ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Sylvester Clarke: West Indies fast bowler

Updated on July 7, 2011
Sylvester Clarke was a nasty proposition on any wicket.
Sylvester Clarke was a nasty proposition on any wicket.

Full name: Sylvester Theophilus Clarke

Born: December 11, 1954 at Christ Church, Barbados

Died: December 4, 1999 at Christ Church, Barbados

Major teams: West Indies, Barbados, Northern Transvaal, Orange Free State, Surrey, Transvaal

Playing role: Fast bowler, lower order batsman

Sylvester Clarke’s run-up was not necessarily the most sublime; it was one where he’d accelerate quickly and enter his delivery stride with a contortion of limbs. However awkward his action appeared, it was able to deliver the ball well in excess of 85 miles per hour – and with disconcerting bounce.

Former Australia captain Steve Waugh, in his autobiography summed it up as follows: "Pace and bounce of the kind Clarke could muster is something you can't prepare for.” He added, “It's an assault both physically and mentally and the moment you weaken and think about what might happen, you're either out or injured..."

Clarke started playing First-class cricket for Barbados at a relatively late age for cricketers – 23. One year after making his First-class debut, he wore the maroon cap of the West Indies. His ascent was as quick as his bowling, although he owed it to the defections of key players who played World Series Cricket under Kerry Packer.

Clarke had a creditable debut, taking six wickets against Australia at Guyana. However, the Barbadian pace bowler was unlucky to play at a time when the Caribbean had a plethora of fast bowling options. When the “Packer players” returned, Clarke was a fringe player.

His decision to play in South Africa during the infamous “rebel tours” effectively curtailed his international career. As his bowling records show, the 6'2 fast bowler was more than capable with the ball in hand.

Sylvester Clarke's bowling records

Match type
Matches
Wickets
Average 
Strike rate 
Economy
Tests
11
42
27.85 
58.9 
2.83
ODIs
10
13
18.84
40.3
2.80
First-class
238
942
19.52 
46.2 
2.53
List A
250
364
18.77 
35.3 
35.3
Source: Cricinfo

Clarke has a good international record, but he excelled in First-class cricket – playing for Barbados, as well as in South Africa and England. He even demonstrated prowess with the bat – scoring one First-class hundred. However, he was best remembered for an infamous incident in a 1980 Test match against Pakistan at Multan.

Clarke retaliated to being harassed and pelted by Pakistan supporters by tossing a brick used as a boundary marker into the crowd. A 22-year old student was injured as a result. To make amends Clarke visited the student in hospital and apologized for that incident. However, he still faced a three-match ban for it.

The fast bowler’s nine seasons were certainly impressive. Many English County batsmen reckoned that Clarke was the fastest and nastiest of fast bowlers on the County circuit – notwithstanding the West Indian greats who were playing at that time as well. The Barbadian was one of 20 Surrey cricketers honoured by the County in 2005.

Sylvester Clarke died in 1999; just weeks after he played a club match in his native Barbados. Weeks earlier, he had attended the funeral of Malcolm Marshall – the former West Indies bowler who took 376 Test wickets. While Clarke’s international career was brief, he made a mark in First-class cricket and would be remembered as one who helped to establish the West Indian pace tradition.

Comments

Submit a Comment

No comments yet.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)