Cricket: Where have all the tall men gone ? – By Hubert Williams

Cricket: Where have all the tall men gone ? – By Hubert Williams

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Former West Indies Test cricketer Ian Bishop seems a giant against small- statured Dwayne Bravo, captain of the West Indies limited-overs team in India

A little while ago, I used the photograph at the bottom of this article to make a comparison between the stature of most of today’s leading West Indies cricketers and the giants in many opposing teams of the other cricket-playing countries, and asked the question: Where have all the tall men gone?

A photo today of a scene in India provides the answer: They have drifted into the past, and are re-emerging as broadcasters. Just look at the photo here of a current West Indies major player and a major one from the past: Dwayne Bravo seems a tiny mite standing beside retired player Ian Bishop. 

Who is afraid of Virginia Wolff…? Gulliver in the land of the Lilliputians? Where, indeed, have all the tall men gone? Perhaps into basketball. Today’s fellas can’t scare anyone… except for the few very gifted and disciplined batsmen like Shivnarine Chanderpaul, 40, and Kraigg Brathwaite, 21- committed and consistent… here small is powerful.

I also have high hopes for Jason Holder, a big and promising fast bowler and an increasingly able batsman, from Barbados. I have seen him perform a feat (either against New Zealand or in the Caribbean Premier League) unique in all my years of watching cricket. .. and the Press seemed to have missed its unique import. He was fielding at mid-wicket, a 45-degree angle from the stumps. The batsman drove the ball hard towards his position and set out for a run. Holder pounced, scooped up the ball and threw fast. The ball struck hard at the base of the middle stump and the throw was so precise, the ball ricocheted directly back to where Holder stood.

I have seen batsmen clean bowled, with the ball rebounding down the wicket towards the bowler; but never previously have I seen such unerring accuracy from an acute angle that it rebounded back to the fielder. Those who have witnessed such can so say. International cricket is mostly skill, but partly intimidation (as Sir Vivian Richards’ batting) and whole demeanour, and our hostile four-pronged pace bowling, used to show), therefore size and strength also matter.

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An opposing touring player towers over the West Indies team members as they celebrate his dismissal

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