The West Indies cricket team, managed by Cricket West Indies, is a multi-national men’s cricket team that mainly represents English-speaking nations and territories in the Caribbean. There are fifteen Caribbean nation-states and territories from which the players for this composite team are selected. According to the official ICC rankings, the West Indies cricket team is ranked seventh in Tests and ninth in both ODIs and T20Is as of May 13, 2021. Let us take a look at the top 10 best bowlers of the West Indies of all time.
Ranking Of Best Bowlers Of West Indies
1. Courtney Walsh
Courtney Walsh was born on 30th October 1962. He is a former Jamaican cricket player. He played a key role in the West Indies team from 1984 to 2001 and captained the West Indies in 22 Test matches. Further, he is a fast bowler and considered the best bowler of the West Indies of all time for several years. Walsh played a total of 132 Tests and 205 ODIs for the West Indies and took 519 and 227 wickets respectively. He broke most of the test wickets records of Kapil Dev from 2000.
Further, this record was broken in 2004 by Shane Warne. Again, he was the first bowler to reach 500 wickets in Test cricket. He received one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1987. In August 2016 he was chosen as the Specialist Bowling Coach of the Bangladesh Cricket Team.
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2. Curtly Ambrose (One Of The Best Bowlers Of West Indies)
Curtly Ambrose was born on 21 September 1963. He is an Antiguan former cricket player. He played 98 Test matches for the West Indies team. Further, he is widely known as one of the best bowlers of all time. Again, he took 405 Test wickets at an average of 20.99 and topped the ICC Player Rankings, and was considered the best bowler in the world. His height is 6 feet 7 inches so that makes the ball bounce unusually high after he delivered it. Hence it made him a very difficult bowler for batsmen to face. He received the Wisden Cricketers of the Year award in 1992. Finally, after his retirement, he was entered into the International Cricket Council Hall of Fame and selected as one of West Indies’ all-time XI by a panel of experts.
In 1988, he was initially selected for the West Indies. He played for the team until his retirement in 2000. His bowling performances helped West Indies win games on numerous occasions. He bowled one of the all-time great bowling spells against Australia in 1993 when he took seven wickets. Further, he played a significant role in bowling England out for 46 runs in 1994, taking six wickets for 24 runs. He is one of the all-time best bowlers who can win matches.
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3. Malcolm Marshall
Malcolm Marshall was a Barbadian cricket player. He is a fast bowler and is widely treated as one of the greatest and most famous fast bowlers of the modern era in Test cricket. He is often treated as the greatest West Indian fast bowler of all time. Further, his test bowling average is the best of any bowler who has taken 200 or more wickets. He bowled with a dangerous bouncer and generated a fearsome pace. He went on to become the most effective test match bowler of the 1980s, taking 235 wickets with an average of 18.47 in just five years.
Marshall also had seven first-class centuries and ten Test fifties, making him a very dangerous lower middle-order batsman. With 376 wickets at the end of his career, he set the record for most wickets taken by West Indies in test matches. He hold the record until Courtney Walsh surpassed it in November 1998. Further, he was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame in 2009.
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4. Lance Gibbs
Lance Gibbs was born on 29 September 1934. Gibbs is a former West Indies cricketer. Further, he was one of the most famous and successful spin bowlers in Test cricket history. He created the record by taking 309 Test wickets. Further, he is the only second player to pass 300 and the first spinner to pass that milestone. Fans throughout the world appreciated his bowling skills. He had an exceptional economy rate of under two runs per over. Further, he was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame in 2009.
A month after making his debut, Gibbs recorded his first five-wicket haul against Pakistan in the fourth Test of that team’s 1957–58 tour of the West Indies. He took five wickets for 80 runs in the match. He recorded his best bowling figures of 8 for 38 during the third innings of the third Test match between the West Indies and India. Further, he took the eight wickets in a sixteen-over spell, allowing six runs. Thereafter, he was credited with “the greatest bowling spell in Test Cricket history” by Cecil Kippins. Gibbs played ODI cricket, but he only played three matches.
