Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 19th 2014 Contents A66
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt January 19, 2014
Applications, including comprehensive Curriculum Vitae and
the names of three (3) referees should be sent to:
Secretary, Board of Governors
Institute of Marine Affairs
Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies
Applications should reach the IMA no later than
31 January 2013.
Unsuitable applications would not be acknowledged.
The Institute of Marine Affairs is an agency of the
Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources
Principal Research O cer
Principal Research O cer
Principal Research O cer
With England s One
(ODI) and Twenty20
(T20) tour in Febru-
ary/March, in Antigua
& Barbuda and Barba-
dos, and ICC Cricket
50-overs World Cup
2015 next year in Aus-
tralia and New Zealand,
anything, even mira-
cles, can happen for
aspiring young crick-
eters who believe in themselves.
Caribbean cricket this year starts in earnest with the
Nagico Super 50 overs competition. After disappointing
ODI and Test tours of India and New Zealand recently,
most West Indies team places are up for grabs.
Those players who are not yet household names, but
who have been selected to their respective country s 50-
overs team, should be thinking fully like the legendary,
unique boxer Muhammad Ali.
"Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. The hands can t
hit what the eyes can t see. Rumble, young man, rumble,"
was the overpowering call invented by Ali s famous cor-
ner-man, Drew "Bundini" Brown.
Ali, a pup at 22 years old, only two years a professional,
truly believed that he could beat Sonny Liston in 1964,
even if Liston was "extremely dangerous" and "unbeat-
able," and again when, in 1974, Ali defeated "Big" George
Foreman, another "unbeatable," in Zaire; both sporting
Younger cricketers must also believe that they can
break through this season like none in recent past, hoping
to play their parts in West Indies coming out of the dol-
drums, to begin to matter again worldwide.
Here is a true, hopefully inspirational story for those
aspiring to play for West Indies---mine!
In 1976, West Indies obliterated England 3-0 through
world-class faster bowling from especially Michael Hold-
ing, Wayne Daniel, Andy Roberts, Vanburn Holder and
Bernard Julien, and tremendous batting from Roy Fred-
ericks, Gordon Greenidge, especially Sir Viv Richards,
Alvin Kallicharran and Clive Lloyd.
Holding had debuted in Australia in 1975/6 at age 21,
having played just one first class game, so impressed
captain Lloyd was with him. Look at what Holding has
done in his playing career.
By 1977, at 23 years old, I had played a solitary first
class match for Guyana versus Jamaica in 1972, with
poor returns; 15-2-75-0; even though many catches were
Not even called to Guyana s trial matches in 1973 and
1974, I went, in 1975, to study navigation in T&T, where
I played, very well, for Paragon Sports Club, catching
the eyes of late WI legend Michael "Joey" Carew, soon
to be a WI selector then, who told me that I could soon
be playing for West Indies.
I promised myself and the few around me who believed,
that as 1977 dawned, I would do whatever it took to at
least play for West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) President s
XI against the touring Pakistanis that year.
This was as high as I could have hoped for, since those
already-noted fast bowlers had destroyed England four
months earlier, and would probably do the same too, to
Pakistan in the upcoming five-Test series.
In 1977, my first four-day game that year, against
Combined Islands at Monsterrat, Jim Allen got a century,
but I also bowled so fast that many people took notice,
including the one WI selector present.
I bowled relatively well too against Barbados at Kens-
ington Oval and against Jamaica at Rose Hall, getting
just nine wickets overall from my first four first-class
matches, nothing spectacular to write home about.
But my reward was as I had hoped---selection to WICB
President s XI against Pakistan in St Lucia.
Another player included in that President s XI team
was a certain Joel "Big Bird" Garner, who at 22, had
made his debut for Barbados that year, impressing with
his speed, superb accuracy and extra bounce.
By the time that President s XI had beaten Pakistan
Rumble, young cricketers, rumble
in three of the scheduled four days, Garner
had taken seven wickets and I had taken ten
wickets in the match, to emerge joint men of
More to the point, at least West Indies had,
it was thought, found two aspiring international
But, there could be no room for us in the
Test team, as those fast bowlers who had toured
England would certainly be selected for the
first Test a week later.
Then providence, good and bad luck inter-
Holding injured his shoulder playing Bar-
bados, while Wayne Daniel pulled a calf muscle
in the same game.
That allowed two spaces to be available for
Test No. 1 versus Pakistan, filled by two relatively
unknowns---Garner and myself---who had
played only three and five first-class matches,
By game s end, I had seven Test wickets,
Garner six, never to lose our places again, except
for very occasional injuries.
The rest is storybook stuff, Holding returning
to join Roberts, Garner and myself, and the
occasional addition of very young Malcom
Roberts, Holding, Garner and myself played
only 12 Tests as a four-pronged fast bowling
combination, but in those matches, with 240
wickets available, we took more than 200 of
them, hurting many batsmen along the way,
making the legend of "Four Horsemen of the
That, like Muhammad Ali s attitude, took
unknown youth, bravado and even miracles!
So, be inspired and rumble, young cricketers,
COLIN EH CROFT
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