Spinner July 20, 2010

Those two pals, and Toothpick

West Indies may not have produced as many top-notch spinners as fast bowlers, but the ones that did come through were world-beaters
  shares 76

Spin bowling is definitely not West Indies' best suit. With only Sonny Ramadhin, Alfred Valentine, and Lance Gibbs of the quality to rank with the lowest of their great openers, middle order, and their long line of fast bowlers, the truth is that when it comes to strength in numbers, West Indies' spin bowling ranks just below their wicketkeeping and probably only above their allrounders.

In terms of quality, though, it's a different matter. No one can question, for example, the quality of batsmen like Conrad Hunte and Gordon Greenidge, George Headley, Viv Richards, and Brian Lara, allrounders like Garry Sobers and Learie Constantine, wicketkeepers like Jackie Hendriks and Jeffrey Dujon, and fast bowlers like Wes Hall and Andy Roberts. The same is true of the three great West Indies spin bowlers. All three of them, Sonny Ramadhin, Alf Valentine and Lance Gibbs possessed quality of the rarest breed.

Two of them, "the spin twins", one bowling with his right hand, the other with his left, were the architects of West Indies' first victory in England and their first series victory anywhere. The other - so slim they called him Toothpick - was an important member of the first great West Indies team, which after victories over India, England, and Australia in the 1960s was rated the unofficial champion of the world.

Valentine was the first (and remains the youngest) bowler to reach 100 Test wickets for West Indies. When Ramadhin finished his career in 1960, after 10 years and 43 Test matches, he held the West Indies record for the most Test wickets, with 158. When Gibbs called it a day in 1976, after 18 years and 79 Test matches, he held the world record for the most Test wickets, with 309.

The contenders

Alfred Valentine
Although it is "Ramadhin and Valentine" and not the other way round, in West Indies' first Test of 1950, Valentine was called into action before Ramadhin, and he went on to take the first eight wickets in England's first innings. With three more in the second, Valentine got 11 for the match. He went on to finish with 139 in 36 Test matches at an average of 30.32. His haul of 33 wickets in that four-Test series lasted as the West Indies record until 1988, when Malcolm Marshall took 35 wickets in the five-Test series against England.

Sonny Ramadhin
While Valentine picked up the wickets in the first Test, Ramadhin got match-winning figures of 5 for 66 and 6 for 86 in the second, at Lord's. Bowling offbreaks and legbreaks that were difficult to pick, his greatest day was probably May 30, 1957 at Edgbaston, when he mesmerised England with 7 for 49 runs off 31 overs.

Lance Gibbs
A slim offspinner, Gibbs was a perfect foil to the pace of Wes Hall and Charlie Griffith, and the many skills of Garry Sobers, during the 1960s. He spun the ball viciously, got it to bounce, varied his pace, length and line beautifully, and bowled a straight one that went on towards slip. While many may talk about his three wickets in four deliveries and his hat-trick against Australia, his best performance was probably the one against India, when, against batsmen who were nurtured on spin, on a Kensington Oval pitch that traditionally favoured fast bowling, he took 8 for 38 runs off 15.3 overs.

We'll be publishing an all-time West Indies XI based on readers' votes to go with our jury's XI. To pick your spinner click here

Former sports editor of the Jamaica Gleaner and the Daily News, Tony Becca has covered West Indies cricket for 30 years

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY trepuR on | July 23, 2010, 16:25 GMT

    @eddy501, I partialy agree with you, but you must find a happy medium between prolonged success and the peaks and dazzling heights of players careers, you must reward longevity, but also the heights which players reached.

  • POSTED BY on | July 23, 2010, 12:46 GMT

    My all time WI team is : Greenidge Hunte Headley- Capt Richards Lara Sobers Walcott- Wkpr Marshall Holding Roberts Gibbs

    Leon Francis - Florida Caribbean Sportsline.

  • POSTED BY eddy501 on | July 23, 2010, 12:36 GMT

    @ Metman.....surely this exercise, which is strcitly one of fantasy and fun (joining players together from different eras..etc) and not one averages? We are debating which top players should make the team. I wouldnt pick VIV in 1990 but i'd pick him in 1976!!!! Surely we are picking the greatest players at the greatest level? Viv Richards at the top of his game is in my opinion the greatest batsmen ever...full stop. Sure, not in 1990 when he finnished or 1974 when he started. This exercise isnt about who was the most consistant players!!!!!!!! Youre picking a fantasy team with players from different times playing at there optimum level....eg Lara 277,153*1999, Marshall 7-22 1988, Viv all of 1976, Holding 14-149 1981 etc...These heights of performance are not matched by Weekes, or Walcott or Worrell or Roberts. It's easy, think of the best players and then their best performances then you'll seperate great from legendary.

  • POSTED BY Metman on | July 23, 2010, 12:27 GMT

    @wibbly!Why did you got from high class spin bowlers to strong spin bowlers?Wrong choice of words again my friend.They were all mediocre to good,with the exception of Nanan,who was the best of the lot.The others were only effective at the QPO,especially Willie Rodriguez ,and Jack Noriega,both of whom you did not mentioned .,and were better than the rest at the QPO.All the test matches that the WI played did not take place at the QUEENS PARK OVAL.So judging from your remarks,the reasoning/non reasoning,your likes/dislikes,your putting down of greats , your preferences and the hear say,I can conclude that YOUR team will include GIBBS,with Murray as the keeper.No problem!but dont find faults with other players to make a cause for yours.My preference was Walcott over Dujon,I didnt find fault with Dujon ,I tried to use ALL the information I could obtained from STATS to make a case for Walcott.

  • POSTED BY Metman on | July 23, 2010, 11:49 GMT

    @wibbly!You claimed that Dujon flung himself around because he lack the footwork and technique to be a good keeper.So are you not putting down a great WI keeper in preference for another?That only not shows ignorance on your part,but a lack of commonsense , cricketing knowledge and reasoning as well!Hey! Dujon at that time could not walk into any other test team purely as a batsmen,RUBBISH!He could not even walk into the WI team as a batsman.Because other people said that Murray was the best they have seen,means ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!That is HEAR SAY!big man!You said that you would be happy with the selection of either Hendricks or Murray,yet you HIGHLIGHTED Murray!You only added Hendricks to act as a distraction so as not to appear BIAS,and every one knows that Murray is the better batsman.Dujon kept to spinners in the Jamaican team all over the WI.As far as I can remember,the battery of world class TT spinners were only effective at the Queens Park Oval in the 70s.

