Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 14th 2014 Contents A53
September 14, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
COLIN EH CROFT
For such an auspicious occasion, the 500th
Test, West Indies would probably have preferred
to have been playing against South Africa, Eng-
land, Australia, even India or Pakistan.
Had WI not played many unscheduled or
rescheduled Tests, they could have done that but
Bangladesh, rated No 10 to West Indies No 8, is
it!Only the third team to this 500 Test land-
mark---England (952) and Australia (767)---says
volumes to continuity of WI cricket since its first
Test versus England on June 23, 1928, at Lords
Cricket Ground in London, West Indies losing
by an innings and 58 runs.
With assistance from statistician Craig Cozier,
some astounding WI historical stats are presented
The first West Indies captain against England
was Jamaican wicket-keeper Robert Carl Nunes.
Jamaican Frank Martin was also included as
were George Challenor, George Francis and Her-
man Griffith from Barbados, Maurice Fernandes
and Snuffy Browne from Guyana (British Guiana),
Wilton St Hill, Clifford Roach, Sir Learie Constantine
and Joe Small of T&T.
Overall, WI has played 148 Tests vs England; 111
vs Australia; 90 vs India; 46 vs Pakistan; 45 vs New
Zealand; 25 vs South Africa; 15 vs Sri Lanka; 8 vs
Zimbabwe; and 12, including this 500th, vs
WI first Test win was over England at Bourda Oval,
Georgetown in Guyana in 1930 by 289 runs. WI won
its 100th Test, too, against Australia in 1965 at Sabina
Park, Jamaica, by 179 runs.
I actually played in WI s Test No 200, a rain-
affected draw with England at Leeds, Yorkshire, in
1980. The match analysis read: 31 overs, five maidens,
100 runs, four wickets.
WI s Test No 300, against Sri Lanka in 1993 at
Moratuwa and Test No 400 versus Zimbabwe at
Harare in 2003, were also drawn. With a full five
days available, No 500 should produce a WI win over
From 499 Tests, WI have won 81 of 227 played in
the Caribbean; 80 of 272 played overseas---winning
161, losing 168, drawing 168---with one very famous
tied Test, first ever against Australia in 1960-61.
Denesh Ramdin, T&T and WI wicket-keeper, is
WI s 35th Test captain.
Only 300 cricketers have played Tests for West
Indies. This after Guyanese Leon Johnson got his
first cap, replacing Chris Gayle, who is unavailable
T&T s Clifford Roach, opener, made 122 against
England, WI s first Test century ever at Kensington
Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados in 1930. He also had
WI s first double century, 209 at Bourda Oval in that
WI s first triple century, 365 not out, was by Bar-
badian Sir Gary Sobers against Pakistan at Sabina
Park in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1958, while most remem-
ber T&T s Brian Lara s 400 not out at Antigua s
Recreation Ground against England in 2004, thus
reclaiming the crown for Test cricket s highest single
WI s first five-wicket haul was by T&T s fast bowler
Herman Griffith, who played for Barbados, 6-103
versus England, in that same first 1928 Test series,
achieved at (now) Kennington Oval, London.
WI s best single innings bowling was by T&T s
off-spinner Jack Noriega, 9-95, against India in 1971
at the Queen s Park Oval, T&T, while the best match
analysis, by Jamaican speedster Michael Holding,
14-149, at Kennington Oval in 1976 against England,
will take great efforts to be surpassed!
The highest wicket-taker for WI in Tests is another
Jamaican, Courtney Walsh, with 519 wickets.
Personally, I had some proud Test landmarks and
The first Test I listened to, via short-wave radio
from Australia, aged seven, was WI s No 88 against
Australia, the first tied Test in Brisbane 1960.
The first Test that I actually attended was WI s
No 102 against Australia at Bourda in 1965.
Being selected to play for WI was a dream come
true. Aged 23, I was WI Test cricketer No 159, making
my debut against Pakistan in 1976-7 at Kensington
Oval, WI s Test No 176, and No 797 overall.
Sir Andy Roberts, WI Test cricketer No 149 and
I, last pair, managed to draw that match that Pakistan
should have won. I even played out the last maiden
over, bowled by Javed Miandad.
WI s Test No 177 (No 799 overall) in 1977, only
my second Test, I managed an unbelievable 18.5 overs,
seven maidens, 29 runs and eight wickets, which
still stands at the best single innings returns from
a WI fast bowler; a good day s work!
I got 100 Test wickets in 21 Tests, WI s Test No
210 (No 896 overall) versus England at Queen s Park
Oval in 1981, eventually ending my Test career in
WI s Test No 216 (No 919 overall); 125 wickets from
27 Tests in 1982. For two of five years that I played
for WI, I was also No 1 bowler, period, in the world!
I played when WI dominated fully and we all con-
tributed to the 500 Tests. Enjoy!
500 Tests for West Indies
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