Read introduction here.
Ah Barbados! An island in the Caribbean that is 21 miles (34 kms) by 14 miles (23 kms) in size. An area that is equivalent to the area covered by Tambaram to Perambur & Besant Nagar to Anna Nagar has produced innumerous all time greats. There was a time when a Barbados 2nd XI (Sylvester Clarke, Franklyn Stephenson, Ezra Moseley hardly got a game) would have beaten most teams in the world. Alas how the mighty have fallen. Without further adieu lets go straight to the starting XI.
1. Gordon Greenidge
My favourite description of one of half Hampshire’s devastating opening pair (Barry Richards is the other half) is this one on Greenidge’s famous 214*:
One of cricket’s truisms is that Gordon Greenidge was lethal on two legs… and deadly on one.
An automatic pick, no?
2. Desmond Haynes
A few folks may prefer Conrad Hunte to Desmond Haynes. Hunte, like Greenidge, scored a 100 on debut & shared a 446 run partnership with Garry Sobers in only his 3rd test, scoring 260. Hunte is probably a better choice from an objective standpoint but I am going with my gut given the tremendous chemistry Dessie Haynes shared with Greenidge. After Roy Fredericks retirement, Haynes & Greenidge took West Indies to the next level giving great starts over and over.
3. Everton Weekes
The most prolific of the 3 Ws. Another automatic pick.
4. Sir Frank Worrell (captain)
Cricket’s greatest statesman. Another automatic pick. His astute captaincy in the 1960-61 series makes him the automatic pick as captain as well.
5. Clyde Walcott (wicketkeeper)
Not many know but Walcott also kept wickets. Another automatic pick. Scored twin hundreds twice in one series against a powerful Australian side.
6. Garry Sobers
Sir Garfield St. Aubrun Sobers. ‘Nuff said. Will bowl spin. Occasionally switch to pace/swing depending upon pitch conditions.
7. Seymour Nurse
Seymour Nurse completes the batting lineup. A man who signed off with 558 runs in 3 test series, 258 of those runs in his last ever innings for West Indies.
8. Malcolm Marshall
The fast bowler who proved height is no impediment to be a fearsome bowler. Another…what else…automatic.
9. Charlie Griffith
The man who ended Nari Contractor’s career. More menace & venom to an attack that is already menacing & venomous.
10. Wes Hall
The man who bowled the last over of the tied test. A fast bowler who could bowl endlessly without any breaks & loss of pace.
11. Joel Garner
Big bird. Toe crushers. ‘Nuff said.
There you go. An unbeatable XI from an island smaller than Chennai Metropolitan area. I don’t think any world all time XI is beating this lineup. A XI that could actually be illegal. Could any other Caribbean side even come close?