  • POSTED BY on | July 23, 2010, 2:14 GMT

    There is so much of disagreement of who the nomination are, I wonder is this WI ALL TIME XI. We must put a lot of things into consideration when choosing each player. For batsmen THE OPPOSITION BOWLERS,for bowlers THE OPPOSITION BATSMEN, KEEPERS which bowler were in the line up. I put my trust in our chosen panel to also consider the amount of test matches players played. I am still favoring LARA,SOBERS,CHANDERPAUL,AMBROSE,DUJON,MARSHALL,GIBBS..... I am having a feeling there will be no Chanderpaul, there will be a lot of question arising from that.. The others suppose to be make the XI COMFORTABLE.....................

  • POSTED BY Metman on | July 22, 2010, 23:00 GMT

    @abner564.Well! Well! Well! I too am a diehard WI fan,and I too have never heard anyone in their sane or insane mind pick a batsman based on how they walk,how they put fear in everybody,how pretty they look at the wicket,or how pretty they look playing shots.If that was the case,big man,one Carl Hooper would have been the #1 choice!Did you DELIBERATELY leave out Weekes,to make out a case for Richards?It was not Worrell in the 40s,It WAS WEEKES IN THE 40s -50s!It was also Walcott in that era too!.Why did you chose Headley,left out Weekes and Walcott and went for Richards?because of his swagger and fear factor?Weekes and Walcott were not known for their swagger or fear factor,yet they were more reliable than Richards.They both put fear in bowlers with their BATS !The panel didnt ask us to pick the best players from an era.Lara wasnt known for swagger and fear factor.Just like Weekes and Walcott,he put fear in bowlers with his BAT!

  • POSTED BY amitava0112 on | July 22, 2010, 18:39 GMT

    i have already publshed my bestWI XI on 20/7/10 with as follows: Fredricks, Greendge, Richards,Lara,Headley, Sobers(c),Dujon(wk),Marshall,Holding,Ambrose & Garner. With so much quality available I now cannot resist but publish my 2nd best WI XI as follows: Hunte, Haynes, Weekes, Kanhai, Lloyd, Worrell(c),walcott(wk),Roberts,Croft, Clarke,Hall. Again no spinner taken because I guess with the fastmen at our disposal (even in 2nd XI) we dont require any. batting wise the 2nd XI suffers only slightly in quality than the 1st XI.but middle order is as good..weekes,Knhai,lloyd,worrell hardly any inferior.& the fastmen in 2nd XI maybe just 0.1% lower in overall quality & records than 1st XI(only just) but probably a couple of notches higher in fear factor as Roberts(who may well hv been in 1st XI) got great bouncers with variety, Croft was v.awkward to face,Hall dangerous & Clarke considered by many batsmen of his time as fiercely fast whom not many wanted to face.Again bish & Walsh misses out

  • POSTED BY bbpp on | July 22, 2010, 13:45 GMT

    King Viv not not justified because of STATS! (I guess to make way for one of the W's - great as they were) No sane person anywhere in the cricketing world other than B/dos would suggest that! 100 years from now Worrell would be relevant for captaincy but Headley, Sobers, Lara & Viv would always be named among the "master bats" of WI cricket because of their DOMINANCE and significance in the team in which they played and in WORLD cricket during their playing days. Stats & Avgs are not all...that's why Kallis is not considered in the same breath as Sobers, why Greg Chappell is better than Ponting, why Gavaskar is better than Hayden, etc. etc.

  • POSTED BY wibbly on | July 22, 2010, 13:41 GMT

    metman, you also missed my main point. If no spinners were in the windies all time 11, I would pick Dujon because he was by far the better batsman, in his day Dujon could have walked into any other test team purely as a batsman. I simply feel that if a spinner or two(counting Sobers as the second spinner) is included we need a keeper with better technique. To be fair, Dujon never really kept to spin(apart from Viv's part timers) and I am not sure that he could handle a top class spinner. This is simply the age old debate concerning the batsman/keeper i.e. Dujon versus the keeper/batsman i.e. Murray. In the modern game the batsman/keeper wins especially one of Dujon's quality but there's no need to put down a great west indian cricketer because you have a preference for another. windies forever.

  • POSTED BY trepuR on | July 23, 2010, 16:25 GMT

    @eddy501, I partialy agree with you, but you must find a happy medium between prolonged success and the peaks and dazzling heights of players careers, you must reward longevity, but also the heights which players reached.

  • POSTED BY on | July 23, 2010, 12:46 GMT

    My all time WI team is : Greenidge Hunte Headley- Capt Richards Lara Sobers Walcott- Wkpr Marshall Holding Roberts Gibbs

    Leon Francis - Florida Caribbean Sportsline.

  • POSTED BY eddy501 on | July 23, 2010, 12:36 GMT

    @ Metman.....surely this exercise, which is strcitly one of fantasy and fun (joining players together from different eras..etc) and not one averages? We are debating which top players should make the team. I wouldnt pick VIV in 1990 but i'd pick him in 1976!!!! Surely we are picking the greatest players at the greatest level? Viv Richards at the top of his game is in my opinion the greatest batsmen ever...full stop. Sure, not in 1990 when he finnished or 1974 when he started. This exercise isnt about who was the most consistant players!!!!!!!! Youre picking a fantasy team with players from different times playing at there optimum level....eg Lara 277,153*1999, Marshall 7-22 1988, Viv all of 1976, Holding 14-149 1981 etc...These heights of performance are not matched by Weekes, or Walcott or Worrell or Roberts. It's easy, think of the best players and then their best performances then you'll seperate great from legendary.

  • POSTED BY Metman on | July 23, 2010, 12:27 GMT

    @wibbly!Why did you got from high class spin bowlers to strong spin bowlers?Wrong choice of words again my friend.They were all mediocre to good,with the exception of Nanan,who was the best of the lot.The others were only effective at the QPO,especially Willie Rodriguez ,and Jack Noriega,both of whom you did not mentioned .,and were better than the rest at the QPO.All the test matches that the WI played did not take place at the QUEENS PARK OVAL.So judging from your remarks,the reasoning/non reasoning,your likes/dislikes,your putting down of greats , your preferences and the hear say,I can conclude that YOUR team will include GIBBS,with Murray as the keeper.No problem!but dont find faults with other players to make a cause for yours.My preference was Walcott over Dujon,I didnt find fault with Dujon ,I tried to use ALL the information I could obtained from STATS to make a case for Walcott.

