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PEN SKETCHES OF THE WEST INDIES XV

CARL HOOPER

Born: December 15, 1966. Guyana. Right-hand batsman, useful off spinner. A huge talent who should have achieved more, yet still the only player ever to score 5,000 runs and take 100 wickets in both forms of the game. Mysteriously quit the sport for almost two years before splitting West Indies cricket by returning as captain. ODI debut: Vs New Zealand, Dunedin, March 1987. 5,663 runs at 35.84; 7 hundreds; 29 fifties; 190 wkts at 35.74; 102 Tests’ 5,762 runs; 13 centuries; 114 Test wickets.

Graceful batsman, fine player of pace and spin but often criticised for throwing away his wicket. Scored an unbeaten 100 vs India in his second Test in Calcutta in Dec. 1987 but did not score his second for another 20 Tests. Missed 1996 World Cup. Sacked along with Brian Lara in 1998, then reinstated, after pay rebellion at Heathrow Airport before tour to South Africa. Quit international game April following year after 80 Tests during ODI series vs Australia. Cited personal and professional reasons but never fully explained. Missed 1999 World Cup. Oct 2000, aged 34, returned from Australia to represent Guyana. Comeback backed by Viv Richards. Led Guyana to Busta Shield final. Handed captaincy in 2001 after sacking of Jimmy Adams after 0-5 defeat by Australia. West Indies lost at home to South Africa, only the second side to win there in 27 years. April 2002, 1st Test vs India in front of his home crowd, scored 233, his first and only double century. Underwent operations on his knees in November. As captain has averaged 45.97 in Tests.

SHIVNARINE CHANDERPAUL

Born: August 18, 1974, Guyana. Left-hand bat, occasional right-arm leg-spinner. Injury-plagued career. ODI debut: Vs India, Oct. 1994; 126 matches; Avg 36.44; 3 centuries; 63 Tests; 3,898 runs; Avg 44.29; 6 centuries; 28 fifties.

Compact, cautious player, in contrast to the West Indian stereotype. Start of his Test career summed him up — four half-centuries in six innings but no hundred. Blighted by a shoulder problem in 1999, foot stress fracture, and elbow tendon injury the next year. Recpatured form in 2002 home series vs India, hitting three centuries in five matches and averaging 140.5. Last ODI highlight came in St Lucia in June, with 108 as an opener against New Zealand, anchoring the team to victory.

COREY COLLYMORE

Born: December 21, 1977, Barbados. Right-arm fast-medium. Began career as a quick but dogged by stress fractures of the back. ODI debut: Vs India, Toronto, Sept. 1999; 38 wkts at 29.18; 31 matches; 1 test.

Set to make first-class debut in 1997, hit by back stress fracture. Had same problem in 1999. Major career highlight came with best ODI performance in Dec. 2001, taking 5/51 vs Sri Lanka. Hit for 41 off 5.4 overs, he then took 5/10 off 22 balls.

PEDRO COLLINS

Born: August 12, 1976, Barbados. Left-arm fast-medium. ODI debut: Vs Pakistan, Sharjah Champions Trophy, Oct. 1999 he took 6/18). 28 wtks at 28.39, 20 matches; 17 Tests; 54 wkts at 36.20.

On Test debut first three wickets were Michael Slater, Matthew Elliott and Steve Waugh but has played only 17 Tests in four years. Took Test-best 6/76 vs New Zealand at Barbados in June 2002. Dismiss Sachin Tendulkar three times in three matches in a home series vs India in early 2002, including 2nd ball in Barbados and 1st ball in Antigua.

MERVYN DILLON

Born: July 5, 1974, Trinidad. Right-arm fast bowler. The spearhead of the attack. Needs one wicket to reach 100 in ODI, a mark he has already passed in Tests. ODI debut: Vs South Africa, Nov. 1997. 99 wkts; Avg 29.21; 74 matches; 30 Tests; 112 wkts at 30.38.

Tall, generating sharp bounce. Struggled to establish himself as a Test player, with seven games in two years before being ignored for 21 months between early 1999 and late 2000. Continued to play ODIs, though. Dec. 2001, sent home from Sri Lanka and missed one-dayers after refused to train. Said he feared violence during Sri Lankan elections. Test breakthrough came in 2002 vs India. Taking 23 wkts at 27.21.

