Courtney Walsh

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Courtney Walsh
Courtney walsh.jpg
Personal information
Full name Courtney Andrew Walsh
Born (1962-10-30) 30 October 1962 (age 51)
Kingston, Jamaica
Height 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
Batting style Right-hand batsman
Bowling style Right-arm fast
Role Bowler
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 183) 9 November 1984 v Australia
Last Test 19 April 2001 v South Africa
ODI debut (cap 45) 10 January 1985 v Sri Lanka
Last ODI 11 January 2000 v New Zealand
Domestic team information
Years Team
1981/82–2000/01 Jamaica
1984–1998 Gloucestershire
Career statistics
Competition Test ODI FC List A
Matches 132 205 429 440
Runs scored 936 321 4530 1304
Batting average 7.54 6.97 11.32 8.75
100s/50s 0/0 0/0 0/8 0/0
Top score 30* 30 66 38
Balls bowled 30019 10822 85443 21881
Wickets 519 227 1807 551
Bowling average 24.44 30.47 21.71 25.14
5 wickets in innings 22 1 104 5
10 wickets in match 3 n/a 20 n/a
Best bowling 7–37 5–1 9–72 6–21
Catches/stumpings 29/– 27/– 117/– 68/–
Source: CricketArchive, 21 August 2008

Courtney Andrew Walsh OJ (born 30 October 1962) is a former international cricketer (fast bowler) who represented the West Indies from 1984 to 2001, captaining the West Indies in 22 Test matches. He is best known for a remarkable opening bowling partnership along with fellow West Indian Curtly Ambrose for several years. Walsh played 132 Tests and 205 ODIs for the West Indies and took 519 and 227 wickets respectively. He shared 421 Test wickets with Ambrose in 49 matches.[1] He held the record of most Test wickets from 2000, after he broke the record of Kapil Dev. This record was later broken in 2004 by Shane Warne. He was the first bowler to reach 500 wickets in Test cricket.[2] His autobiography is entitled "Heart of the Lion".

Walsh's career[edit]

Walsh's first claim to fame came in 1979 when he took 10 wickets in an innings in school cricket and three years later made his first-class cricket debut. He played 427 matches of this format between 1981 and 2001, and took 1,807 wickets at the average of 21.71, including 104 five-wicket hauls and 20 ten-wicket hauls.[2] Walsh played first-class cricket for Gloucestershire County Cricket Club (Gloucestershire CCC) from 1985 to 1998.[1]

Walsh made his Test debut against Australia in Perth in 1984, taking 2 wickets for 43 runs. Later that season, he also made his One Day International debut against Sri Lanka at Hobart. He first played for Gloucestershire in 1984 and was a mainstay of the side until 1998.

In 1987, Walsh was named as one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year. In 1988–89 at Brisbane he took a 'complicated' hat trick, dismissing Australia's Tony Dodemaide with the last ball of the first innings and Mike Veletta and Graeme Wood with his first two deliveries in the second. During that winter he also took 10 wickets in a Test match for the first time against India in Kingston.

In 1994, he was appointed captain of the West Indies for the tours of India and New Zealand after Richie Richardson was ordered to rest because of "acute fatigue syndrome". In 1995, he took 62 Test wickets at an average of 21.75 runs per wicket, a performance which he bettered in 2000 when he took 66 Test wickets at an average of 18.69, including 34 wickets in the Test series against England at an average of 12.82 runs per wicket. Coming close to the record for a West Indian bowler of 35 wickets in a Test series (set by Malcolm Marshall in 1988). In the 1990s, his partnership with Curtly Ambrose was one of the most feared bowling attacks in world cricket.

During the first part of his career, Walsh served as the "stock" bowler in an attack featuring Marshall, Joel Garner and later Ambrose, but after the retirement of Marshall and Garner took the role as opening bowler. His action lacked the elegance of those bowlers, but its economy and his natural athleticism ensured he was accurate and durable, even over very long spells and he used his height (about 198 cm, or six-foot-six) to extract occasionally vicious bounce. Even as he lost pace in the later stage of his career he continued to take wickets at an undiminished rate; teams tended to defend against him and Ambrose and attack the weaker third and fourth bowlers.

Walsh was the first player to reach 500 Test wickets. Reaching the feat in 2001, his 500th Test victim was Jacques Kallis, trapped before wicket off the Walsh's second ball. He took 22 fifers in 132 Test matches, of which five fifers came in the first 63 appearances and 17 in the later 69 appearances.[1]

Walsh played his last ODI against New Zealand in 2000 and his last Test match against South Africa in his homeland, Jamaica, in 2001.

A graph showing Walsh's test career bowling statistics and how they have varied over time.

Walsh is one of only four bowlers to have bowled over 5000 overs in Test cricket, the other three being spinners: Muttiah Muralitharan of Sri Lanka and Shane Warne of Australia, and Anil Kumble of India. These four, in addition to Glenn McGrath are also the only bowlers to have taken 500 or more Test wickets. Among the five, Walsh is the only one who has not taken 8 or more wickets in an innings. In ODIs, Walsh was not as successful although he will be remembered for his best performance, 5 wickets for just 1 run against Sri Lanka in 1986. In first-class cricket, he took 5 wickets in an innings more than 100 times and 10 wickets in a match 20 times. Walsh's feats with the bat are rather less flattering, as indicated by an average of seven in both Test cricket and ODIs. He also holds the record for the most Test ducks (43), but also for the most "not outs" – 61 times. His highest score, coincidentally, was 30 in both forms of the game. By the end of his career, he had such a reputation for poor batting that the crowd would cheer every ball he faced. Whether this was in appreciation of his batting or an attempt to wind up the bowling side is open to interpretation. That said, Walsh is a much loved and respected cricketer and the West Indies have arguably yet to find a fast bowler with anything approaching his talents.

Walsh is also famous for his sportsmanlike gesture of not mankading last man Saleem Jaffar of Pakistan in a World Cup match in 1987, which cost the West Indies the match and a place in the semi-finals.

He is currently a regular feature of the Lashings World XI alongside other cricket legends including Sachin Tendulkar and fellow West Indian Richie Richardson. In May 2004, Walsh was chosen one of the Jamaica's five greatest cricketers of all time.[3]

Courtney Walsh also owns a restaurant in Jamaica called Cuddyz.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Cricinfo staff, Wisden (30 October 2003). "All Today's Yesterdays – Happy birthday, Courtney". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 22 July 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Courtney Walsh". ESPNcricinfo. 22 July 2014. Retrieved 22 July 2014. 
  3. ^ Cricinfo staff, Wisden (13 May 2004). "amaica's top five cricketers of all time – Walsh and Holding named among Jamaica's best". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 22 July 2014. 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Richie Richardson
West Indies Test cricket captains
Succeeded by
Brian Lara
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Deon Burton
Jamaica Sportsman of the Year
Succeeded by
Christopher Williams
Preceded by
Kapil Dev
World Record – Most Career Wickets in Test cricket
519 wickets (24.44) in 132 Tests
Held record from 27 March 2000 to 8 May 2004
Succeeded by
Muttiah Muralitharan