New Delhi: Indian diaspora is the largest in the world according to a report recently released by the United Nations. In Caribbean islands, Indian diaspora is a lot different to others in the world. It is not a new diaspora.
This diaspora consisted of the people sent there by British for sugarcane plantation labor in the mid-eighteenth century. These people, with time, have developed a new identity there. Everything from their accent to their food, from the festival to attire, is not same to India or the other Indian diasporas in the world.
British control brought the cricket wherever they went and the Caribbean islands were no different. These islands made a united cricket team named Westindies. The team is known for its fierce fast bowlers, aggressive batsman and funky style of playing the game. No team in cricket world is as enjoyed a WestIndian team. Between 1970 to 1995, they were by far the best team in the world. They won the first two world cups.
The West Indian team not only had India in its name but some of its greatest cricketers were of Indian origin. We profile 5 of the best and most known Indian-origin Westindies cricketers.
1 Sonny Ramadhin
The first east Indian to play for the Westindies. An off spinner who turned bowling leg spin in between and with the same control baffled many batsmen. He was a tidy bowler who could bowl long spells. In a test match in England, he bowled 98 overs in an inning which showed his stamina and patience. Ramadhin can be seen sitting on the left. (picture courtesy: espncricinfo.com)
2 Rohan Kanhai
Perhaps one of the greatest batsman that Westindies ever produced. 6000 runs at the average of 47 in the era of uncovered pitches, no helmets speaks volume about Kanhai’s talent. An occasional wicketkeeper, he was overshadowed as the team had greats like Sir Gary Sobers but still his contribution was immense in the making of a world champion team. (picture courtesy: indocaribbeanworld.com)
3 Alvin Kallicharan
This little left-handed gutsy fellow was one of the main strength of windies batting line up in the 70s. A career of 66 test matches in which he made more than 4000 test runs at an average of 44 was made of some great batting performance especially on swinging decks in England.
“You have to learn about survival, then think about the opposition”, this quote sums up his career and attitude. (picture courtesy: espncricinfo.com)
4 Shivnarine Chanderpaul
A batsman with the most awkward batting stance but still ended up with the best statistical career after Brian Lara. Almost 12000 runs in test cricket, more than 8000 runs in one day cricket, Chanderpaul played in an era when his team got weaker and weaker only. He could play for time. On 2007 England tour he just refused to lose his wicket. Most of the times he saw wickets falling at the other end in his career. Surprisingly he also smashed a 69-balls test hundred. (picture courtesy: expressnewsgy.com)
5 Ramnaresh Sarwan
A batsman picked in his teens was supposed to have a great career. He did play 87 test matches for Westindies but just when he was nearing his peak, controversies ended his career. Sarwan was a batsman who made batting beautiful when in the flow. An average of 40 in test cricket does not do justice with his talent. (picture courtesy: espncricinfo.com)
(image courtesy: guyanatimesinternational.com)