Rohan Kanhai

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Rohan Kanhai
Personal information
Full name Rohan Bholalall Kanhai
Born (1935-12-26) 26 December 1935 (age 78)
Port Mourant, British Guiana
Batting style Right-handed
Bowling style Right arm medium
Role Batsman and occasional wicket-keeper
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 94) 30 May 1957 v England
Last Test 5 April 1974 v England
ODI debut (cap 8) 5 September 1973 v England
Last ODI 21 June 1975 v Australia
Domestic team information
Years Team
1954–1974 British Guiana / Guyana
1959–1960 Berbice
1961–1962 Western Australia
1964–1965 Trinidad and Tobago
1968–1977 Warwickshire
1969–1970 Tasmania
1974–1975 Transvaal
Career statistics
Competition Test ODI FC LA
Matches 79 7 421 159
Runs scored 6,227 164 29,250 4,769
Batting average 47.53 54.66 49.40 39.09
100s/50s 15/28 0/2 86/120 7/26
Top score 256 55 256 126
Balls bowled 183 0 1,595 29
Wickets 0 19 1
Bowling average 54.68 17.00
5 wickets in innings 0 0
10 wickets in match n/a 0 n/a
Best bowling 2/5 1/2
Catches/stumpings 50/– 4/– 325/7 70/1
Source: Cricinfo, 31 October 2009

Rohan Bholalall Kanhai (born 26 December 1935) is a former Guyanese cricketer who represented the West Indies in 79 Test matches. He is widely considered as one of the best batsmen of the 1960s. Kanhai featured in several great West Indian teams, playing with, among others, Sir Garfield Sobers, Roy Fredericks, Lance Gibbs, and Alvin Kallicharran. C. L. R. James wrote in the New World journal that Kanhai was "the high peak of West Indian cricketing development", and praised his "adventuresome" attitude.[1] Kanhai was part of the West Indian team that won the inaugural World Cup.

Kanhai made his Test debut during the West Indies' 1957 tour of England and kept wicket for his first three Tests, in addition to opening the batting. Gerry Alexander took over the gloves for the last two Tests. A right-handed batsman, Kanhai scored 6,227 runs in 79 Tests at a robust average of 47.53, with his highest score of 256 coming against India in a Test at Calcutta. When Kanhai retired, his batting average was the fifth-highest of all West Indian cricketers with more than 20 Tests. He was famous for his unorthodox shots, most notably the "falling hook" shot, in which he finished his follow through lying on his back, famously during the West Indies' 1963 tour England when his innings of 77 at The Oval won the match for West Indies. In the 1975 World Cup final, when he was grey-haired and 40, his steady half-century set the platform for an explosive innings by Clive Lloyd.

Later in his career, he became West Indies captain succeeding Gary Sobers giving the team more determination and resolve. After retirement West Indies called on Kanhai as their first national cricket coach. In charge of coaching the under-19s before being assigned to the Test team, Kanhai's selection was announced at the WICBoC annual general meeting in May 1992 to start work in the autumn of 1992 "for an as yet unspecified period". He resigned in 1995 in favour of Andy Roberts.

Throughout his first class cricket career Kanhai played for British Guiana, Guyana, North of South Africa (SACBOC), Tasmania, Transvaal (SACB) in the Howa Bowl, Trinidad, Warwickshire, and Western Australia.

In English county cricket for Warwickshire, he also played alongside Kallicharran, John Jameson, and Dennis Amiss. Kanhai scored 11,615 first class runs for Warwickshire at an average of 51.62, which is the highest for any batsman who played for the county for a considerable time.[2]

The Indian opening batsman Sunil Gavaskar named his son Rohan after Kanhai,[3] and wrote of Kanhai, "To say that he is the greatest batsman I have ever seen so far is to put it mildly." Robert 'Dutchy' Holland, the famous Australian test spin bowler (best known for crushing The West Indian batting lineup at Sydney's SCG in 1985) also named his son Rohan, in honour of his all time favourite cricketing hero, Mr Rohan Kanhai. "Rohan Kanhai, An Appreciation" by Albert Badeo. There is a Wetherspoons pub in Ashington, Northumberland named after him due to his stint there when he was West Indies captain.[4]

Rohan Kanhai's career performance graph.
Preceded by
Garfield Sobers
West Indies Test cricket captains
1972/3 – 1973/4
Succeeded by
Clive Lloyd

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Rohan Kanhai: A study in confidence" by C. L. R. James
  2. ^ Rohan Kanhai profile at Warwickshire County Cricket Club official website.
  3. ^ "Famous son steps out of shade" by Scott Heinrich, BBC Sport website, 18 January 2004, retrieved 2 December 2005.
  4. ^ "The Rohan Kanhai, Ashington". pub-finder. Archived from the original on 9 May 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-28.