SOUTHAMPTON – West Indies assistant coach Roddy Estwick wants the current generation of Caribbean fast bowlers to carve out their own place in cricket history rather than just be compared to past greats.
West Indies’ pace attack of Oshane Thomas, Sheldon Cottrell, Andre Russell and Carlos Brathwaite have already made their presence felt at the World Cup, sparking memories of years gone by.
When West Indies won the first two World Cups, in 1975 and 1979, they did so with some of the best fast bowlers cricket has known in Andy Roberts, Michael Holding and Joel Garner.
Meanwhile, their World Cup match against South Africa on Monday takes place at Hampshire’s ground in Southampton, where one of the entrance roads is named ‘Marshall Drive’ in honour of two West Indies cricketers who played for the county – batsman Roy Marshall and the unrelated fast bowler Malcolm Marshall.
“We can’t keep looking back,” Estwick told reporters at Southampton on Sunday.
“We’ve got to respect the past but this group of bowlers know they’ve got to find their own identity,” he added.
They are doing a good job of that this World Cup, with the West Indies’ quicks routing Pakistan for 105 on the way to an opening win before reducing Australia to 38 for four, only for the world champions to recover to 288 and a narrow win.
“Everybody was saying teams were going to make 360 or 380 at this tournament,” said Estwick.
“We bowled both teams out for under 300 so we are very happy with the way the bowlers have executed,” he added.
“We are playing our way, we are playing the way that works for us. That’s aggressive cricket with a smile on our face.”
Estwick also said Jason Holder’s team were conscious of how much the West Indies meant to their supporters back home and in Britain as well.
“This is big for the Caribbean people,” he insisted. “One thing we have been stressing is to go out and put a smile on people’s face in the Caribbean.
“Obviously, economically we are struggling a little bit so we want people to wake up in the morning at 5am or 6am with a smile on their faces, seeing West Indians playing good cricket.
“And also we want to help the people of London as well, who have had so much pressure cricket-wise in the last 10 or 15 years. We want to put a smile on all black peoples’ faces.”