VASBERT DRAKES

Born: August 5, 1969, Barbados. Right-arm fast bowler, aggressive lower-order batsman. West Indies’ Mr Invisible — just returned to international cricket after seven-and-a-half-year break. ODI debut: Vs Australia, March, 1995. 17 matches; 26 wkts at 25.65; 2 Tests.

Started career in 1995 with five ODIs, three wickets and two innings vs Australia. Did not return until 2002 Champions Trophy. During intervening period, played County cricket for Nottinghamshire, Sussex and Warwickshire (where he replaced Allan Donald) in England and for Border in South Africa.

CHRIS GAYLE

Born: September 21, 1979. Left-handed opening batsman, useful off-break bowler,good slip fielder. Jamaican. West Indies’ new batting hope. ODI debut: Vs India, Toronto, Sept. 1999. 62 matches; 2,150 runs at 36.44; 4 centuries; 14 fifties; 51 wkts at 29.03; 28 Tests.

Tall, powerful striker, loves to off-drive. Made first-ball duck on Test debut vs Zimbabwe and a single from eight balls vs India on ODI debut. Played just one Test in England on 2000 tour, making a duck. Breakthrough came in 2001 tour of Zimbabwe. After one half-century in nine Tests, hammered 175 vs Zimbabwe. Seemed to undo good work with only one score in double figures and three consecutive ducks in Sri Lanka. Hit 204 against the visiting New Zealanders, while being named ODI MoS with 12 wkts and averaging 48.5 with the bat. Followed up with maiden century, 152 off 150 balls, against Kenya in Aug. and a scoring sequence of 103, 72, 140, 101 in West Indies fine 4/3 ODI win in India.

RYAN HINDS

Born: February 17, 1981, Barbados. Fluent left-handed middle order batsman, slow left-arm bowler and fine fielder. Late replacement for the injured Marlon Samuels. Has played four Tests and 11 ODIs since being picked for the tour of Sri Lanka in 2001. ODI Debut: Vs Zimbabwe. Struck the winning runs and made 62 on Test debut against Pakistan in Sharjah.

WAVELL HINDS

Born: September 7, 1976, Jamaican. Left-handed opening batsman, occasional seam bowler. Grabbed one of the last remaining World Cup squad slots after being converted into an opener. ODI debut: Vs India, Singapore, 1999. 64 matches; 1,558 runs; Avg 26.75; 29 Tests; 1,638 runs at 32.76.

Upright stance, strong off both feet. Yet to fully establish himself, despite hitting 165 and 52 vs Pakistan at Bridgetown in May 2000 in his fourth Tests. Ignored for most of 2001 after a poor home tour against South Africa. Recalled for the last two home Test against India as an opener, hit 113 in MoM performance to clinch the series.

RIDLEY JACOBS

Born: November 26, 1967. Antigua. Wicketkeeper, left-hand bat. Late developer. Shares the world record for dismissals in an ODI innings. ODI debut: Vs New Zealand, Kingston, 1996. 112 ODIs; 1,645 runs; Avg 23.50; 47 Tests; 1,880 runs at 28.48.

Athletic wicketkeeper, hard-hitting batsman who goes for his shots. First selected for ODIs aged 29 but exiled for two years after four matches. Made Test debut on 31st birthday. Used as an opener in 1999 World Cup, when carried his bat for 49 not out in total of 110 against Australia at Old Trafford. July 2001, suspended for 3 ODIs, later changed to one Test, after TV replays showed he stumped India’s Virender Sehwag in 6th match of ODI triangular without having the ball in his hand. Did not claim stumping but failed to call batsman back when given out. Dec. completed six dismissals in ODI vs Sri Lanka to equal world record (held by Adam Gilchrist and Alec Stewart). 2002, dropped for Test series against India in favour of Junior Murray but recalled and in 4th Test and hit career-best 118 in Antigua.

