Full name Norval Wilmon Horace McCall
Born August 9, 1980, Mansion, St Kitts
Current age 35 years 296 days
Major teams St Kitts
Playing role Bowler
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm offbreak
|Only Twenty20||Nevis v St Kitts at Coolidge, Jul 14, 2006 scorecard|
|Bat & Bowl||Team||Opposition||Ground||Match Date||Scorecard|
|1, 0/24||St Kitts||v Nevis||Coolidge||14 Jul 2006||T20|
From a family of four sporting siblings, three boys and one girl, Norval Mc Call is a stocky built off-spinning all-rounder in the mold of the Indian genre, Ramesh Powar. Size doesn't matter. He remains the only member that has represented his country at the senior level in the sport.
The growing perception is that he is a liability in the shorter version of the game. He lacks the necessary agility to rotate the strike with sharp singles - a vital requirement for middle to late order batsmen. Possessing one of the weaker throwing arms, he is usually restricted to the infield. But he compensates for this with his flattish off-spin which cannot be taken for granted. He varies his trajectory with a fair amount of innocuously-looking flight which produces a deadly drifter to the right-hander. Yet, he has a mean economy rate of less than four runs per over. Atypical of spinners, his bowling is most effective in the early parts of a limited overs' innings and despite the fielding restrictions, he manages to strangle the top-order batsmen.
In the past two years, he has been a consistent performer for his country in the annual inter-island competition. In 2005, four years since first representing his island, he collected the second-most wickets, 38. It was not enough for even an invitation to the annual Leeward Islands cricket camp - presumably, a conglomerate of the best-performing players from the most recent competition. Physical attributes take on enormous proportions when you belong to some islands.
Based on his early potential, he easily fits into an all-rounder category. But his recent batting performances have belied his ability - he bats one down for his local club which he captains. He now bats lower down the order in the national set-up and its debatable whether his run of low scores has led to a series of demotion in the order or vice versa. Not surprisingly, Norval is convinced it is latter. As a senior player, his experience and intelligence in the national team plans and strategies are grossly underutilized. It's a shame. The blame must reside squarely on both parties - player and management. There is a case for him to be more active and a part of the on-field discussions. However, with increased responsibility comes greater accountability. The onus would now reside with Mc Call to make best of the early promised shown as a teenager. Whither his career? It is unclear. Recently, he has hinted at the strong possibility of never donning the national outfit. The idea that his playing days are almost over resonates strongly within. But his frustrations are clear. At age 26, he is not passed his prime. Although he wants to branch into other areas of his life, he is not clear as to what other chore would fill his time away from the game. Perhaps, the idea of retirement, like his bowling, is likely to drift away. Nonetheless, anything is possible and he might end it then. Strange, yet ironic will be such an outcome. His idol (Ramesh Powar) who surprisingly failed to make the Indian 2007 Indian World Cup squad may have possibly played his last match. Perhaps, there is no better way to end a career - to follow in the paths of one's idol. Colin Cannonier