  • POSTED BY Metman on | July 23, 2010, 11:49 GMT

    @wibbly!You claimed that Dujon flung himself around because he lack the footwork and technique to be a good keeper.So are you not putting down a great WI keeper in preference for another?That only not shows ignorance on your part,but a lack of commonsense , cricketing knowledge and reasoning as well!Hey! Dujon at that time could not walk into any other test team purely as a batsmen,RUBBISH!He could not even walk into the WI team as a batsman.Because other people said that Murray was the best they have seen,means ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!That is HEAR SAY!big man!You said that you would be happy with the selection of either Hendricks or Murray,yet you HIGHLIGHTED Murray!You only added Hendricks to act as a distraction so as not to appear BIAS,and every one knows that Murray is the better batsman.Dujon kept to spinners in the Jamaican team all over the WI.As far as I can remember,the battery of world class TT spinners were only effective at the Queens Park Oval in the 70s.

  • POSTED BY on | July 23, 2010, 2:14 GMT

    There is so much of disagreement of who the nomination are, I wonder is this WI ALL TIME XI. We must put a lot of things into consideration when choosing each player. For batsmen THE OPPOSITION BOWLERS,for bowlers THE OPPOSITION BATSMEN, KEEPERS which bowler were in the line up. I put my trust in our chosen panel to also consider the amount of test matches players played. I am still favoring LARA,SOBERS,CHANDERPAUL,AMBROSE,DUJON,MARSHALL,GIBBS..... I am having a feeling there will be no Chanderpaul, there will be a lot of question arising from that.. The others suppose to be make the XI COMFORTABLE.....................

  • POSTED BY Metman on | July 22, 2010, 23:00 GMT

    @abner564.Well! Well! Well! I too am a diehard WI fan,and I too have never heard anyone in their sane or insane mind pick a batsman based on how they walk,how they put fear in everybody,how pretty they look at the wicket,or how pretty they look playing shots.If that was the case,big man,one Carl Hooper would have been the #1 choice!Did you DELIBERATELY leave out Weekes,to make out a case for Richards?It was not Worrell in the 40s,It WAS WEEKES IN THE 40s -50s!It was also Walcott in that era too!.Why did you chose Headley,left out Weekes and Walcott and went for Richards?because of his swagger and fear factor?Weekes and Walcott were not known for their swagger or fear factor,yet they were more reliable than Richards.They both put fear in bowlers with their BATS !The panel didnt ask us to pick the best players from an era.Lara wasnt known for swagger and fear factor.Just like Weekes and Walcott,he put fear in bowlers with his BAT!

  • POSTED BY amitava0112 on | July 22, 2010, 18:39 GMT

    i have already publshed my bestWI XI on 20/7/10 with as follows: Fredricks, Greendge, Richards,Lara,Headley, Sobers(c),Dujon(wk),Marshall,Holding,Ambrose & Garner. With so much quality available I now cannot resist but publish my 2nd best WI XI as follows: Hunte, Haynes, Weekes, Kanhai, Lloyd, Worrell(c),walcott(wk),Roberts,Croft, Clarke,Hall. Again no spinner taken because I guess with the fastmen at our disposal (even in 2nd XI) we dont require any. batting wise the 2nd XI suffers only slightly in quality than the 1st XI.but middle order is as good..weekes,Knhai,lloyd,worrell hardly any inferior.& the fastmen in 2nd XI maybe just 0.1% lower in overall quality & records than 1st XI(only just) but probably a couple of notches higher in fear factor as Roberts(who may well hv been in 1st XI) got great bouncers with variety, Croft was v.awkward to face,Hall dangerous & Clarke considered by many batsmen of his time as fiercely fast whom not many wanted to face.Again bish & Walsh misses out

  • POSTED BY bbpp on | July 22, 2010, 13:45 GMT

    King Viv not not justified because of STATS! (I guess to make way for one of the W's - great as they were) No sane person anywhere in the cricketing world other than B/dos would suggest that! 100 years from now Worrell would be relevant for captaincy but Headley, Sobers, Lara & Viv would always be named among the "master bats" of WI cricket because of their DOMINANCE and significance in the team in which they played and in WORLD cricket during their playing days. Stats & Avgs are not all...that's why Kallis is not considered in the same breath as Sobers, why Greg Chappell is better than Ponting, why Gavaskar is better than Hayden, etc. etc.

  • POSTED BY wibbly on | July 22, 2010, 13:41 GMT

    metman, you also missed my main point. If no spinners were in the windies all time 11, I would pick Dujon because he was by far the better batsman, in his day Dujon could have walked into any other test team purely as a batsman. I simply feel that if a spinner or two(counting Sobers as the second spinner) is included we need a keeper with better technique. To be fair, Dujon never really kept to spin(apart from Viv's part timers) and I am not sure that he could handle a top class spinner. This is simply the age old debate concerning the batsman/keeper i.e. Dujon versus the keeper/batsman i.e. Murray. In the modern game the batsman/keeper wins especially one of Dujon's quality but there's no need to put down a great west indian cricketer because you have a preference for another. windies forever.

  • POSTED BY wibbly on | July 22, 2010, 13:30 GMT

    metman: I am not a Trini and would be happy with the selection of either Hendricks or Murray, one is Jamaican, the other Trinidadian. Obviously you do not know much about cricket but Murray kept to Roberts, Holding, Croft , Garner and others from 1975 to his retirement in 1980/81. He also kept wicket to Hall and Griffith in the 60's and never "froze in his stance"-that comment alone reveals your ignorance. Murray kept to Gibbs and Sobers(spin/ pace) as well as to Trinidad's four strong spin attack in the 70's: Inshan Ali,Raphick Jumadeen, Imtiaz Ali, Rangy Nanan. All were very good spinners who like other spinners at the time could not make the windies team because of the proliferation of pace. Murray has always been ranked as a top class keeper and I would refer you to the comments of Clive Lloyd, Tony Greig, Godfrey Evans, Ted Dexter and others who all rated him as among the best they had seen. Unlike you I would never put down a great west indian cricketer and dujon was a great.

  • POSTED BY on | July 22, 2010, 6:39 GMT

    I would do some adjustments with the middle-order, to make openers...Greenidge-Haynes were awesome, but you can't drop the 3Ws, Headly an all to accommodate. G-H. Here is my XI:

    1.Everton Weeks 2.Frank Worrel (c) 3.George Headly 4. Brain Lara 5. Viv Richards 6. Gary Sobers (vc) 7.Clyde Walcott (wk) 8.Joel Garner 9.Michael Holding 10. Curtly Ambrose 11.Andy Roberts/Lance Gibbs (latter, for sub-continent)

  • POSTED BY cal2810 on | July 22, 2010, 3:09 GMT

    Cozier Bias??? No he is just straight foward, you JUST CAN HANDLE THE TRUTH. He call it just as it is.Take a good read, of all the comments posted. That is why West indian cricket is what it is today. TOO MUCH pulling and thugging. OH I want this one, because he is from MY island.....Please.. I support the WI no matter what!

