Who is the best cricketer ever to emerge from the West Indies? Garry Sobers has his supporters, but then so does Viv Richards. And Malcolm Marshall. And Curtly Ambrose. And what about the Three Ws? It's a tough question, but a gala awards night to celebrate 75 years of Test cricket in the West Indies will provide some answers.
The Scotiabank West Indian Jubilee will be held on Tuesday, July 27, in the Symphony Hall in Birmingham, two nights before the second Test between England and West Indies starts at Edgbaston.
The centrepiece of the night will be the announcement of the Five West Indian Cricketers of the Jubilee. A short-list of 30 was drawn up, featuring players from Antigua, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago, after voting in the nations concerned, and the five winners - chosen by a panel of experts, including Richie Benaud and Christopher Martin-Jenkins as well as several respected commentators from the Caribbean - will be announced on the night.
Other awards will be made for the best batting and bowling performances for West Indies in Tests and one-day internationals.
The evening promises to be a true celebration of cricket, with memories of the highlights of West Indies' cricket history unrolling in front of some of the greatest players the region has produced, as well as past greats of the English game. The event will be televised throughout the Caribbean. Some tickets for the evening are still available: call 0121 780 3333 for details.
The short list for the Five West Indian Jubilee Cricketers:
From Barbados: Joel Garner, Gordon Greenidge, Wes Hall, Desmond Haynes, Malcolm Marshall, Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Clyde Walcott, Sir Everton Weekes, Sir Frank Worrell.
From the Combined Islands: Curtly Ambrose, Sir Vivian Richards, Richie Richardson, Andy Roberts.
From Guyana: Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Lance Gibbs, Carl Hooper, Alvin Kallicharran, Rohan Kanhai, Clive Lloyd.
From Jamaica: Jeff Dujon, George Headley, Michael Holding, Lawrence Rowe, Alf Valentine, Courtney Walsh.
From Trinidad & Tobago: Ian Bishop, Sir Learie Constantine, Larry Gomes, Brian Lara, Sonny Ramadhin.
The number of short-listed players elected by an individual country was determined by the proportion of the 108 West Indians to have played more than ten Tests that that country provided. So, for example, Barbados has 30 players with more than ten caps (representing 27% of the total), so therefore the Barbadians elected seven of the 26 short-listed players. To round the number up to 30, the jury added four additional players (Hall, Kallicharran, Valentine and Walcott) who just missed out in the people's vote.