How good is Jason Holder, and how great can he be?

By Zaheer E. Clarke
Published on 16 September 2019 in the Western Mirror

Jason Holder is the number one ranked Test all-rounder in the world and the number one ranked bowler and batsman for the West Indies in Test cricket. How do his stats compare with the other great all-rounders in Test cricket?

All-rounders in cricket have often been overlooked for their specialist counterparts. However, several players classified as all-rounders are specialists in their own right. They just have an additional gift.
(Source: Scroll.In)

 

When the marvellous Test cricket all-rounders of all-time are being discussed, several names chandelle to the acme of the discourse. For instance, names such as Keith Miller, Garfield Sobers, Imran Khan, Jacques Kallis, Shaun Pollock and Trevor Goddard readily find the lips of true cricket aficionados. For several individuals, Sobers is the crème de la crème of the lot. In one breath, he is one of the greatest batsmen of all-time to wield a willow. While in another breath, he was one of the most versatile bowlers ever to lace up the boots.

Frankly, real all-rounders do one of two things exceptionally well. They either bat exceedingly well or bowl prodigiously well while carrying out the other function at an acceptable or an above-adequate level. As such, several all-rounders have been further categorised as either batting all-rounders or bowling all-rounders, to indicate what facet of the game they most excel in. Continue reading

Ricky Skerritt was dead wrong

By Zaheer E. Clarke

Published on 9 September 2019 in the Western Mirror

Ricky Skerritt’s firing of Richard Pybus and the hiring of Floyd Reifer as the interim head coach was a mistake. West Indies has struggled to win games since. 

Skerritt has pledged to direct the board’s focus towards grassroots cricket and has called on the region’s stakeholders to follow suit for the greater good of the game.
(Photo credit: Getty Images)

Newly elected President of Cricket West Indies (CWI), Ricky Skerritt promised after taking office that his administration would work for the improvement of West Indies cricket both on and off the field. Skerritt, who terminated Dave Cameron’s controversial six-year reign as CWI President, assumed the reins of the CWI on 24 March 2019 after trouncing the incumbent by a margin of 8-4 in the presidential elections.

Among Skerritt’s supporters leading up to the election were West Indian legends such as Viv Richards, Andy Roberts and Clive Lloyd. Lloyd, a former chairman of selectors under the Cameron-led administration, admitted that he was “deliriously happy” with Skerritt’s election victory. Interestingly, 150 days after Skerritt’s feted victory, some of his legendary supporters are having second thoughts. Continue reading

Madmen in Clean Clothes

By Zaheer E. Clarke
Published August 19, 2019 in the Western Mirror

Chris Gayle and Dr Warren Blake have made some comments recently that make individuals wonder if both of them should be admitted to Bedlam. 

Despite differing views, professionalism is expected in the workplace.

One of my coworkers, named Ricardo*, is extremely professional when he steps outside of the office and interacts with our clients. However, when he returns to the office, his radical views and mirthful outbursts tickles the ribs of every member of the office. Kevin*, the most senior member of the team, often interpellates about how Ricardo was able to convince our bosses to employ him since he, Kevin, is cocksure that Ricardo is a ‘madman in clean clothes.’ After listening to a few pronouncements by sports administrators and sportsmen over the past few weeks, I too am positive that Ricardo has companions in his dramatis personae of “madmen in clean clothes.”

The first candidate for the “Madmen in clean clothes” cast of characters is one of Jamaica’s beloved sons, Christopher Henry Gayle. Gayle, who has represented West Indies for almost 20 years, announced in February that he would be retiring from 50-over cricket after the 2019 ICC ODI World Cup. Continue reading

Tiger’s roar inspires us all

By Zaheer E. Clarke
Published April 29, 2019 in the Western Mirror

Tiger Woods’ victory at the 2019 Masters reminds us to never give up hope and to always believe that we can overcome all of life’s obstacles and succeed.

Tiger’s triumph inspires us all.
(Credit: Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)

Eight months ago in a column titled, “Both Golf and Tiger need each other,” I revisited that moment 22 years ago when Eldrick Tont Woods, better known as Tiger Woods, won his first major championship — the Masters — at just 21 years old. I also discussed my health at the time as I was diagnosed with varicella, more popularly called chickenpox.

Two weeks ago before Woods roared for his fifth Masters victory at Augusta, I was once again in lousy health and at the hospital. A respiratory infection limited my breathing, and while being nebulised thrice, my only concern was to get home and find out if Tiger Woods had won the Masters. I didn’t want to find out the score via my personal or work phones while wearing an oxygen mask. I wanted to hear the action, see the emotions, and feel the crowd’s roar, gasp and applause to whatever the outcome while I was in the comfort of my home. When I got home long after the tournament ended, the headline across ESPN’s website simply said, “Tiger Woods is back,” and so was I in many ways emotionally and mentally. Continue reading

Has fire returned to Babylon?

By Zaheer E. Clarke
Published February 4, 2019 in the Western Mirror

The fire with which West Indies played their cricket in the 1970s and 1980s has been extinguished for several years. It seems that unquenchable fire is returning.

The Windies team in 1976.
(Credit: Patrick Eagar)

I had the opportunity to speak with the president of Cricket West Indies, Dave Cameron, a few years ago and I relayed to him in jape, a prerequisite my father believed every West Indian player should have before they don the maroon, grey and white.

As I have mentioned in the past, my father has not missed the coverage of a West Indian cricket match in over 50 years. In that time, he has travelled to see the team play; he has had his ears affixed to transistor radios and often his eyes glued – many days and nights – to the screens of tellies in support of the lads in both domineering and abject times. He has never abandoned West Indies cricket, whether during voluminous or exiguous times. Continue reading