BRIAN LARA

Born: May 2, 1969, Santa Cruz. Trinidad. Left-hand bat. Holder of world record for highest score in Tests (375) and first-class matches (501n.o). ODI debut: Vs Pakistan, Lahore, 1990. 203 matches; 7,549 runs at 42.64; 15 centuries; 90 Tests; 7,572 runs at 49.49; 18 hundreds.

Short man, complicated character, one of the most exciting players in the world. 1994, world Test record 375 in 5th Test vs England, St John’s, Antigua. Then world first-class record 501 n.o for Warwickshire vs Durham at Edgbaston, as scored. Scored six hundreds in his first seven first-class innings for Warwickshire. Series of clashes with selectors in 1995 and 1996. 1998 named captain. Sacked then reinstated during players’ revolt over pay before start of tour to South Africa. Drew 1999 home series vs Australia virtually single-handed, 213 in Kingston, unbeaten 153 in Barbados. Resigned 2000, then took a break for four months. Thought to be past his best but then staggering 2001 Sri Lanka tour, century in first Test then in 3rd made 221 and 130 to become first player for almost three decades to make century and double century but still lose. Averaged 114.66 for series, then dislocated left elbow in one-dayer, an injury which troubled him for most of 2002. Scored century in Champions Trophy vs Kenya, then collapsed with mystery illness. Listed by Wisden as 10th best Test batsman of all time.

JERMAINE LAWSON

Born: January 13, 1982, Jamaica. Right-arm fast-medium bowler. An international novice but can boast one of the most devastating bowling spells of all time. ODI debut: Vs Sri Lanka, Colombo, Dec. 2001. 5 matches; 4 Tests.

Oct. 2002, on Test debut dismissed Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar. In December, aged 20, took six wickets in 15 deliveries without conceding a run, three of them in four balls, final figures of 6.5-4-3-6.

NIXON ALEXEI McLEAN

Born: July 20, 1973. St Vincent. Right-arm fast bowler. Experienced in South African conditions but not played any international cricket for more than a year-and-a-half. ODI debut: Vs Australia, Melbourne, Dec. 1996. 46 wkts at 36.76; 44 matches; 19 Tests.

Did not bowl a ball during an extraordinary ODI debut, all because of an unpredictable pitch. England’s batsmen were hit seven times and reduced to 17/3 after 10.1 overs before match was abandoned. Played for Hampshire and KwaZulu-Natal, alongside Shaun Pollock, Lance Klusener and Jonty Rhodes. Never taken more than three wickets in any international innings. Took one for 132 in last three ODIs and 0/74 off 10 overs in last two ODIs.

RICARDO POWELL

Born: December 16. 1978, Jamaica. Right-hand bat, occasional off-spinner. Hailed as a prodigy four years ago, has done little since. ODI debut: Vs Pakistan, Bristol, May 1999 World Cup. 1,248 runs; Avg 26.00; 1 century; 58 matches; 1 test, in December 1999.

Aged 20, last-minute inclusion into 1999 World Cup squad after shock retirement of Carl Hooper. Had not played a one-day match for Jamaica and just six first-class games. Since his one and only Test, has played 41 ODIs. Scored a century, half-century and a 46 in first four ODI innings but only one half-century in last 20 matches.

RAMNARESH SARWAN

Born: June 23, 1980. Guyana. Right-hand batsman. A fine technician, highly dependable, at last recorded his maiden hundred just before the World Cup. ODI debut: Vs England, Trent Bridge, July 2000. 1,072 runs; Avg 51.04; 1 century; 5 fifties; 29 matches; 29 Tests; 1,720 runs; Avg 37.39; 1 century; 14 fifties.

Short, textbook batsman. Made Guyana debut at 16 in 1996 Busta Cup, West Indies debut aged 19. Only nine WI players before him had been capped before 20th birthday, including Gary Sobers. Looked the part on 2000 tour of England but axed after two Tests of 2000-1 Australia series, making 0, 0, 2, 1. Blamed concentration for regularly failing to convert good starts. Managed to average 109 in one-day series vs India at the end of 2002 without reaching three figures but in December finally made breakthrough with maiden hundreds in both forms of cricket against Bangladesh.

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