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Wisden Cricinfo staff
July 28, 2004
The five greatest Caribbean players of all time have been named at an awards ceremony to mark the 75th anniversary of West Indies cricket. But, somewhat surprisingly, not one of the chosen few is a fast bowler.
In a three-hour ceremony at Birmingham's Symphony Hall, a leading panel of judges named George Headley, Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Viv Richards, Sir Frank Worrell and the current captain, Brian Lara, as their five greatest players. Richards was one of the invited guests, with other big names including Joel Garner, Gordon Greenidge and Sir Everton Weekes.
None of the mighty fast bowlers of the 1980s made it onto the list, with Malcolm Marshall perhaps the most unfortunate absentee. But, as Lance Gibbs, West Indies' former world-record-holding spinner, told the BBC: "Cricket, as you know, is a batsman's game."
Three other awards were given out during the evening. Michael Holding's 8 for 92 against England at The Oval in 1976 was voted the best bowling performance in West Indian history, with Gibbs's 8 for 38 against India in Barbados and Curtly Ambrose's 46-all-out demolition of England earning a mention in dispatches.
Lara pipped Greenidge and Roy Fredericks to the batting award, thanks to his wonderful unbeaten 153 that shocked Australia in Barbados in 1999, while Richards's 189 not out against England at Old Trafford in 1984 was voted the top one-day performance.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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