Peter Jeffrey Dujon was as stylish with the bat as he was with the gloves. Many have called his efforts behind the stumps when the West Indies bowled a four-pronged pace attack of magnificent stature, one of the most spectacular sights of the 1980s.

Not usually required to score heavily for the West Indies from his place in the lower order, Duj never scored an ODI century but had six half-centuries, inclusive of 82 not out. Playing at a time when the scoring rate in ODIs was little better than Test cricket, Dujon’s strike rate of 67.51 was not slow, even if his average of 23.15 was a little low for a batsman of his quality. From behind the stumps he managed 204 dismissals, 21 of those stumpings.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Peter Jeffrey Leroy Dujon

Born: May 28, 1956, Kingston, Jamaica

Major teams: West Indies, Jamaica

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm medium

Fielding position: Wicketkeeper

 

ODI Career: West Indies (1981 – 1991)

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

169     120      36     1945      82*    23.15   2881   67.51      0       6      183    21

 

Career Highlights

  • 11th most dismissals in ODIs (204)
  • Had 183 catches and 21 stumpings in 169 ODIs
  • Scored 1,945 runs in ODIs at an average of 23.15
  • scored six half-centuries in ODIs

Grenada wicketkeeper Junior Murray was always going to have a tough time in the West Indies lineup.

This wasn’t because Murray wasn’t a talented player, but rather what he came to the lineup to do.

Peter Jeffrey Dujon had left the West Indies after 10 years wicketkeeping to the quickest and most fearsome bowlers the region and maybe the world had ever produced.

The svelt, stylish wicketkeeper was replaced by the diminutive David Williams of Trinidad and Tobago, but that relationship had only lasted 11 Test matches.

Williams size meant he wasn’t able to make the tremendous leaps it took to grab a hold of some of the edges from batsmen or even the odd errant delivery from some of West Indies’ quicks.

His stint with the gloves for the West Indies soon came to an end and it was the hope that Murray, who came into the side, would now be an adequate replacement for Dujon.

And maybe it wasn’t fair to place the big shadow that the skinny Dujon cast on Murray, and while he never quite replaced Dujon, he didn’t wilt under the pressure either.

Murray wasn’t a natural wicketkeeper and had started out as a batsman for the Windward Islands. Even after taking the gloves, he never looked the part. Some thought he was too tall, and others thought his hands weren’t soft enough to be a good gloveman. Still, others questioned his ability to bat at the highest level despite his background as a batsman.

Well, in the first innings of the second Test on a tour of New Zealand, Murray came to the party.

Choosing to bat, a careful Stewart Williams and Sherwin Campbell made their way to 85 before the former went for an unusually slow 26.

Brian Lara, batting at his preferred number three in the lineup at the time, joined Campbell and the two, led by the Trinidad and Tobago batsman, put on 49 before the latter went for a well-played 88.

Lara (147) would go on to share a partnership of 221 with Jimmy Adams (151). Keith Arthurton, batting at an increasingly familiar five in the West Indies lineup also got in on the run-scoring game, scoring a patient 70 in a partnership of 94 with Adams then one worth 72 with Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who would end up unbeaten on 61 when the West Indies declared the innings.

That declaration, 660-5, came earlier than expected, as everybody, except for Lara had to score quite slowly based on the nature of the pitch.

Lara though scored his 147 from just 181 deliveries, slamming 24 fours with a strike rate over more than 80.

Only Murray would do better. Thinking team first, the wicketkeeper threw caution to the wind, slamming 11 fours and two sixes, as well as some really aggressive running between the wickets with Chanderpaul.

So dominant was the wicketkeeper-batsman that he scored 101 from the 139-run partnership he shared with Chanderpaul, for his first and only Test century.

Murray showed he could bat. He did have the dangerous Danny Morrison to contend with, showing he had no problem dealing with pace.

This story could have easily been about Courtney Walsh though, as the eventual man-of-the-match bagged 7-37 in New Zealand’s first innings before returning to 6-18 in the second and a match haul of 13-55.

But Walsh had many an occasion in the sun for the West Indies and I wanted to point tp the exploits of a player from the Windward Islands, a region often overlooked unless it was to find a bowler.

Murray’s century, coming from just 88 deliveries gave the West Indies three days to get the New Zealand side out twice.

They did, Walsh’s heroics skittling them out for 216 and 122, ending the game inside four days. The West Indies would win the two-match series 1-0.

The century meant more than you would at first believe though. It meant Murray became only the second player from the Windward Islands to score a century for the West Indies after Irvine Shillingford did so in 1976 against Pakistan.

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. 

Very few players in Test Cricketing history have managed to combine batting and wicket-keeping as consistently and successfully as Dujon has. Agile and acrobatic in his movements, and possessed of a great pair of hands, he was riveting to watch as he handled the pace of the great fast bowlers of his time. Men such as Holding, Roberts, Marshall, Garner, Ambrose, and Walsh benefitted greatly from his ability to do the spectacular.

