The Top 5 West Indies cricketers of all time
Updated: Apr 13, 2019
If you grew up in the late 70's through to the early 90's, you only knew of a dominant West Indies.
With a mix of intimidation, flair plus a big dose of charisma, a great West Indies was great for cricket. Though short on in quality slow men, they didn't need them.
They had great fast bowlers, brilliant batsmen and a superb decade of service from wicket keeper Jeff Dijon. He stood behind the stumps for the majority of their glory years.
Sadly for West indies cricket fans, and cricket fans in general, times have changed. They are not a force in test cricket and haven't been for some time. They've tasted T20 success which is now their main focus, or so it seams, in cricket.
Let's look back and see who are West Indies top 5 cricketers of all time. Criteria includes statistics, ability, presence on the field, influence on matches and success they brought to their team.
Number 5 : Brian Lara - a slowish start to his test cricket was quickly forgotten when in his 5th test, an epic 277 in Sydney announced his arrival. Broke the world record for highest individual innings twice in test cricket, and remains the only man to make 400 in a test innings.
Lara had the ability to win tests almost by himself. He just about did so against Australia in 1999. Without his 213 in the 2nd test, and his 153* in the third test, the home team would not have gone close to winning those tests.
Equally good against pace and spin, Lara's 688 runs in 3 tests away against Sri Lanka, in a side that lost all three test in that series was a truly magnificent individual performance.
Number 4 : Clive Lloyd - The old adage that Lloyd had an easy job as captain because he had to make the 'difficult' choice of giving the ball to Garner or Marshall or Roberts or Holding or Croft was unfair. Gathering players from different nations and turning them into a juggernaut was a legacy Lloyd left behind he did better than anyone before or since.
Clive Lloyd's heavy 5-1 loss at the hands of Australia steeled him. Adamant that would never happen again he assembled a fast bowling battery that dominated world cricket for the next two decades. It would be hard to find anyone who had a greater influence on West Indies cricket than Lloyd.
Number 3: Malcolm Marshall - Rated by many as the greatest fast bowler in the history of the sport, Marshall combined speed and skill to be an all time great.
Not as tall as his fellow fast bowlers, Marshall got good bounce bowled at genuine pace, and with his accuracy dismissed many a batsman caught at the wicket. Got smarter as he got older reducing his long run up but still bowling with effectiveness, he was arguably the best of a great bunch.
Remains at the top of the tree for bowlers with 200 wickets or more in terms of averages, with an impressive bowling average of 20.94 from his 81 test matches.
Number 2: Viv Richards - Some players draw people through the gates, or make you stop what you are doing to watch. Shane Warne with the ball, Adam Gilchrist and Virat Kohli with the bat are some. Viv is another.
Not technically correct and happy to play across the line, Richards was a combination of talent, strength and supreme confidence.
No matter what conditions were presented Viv calmly swaggered to the crease in the famous West Indies cap, chewing gum, never considering taking a backwards step.. Richards enjoyed great success in both formats hr played in and is considered by most as a true legend of the sport.
Number 1: Sir Garfield Sobers - I'm going to have to admit, Garry Sobers was before my time. There is a particular piece of footage, that's been shown quite a few times now, that gives good indication to how good Sobers was. The footage of Sobers actually only consists of 6 balls , but a total of 36 runs was scored off them.
If you watch footage of the fast but smooth swing of Sobers, its not hard to work out how good he would have been to watch bat.
However Sobers wasn't just pleasing on the eye, his average of 57.78 places him as one of test crickets greatest batsmen. If you then factor in his 235 wickets with seam and spin and 109 test catches you are left with the most complete cricketer who has ever played the game.