Courtney Andrew Walsh Profile
Courtney Walsh played for West Indies for seventeen long years, toiling manfully – only the fourth bowler after Murali, Warne and Kumble to bowl 5000 Test overs – in the company of Curtly Ambrose, and captained the team in 22 Test matches, before also breaking Kapil Dev’s record for the most number of Test wickets. He ended with 519 to his name.
However, it was his gentlemanly spirit that stood out to the fore. In the 1987 World Cup, Walsh refused to run Saleem Jaffar out for backing too far, in turn losing an opportunity to win the match for his team. When he would beat the batsman, there would be no exaggerated lip service, just a raised eye brow, a shake of the head and he would be on his way back to the top of the bowling mark. And though, Walsh did not have the artistry beauty of a Holding, or the pace of Marshall, what he did have was the consistency in bowling delivery after delivery at the same spot and extracting bounce of the wicket due to his height. He had a hat trick to his name which was spread over two innings of a Test against Australia. However, if there was someone who was as bad with the bat as he was good with the ball, it had to be Walsh. His batting would bring a comic relief to those watching him play as his average of 7 and a collection of 40 odd ducks would portray.
Walsh retired at an age of 39, another indicator of the workhorse that he was, and West Indies have found it difficult to find a suitable replacement for him.