Test Match cricket will return to Edgbaston next summer when England take on West Indies from Thursday 17 – Monday 21 August. After a brilliant five day win over Pakistan in Birmingham, Alastair Cook and his men will take on the raw power and flamboyant style of the Windies next summer who will provide a solid challenge for the home nation.
In this article we take a look at the Windies in more detail who have a rich history and have provided some of the greatest players ever including Sir Garfield Sobers, Brian Lara and Sir Vivian Richards. The WICB joined the sport’s international ruling body in 1926 and played their first official international match in 1928. It was from the mid-1970s to the early 1990s, that the West Indies team established themselves as one of the strongest in the world in both Test and ODI cricket. The 1980s saw them set a then-record streak of 11 consecutive Test victories in 1984, which was part of a still-standing record of 27 tests without defeat (the other tests being draws). They dominated world cricket and were crowned champions in both 1975 and 1979 and to this day they still have produced some of the most iconic players in cricket history.
[quote cite=]The 1980s saw them set a then-record streak of 11 consecutive Test victories in 1984, which was part of a still-standing record of 27 tests without defeat.[/quote]
Sir Garfield Sobers – greatest all-rounder
While Bradman’s status as the greatest batsman is increasingly under threat, no one raises an eyebrow at Garry Sobers being called the greatest all-rounder. A cricketing genius, he excelled at all aspects of the game and his exceptional Test batting average (57.78) tells little about the manner in which he made the runs, his elegant yet powerful style marked by all the shots. He broke the record for the highest Test score – 365 – at 21, could bowl left-arm orthodox, wrist spin and fast-medium, and was a brilliant fielder anywhere on the ground. He was also the first player to hit six sixes in an over in a first-class game. Sir Garfield Sobers was knighted in 1975 for his services in cricket and he was chosen as one of the 5 Wisden Cricketers of the Century in 2000.
Brian Lara – record holder
A hero, a magician, an entertainer, a match-winner, a leader and no doubt Brian Charles Lara will be remembered as one of the greatest batsmen of the modern era, bracketed alongside the elite company of Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting and Jacques Kallis. He made 131 Test appearances for the Windies, scored 11,953 Test runs at an average of 52.88. He added 10,405 ODI runs in 299 games – his stats tell you everything you need to know about this man. He struck the highest individual Test score, 400 not out, against England in 2004, becoming the first man to reclaim the Test batting record. Throughout his career he has made 145 centuries in all formats of the game. Some of this greatest innings include, 277 v Australia in Sydney in 1992, 180 for Trinidad and Tobago v Jamaica in 1993, 375 v England in 1993 in Antigua, 213 against Australia in Kingston in 1998 and 221 against hosts Sri Lanka in Colombo in 2001. Let’s not forget that Lara also holds the record for the highest first-class with his 501 not he scored for Warwickshire CCC.
[quote cite=]Lara also holds the record for the highest first-class with his 501 not out he scored for Warwickshire CCC.[/quote]
Sir Vivian Richards – Master Blaster
Born on 7 March 1952 in Antigua, Sir Vivian Richards to this day is still one of the most iconic figures of West Indian cricket. The man who gave “swagger” new meaning in cricket, Richards was the most destructive batsman of his era, and while there are many with greater records, few could take on, intimidate, and rip to shreds bowling attacks like he did. He made 121 Test appearances and scored 8,540 runs at an average of over 50. Vivian Richards was known as the “Master Blaster”, and named by Wisden 2000 as one of the 5 Cricketers of the Century. He was the first West Indian cricketer to score 100 first class centuries and until recently he held the fastest century in Test cricket – 56 deliveries in 81 minutes against New Zealand – but this was recently beaten by Brendon McCullum who hit a century in 54 balls.
[quote cite=]Vivian Richards was known as the “Master Blaster”, and named by Wisden 2000 as one of the 5 Cricketers of the Century.[/quote]
West Indies New Generation
The West Indies were crowned World Twenty20 champions in 2012, lost in semi-finals in 2014 and crowned again World Twenty20 Champions in 2016 when Braithwaite hit four sixes in the final over to beat England in India. The Windies renowned for their big hitting have always produced destructible players in the modern game such as Chris Gayle, Darren Sammy and Marlon Samuels. They now have a new generation of cricketers coming through that will look to bring back success to the Caribbean and continue the rich history of Windies talented players. Alzarri Joseph and Chemar Holder are the next generation for West Indies pace bowling and they will continue the legacy left behind when Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh who were the last genuine fearsome pace bowling pair.
Secure Priority Access through WCCC Membership
West Indies will be in action at Edgbaston next summer with tickets going on-sale at 10am on Monday 10 October. As ever, all Warwickshire CCC 2017 members have priority access in our exclusive members’ areas and they can purchase their Test Match tickets now by visiting the Edgbaston Ticket Office or by calling 0121 446 3605.