West Indies national cricket team have always been a nation that has produced world-class fast bowlers in their history. In fact, they have a particular system where they focus completely on athleticism and raw pace. This very West Indies cricket system played a substantial role in nurturing fast bowlers. Moreover, it also helped the bowlers bring the best out of themselves in real-time situations.
West Indies’ cricket have continued the tradition of producing top-tier pacers. History also tells us that the bowlers combined their game with pace and skill to ruffle the batters’ feathers on any surface. Apart from speed, the bowlers had incredible accuracy and ability to generate bounce, making them a constant threat to opposition batters.
Now, in this article, let’s take a glimpse at the Top 10 greatest West Indies fast bowlers of all time.
10. Ian Bishop
Ian Bishop is a well-known figure in the cricket fraternity. The veteran is best known for his unfaltering energy as a commentator and possesses a great deal of knowledge about the game. During the playing days of his cricketing career, he was one of the most fearsome bowlers in the world. Unfortunately, injuries dented his career. He took 161 wickets in 43 Tests and 118 wickets in 84 ODIs.
9. Garry Sobers
Sir Garfield Sobers, also known as, Garry Sobers served as a complete cricketing package for the West Indies cricket team. He could thrive as a batsman under pressure. Besides that, he could bowl well too and was a productive all-round asset to the team. Garry Sobers scored 8032 runs in 93 Tests including 26 centuries and 30 fifties. He took 235 wickets in the longest format of the game.
8. Wesley Hall
Wesley Hall was one of the fast bowlers who was built differently because he was tall and strong. He was best known for his ability to deliver long spells. The Barbadian former cricketer was a genuine paceman and had a very long run-up. Overall, he has played 48 Tests in his cricketing career (1958 to 1969). He managed to take as many as 192 wickets in the purest format of the game.
7. Charlie Griffith
Charlie Griffith formed an incredible partnership with Wesley Hall during the 1960s. Despite being associated with the sport for over a decade, he could play only 28 Tests in his career. He experienced several controversies during his career. Griffith came under fire for throwing twice and fracturing the skull of Nari Contractor (Indian captain at that time) with a bouncer. He took 94 wickets in Tests.
6. Andy Roberts
Andy Roberts was a leader of West Indies’ pace quartets in the ’70s. He represented the West Indies national cricket team in 47 Tests and 56 ODIs (1974 to 1983). Moreover, he was one of the quickest fast bowlers of his era, and it took him just two and a half years to reach 100 wickets in Tests, which was the quickest at that time. Overall, he took 202 wickets in 47 Tests and 87 wickets in 56 ODIs.
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5. Courtney Walsh
Courtney Walsh was one of those West Indies’ bowlers who made a surreal impact in international cricket. It is worth noting that he was equally effective in both Tests and ODIs, although Test was his favourite format, given his incredible achievements. Widely recognized as one of the greatest fast bowlers of all time, Courtney Walsh has bagged 519 wickets in 132 Tests and 227 wickets in 205 ODIs.
4. Michael Holding
Michael Holding is widely regarded as one of the greatest fast bowlers in the history of cricket. He is nicknamed ‘Whispering Death’ owing to his silent, light-footed run up to the bowling crease which is followed by his most aggressive bowling. West Indies cricket largely benefitted from his services in both Test and ODI cricket. He took 249 wickets in 60 Tests and 142 wickets in 102 ODIs.
3. Joel Garner
For the record, Joel Garner was the tallest of West Indies’ fast bowlers during the heydays of his cricketing career. His incredible height earned him the popular nickname “Big Bird”. He caused troubles for the batters as he could produce inflated bounce, thus making it literally tough for the batters to crack the code. Joel Garner took 259 wickets in 58 Tests and 146 wickets in 98 ODIs.
2. Curtly Ambrose
Curtly Ambrose is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest fast bowlers of all time. He was one of those rare breed of fast bowlers where he succeeded in taking crucial wickets when it mattered the most for the team. More importantly, he was a real threat to the batters as he could generate pace and bounce on any wicket. He took 405 wickets in 98 Tests and 225 wickets in 176 ODIs.
1. Malcolm Marshall
Malcolm Marshall is widely regarded as one of the greatest fast bowlers of all time. He was one of the pillars of the West Indies’ bowling unit Despite not being tall, he possessed the skiddy action under his belt where he was able to trouble the batters with quick deliveries that came off the pitch. He was aggressive with short-pitched deliveries and he claimed 376 wickets in 81 Tests (1978 to 1991).
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