Constantine was a household name in the West Indies because of his skills on the cricket field. A stocky right-hander, he was exciting with the bat, with the ball as a fast bowler of electric pace, and also in the field, where he was quick and brilliant. As a batsman he hit the ball hard, with lovely drives on both sides of the wicket and mostly strokes to the leg side. His figures overall failed to match the excitement of his cricket and his value to the West Indies, though he capped his career brilliantly: in his last Test, against England at The Oval in 1939, he hit 79 in an hour and took five wickets for 75 runs in England's first innings.
Sobers was simply the original Mr Cricket. Starting as a slow left-arm orthodox spin bowler and developing into a left-arm swing bowler and a slow left-arm back-of-the-hand spin bowler, he became not only a great batsman but arguably the best batsman of his time and one of the best of all time. He was also a brilliant fielder anywhere but more so at short leg. Sobers stood tall and elegant at the crease, his drives, particularly off the back foot, and his hooks were strokes of beauty. In 1968, in a Test match at Sabina Park, after West Indies were forced to follow on, he scored a breathtaking 113 not out, and with Wes Hall and Charlie Griffith in the team, went out and bowled the first over: before it was over, England were 0 for 2 with Geoff Boycott gone, bowled for zero, and Colin Cowdrey gone, leg-before-wicket for zero.
Gomez was a competent batsman and bowler and a brilliant fielder. He scored a century, 101, against India in Delhi in the 1948-49 series. His best series was against Australia in 1951-52, where he scored 324 runs at an average of 36 and took 18 wickets at 14.22. In the fifth and final Test match of that series he took 7 for 55 and 3 for 58 for a match haul of 10 for 113. In 29 Test matches Gomez scored 1243 runs with one century at an average of 30.31. He also took 58 wickets at an average of 27.41 and held 18 catches.
Smith died too early, at age 26, when he, Sobers and Rohan Kanhai were the three most exciting prospects in West Indies cricket. As a batsman Smith was aggressive, played some delightful strokes, and feared no one, not even the fastest bowlers. He was a tight offspinner and a brilliant fielder. He scored 104 against Australia in his first Test match. In 26 Tests, Smith scored 1331 runs with four centuries at an average of 31.69. He also took 48 wickets at an average of 33.85 and held nine catches.
Former sports editor of the Jamaica Gleaner and the Daily News, Tony Becca has covered West Indies cricket for 30 years