West Indies cricket styles


The letter by S. H. Moulana on nostalgic memories of the West Indian cricket of the fifties, certainly re-creates memories of the Windies cricketers of that time. Sobers, Hall, Ramadin, Kanhai and the unmatched "Three W’s – Worrell, Weekes and Walcott were our heroes. Before the Windies came into prominence, it was the British MCC and Australia who effectively monopolized the game. At that time, most Lankans were ardent supporters of the Aussies, and figures like Bradman, Barnes, Harvey and Miller were prominent as heroes. True artistry is when minimum effort brings maximum results. I believe it was the Windies who developed the art of really "stroking" the ball – where wrist work brought the bat facing downwards at the time of impact. Today, most successful batsmen are adept at doing so.

On a personal note, I had the privilege of meeting Walcott. Having watched the one game in Test Cricket (Fifth Test, 1958?) where all three W’s collected ‘ducks’, I brought this to the memory of Walcott, who held his chin in cupped hands – wishing not to be reminded of this unique and painful happening!. Incidentally, Mrs Walcott was a living Encyclopedia of cricketing lore!

TV had just arrived in England at the time and most were glued to the screen for cricket. I recall the time that Worrell was on screen for a continuous 17 hours, having opened and carried his bat and then opened again as the MCC aimed for an innings win! He was a model of a perfect gentleman. He was knighted as Sir Frank. W., but died prematurely of blood cancer.

These are pleasant memories!


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