  • POSTED BY Naru-12 on | July 22, 2010, 2:51 GMT

    I do not see Carl Hooper, Roger Harper, Richards ( a partime but a great spinner), Larry Gomes - this list is incomplete.

  • POSTED BY sneeky55 on | July 22, 2010, 0:16 GMT

    my XI: Greenidge, Haynes, Richards, Lara, Headley, Sobers, Dujon, Walsh, Ambrose, Marshall/Holding/Garner, Gibbs/Holding/Marshall/Garner

  • POSTED BY Metman on | July 21, 2010, 22:42 GMT

    @wibbly,and others!.Dujon flung himself around, yes !because he HAD footwork!How else would he collect those expess balls that were heading down the legside or towards the slips?It takes both reflexes and footwork! Murray would have frozen in his stance.Who are the battery of top class TT spin bowlers in the 70s?How come they were not contenders in this exercise,TRINI ?You are not making any sense!Murray is not even in the picture,big man!it is a straight race between Walcott and Dujon.Sorry,only 1 trini will make it into this XI.,dont try to make a case for another.

  • POSTED BY abner564 on | July 21, 2010, 21:17 GMT

    Oh yea my choice for spinners is GIBBS....I loved hearing stories of him spinning the ball while bowling till his fingers began to bleed ....that's determination of a wonderful bowler....

  • POSTED BY abner564 on | July 21, 2010, 21:15 GMT

    Well! Well! Well! I'm a die hard west indian fan and have never heard anyone in the sane or insane mind wanting to be leaving King Viv out of any west Indies line-up....the role Viv played in the west indian line-up is the same role Headley played in the 1930's, Worrell in the 1940's, Sobers in the 1950's - 1960's, Now Richards 1970's - 1980's,and Lara 1990's - 2000's....What's that role?? Mere presence to dominant any attack on their day with sheer grace, power and skill.....the other batsmen who were also great in there own right just enjoyed the batting against guys running in and bowling sacred...That's why the calypso batsmen where never criticized over technique because it never got to a point for their technique to become exposed.....thats why west indies batsmen are failing miserably now a days they isn't that scare factor in the line up....(remember chanderpaul is a workman like batsman who's awesome but just does not have the power to scare bowlers)

  • POSTED BY suvo1987 on | July 21, 2010, 20:41 GMT

    It is impossible to find out WI all time X11.Only one country in our entire globe has tht kind of bunch of talent.In spite of being a Indian i always fond of WI cricket. So whatever my top 11 batting order is :1.Greenidge(44.72),2.Haynes(42.29),3.Sir Everton Weekes(58.61),4.Sir Garry Sobers(Allrounder 57.78),5.Sir Frank Worrell(best cap in da world 49.48),6.Sir Viv Richards(best of all 50.23),7.Sir Clyde Walcott(wkt 56.68), 8.Holding(most talented bowler in WI),9.Garner(for reputation),10.Walsh(experience),11.Gibbs(Spin for spinning ground)/Charlie Griffith(first WI bowler has fearsome attitude),12.Brain Lara(my favorite 52.88).

  • POSTED BY Metman on | July 21, 2010, 20:11 GMT

    @Eddy 501.You continue to bash people who use stats.YET YOU USE STATS to show why Lara is this and that!You continue to compare Lara with Ponting and Tendulkar(who are still playing by the way),in this exercise.Someone needs to tell you that in this exercise ,you need to compare Headley,Weekes,Walcott,Lara and Richards.If you could use STATS to show that Lara is this and that,you SHOULD also use STATS to show why Richards is BETTER at BATTING than the rest,and should be included!I, prefer Richards over Lara any day or night!however, people like you would come with STATS to show that Lara is better!I have no problem with that,but swagger,brute force,putting fear in bowlers,the batsman at the other end,Umpires,fielders ,the crowd etc,and at the end of the day averaging 50.23 ,cannot in my estimation justify him a place ahead of the others with superior STATS.You dont need the fear factor or the brute force to be effective,you only need a bat!ask the greatest of them all GARY SOBERS!

  • POSTED BY wibbly on | July 21, 2010, 14:01 GMT

    I continue to read comments by people that do not make sense, and I hope that the panel is better informed. Neither Dujon nor Walcott were great keepers. Dujon flung himself around spectacularly to the fast bowlers because he lacked the footwork and technique of a top class keeper. If Gibbs and Sobers are in the final eleven then a top class gloveman has to be picked and that would either be Deryck Murray or Hendricks. Murray was the better batsman and was a very good vice captain to Clive Lloyd. Murray kept to Gibbs, Sobers and the battery of high class Trinidad spin bowlers in the 70's as well as all the great quicks. Hendricks has a big reputation but I do not think his career was long enough for consideration here. I think most people who know cricket could not envisage Dujon coping with top class spin bowlers such as Gibbs and Sobers, if the panel is an expert one it should understand this

  • POSTED BY Metman on | July 21, 2010, 13:05 GMT

    @alonsoe ! YOU AGAIN! Tony Cozier is no more bias than Jimmy Adams ,and in particular Reds Perreira!Hey! I know it was a DELIBERATE ploy of yours to go back the last 20 years,YEAH MAN!to include /exclude certain players!How many Bajan and TT contenders were put forward by the panel ?How many Bajans and Trinis would you select on the XI? can you select an all time WI XI with all Trinis without being BIAS?How many Trinis of WORLD class were produced since WI started playing Test cricket,?Do you know that an all time WI XI could be made up of all Bajans if I was BIAS like you?When the WI were so dominant under Viv, and before Viv,how many Trinis were contributing?Kemar Roach and all the Bajan pacers since Maco were ALL better than one Rampaul!Who is the most SELF CENTRED cricketer the WI has EVER produced? If in doubt ask Ridley Jacobs!Finally.how many underachieving Trinis masquerading in whites/colours and posing as first class cricketers represented the WI,in the last 20 years?

  • POSTED BY alexbraae on | July 21, 2010, 6:58 GMT

    I realise there is a formula for picking these teams, but in the case of the West Indies, why pick a spinner? It isn't how the dominant West Indian sides played and won, so in terms of an all time XI, why have one? Plus if you pick Gayle, he can always send down a few overs of trundlers.

