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ICC Cricket World Cup Build Up: Somerset's West Indians

County Ground Taunton plays host to its third and final 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup match on Monday when the West Indies take on Bangladesh.

Somerset have long had ties with the West Indies, so ahead of the match we decided to take a look at some of our most famous West Indian players.

PETER WIGHT

Born in British Guiana in 1930, Peter Wight was a stylish top order right handed batsman and an occasional off spinner, who scored 16,965 runs for Somerset during his 13 years with the Club.

He played cricket for British Guiana over the winter of 1950-51, and in 1953 he travelled to Burnley to play in the Lancashire League. That year he was invited to Taunton to play in a three-day game against the Australian touring side. In the first innings Peter was dismissed for a duck but in the second innings he made an unbeaten 109. On the strength of this performance he was offered a contract by Somerset.

In 1954 he scored 1343 First Class runs and for the next 10 seasons he topped 1000 runs. In two of these years he went on to exceed 2000. In 1960 he was the leading run scorer in the country with 2375 at an average of 41.66, which included seven centuries. His occasional off spinners also netted him 62 First Class wickets for Somerset.

After he retired from playing, Peter was appointed to the First Class umpires list.

He went on to run a highly successful cricket school at Bath, where a young Marcus Trescothick was coached during  his formative years.

HALLAM MOSELEY

Hallam Moseley was born in Barbados in May 1948 and initially had a trial with Somerset in 1968. The following year Somerset were looking for a replacement for Ken Palmer and Fred Rumsey, so when the 21-year-old Moseley toured England with a Barbados XI, he was eventually signed.

After completing a qualifying period, during which he played for Lansdown Cricket Club, he made his Somerset debut in 1971. He took 34 Championship wickets that year at an average of 24.94. He also took 19 One-Day wickets at 20.26.

A trademark smile, underarm returns from the boundary and occasional big hitting exploits made him a great favourite with the Somerset fans.

Between 1971 and 82 he played played in 205 First Class games for Somerset, claiming 547 wickets at an average of 24.10, with a best of six for 34 against Derbyshire at Bath in 1975. In List A cricket his record is second to none and in 210 matches he took 309 wickets, which is more than any player in the Club’s history.

VIV RICHARDS

Viv Richards is widely acknowledged as being one of the greatest players that the sport has ever seen.

Born in Antigua in 1952, he was spotted by Somerset Committee Member, Len Creed who was in Antigua in 1973. He relocated to England later that year and made his debut for the Lansdown Second XI at Weston-super-Mare in April. It wasn’t long before he was promoted to the Lansdown First XI where the runs flowed.

He made his debut for Somerset in a Benson & Hedges Cup match against Glamorgan at Swansea and walked away with the Man of the Match award after his 81 not out helped Somerset to a six wicket victory.

That year he scored over 1000 runs in the Championship and by the end of the season he had been called up by the West Indies for their tour of India and Pakistan.

He was a vital part of the Somerset side that dominated one-day cricket in the late 70s and early 80s and he played a total of 191 First Class matches for the County, scoring 14698 runs at an average of 49.82. His highest score for the County was 322 which came against Warwickshire in 1985. What is even more remarkable is that all those runs came on one day!

A more than useful bowler as well, Viv claimed 96 First Class wickets for the County with a best of four for 36.

JOEL GARNER

The Barbadian was 25 years old by the time he arrived to play for Somerset via Littleborough CC in the Lancashire League. He made a big impact on his debut against Australia at Bath in 1977 when he took a wicket in his first over to help his newly adopted county to a historic victory. Thus began an incredibly successful 10-year association with the County.

In 1979 he was almost unplayable as Somerset lifted the Gillette Cup and John Player League trophies within days of each other. He was also outstanding in First Class Cricket that year, claiming 55 wickets at an average of just 13.83.

In 1981 he again topped the bowling averages with 88 wickets at 15.23.

In his 94 First Class matches for Somerset he took 338 wickets at an average 18.10 with a best of eight for 31. He claimed no fewer than 22 First Class five-wicket hauls and claimed ten wickets on five occasions.

KIERON POLLARD

The big-hitting Trinidadian all-rounder first made an impression for the West Indies in their Under 19 side in 2005 before representing Trinidad and Tobago in the Stanford T20 competition the following year.

In 2017 he marked his First Class debut by making 126 for Trinidad and Tobago against Barbados. Just three months later he made his ODI debut for the West Indies against South Africa at St George’s. Since then he has gone on to play a total of 101 ODIs and 59 IT20s.

Kieron signed for Somerset in time for the 2010 T20 campaign and certainly lived up to his reputation!

In 2010 he scored over 350 runs at an average of 32.18 with a top score of 89 not out and a strike rate of 175.24. He was equally as impressive with the ball, claiming 29 wickets at an average of 15.10. He was a key element behind Somerset’s progression to the final that year and had he not been injured after being struck in the face whilst batting in the final, his side could well have gone on to lift the trophy.

Kieron returned to Somerset for the 2011 T20 campaign and once again he didn’t disappoint. Somerset again reached the final only to fall at the last hurdle but the Trinidadian certainly kept the crowds entertained. He scored over 234 runs at an average of 39 with a strike rate of 162.50. He also claimed 12 wickets at 26.91.

CHRIS GAYLE

The Jamaican left-hander is undeniably one of the most exciting batsmen that the game has ever seen.

He averages 42.18 in Tests, 37.12 in ODIs and 33.47 in IT20s.

Chris was originally due to join Somerset as an overseas T20 player in 2012. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond the Club’s control, supporters had to wait until 2015 until he wore Somerset colours.

It was certainly worth the wait!

He featured in three T20 matches in 2015, scoring 328 runs with a high score of 151 not at and a strike rate of 192.94. In those three matches he smashed an incredible 22 fours and 29 sixes.

Chris returned to Taunton the following season for five matches. Although he failed to hit the heights of the previous year he still scored an impressive 177 runs at a strike rate of 166.98.

JEROME TAYLOR

The T20 World Cup Winning fast bowler made a huge impact for the County in last season’s Vitality Blast, taking 22 wickets in 11 matches at an average of just 16.64.

He also became only the third Somerset bowler to claim a five-wicket haul in T20 cricket when he took five for 15 against Hampshire at the Cooper Associates County Ground.

Jerome has an outstanding record in T20 cricket and has taken 33 wickets in 30 matches for the West Indies at an average of 26.15 with a best of three for six.

He has also featured in 101 other T20 matches, taking a total of 126 wickets at an average of 23.42 with a best of five for 10.

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