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5. Joel Garner
Joel Garner was born on December 16, 1952. Garner is a former West Indian cricket player. Further, he was a member of the highly reputed 1970s and early 1980s West Indies cricket teams. He is the top-ranked ODI bowler according to the ICC’s best-ever bowling ratings. Further, he was ranked 37th in Tests. He played a key role in taking the West Indies team to the top heights in the Test and one-day cricket arenas. Garner was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame in 2010.
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6. Kemar Roach (One Of The Best Bowlers Of West Indies)
Kemar Roach was born on 30 June 1988. He is a Barbadian cricket player who plays for the West Indies. Further, he played a key role in the 2006 U-19 Cricket World Cup in Sri Lanka. He has also represented the West Indies team in Test and One Day International cricket. Roach started playing his test career in 2009 against Bangladesh when the West Indies team was not performing well. His bowling figures impressed the team management. Therefore he got an opportunity to play when the team returned to its full strength. Roach is capable of bowling speed deliveries and has frequently bowled at speeds of up to 150 kph (93 mph). Further, he was the 7th fastest bowler as of 3 January 2015. He made history in 2012 by becoming the first West Indies bowler since 2005 to record 10 wickets in a Test.
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7. Michael Holding
Michael Holding was born on 16 February 1954. He is a former Jamaican cricket player who played for the West Indies cricket team. Further, he is widely famous as one of the greatest pace bowlers in cricket history. Holding was nicknamed “Whispering Death” due to his silent, light-footed run-up to the bowling crease. His bowling action was extremely fast and smooth. His height helped him to generate large amounts of bounce and zip off the pitch.
He was a member of the fearsome West Indian pace bowling that collapsed the rival batting lineups around the world in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Further, he set a new benchmark for the best bowling figures in a Test match by a West Indies bowler early in his career with 14 wickets for 149 runs in 1976. The record is still valid. He declared his retirement as a commentator in September 2021.
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8. Garry Sobers
Garry Sobers was born on 28 July 1936. He is a former cricket player who played for the West Indies team between 1954 and 1974. Sobers is one of the greatest cricketers of all time and cricket’s greatest all-rounder. He is a famous bowler, an aggressive batsman, and an excellent fielder. Sobers started playing his first-class career for the Barbados cricket team at the age of 16 in 1953. Further, he started his Test career for the West Indies team the following year. He started playing primarily as a bowler but was soon moved up the batting order. Sobers made his first Test century against Pakistan in 1958, making it to 365 not out. He surpassed the previous mark for the highest individual score in an innings.
In 1965, Sobers joined as captain of the West Indies team. He was also selected as captain of the Rest of the World XI during their 1970 tour of England. Sobers played 93 Tests for the West Indies in total, scoring 8032 runs at an average of 57.78 and 235 wickets at an average of 34.03 while scoring runs at a rate of 57.78. He has the fifth-highest batting average in Test cricket in the list of cricket players with more than 5,000 runs.
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9. Andy Roberts
Andy Roberts was born on 29 January 1951. He is a former Antiguan first-class cricket player who is treated as the father of modern West Indian fast bowling. Roberts played Test cricket for the West Indies and took seven wickets twice in a Test inning. He played first-class cricket for Hampshire County Cricket Club after arriving in England in 1972. Later on, he also played for Leicestershire County Cricket Club. Further, he was the first Antiguan to play Test cricket for the West Indies. Roberts leads the way for many of his famous cricketers from his country including Viv Richards, Richie Richardson, and Curtly Ambrose. Roberts was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame in 2009.
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10. Wesley Hall (One Of The Best Bowlers Of West Indies)
Wesley Hall was born on 12 September 1937. He is a former Barbadian cricket player and politician. Hall was a genuine fast bowler. He was famous for his ability to bowl long spells despite his very long run-up. He played 48 Test matches for the West Indies team from 1958 to 1969. His opening bowling partnership with Barbadian Charlie Griffith was a golden moment for the strong West Indies teams throughout the 1960s. Hall was one of the most famous cricket players of his time. He was popular in Australia, where he played two seasons in the Sheffield Shield with Queensland. He had only participated in one first-class cricket match when he was selected for the West Indies team to tour England in 1957. In 1958, he played his first Test match against India and immediately became successful.
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