  • POSTED BY Sampath_KCS on | July 21, 2010, 6:41 GMT

    Why everyone has forgotten Carl Hooper ?????Should have been a honorable mention about this great cricketer, at least.

  • POSTED BY alonsoe on | July 21, 2010, 4:59 GMT

    Metman, Y is Tony Cozier not on the panel? Because he jus' too bias. Have you listened his commentary over the past 20 years? This is maybe why his comments changed. The world class WI players that have made their test debut after 1980 include Chanderpaul ( Guyana), Walsh ( Jamaica),Bishop and Lara ( Trinidad), Ambrose and Richie(Antigua). You may add Gayle if you care too since he is on Cricinfo's list. But notice there is not even one from Barbados. Hence Tony has had a little trouble being objective over the past 20 years or so after the great Bajans players vacated the team ( haynes the last in the mid 90's). Let us hope for Barbados and WI sake that Roach can relive the glory of the great bajan and WI fast bowlers. Not sure yet!? But I can't wait for young bat's man Bratwaite. High hopes for him.

  • POSTED BY FiddyHolt on | July 21, 2010, 3:27 GMT

    @eddy501: agreed! Leaving out Richards in an all-time XI is unfathomable! He was one of the 5 Wisden cricketers of the century FFS! I guess it speaks volumes of the strength of West Indies cricket that he wouldn't be an auto-pick for everyone's XI. I think it would be very hard to split a best all-time WI XI vs all-time Australian XI; the 2 absolute powerhouses of this hypothetical exercise in my opinion

  • POSTED BY on | July 21, 2010, 1:34 GMT

    Completing a Book review of Berbice Cricket in Guyana.Selected both Berbice and West Indies All Time Teams months ago. Walcott ave.56.68 & Khanai ave.47.53 opened and kept wicket at start of their careers .They will open and Walcott will keep.Headley av.60.83 will bat at No.3 No. 4 - 8 in any order .Weekes ave.58.61 : Sobers ave.57.78 ; Lara ave.53.17 : Richards ave. 50.23 and Worrell ave. 49.48 ; No.9 Marshall No.10 Holding & No.11 Gibbs .Twelfth man Chanderpaul ave.48.39 Emergency fieldsman Lloyd ave. 46.67 CRICINFO system does not work for me . There are 4 fast bowlers & 4 spinners in this side

  • POSTED BY Robster1 on | July 21, 2010, 1:02 GMT

    All time XI:

    Fredericks, Greenidge, Headley, Lara, Weekes, Sobers, Dujon, Marshall, Ambrose, Clarke (Sylvester) & Gibbs 12th man Garner

  • POSTED BY on | July 21, 2010, 0:15 GMT

    My All-time WI 11 in batting order is: Hunte, Greenidge, Richards, Headley, Worrell (c), Sobers, Dujon (wkpr), Marshall, Holding, Ambrose, Gibbs. Weekes and Lara (middle order), Walcott (wkpr/batsman), Fredericks (opener), and Walsh, Gardiner & Roberts (fast bowlers) are all serious contender. Of the 3 Ws, i rate Weekes, the best by far, then Walcott and Worrell in that order. Worrell is chosen in front of them for his allround and leadership skills. If Sobers was chosen as Captain, then Weekes replaces Worrell

  • POSTED BY realthog on | July 20, 2010, 23:05 GMT

    Wot? No mention of Roger Harper? Shame on you.

    I'm glad to see some of your commenters have better sense.

  • POSTED BY eddy501 on | July 20, 2010, 22:51 GMT

    @postsituationist .....what do you mean 'on pure averages and stats, neither Richards nor Lara would make it'???????????? Are you referring to the same Lara that has the highest modern scores in test cricket? The same Lara that has better stats than Tendulkar and Ponting in relation to runs/innings, runs/match? The same Lara that has only six not outs and still avg nearly 53? The same Lara that has some of the best results against the two greatest spinners of all time? The 3 W's were great batsmen, Viv and Lara were even better. People like you and 'Metman' who fail to select VIV in an all-time WI XI need their heads look at.

  • POSTED BY Silverstar on | July 20, 2010, 21:34 GMT

    Guys the best 11 would be : Greenidge, Fredericks, Headley(c) , Lara, Richards, Walcott(wkt/vc), Sobers, Holding, Marshall, Ambrose, Garner. 4 squad members would be Hooper, Roberts,Gibbs and Dujon .Fredericks is more dynamic than Haynes in my view and would be fearless against any bowler thats why he gets the nod. while Walcott infront of Dujon, while they both are exceptional keepers, Walcott is more Versatile. he can also open batting which is why i have not put another opener in the team. Gibbs in there because, while i dont feel we need a spinner on any condition in any Era, a spinner with the quality of Gibbs would look good on a squad lol. Roberts in there in case one of the bowlers gets the FLU. AHH NOW HOOPER MOST OF YOU PROBABLY WONDER HOW HOOPER GETS IN? WELL I THINK MOST HAVE OVERLOOKED THE FACT THAT MOST OF THESE BATSMEN ARE MORE EXPERIENCED AGAINST FAST BOWLING AND HOOPER,BEING THE BEST BATSMAN AGAINST SPIN PERIOD, SHOULD HAVE A PLACE IN THE SQUAD.

  • POSTED BY amitava0112 on | July 20, 2010, 19:09 GMT

    My WI XI is: Fredricks,Greendge, Richards,Lara, Headley,Sobers, Dujon,Marshall,Holding,Ambrose & Garner..with Roberts missing out narrowly. Spinners are simply not required in this team..Sobers & Richards can pitch in...fredricks ..attacking & fluent & great vs fastmen..his 169 at pacy Perth v Lillee & Thommo shining example. Greendge a great combo of windies attack & english defence...Richards ..simply a match winner with an ominous presence.Lara .carried the much weaker team than his predesessors & played some epic match winners(v Aus ..the best team during his era)....Headley .considered as black Don playedon uncovered pitches..Sobers is an auto choice..Dujon ..specialist keeper & a fluent bat..Marshall..top performer all over spl on subcontinent pitches..Holding all pace & grace..Ambrose..a singlehanded matchwinner..Garner..difficult throat balls & crushing yorkers..(Roberts misses out by hairs breath..even the quality of Hall,Croft ,Bishop,Walsh cant be accomodated..no spinr rqd

  • POSTED BY CricketingStargazer on | July 20, 2010, 18:32 GMT

    Roger Harper might have been worth adding. He was good enough to make the World XI at Lords, but got fewer Tests than he should have because of the 4 fast bowler policy. An electric fielder, he was also a handy bat and was very highly rated as a bowler in the '80s. Even so, my vote would have to go to Lance Gibbs: 309 wickets at a time when far fewer Tests were played and when he had to compete for the spin role against Garry Sobers really tell their own story.

