Throughout the decades, West Indian cricket team has had an unsteady history in Cricket. It has always had its ups and downs, from reaching its peak in the 1970s where it won the 1975 inaugural World Cup. And, all the way to the 90s where it fell from its grace to rebuilding its reputation during the 2010s in the World Twenty20 championships.
Here are the 10 most successful, and effective cricket players throughout the decades of cricket from West Indies:
10. Shivnarine Chanderpaul
Famous for his unorthodox batting style, Chanderpaul has been a great servant of West Indian cricket. He has scored more than 11,000 runs in test cricket. Moreover, he is regarded as one of the most underrated test batters of 21st century. He debuted when West Indian cricket was at its lowest. Shiv’s performances were often eclipsed by great Brian Lara’s individual prowess. However, he successfully carved a name for himself.
9. Clive Lloyd
Born on 31st August 1944, and considered one of the best West Indies cricket captains. Lloyd was also a left-handed batsman who possessed remarkable skill. He captained the West Indies from 1974 to 1985. Moreover, Lloyd is the first West Indies player to play 100 international matches. He helped West Indies win the 1975 World Cup by scoring a century in the final. For his services to cricket, he was knighted in the 2020 New Year Honors. Lloyd retired from cricket in 1985 and later served as a match referee.
8. Gordon Greenidge
Born on 1st May 1951, Greenidge is regarded as one of the most destructive opening batsmen in cricket history. He represented West Indies for 17 years in cricket. He has scored over 7500 runs in test matches. In his ODI career he has scored over 5000 runs and 11 centuries.Moreover, Greenidge holds the record for the most centuries scored at Old Trafford, a cricket ground in Manchester, England. He was a true servant of West Indian cricket. He retired from cricket in 1991.
7. Courtney Walsh
Born on 30th October 1962, he is considered as one of the greatest fast bowlers in history. He even held the record for the most test wickets for a long time. Moreover, he was also the first bowler to claim 500 tickets in test cricket. He represented West Indies from 1984 to 2001. Bowling over 5000 overs and getting over 500 wickets, at an average of 24.45 runs. He retired from cricket in April, 2001.
6. Sir Curtly Ambrose
Curtly Ambrose frightened batters with his imposing six feet tall frame, hostile bouncers and intimidating sledging. He finished his test career with a whooping average of 21. His high arm action was one of the main reasons why batters were afraid of him. Ambrose partnered with great Walsh and both used to wreck havoc on the opposing teams. He retired from the game in 2000.
5. Carl Hooper
Born on 16th December, 1966. Hooper was another Guyanese cricketer who also captained West Indies in his time. He was an off-spin bowler as well as a right-handed batsman. His international cricket career lasted 16 years. Moreover, he was very elegant with his feet. Hooper holds a unique record of taking 100 wickets, 100 catches with playing 100 matches in both one day and test format. He is West Indies’ fourth all time highest wicket taker, with almost 200 scalps. Even though he announced his retirement in 1999, he made a comeback in the West Indies team as captain in 2001. He properly retired in 2004.
4. Chris Gayle
Chris Gayle is arguably the greatest West Indian cricketer of the last decade. He earned the nickname of ‘Universe Boss’ owing to his destructive batting. Gayle was part of the T20 World Cup winning teams of 2012 and 2016. In fact he played an integral role in the winning campaigns. He has more than 1000 sixes in his international cricket. Moreover, he also has two triple centuries in test cricket. He also has an ODI double century to his name. Gayle played a crucial role in popularizing the concept of franchise cricket. He was the most sought after player of T20 leagues in the past decade.
3. George Headley
George Headley was an early twentieth century cricketer. He played 22 test matches, mostly before WW2. He is considered one of the best batsman for the West Indies as well as one of the best of all time. Headley batted at number 3, scoring 2190 runs in Tests, at an average of 60.83. He also scored 10,000 runs in all first class at an average of 69.86. He played until the outbreak of WW2 in 1939, and came back to continue his career in cricket in 1948, where he was chosen as the West Indies captain, being the first black man to be appointed as captain. His career ended in 1954.
2. Brian Lara
Born on 2nd May 1969, Brian Lara is considered one of the best cricket players of all time. Being a left handed batsman, Lara has had a near flawless cricket career as he held many records in his time. His match-winning performance of scoring 153 not outs against Australia in Bridgeton, Barbados was rated the second best all time batting performance by Wisden in the history of test cricket. He was awarded the Wisden Leading Cricketer in the World awards in 94 and 95. Moreover, he holds many records for high scoring, another example of which is 400 not out for the West Indies against England in 2004. He announced his retirement from cricket in April 2007.
1. Sir Viv Richard
Born on 7th March 1952, Viv Richard by many is considered the greatest batter of all time. He averages just over 50 and has scored more than 7000 runs in one day internationals. Despite suffering from pterygium and having an eye surgery that majorly affected his eyesight as well as his reflexes, Richard remained the best batsman for 4 years. He scored nearly 7000 runs in ODIs and 31,000 in first class cricket. He was knighted for his contributions to cricket in 1999. In 2000, he was voted one of Wisdens five Cricketers of the Century. He retired in May 1991.