Colin CROFT

Colin Croft - West Indies - Test Profile 1977-82

Photo/Foto: George Herringshaw

Date: 20 June 1977

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    • POSITION
      Right Arm Fast, Right Hand Bat
    • DATE OF BIRTH
      Sunday, 15 March 1953
    • PLACE OF BIRTH
      British Guiana, West Indies
  • INTERNATIONAL
  • West Indies
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Colin CROFT - West Indies - Test Profile 1977-82

Big Colin Croft was the member of the West Indian pace quartet that batsmen disliked most. He was a man who believed in the bouncer and would regularly dig a fast ball into the batsman's ribs. In one over at the Oval in 1980 commentators counted 11 short balls in two overs. Croft was unrepentant. He knew more people came to see him bowl fast than to see batsmen not good enough to play him. It wasn't just speed and bounce, with his awkward action Croft bowled from wide out on the return crease, so wide that one batsman said it was like playing fast balls bowled from mid off. Croft made his debut for Guyana in 1971-72, but had to wait until 1976-77 and a crop of injuries to the likes of Holding and Daniel to get a Test against Pakistan.

 

Joel Garner was another brought into that match as an emergency replacement. Croft took 7 wickets in his first Test and 8-29 in the first innings of his second. After that he was a regular, part of Clive Lloyd's 4 fast bowlers strategy: which was only possible because he had 4 world-class bowlers fighting each other for wickets. He took 33 wickets in that first series. Some of his best work for West Indies was in Kerry Packer's World Series Supertests where he took 20 wickets against Australia in the West Indies. He was less effective on the slow English wickets of 1980 and played in only one Test on that tour. At home that winter it was a different story, with 5-40 in Trinidad and 6-74 in Antigua. He also contributed some rare runs in that match, 17 not out in a big last wicket stand with Michael Holding. Croft played in the 1979 World Cup final. After a shorter career than most he went on to become an airline pilot - just as much speed, but without the bounce. (Bob Harragan)