  • POSTED BY WestIndianInDA on | July 20, 2010, 18:27 GMT

    Am trying to understand why on earth would I want a spinner in my XI with the quality of fast bowlers we had!!! So who's idea was it to include a spinner? No spinner 4 quicks, Sir Gary will send a few down "if" needed!!!

  • POSTED BY on | July 20, 2010, 17:59 GMT

    Funny that neither the author, nor anyone here is referring to Carl Hooper. He was one handy spinner

  • POSTED BY postsituationist on | July 20, 2010, 17:51 GMT

    Correction: Forgot to pick George Headley in my XI. Stupid me. But who'd you drop: Richards, Lara or Weekes? Though, on pure averages and stats, neither Richards nor Lara would make it and it will be down to Weekes, Walcot and Headley. With everyone in a predicament over batsmen and fast bowlers, it's best to leave the spinners out.

  • POSTED BY on | July 20, 2010, 17:44 GMT

    This is ridiculous! Someone even compared Gibbs and the Two Pals of Mine, with Dinanath Ramnarine(??) Make someone bat for 1 ball and score a 4, then retire from cricjet. The compare him with King Viv...go ahead dude, go ahead!

  • POSTED BY Roger_Allott on | July 20, 2010, 17:29 GMT

    It all depends upon the era in which the All-Time XI will be playing. If it's the modern game where batsman are fully protected, a quality spinner is essential. If it's in the era of uncovered pitches, a quality spinner is essential. In both of these cases, I'd go for Lance Gibbs for the Windies. However, if the match is going to be played under the conditions prevailing in the 50s, 70s & 80s, the Windies would be mad to select one of their spinners in preference to a fourth top quality paceman. In such a circumstance, I'd go for Chris Gayle to be one of the openers so that, alongside Sobers, he could spin a few when the situation suggested spin might work.

  • POSTED BY on | July 20, 2010, 17:12 GMT

    Gibbs is WI greatest Spinner to date period.

  • POSTED BY Metman on | July 20, 2010, 17:12 GMT

    @ed_metal_head !here we go again !another Trini highlighting another Trini underachiever in Ramnarine.We are talking about great spin bowlers,big man!First of all he needed to show some respect for his capt.on the field,like big Benn and Chris Gayle,secondly,Roger Harper was a better spin bowler,and he was not even mentioned,thirdly,he was too vindictive,ask Charlie Davis!My team with the contenders as put forward by cricket info,Hunte,Greenidge,Weekes,Headley,Lara,Sobers,Walcott,Marshall,Garner,Ambrose,Gibbs.A touring party of 15,(which cricket info should have done for all the all time XIs) to any of the test playing nations will include Richards,Walsh,Holding and Roberts.My team based on whom I would have liked to see playing together as a team,Fredericks,Greenidge,Weekes,Richards,Lara,Sobers,Walcott,Garner,Ambrose,Holding,Hall.

  • POSTED BY Silverstar on | July 20, 2010, 16:55 GMT

    Since CricInfo has forced us to pick a spinner i choose Gibbs... my team would be : Greenidge, Fredericks, Headley(c), Lara, Richards, Walcott(wkt), Sobers, Holding, Marshall, Ambrose, Gibbs.

    If Cricinfo behaves and give us our pace quartet then Garner comes in.

  • POSTED BY on | July 20, 2010, 16:13 GMT

    I'm not sure if Sir Garfield shouldn't be nominated as a WI spinner - I know he didn't bowl his two styles of left-arm spin very often but Iseem to recall he could be very effective when he did!

  • POSTED BY on | July 20, 2010, 15:07 GMT

    West Indies doesn't need any spinner in their World XI, how can you pick only 3 Pace bowlers out of 10. No one in the list is better than the 4th Pace bowler in the team. So Iam not gonna pick any spinner for all time best WI XI.

  • POSTED BY ed_metal_head on | July 20, 2010, 14:48 GMT

    Dinanath Ramnarine has a much better strike rate than any of these spinners. His bowling average is a little higher, but only 1 or 2 points. Me? I like my spinners to attack, so I'd take a strike rate that was better by 10-15 balls (!!!) and give up an extra two runs or so. Very sad that politics kept this great talent out of the game!

  • POSTED BY Blythesville on | July 20, 2010, 14:47 GMT

    The Windies greatest spinner unfortunately was at his peak during the era of the 4-pronged pace attack. Rangy Nanan was a master of control, frustrated batsmen and relentless when in the attack. In his one test, Clive Lloyd had him bowl the most of any Windies bowler. He was also a more than useful lower order batsman. Barring negative perceptions of his body shape, in any other era, Nanan would have be a fixture in the Windies team. I also believe, that his skills would also have made him a T20 star. But truth & in fact, the Windies team should have 4 fast bowlers + Sobers.

  • POSTED BY eddy501 on | July 20, 2010, 14:35 GMT

    When WI ruled test cricket for close to 20 years they employed no spinner. They just picked their 4 best bowlers which so happened to be quicks. I'd pick Malcom M, Michael H, Curtley A, Joel G on any track anywhere top get 20 wickets! Some people might say 'horses for courses' but i look at the facts, WI went 20 years without a series defeat using fast bowlers and more fast bowlers and even more fast bowlers!!!Let VIV and Sobers fiddle around with some spin while the quicks catch their breath.

  • POSTED BY postsituationist on | July 20, 2010, 14:27 GMT

    Bring Walcott in for Haynes as the second opener; Sir Vivian, Lara and Weekes in the middle order, Sir Garfield at six; Dujon at seven, followed by the awesome four--Marshall, Garner, Ambrose and Holding. Gibbs 12th man. I can see here that most other people may also want a spinner-less WI team.

  • POSTED BY on | July 20, 2010, 13:37 GMT

    It would be equally foolish to assign 3 spots for pacers and only 1 spot for a spinner in the Indian team. India has produced only 1 world class fast bowler (Kapil Dev) but many spinners (Kumble, Bedi, Prasanna, Chandrashekhar, Gupte and Mankad).

