Walsh and Holding named among Jamaica's best
George Headley and Michael Holding have been named among Jamaica's five greatest cricketers of all time. The five players - Courtney Walsh, Lawrence Rowe and Jeff Dujon were the other three - were all honoured in the Scotiabank West Indian Cricket Jubilee function in Kingston.
Headley, dubbed the Black Bradman because of his batting exploits, averaged 60.83 in the 22 Tests he played, with ten centuries. He was the first batsman to score a hundred in each innings of a Test at Lord's, making 106 and 107 in 1939. Rowe, the only other batsman in the five-man list, finished with a modest average of just over 43, but began his Test career in sensational style, scoring 214 and 100 not out on debut against New Zealand at Kingston.
Of the three others in the list, two are fast bowlers - Michael Holding, whose 60-Test career fetched him 249 wickets at less than 24 apiece, and Courtney Walsh, whose tally of 519 Test wickets was a record till Muttiah Muralitharan recently went past it. Dujon, who was the wicketkeeper in West Indies' formidable line-up of the 1980s, scalped 272 victims from 81 matches, but made equally vital contributions in front of the wicket as well. He ended up with a batting average of less than 32, but in the early part of his career he was a huge asset at No. 7 - his highest score of 139 came at Perth against an Australian attack which included Geoff Lawson, Rodney Hogg, Terry Alderman and Carl Rackemann.
Awards for best batting and bowling in a match were also handed out - Rowe's 302 against England in Barbados in 1974 was adjudged the best batting performance, while Holding's 14 for 149 against England at The Oval in 1976 won the corresponding award for bowling. Pattrick Patterson's 6 for 29 against India at Nagpur in 1988 was named the best performance in a one-day international.
Each West Indian territory will put forward a list of five players from the region, and the 30 players named will travel to Birmingham, where a special function will be held in July - when West Indies would be involved in a Test series in England - to name the five greatest West Indian cricketers.