster notched up 6,731 runs at an average of 45.17, only bettered by the great George Headley. In those six thousand plus runs can be found 17 first-class centuries and 35 half-centuries to boot.

 

Collie Smith 70 matches, 4031 runs, 169 HS, 40.31 avg, 10 (100s), 20 (50s)

Collie Smith died at the age of 26, but in that short time, the space between a boy and a man, he managed to score 10 centuries and 20 half-centuries in first-class cricket. Of course, by the time he was 26, his prodigious talent meant he had already represented the West Indies 26 times, scoring four centuries and six half-centuries. For Jamaica, he would play 70 times, amassing 4,031 runs at an average of 40.31.   

 

Jeffrey Dujon – 200 matches, 9763 runs, 163* HS, 39.05 avg, 21 (100s), 50 (50s)

A wicketkeeper averaging nearly 40 is a luxury. But his batting was only part of the story, as Dujon had to keep wicket for the West Indies during a period when it was notoriously difficult. Pace, real pace was hard to react to from behind the stumps but Dujon made his acrobatic catches so commonplace, they ceased to be a thing. At the first-class level, Dujon would claim 469 victims, 22 of those went to stumpings. But Dujon can also be proud of the 21 centuries he put together in 200 matches, as well as the 50 half-centuries that were part of his 9,763 runs with the bat.

 

Michael Holding – 222 matches, 778 wkts, 23.43 avg, 49.9 SR

The Rolls Royce of pace bowling, the man known as ‘Whispering Death’, has claimed 778 first-class wickets, standing only behind Courtney Walsh who had a markedly longer career. Holding would end his after 222 matches and his wicket tally would be taken at an average of 23.43 with a good strike rate of 49.9. A student of the game, Holding would outthink batsmen, even as he delivered with blistering pace that could shock you into doing altogether the wrong thing.

 

Courtney Walsh – 429 matches, 1,807 wkts, 21.71 avg, 47.2 SR

Courtney Walsh took a wicket every 47 balls during his long first-class career. That career would span 429 matches and include 1,807 wickets, making anything any Jamaican ever did with the ball, minuscule. His strike rate was better than Holding’s and so was his average. The stingy Walsh would only give up 21.71 runs for every wicket he took. A generally jovial, charismatic man, with ball in hand, he transformed into a bit of a grinch and is arguably the greatest pace bowler the country has produced.

 

Patrick Patterson – 161 matches, 493 wkts, 27.51 avg, 49.3 SR

Patrick Patterson drove fear into batsmen, even those who claim to like the quick stuff. Patterson, with his trademark shuffle to the crease and that high-lifting boot that would signal what’s to come, was devastating and on occasion, unplayably quick. He would end his 161-match first-class career with 493 wickets at an average of 27.51. His strike rate of 49.3 was also something to behold.

 

Nikita Miller – 100 matches, 538 wkts, 16.31 avg, 48.9 SR

Nikita Miller is the most prolific bowler in the history of Jamaican cricket. In just 100 first-class matches, Miller bagged 538 wickets at an average of 16.31. His strike rate of 48.9 is better than all his potential fast-bowling teammates. Miller has taken 10 wickets in a first-class innings on 12 occasions and also has 35 five-wicket hauls to go with the 36 occasions he took four in an innings. Between 2005 and 2019, Miller single-handedly orchestrated many of Jamaica’s victories. 

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.

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