  • POSTED BY Sydney66 on | July 20, 2010, 13:35 GMT

    Gibbs and Ramadhin have almost identical bowling averages and strike rates. But because of Ramadhin's unusal ability to bowl both off spin and leg spin I think he would have better 'shock' value after a session of repetitive fast bowling. However, any of those 3 spinners would be useful on a flat Madras 'dustbowl' with no bounce but some turn out of the rough. Especially if Gavaskar and Tendulkar have seen off the new ball and are well set half way through the second session. That scenario is more than possible even if Marshall and Ambrose/Holding are in reasonable form.

  • POSTED BY on | July 20, 2010, 12:55 GMT

    Well if this is about picking a best team rom all WI for playing, then i don think anyone 'll pick these ppl ahead of their pacemen!!! But if it is about picking the best in their dept then this ALL Time WI XI should be changed to WI good players... It would be such a shame if these guys wr picked ahead o their pacemen..

  • POSTED BY bbpp on | July 20, 2010, 12:41 GMT

    The no-brainers should be Greenidge,Sobers,Marshall and Headley with 10 votes, Lara and Viv may compete with the W's but whould get at least 7 votes as should Ambi. I concur with the comments that Sobers/Viv should be the spinning options therefore any 2 of Roberts, Hall, Holding and Garner...I can see low votes for the final 2 as they compete for spots as well as for the other opener and keeper. Never know though, this panel thought Gayle (no offense personally) was/is one of the greatest WI openers of all time on the basis of a handful of test class innngs and mostly block and smash....not what a great "Test" opener should be!

  • POSTED BY Metman on | July 20, 2010, 11:58 GMT

    This FARSE has finally come to and end!To make cricket info happy,I would pick Gibbs.I didnt know that all teams were to be selected based on the same format, which as cricket info by now have realised is pure NONSENSE,as I only started selection with the WI XI.I now eagerly await the composition of the India all time XI,in particular the 3 lean,mean pace machines that have blasted the opposition into submission over the years,and the lone spinner among the MANY GOOD spinners that India have produced over the MANY years!I suspect that cricket info realised the MADNESS of their format ever since,but were too embarrased to change it!I also suspect that is why India was chosen LAST!because the folly of their format would have been painstakingly exposed from day one.By the way,why is Tony Cozier not on the Jury?

  • POSTED BY its.rachit on | July 20, 2010, 11:52 GMT

    I completely agree with keeping 4 pacers for WI ... the set structure of the team is absurd ... Even if we pick 3 pacers and a spinner for WI, the team would still be the best XI of all ... but how about picking 3 seamers and a spinner for India ... that will put this discussion to rest once and for all ...

  • POSTED BY on | July 20, 2010, 11:17 GMT

    SR of all three spinners are really not impressive. However. for spinning tracks, Lance Gibbs can be inducted as 12th Man. My All Time WI XI: Greenidge, Walcott, Richards, Lara, Worrel, Sobers, Dujon, Marshall, Holding, Roberts, Hall... 12th Man--> Garner/Ambrose/Croft/Gibbs...

    Worrel/Richards/Sobers can always lend a spinning arm if required... :-)

  • POSTED BY manasvi_lingam on | July 20, 2010, 10:31 GMT

    I agree with most of the people. West Indies' best bowlers were all pacers - pacers who could do well on spinning tracks. The Cricinfo XI has left places for only 3, but many of the pacers who will probably be not selected (Croft, Walsh, Hall, etc) were all better than Gibbs, Ramdhin or Valentine all of whom have S.Rs in the 80s. A SR of over 70 is not good and all these spinners primarily played a restrictive role. However, of the 3 Lance Gibbs is the best choice.

  • POSTED BY trepuR on | July 20, 2010, 10:24 GMT

    I think the resounding message from all of the majority of comments is that an all time WI XI should include 4, not 3 pacemen and frankly, I agree. These three were genuine greats of the game, but a side must be picked on merrit of the individuals, balance is very important but the dilema of a spinner can be easily solved with Sobers and Richards. So with those two very ably filling the roll of spinners, another fast bowler could be added, and one should. I also must say that I have followed this entire all time eleven series and I have voted on allmost all of the polls, the WI fast bowling attack was by a long way the hardest to choose, oh for one more pick it would have been so much simpler.

  • POSTED BY Stromeon on | July 20, 2010, 10:16 GMT

    I am sure that Gibbs, Ramadhin, and Valentine were very good bowlers in their time but the fact is that the Windies need 4 quicks. Who would you rather have in your all-time XI? Holding or Gibbs? Ramadhin or Ambrose? Valentine or Marshall? Sobers was probably the best allrounder ever and he was good enough to take 235 wickets in tests.Sir Viv took 32 test wickets as well and he could provide capable enough backup.

  • POSTED BY lord_v on | July 20, 2010, 8:57 GMT

    For folks who are criticizing on the inclusion of spinners in WI team , they need to remind themselves that Ramadin and Valentine were responsible for the last time LBW laws got changed.

  • POSTED BY Ronaldus on | July 20, 2010, 8:50 GMT

    I agree with those expressing their frustration at this approach that dictates the composition of a side. I stopped participating because it had become a farce for me and, I suspect for many others.

    Sorry guys, but you got this one seriously wrong. What could have been a fascinating exercise has turned out to be a damp squib!

  • POSTED BY Oconick on | July 20, 2010, 8:47 GMT

    Agree with the comments above - to pick a spinner for the West Indies is absurd. You've always got Sobers in the team if you really need a bit of spin; for 90% of the tests the West Indies played, none of the three spinners above would be good enough to force the omission of whichever of Garner, Holding or Ambrose would otherwise be the fourth seamer.

  • POSTED BY Strebori on | July 20, 2010, 8:32 GMT

    Gary Sobers can provide the spin if it's needed - and Viv could turn his arm over

  • POSTED BY Nutcutlet on | July 20, 2010, 8:12 GMT

    Honestly, none of the above should have a place in the West Indies' all-time XI; Sobers can provide a spin option if required. The quicks would make quick work of all bar the very greatest. For the greats themselves, it would be only a matter of time before they succumbed to the unrelenting pace. The point is that the pace IS unrelenting!

  • POSTED BY Synaesthesia on | July 20, 2010, 8:08 GMT

    I agree, there can be a couple of all-rounders or part time spinners, to do the job. No need for a specialist in this case.

  • POSTED BY asefali on | July 20, 2010, 8:03 GMT

    Do you guys really believe that it would be fair to exclude 1 of the great fast bowlers for any of these 3 guys???? It is absolutely madness

  • POSTED BY 9ST9 on | July 20, 2010, 7:36 GMT

    I really dont' see why a spinner should be in a west-indies alltime list.

