All-time XI: West Indies July 26, 2010

Eighties stars dominate West Indies all-time XI

Cricinfo staff

Five players from the all-star West Indies sides of the 80s have made it to Cricinfo's West Indies all-time Test XI: Gordon Greenidge, Viv Richards, Curtly Ambrose, Michael Holding and Malcolm Marshall.

Viv Richards was the one unanimous pick from that era. Garry Sobers, considered the world's greatest allrounder, and George Headley, nicknamed the black Bradman, were the other two to get all 10 votes.

Like in the Pakistan all-time XI, there are no current players in the XI, a reflection of the sorry state of two teams that were once world-class.

Greenidge was picked by nine jurors to open the innings, but his partner Desmond Haynes, with whom he made a record 16 century stands missed out; the other opener's spot went to Conrad Hunte, who opened in all of his 44 Tests for West Indies and scored over 3000 runs. Other prominent omissions were the three Ws and Andy Roberts.

Brian Lara made it to the middle order with six votes, while the gloves were given to Jackie Hendriks. Though Jeff Dujon and Clyde Walcott were the better batsmen, Hendriks got the nod over them because of his remarkable skills behind the wicket, including to spinners. And with a middle order that boasts Headley, Richards, Lara and Sobers, the XI can afford to have a pure keeper in the ranks.

The most debated-on position among the readers was that of the spinner: whether West Indies, with its fast-bowling pack, needed one. The jury thought they did, and all but one picked Lance Gibbs, the first spin bowler to take 300 Test wickets, over Sonny Ramadhin and Alf Valentine.

That left three fast-bowling spots, which went to Malcolm Marshall (nine votes), and to Michael Holding and Curtly Ambrose (six votes each).

Barbados, traditionally the powerhouse of Caribbean cricket, accounts for four players in the XI, followed by Jamaica with three.

We invited our readers to pick their XI, and their middle-order, fast-bowling, spinner and allrounder picks matched the jury's. Sobers got close to a unanimous vote for the allrounder's spot, while Gibbs got over 80%. A majority of readers picked the Greenidge-Haynes pair to open the innings, and over 77% voted for Dujon to keep wicket.

The jury included former Test player Jimmy Adams, journalists Tony Becca, Fazeer Mohammed and Garth Wattley, radio commentator Joseph Perreira, cricket historian Hilary Beckles, sports psychologist Rudi Webster, writers Ian McDonald and Frank Birbalsingh and former West Indies media manager Imran Khan.

More about the XI here

The XI: Gordon Greenidge, Conrad Hunte, George Headley, Vivian Richards, Brian Lara, Garry Sobers, Jackie Hendriks, Malcolm Marshall, Michael Holding, Curtly Ambrose, Lance Gibbs.

Readers' XI: Gordon Greenidge, Desmond Haynes, George Headley, Viv Richards, Brian Lara, Garry Sobers, Jeff Dujon, Malcolm Marshall, Michael Holding, Curtly Ambrose, Lance Gibbs.


Openers: Conrad Hunte, Roy Fredericks, Gordon Greenidge, Desmond Haynes, Chris Gayle.

Middle order: George Headley, Everton Weekes, Clyde Walcott, Frank Worrell, Rohan Kanhai, Seymour Nurse, Clive Lloyd, Lawrence Rowe, Alvin Kallicharran, Viv Richards, Richie Richardson, Brian Lara, Shivnarine Chanderpaul.

Allrounders: Learie Constantine, Garry Sobers, Gerry Gomez, Collie Smith.

Wicketkeepers: Clyde Walcott, Jackie Hendriks, Deryck Murray, Jeffrey Dujon.

Fast bowlers: Wes Hall, Charlie Griffith, Andy Roberts, Michael Holding, Colin Croft, Joel Garner, Malcolm Marshall, Courtney Walsh, Curtly Ambrose, Ian Bishop.

Spinners: Alf Valentine, Sonny Ramadhin, Lance Gibbs.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Alex on July 29, 2010, 1:56 GMT

    Perhaps the following is better: Greenidge, Viv(c), Headley, Lara, Weekes/Kanhai, Sobers, Dujon, Marshall, Holding, Gibbs, Ambrose.

