The West Indies cricket team may be much diminished these days, but that doesn’t prevent legions of grown men, and probably a few women, dreaming of being reincarnated as a West Indian paceman.
I’m not entirely sure how the rules of reincarnation work and whether it faithfully follows time as we understand it, but on the off chance it doesn’t and one can turn the clock back (preincarnation?) most of those wannabe quicks would obviously pick themselves somewhere in a 15 year window beginning in the mid-seventies.
While waiting for the karmic wheel to turn, then, here’s a magnificent piece by Rob Smyth on what he describes as The Scariest Test England Ever Played: Terror at the Hands of West Indies.
It is witty, charming and full of magnificent insight, not least in its analysis of the teeth-loosening ferocity of Patrick Pattersonwhose action he quotes Cricinfo’s Andrew Miller describing as “a stiff-limbed, stud-slamming action like a windmill being ripped off its axis in a hurricane.”
While the current West Indian tourists are unlikely to inspire such poetry this summer, the glow generated by Windies attacks of old shows no sign of cooling, and if you’re one of those people who dreams of keeping Malcolm Marshall out of the team, good luck in the next life.