Joel Garner

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Joel Garner
Personal information
Full name Joel Garner
Born (1952-12-16) 16 December 1952 (age 64)
Christ Church, Barbados
Nickname Big Bird
Height 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)
Batting style Right-handed
Bowling style Right arm fast
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 160) 18 February 1977 v Pakistan
Last Test 15 March 1987 v New Zealand
ODI debut (cap 21) 16 March 1977 v Pakistan
Last ODI 28 March 1987 v New Zealand
Domestic team information
Years Team
1975–1987 Barbados
1977–1986 Somerset
1982–1983 South Australia
Career statistics
Competition Test ODI FC LA
Matches 58 98 214 256
Runs scored 672 239 2,964 1,023
Batting average 12.44 9.19 16.74 11.75
100s/50s 0/1 0/0 1/8 0/1
Top score 60 37 104 59*
Balls bowled 13,169 5,330 39,829 13,359
Wickets 259 146 881 397
Bowling average 20.98 18.84 18.53 16.61
5 wickets in innings 7 3 48 10
10 wickets in match 0 n/a 7 n/a
Best bowling 6/56 5/31 8/31 6/29
Catches/stumpings 42/– 30/– 129/– 71/–
Source: Cricinfo, 13 September 2009

Joel Garner (born 16 December 1952), also known as "Big Joel" or "Big Bird", is a former West Indian cricketer, and a member of the highly regarded late 1970s and early 1980s West Indies cricket teams.

He was a 6 feet 8 inches (2.03 m) fast bowler capable of ripping through the heart of opposing batting line-ups. In conjunction with fellow fast bowlers Michael Holding, Andy Roberts, Colin Croft, and later Malcolm Marshall and Courtney Walsh, the West Indies reached unprecedented heights in the Test and one-day cricket arenas, not losing a Test series in 15 years.


One of the tallest bowlers ever to play Test cricket, Garner appeared in 58 Tests between 1977 and 1987 and took 259 wickets at an average of barely above 20, making him statistically one of the most effective bowlers of all time. However, it was in limited overs cricket that Garner put his height to use with devastating effect. In 98 matches he took 146 wickets. He had the ability to unleash a devastating yorker, as well as the ability to generate more bounce. He is one of the two players (the other being Mitchell Starc) with more than 100 ODI wickets to average under 20, while his economy rate of just over 3 runs per over, and average of less than 20 runs per wicket are also the best ever for any bowler who took more than 100 wickets. His 5 for 39 in the 1979 Cricket World Cup final against England remains the best ever performance by a bowler in a final; it included a spell of 5 wickets for 4 runs, and he was on a hat-trick twice.

Garner played for Barbados in the West Indies, for South Australia in the Sheffield Shield and alongside Viv Richards and Ian Botham for Somerset in the English County Championship. He was at Somerset in the most successful time in the county's history. In Barbados, his club team was YMPC.[1]

Until the appearance of 7 feet 1 inch (2.16 m) tall Pakistani fast bowler Mohammad Irfan in 2010, Garner and former Australian pace bowler Bruce Reid, who also stood at 6 feet 8 inches (2.03 m) tall, were the tallest players ever to play international cricket.

After retirement[edit]

In October 2010 Garner was named interim manager of the West Indies for the tour of Sri Lanka. He was one of the new faces in the team including captain Darren Sammy.[2]

In the 2013 election he was the BCA candidate for vice-president of the West Indies Cricket Board, losing to Dave Cameron's running mate, Emmanuel Nanthan of Dominica, 8-4.[3] As of 2016 he continues as Barbados Cricket Association president, spearheads West Indies’ drive in Masters Cricket, has served as a West Indies selector, and fulfils various other duties.[4]


External links[edit]