21st September is a memorable day for West Indies. Three of their biggest stars from different eras were born on this day. With their unmatched skill and style they took West Indies cricket to new heights and despite the recent drop in the team’s fortune each of these players created a legendary status for themselves.
The first of them was the great all-rounder Learie Constantine, born in 1902. Grandson of a slave, Constantine was the first West Indian superstar and a world class all-rounder during the early days of twentieth century. He was known for his aggressive batting, quick bowling and sharp fielding and played in Lancashire league for a long time along with playing 18 Tests for West Indies. His 58 wickets came with an average of 30 however the impact he created in those early days of cricket in the Caribbean islands was everlasting. He also guided Nelson to unprecedented 8 titles in 10 years in the Lancashire league. He was knighted in 1962 and awarded the Trinity Cross, Trinidad’s highest honour after his death.
The second one in the list is the menacing fast bowler of the 80s and 90s, Curtly Ambrose, who was born in 1963. Ambrose joined a very strong team during the mid 80s, made his way up to the list of world class fast bowlers of that time, created a threatening new ball partnership with Courtney Walsh and despite the declining quality of West Indies cricket kept his performance top notch till the last day of his career. Ambrose will be always remembered for some of his great spells like the 7/1 in Perth against Australia in 1992-93, 6/24 against England in Trinidad and 8/45 against the same opposition in 1990 at Bridgetown. He became only the fourth bowler to reach 400 Test wickets just before he retired at the Oval in 2000.
21st September is also the birthday of one of the most entertaining characters of the contemporary cricket. Chris Gayle was born on this day in the year 1979. The tall, muscular opener from Jamaica made his name in all three formats of the game before becoming a global star in T20 franchise cricket. He has two triple centuries in Tests with a highest of 333, an ODI double century and also the first centurion in T20 international cricket during the first match of the inaugural T20 World cup in South Africa. Gradually he became one of the most devastating batsmen in the newest format of the game and played in the T20 leagues throughout the world with great success. In total he has 21 T20 hundreds including a 66-ball 175 for Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL which is both the highest ever T20 score and fastest ever T20 century.