He remains in the top five on the all-time world list, and No.1 in the history of West Indies Cricket in dismissals with 267 catches and five stumpings. Jeffrey Dujon is the only West Indian cricketer to have played for a decade and never have lost a test series.

Dujon's runs for West Indies were often made after the dashing top-order batsmen had for once charged into oblivion, whereupon he and Gus Logie would set about rebuilding the innings. He scored 110 against India in the Antigua Test of 1982-83, 130 against Australia at Port of Spain in 1983-84, 101 against England at Old Trafford in 1984, 139 at Perth in 1984-85, and 106 not out against Pakistan in 1987-88.

 

Career Statistics

Full name:  Peter Jeffrey Leroy Dujon

Born:    28 May 1956 (age 63)

Kingston, Jamaica

Batting:  Right-handed

Bowling: Right-arm medium pace

Major Team: West Indies (1981-1991)

Role: Wicketkeeper

 

            Mat    Inns    NO     Runs   HS     Ave     100    50      Ct    St

Tests   81     115        11      3322   139    31.94         5    16     267     5

 

 

Achievements

The late great Malcolm Marshall was a terrifying pace bowler and many have argued that he was the best there has ever been.

Smart, deceptively quick, and brutal, Marshall had all the attributes to make him a nightmare for any batsman, no matter how much class he possessed.

But on a day in 1983, in India no less, Marshall showed something new, well it was at least new to them.

Marshall had scored four centuries in his career outside of Test cricket, three for New Hampshire, and one when he was an under-19 cricketer, playing against Zimbabwe but his Test cricket average of 10, hadn’t shrouded him in glory. He would eventually push that average up to 18 by the time his career ended in 1991. But still, there was not much expected of him.

On a surprisingly slow wicket in Kanpur, the West Indies went to bat on the first day and soon got in trouble with Desmond Haynes, 6, Viv Richards, 24, Larry Gomes, 21, skipper Clive Lloyd, 23, and Gus Logie, 0, all back in the pavilion.

In step Phillip Jeffrey Dujon to join the unusually sedate Gordon Greenidge and the two set to rebuilding the innings, but at 255-5 on the first day and despite a recovery from 157-5, the game was still in the balance.

Greenidge would resume on the second day on his overnight 130 and go on to bat for just over nine hours on his way to scoring 194 from 368 deliveries.

The great West Indies opener would strike 23 fours and not a single six in his near-200-run innings, while Dujon, who was on 48 from the day before, was marginally more adventurous, batting for just about three hours before he was bowled by Roger Binny for 81.

Marshall walked to the wicket looking like he did not have a care in the world on the second day, probably sure in his mind that when he got the ball, the balance of the game would swing yet again.

But before that though, he might have well give his fellow pacers some more time to relax in the pavilion.

Marshall, batting with Greenidge, showed he wasn’t just good with ball in hand but hunkered down for the next three hours or so and faced 151 deliveries on his way to his highest ever Test score, 92. Forty-four of those 92 runs would come in boundaries.

He played no small part in helping Greenidge score as many as he did. When Greendidge went, Eldine Baptiste, 6, Michael Holding, 0, and  Winston Davis, 0, did not last long.

But Marshall wasn’t done yet either. He would return to make a mockery of Kapil Dev’s 4-99 with 4-19 that put the result decidedly in West Indies’ favour. The West Indies had made 454 all out on the back of Marshall, Dujon, and Greenidge’s innings but then the paceman helped route India for just 207.

The West Indies would not bat again, as for the second time in the game, Marshall grabbed four, this time going for all of 47.

Marshall’s bowling, as per usual, was tremendous, but this was the first time his batting was doing the talking as the West Indies removed Pakistan for 164 to win the game by an innings and 83 runs.

The West Indies would go on to win the 6-Test series 3-0 and Marshall had become a legend in India.

Former legendary West Indies wicketkeeper Jeffrey Dujon believes recent social media flare-ups from veteran Windies players Marlon Samuels and Chris Gayle are sad but not unusual for players facing the end of their careers with some amount of bitterness.

The 63-year-old former player turned commentator, pointed out that while he did not have insight into the specifics of the situations the phenomena itself is nothing new.  He believes it has, however, been magnified with the advent of the social media age and players being able to share their opinions with the click of a button.

Gayle and Samuels recently garnered the attention of the ‘social media verse’ with blistering tirades against former teammates.  Samuels vented his frustration with current West Indies Test captain Jason Holder, while Gayle reserved his anger for Ramnaresh Sarwan his former teammate and assistant coach at the Jamaica Tallawahs.  The Caribbean Premier League (CPL) team did not resign Gayle in the offseason.

“This is not the first time something like this has happened, this goes way back.  In terms of even myself the way that my career ended.  In those days we didn’t have the media like what they have now to voice their opinions,” Dujon told the Mason and Guest radio program recently.

“It’s always sad when someone, people who have been outstanding in one way or the other end their careers on a sour note like that, but that’s the world today, people have the platforms to speak their minds and are more inclined to do so,” he added.

“It’s not nice when people are at the end of their careers and there is that much bitterness, but we have to move on.”

 

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