Possibly the coolest English accent ever. Who doesn’t enjoy Michael Holding’s pontifications on the game of cricket? Jamaica also prove that not only is their accent cool but their cricket is even cooler. Shall we go straight to picking the XI?
1. Chris Gayle
Before he was Universe Boss, Chris Gayle was actually a high quality opening batsman with the ability to block & blow. He has 4 100s off 70, 79, 80 & 96 balls to go with 2 triple centuries & another double hundred.
2. Allan Rae
Allan Rae was the opener for the West Indies immediately after world war II. Formed a solid opening partnership with Trinbago’s Stollmeyer. Scored 377 runs at nearly 63 in the those two pals of mine series
3. Lawrence Rowe
Lawrence Rowe began with a bang scoring 214 & 100* on debut. Two years later he scored a triple hundred. Was troubled by an allergy to grass & an eyesight problem but with modern medicine these could have easily been cleared.
4. George Headley (captain)
The man who was so good that when Bradman was dubbed “White Headley” no one snickered. One of only 4 men to average greater than 60 with a minimum of 20 tests played.
5. Collie Smith
Before he was tragically killed in a car accident with Garry Sobers, much was expected of the Jamaican allrounder. Few even considered him to be Sobers’ equal.
6. Jeffrey Dujon (wicketkeeper)
Dujon actually made his debut as a specialist batsman. Made regular recovery jobs when the top order failed. I’ll let cricinfo’s description of him take over.
It was one of the most spectacular sights of cricket in the 1980s. A great West Indian fast bowler – any of several suspects – roared on by a partisan Caribbean crowd, a short ball rearing, the batsman fending and edging, and behind the stumps, a lithe athlete leaping and plunging to take another one-handed blinder.
7. Gerry Alexander
An attacking batsman who also kept wickets. He topped the run charts in the famous 1960-61 series which led to the Australia-West Indies encounters being named Sir Frank Worrell Trophy.
8. Michael Holding
Whispering Death. ‘Nuff said.
9. Patrick Patterson
He could be expensive but boy could he strike fear in batsmen. The Charlie Griffith of his era.
10. Alf Valentine
One of those two pals of mine. A miserly spinner who made Ebenezer Scrooge look like a spendthrift. Slow cooked England to defeat in 1950 with 33 wickets.
11. Courtney Walsh
Not as talented as his contemporaries Ambrose or Bishop but through sheer hard work kept West Indies in the hunt until his last series vs South Africa. The first bowler to take 500 test wickets.
Not as intimidating as Barbados but a powerful XI nonetheless. Walsh & Holding is a solid new ball pair. With Patterson as enforcer & Valentine as the choker batting will not be easy. Gayle provides solidity & explosiveness at the top, Rowe & Headley the meat with Dujon & Alexander providing lower order stability. A team with few weaknesses.