December 16, 1952, Enterprise, Christ Church, Barbados
Right hand Bat
Right arm Fast
Boy's Foundation School, Christchurch, Barbados
Batsmen would say that the overriding feeling when first confronted by the Big Bird was that he would trample on them such was the foreshortening effect of his 6ft 8 inches. Delivered from the clouds it seemed, and at a lively pace that when the mood took could be cranked up to the brisk side of rapid, the ball would rear alarmingly from barely short of a length. Allied to that was the most devastating toe crunching yorker the game had seen since that of Charlie Griffith. Of the top wicket-takers, few have a lower average than his parsimonious 20.98. If his value in Test cricket was as an integral part of the most formidable pace attacks ever - they spread the load so that he took five wickets in an innings on just seven occasions - then in one-day cricket, particularly in the overs at the end of an innings, when the unhittable yorker speared in relentlessly, he was priceless. At Lord's in 1979 he simply blew England's slim hopes away with 5 for 38, the best figures ever in a World Cup final.
Batting & Fielding