Former West Indies paceman Courtney Walsh, who turns 54 today, is our Legend of the Week.
West Indies pride themselves in a long history of world-class fast bowlers. From Joel Garner and Andy Roberts to Malcolm Marshall and Curtley Ambrose, the islanders terrorised opposition with their raw pace.
In fact, so impressive were their bowling stocks, that Walsh didn’t even get to bowl in the first innings of his debut against Australia back in 1984, as Marshall, Garner and Michael Holding took 10 wickets between them to skittle Australia for 76.
Walsh, however, would go on to be the most durable of them all, and he would only get better and better. This is defined by the fact that he took five five-for in his first 63 Tests, and no less than 17 in his last 69 Tests.
Together with his partner in crime, Ambrose, the pair were largely responsible for West Indies’ domination in international cricket for the majority of the 1980s and early ’90s.
While Ambrose settled for 405 Test wickets, Walsh became the first in Test history to take 500 wickets, sealing the milestone with the wicket of Jacques Kallis in Trinidad in 2001. His 519 overall sits him at fifth on the all-time list, 15 years after he played his last Test.
A hugely popular man, Walsh was a stalwart for English County side Gloucestershire between 1985 and 1998.
Photo: Duif du Toit/Gallo Images