Sobers wants spin bowler in WI team

Tony Becca , Senior Sport Editor

19 March

CRICKET: St. John's: Former West Indies captain Sir Gary Sobers believes the time has come for the West Indies to play a spin bowler regularly.

According to the left-hander who, apart from his brilliance as a batsman also bowled fast and slow during his illustrious career, times have changed, the West Indies no longer have a string of great fast bowlers, they should look at combining pace and spin, and they have at least one good spinner in legspinner Dinanath Ramnarine.

``He is good, he is promising, and he should be in the West Indies team,'' said Sobers at Kensington Oval earlier this week. ``I told you before the start of the match (the fifth Test) that I would have played him. I would have picked (Curtley) Ambrose, (Courtney) Walsh, Ramnarine and then another fast bowler.

``For many years, the West Indies have used four fast bowlers and they had fast bowlers of great quality - tremendous quality.

``In those days, they were absolutely right to use their fast bowlers - especially because they did not have many good spin bowlers.

``In the past five or six years however, the West Indies have continued to use four fast bowlers, they are still persisting with four fast bowlers, and I do not know why. They do not have that calibre of fast bowlers any more.''

Sobers believes a good spin bowler would be an asset to the West Indies, and he believes they now have one.

``When you look at West Indies cricket today and realise that they have a young spinner like Ramnarine and are not using him, something is wrong - just as it is wrong not using (Franklyn) Rose.

``I saw Ramnarine in the Test match in Guyana, and I was very, very impressed with him. His approach and his attitude are absolutely right, and if they don't give him the chance to fulfill his potential, they will be stifling a young, promising spin bowler.''

Source: The Jamaica Gleaner

Contributed by CricInfo Management, and reproduced with permission

Date-stamped : 19 Mar1998 - 22:27