10 things you should know about the best Barbados cricket players
Cricket, Barbados’ national sport, is known for inspiring almost religious levels of devotion in Bajan sports fans. The high standard of local cricket is truly surprising for such a small island. Bajans have always done well on the international stage, giving the West Indian team many of its greatest players. But it is not only at the international level that Barbados cricket stands out; Good cricket is played at all levels of the school onwards. With an incredible 160 cricket clubs on an island of just 166 square kilometers, it’s no wonder that many young Bajans grow up wanting to be cricket players. Here are ten things you should know about Barbados’ best cricket players.
Sir Garfield Sobers is known as ‘King Cricket’
Sir Garfield Sobers earned the nickname ‘King Cricket’ in 1966 for his excellent performance against England. Sobers was selected as one of the five Wisden Cricketers of the Century players in 2000. He first played for Barbados at the age of 16 in 1953, and made his test debut a year later against England. Sobers set a world record of 365 not out in a test against Pakistan and is the youngest to score a triple century with just 21.
Sir Clyde Walcott was the first non-British to chair the International Cricket Council (ICC)
Walcott, another member of the great trinity of Barbados cricket players known as the three W’s, was named president of the ICC in 1993 – the first non-British to win the post. Walcott has the most dubious honor of having captained another team to defeat Barbados, when in 1963 he led English Guiana, where he was living, until victory. Walcott, who played in Barbados, was the other half, with Worrel, of the first pair to reach a first-class partnership of 500 races.
Sir Everton Weekes set a world record for five consecutive years on his first tour
In 1948-49, aged just 23, Weekes scored 779 runs on his first tour with the West Indies. Playing in India, the young batsman reached five consecutive years, setting a world record. Weekes, along with Worrell and Walcott, dominated West Indian cricket during the 1940s and 1950s, until the injury forced him to retire prematurely. Weekes was named a knight by the cricket services in 1995.
Franklyn Stephenson is the best player in the Caribbean to ever represent the West Indies
Born in 1959, Stephenson was named Wisden’s cricketer of the year 1989. He achieved a very rare double all-round while playing for Nottingham CC – scoring over 1000 races and taking over 100 wickets. Stephenson, who now runs a cricket academy in Barbados, was part of the West Indian rebel team that toured South Africa in apartheid in 1982-83, resulting in a ban on playing for the official WI team.
Sir Frank Worrell was the first sportsman in history to have a memorial in his honor at Westminster Abbey
Born in 1924 within 18 months and a mile from the other two great Bajan W, Weekes and Walcott, Frank Mortimer Maglinne Worrell was the first black man to captain the West Indies for a complete series. Worrell was half of the first pair to get two partnerships of 500 first-class races, and was the youngest as well. The Frank Worrell Trophy is awarded to the winner of the West Indies v Australia Test in honor of Sir Frank, who captained the team in the 1960-1 test.
Reverend Sir Wes Hall was the first Indian to administer a hat-trick in the cricket test
Hall was an MP, a senator, a cabinet minister and is an ordained pastor. He made his test debut against India and Pakistan in 1958-59, during which he achieved the hat-trick (taking three wickets in consecutive deliveries). The test hat-trick has only been managed 42 times in more than 2000 test games. Hall was a fast and formidable player in 48 tests for the West Indies.
Charlie Griffith dismissed three England international players in just two
In 1959, in a masterful display of fast bowling prowess, Griffith fired three England internationals during his first class debut at the home of cricket – Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC). Griffith made a name for himself as a tough player, delivering painful yorkers and high security. On one occasion he accidentally almost killed Indian scout Nari Contractor when a security guard broke the Indian player’s skull.
Gordon Greenidge reached the highest total for a batting partnership in the history of test cricket
Together with Desmond Haynes, Cuthbert Gordon Greenidge MBE formed one of the most devastating opening hitting partnerships ever. The two did 6,482 runs hitting together, setting the record. Greenidge scored 19 centuries in 108 tests and 11 centuries in 128 one-day internationals. Greenidge is an honorary citizen of Bangladesh after training his national team for his first world cup final in 1999.
Desmond Haynes set the world record for the fastest century in a debut at One Day International
Haynes, the other half of the legendary hitting pair with Greenidge, set two records during his debut at One Day International (ODI). Scoring 148 points against Australia, he achieved the highest score for an ODI rookie, along with the fastest century record. Haynes was also one of only two players to mark a century during his first and last ODI matches.
Joel Garner holds the best bowling performance ever in a final
One of the most effective players of all time, Garner is 6’8 ”tall and has had a devastating impact on the opposing batsmen. He managed to take 146 wickets in just 98 limited games. In the 1979 world cup final against England, Garner broke a record by winning 5 wickets for just 39 races. Until 2010, Garner was the tallest player of all time in international cricket.