    1. Viv opened the innings in 2 tests with great flair ... also, if the middle order is fairly strong, why not send the best ever batsman of fast bowling as the opener? That clears the space to include either Weekes or Kanhai.

    2. Hendricks a better 'keeper than Dujon? Look up their records!

  • Blythesville on July 28, 2010, 15:30 GMT

    Here's the problem I have with this team (and the Greatest Xi) exercise - it picks the best players and NOT the best team. This is a team of quality players but no leadership. It lacks the sharp tactical minds of the like of Worrell and Lloyd.

  • Michael on July 28, 2010, 14:51 GMT

    Seeing that the jury and many others went ahead and pick their greats based on averages when they like,and favourites when they like,I will now go ahead and pick my team using the SAME CRITERIA!Greenidge,Haynes,Weekes,Nurse,Walcott,Sobers,Worrell,Marshall,Garner,Hall,Griffith.Next time cricket info should employ the services of messrs Duckworth and Lewis to come up with some system, and the ICC method using the points system.That way all the bias,insularity,and favouritism will be eliminated!

  • BILIGIRI on July 28, 2010, 14:24 GMT

    The perfect team, except for the fact Clyde Walcott should have been there for Hendricks and Andy Roberts for Curtley Ambrose. Amby is very good, but Andy was better, he bowled in an era when there were superb batsmen and lively wickets. From Gavaskar to Ian & Greg Chappell, Majid, Gower, Barry Richards, Asif Iqbal…all rated him the best. He had it all, pace, swing, cut, bouncers and slower deliveries, could extract life from any pitch.

    Imagine no place for Weekes, Lloyd, Kallicharan, Garner, Kanhai…very difficult to leave this players out. Glad that Sir Viv got all 10 jury votes and 90% of people's votes, he was the best, complete destroyer who massacred bowling attacks like no one could. He had style and was the king on the field. Surprised that Late Macko Marshall got 9 jury votes, wonder who was that who voted against. He is the best quick of all times. Missed the Windies glory of 1960s to mid 1990s.

  • Asif on July 28, 2010, 9:56 GMT

    Clive Lloyd is missing ? then who would be captain

  • sheeraz on July 27, 2010, 18:53 GMT

    I cannot understand why Inshan Ali was not among the nominees.He was one of the best the world has ever seen in his art-form.Ask Boycott.

  • Dummy4 on July 27, 2010, 17:49 GMT

    I think this is the worst All-time XI selection so far, by cricinfo. I would like to know how Jackie Hendriks, with 47 dismissals and 2 50s, can make it to the team, at the cost of Clyde Walcott! Again, Clyde Walcott and Frank Worrel had opened on several occasions. I see no reason how Hunte and Greenidge should be preferred over them, just because they opened more regularly! And did I miss Joel Garner's name in the list or was he not selected?! I am utterly disgusted with this selection. I hope good sense prevails when the Indian XI is selected.

  • Manasvi on July 27, 2010, 17:24 GMT

    An error in selecting the team with regards to Hendricks. As for the rest, good choices but arguable ones. Why didn't Weekes and Walcott with the highest avg and the back-up keeper not get selected? What of Worrell who was the greatest captain and a very good back-up bowler? I certainly believe that one of them should have been there at Lara's expanse. And as for the bowlers, I wish a 4-bowler attack was around but the 3 pacers were exactly my choice. If a 4th pacer was around, I'd have chosen between Roberts and Garner.

  • Rajesh on July 27, 2010, 17:23 GMT

    All this time when Cricinfo was publishing the All-Time XI of other teams it never occurred to me that they probably should have had a squad of 15 rather than a XI.................. but now after seeing the array of stars in West Indies cricket who can't find a place in this All-Time XI, I feel that may be a squad of 15 would have been better.

    CRICINFO , please publish an All-Time West Indian 2nd XI.......... there are simply too many great players the Windies have produced !!

  • Dummy4 on July 27, 2010, 16:31 GMT

    this team sucks little or no guyanese in the team!!!!!!!!!!!

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