75 years of Caribbean cricket

West Indian legends feted

Wisden Cricinfo staff

July 29, 2004

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Viv Richards batting against England in 1986 - the best West Indian one-day performance ever, according to this jury © Getty Images
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West Indies may be going through a bad patch of late, but their cricketing history has been remarkable. And many of its participants recently came together in a celebration of 75 years of West Indian cricket that underlines just this.

The highlight of the function, held at Birmingham's Symphony Hall, was a ceremony in which awards were presented to five men chosen as the greatest Caribbean players of all time. Each one of the men was a legend - Garfield Sobers, Vivian Richards, Frank Worrell, George Headley and Brian Lara.

Notably, none of the many fearsome fast bowlers who played for West Indies from the 60s to the 90s made it into the list - not Wes Hall, or Andy Roberts or Malcolm Marshall or Michael Holding or Curtly Ambrose or Courtney Walsh. Explaining the judges' decision in a lighthearted manner, Lance Gibbs, one of the greatest of West Indian spinners, said: "Cricket, as you know, is a batsman's game, but maybe next time the bowlers will get a chance."

Three individual awards were also given through the evening. Brian Lara's 153 not out against Australia at Barbados in 1999 won him the award for best batting performance, beating out innings by Gordon Greenidge and Roy Fredericks. Holding's 8 for 92 against England at the Oval in 1976 got him the award for best bowling performance, with Gibbs and Ambrose missing out. And finally, Richards's 189 not out against England at Old Trafford in 1984 was named the best one-day performance, ahead of World-Cup final innings by Collis King and Clive Lloyd.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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