  • POSTED BY on | July 20, 2010, 7:30 GMT

    It's a shame that so many people doubt the great skill of the west indian spinners... in a team dominated by pace, these men had to be truly great to stand out.

    Valentine and Ramadhin lost their sting, Gibbs never did. Easy decision.

  • POSTED BY sudarsn on | July 20, 2010, 7:09 GMT

    no doubt ramadhin,valentine andgibbs were great spinners the west indies all time team with a large array of fast bowlers may not require them with gary sobers doing that work of spin

  • POSTED BY andrew.henshaw on | July 20, 2010, 7:05 GMT

    I agree guys - there really is no need for a spinner, when someone like holding or ambrose would miss out.. 4 quicks and sobers is plenty..

  • POSTED BY Thrinax on | July 20, 2010, 7:03 GMT

    There are two reasons to pick a spinner in the west Indes team the first is balance The Windes never won a Test and lost most of them at the SCG in the 70s 80s and 90s because on some pitches regardless of how good the quick bowlers are spinners are a better bet. It is not as if we are talking about average spinners these guys were all great players. The Second reason is over rate, it may be ok to bowl 70 overs in a day in the eighties but under existing rules that would be a problem.

  • POSTED BY george204 on | July 20, 2010, 6:34 GMT

    Forcing every country's all-time XIs to have the same line-up is absurd. Four fast bowlers are so much part of the WI heritage & none of these spinners merits selection above the 4th best paceman (especially when you consider that Sobers was a quality spinner). The India all-time XI is going to be ridiculous - only ONE spinner but 3 pacemen?!? In fact there have been a series of absurdities in the completed XIs, e.g. KP instead of Gower or Compton in the England XI?!? Cricinfo - listen to your readers or risk discrediting the entire exercise!

  • POSTED BY asaduzzaman-khan on | July 20, 2010, 6:03 GMT

    I have proper respect on L. Gibbs and also on Valentine and Ramadhin. But please choose the team which is best. Gibbs was great bowler but no more potential than WI pacers. In this team, Sobers can act as spinner, because we have greater pace attack. To me best WI team: Grinidge, Hyense, Lara, Headly, Richards, Sobers, Dujon, Marshal, Roberts, Ambrose, Garner

  • POSTED BY on | July 20, 2010, 5:46 GMT

    Where is Frank Worrell the most respected spinner?

  • POSTED BY on | July 20, 2010, 4:15 GMT

    It doesn't make sense to have spin bowler in alltime great westindies team.. It feels forced.. You need 4 fast bowlers and they have done the job and can do it against any team...

  • POSTED BY Vivek.Bhandari on | July 20, 2010, 4:09 GMT

    I would pick Lance Gibbs, purely because his was the time when the Windies were gaining strength in the fast bowling ranks...while the other two gelled together and probably won't be that much effective when operated alone...however nothing to take away with anybody involved. It's just that Gibbs is the best among equals..

  • POSTED BY p6eah343 on | July 20, 2010, 3:42 GMT

    This is utterly absurd. Why on earth should there be a spinner in the all-time West Indies XI?? This is akin to insisting--pro forma--that an all-time India XI pick three fast bowlers, because that's the "conventional template". ---Tunku Varadarajan

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • POSTED BY p6eah343 on | July 20, 2010, 3:42 GMT

    This is utterly absurd. Why on earth should there be a spinner in the all-time West Indies XI?? This is akin to insisting--pro forma--that an all-time India XI pick three fast bowlers, because that's the "conventional template". ---Tunku Varadarajan

  • POSTED BY Vivek.Bhandari on | July 20, 2010, 4:09 GMT

    I would pick Lance Gibbs, purely because his was the time when the Windies were gaining strength in the fast bowling ranks...while the other two gelled together and probably won't be that much effective when operated alone...however nothing to take away with anybody involved. It's just that Gibbs is the best among equals..

  • POSTED BY on | July 20, 2010, 4:15 GMT

    It doesn't make sense to have spin bowler in alltime great westindies team.. It feels forced.. You need 4 fast bowlers and they have done the job and can do it against any team...

  • POSTED BY on | July 20, 2010, 5:46 GMT

    Where is Frank Worrell the most respected spinner?

  • POSTED BY asaduzzaman-khan on | July 20, 2010, 6:03 GMT

    I have proper respect on L. Gibbs and also on Valentine and Ramadhin. But please choose the team which is best. Gibbs was great bowler but no more potential than WI pacers. In this team, Sobers can act as spinner, because we have greater pace attack. To me best WI team: Grinidge, Hyense, Lara, Headly, Richards, Sobers, Dujon, Marshal, Roberts, Ambrose, Garner

  • POSTED BY george204 on | July 20, 2010, 6:34 GMT

    Forcing every country's all-time XIs to have the same line-up is absurd. Four fast bowlers are so much part of the WI heritage & none of these spinners merits selection above the 4th best paceman (especially when you consider that Sobers was a quality spinner). The India all-time XI is going to be ridiculous - only ONE spinner but 3 pacemen?!? In fact there have been a series of absurdities in the completed XIs, e.g. KP instead of Gower or Compton in the England XI?!? Cricinfo - listen to your readers or risk discrediting the entire exercise!

  • POSTED BY Thrinax on | July 20, 2010, 7:03 GMT

    There are two reasons to pick a spinner in the west Indes team the first is balance The Windes never won a Test and lost most of them at the SCG in the 70s 80s and 90s because on some pitches regardless of how good the quick bowlers are spinners are a better bet. It is not as if we are talking about average spinners these guys were all great players. The Second reason is over rate, it may be ok to bowl 70 overs in a day in the eighties but under existing rules that would be a problem.

  • POSTED BY andrew.henshaw on | July 20, 2010, 7:05 GMT

    I agree guys - there really is no need for a spinner, when someone like holding or ambrose would miss out.. 4 quicks and sobers is plenty..

  • POSTED BY sudarsn on | July 20, 2010, 7:09 GMT

    no doubt ramadhin,valentine andgibbs were great spinners the west indies all time team with a large array of fast bowlers may not require them with gary sobers doing that work of spin

  • POSTED BY on | July 20, 2010, 7:30 GMT

    It's a shame that so many people doubt the great skill of the west indian spinners... in a team dominated by pace, these men had to be truly great to stand out.

    Valentine and Ramadhin lost their sting, Gibbs never did. Easy decision.