Conrad Hunte Interview

CricInfo Interview with: Conrad Hunte
Date: 28 June 1996
Location: South Africa

The cricketing world needs no introduction to the great West Indian batsman Conrad Hunte (or his valiant chase and throw that ran out Grout, eventually setting up the stage for the famous tied test). He died of a heart attack in Australia in December 1999. At the time of our informal chat session with Mr. Hunte on 28 June 1996, he was in South Africa. Thanks to Ros Brodie for arranging the interview.

uday: Mr. Hunte, Welcome to #cricket. Do you think that fast bowlers today use the short-pitched ball more than they did in your day?

Hunte: Uday: Thank you very much. There is a tendency to use the short-pitched ball more regularly than we did, and that is why it was introduced one fast-pitched ball per over per person.

Ozzi: Mr. Hunte: Do you think its a fair rule?
uday: Are you in favour of regulations on the number of bouncers per over?

Hunte: Ozzi: Yes, because it operates for everyboy, but as uday has also asked, I think that regulation should be left to the umpire and captains, rather than a rule.

taps: Mr. Hunte: What is the main reason in your opinion for the recent decline in WI cricket?

Hunte: taps: For too long, we relied purely on talent, but the game has moved into a scientific era, with people like Australia and now South Africa instituting Academies and using science to help them now improve that talent.... A bit late, but WI is also about to create an academy and this will bring WI cricket back to the top!

Ozzi: Mr. Hunte: What according to you is the biggest difference in the way cricket is played now and in your time ?

Hunte: Ozzi: About the difference between cricket now and in my time... The main difference lies in the fielding. The fielding today is incredibly good. In our day you had to hide some bowlers, for example. But nowadays people like Allan Donald and Fanie de Villiers and others are equally good in the field as the batsmen.

Amitabha: and colquhoun: Mr. Hunte: What's your opinion of the third umpire system?

Hunte: Amit: Third umpire - a good addition to the game. When you have technology you have to use it! Some decisions are so quick, the human eye can not pick them up, so for run out and stumping and things like that... a good move.

MikeW: Do you think it should be extended to the things like fine edges and LBW's that always cause argument?

Hunte: MikeW: No, I think that such judgements should be left to the umpire. It's a human judgement call and sometime he will make an error, but that is a part of the game.

Ozzi: Mr. Hunte: Who do you think are the greatest post world war batsman and bowler?

Hunte: Ozzi: greatest post-war bat and bowl ...
Batsman: Don Bradman
Bowler: Tough one. Gary Sobers is the best cricketer, since he's so good in 5 different disciplines...

uday: Which of your innings gave you the most satisfaction?

Hunte: (laughs) My 110 on a turning wicket against Australia, Melbourne, 2nd Test 1960, although we lost that game, but I was up against some good legspin googly bowling, and that was a good effort, I reckon...

(In that 2nd innings of the 2nd Aus-WI Test in 1960-61, WI were 233 all out, Hunte 110, Alexander 72, Kanhai 25 were the only ones in double figures. Incidentally, Frank Worrell had the misfortune of getting a pair in that same match).

Hunte: But my highest score of course is 260 against Pakistan in Kingston, Jamaica, 1958.

azzie: What about the famous second wicket stand?

Hunte: azzie: Is that the stand with Gary Sobers? Yes, the second wicket stand. 446 for the second wicket partnership... It's still a West Indies alltime record.

Ros: uday: Hunte thanks you for reminiscing him of that 60-61 match!

colquhoun: Mr. Hunte: do you think cricket can hold its own against basketball in the WI?

Hunte: colquhoun: Because CNN is beaming into the WI, in part Barbados regularly now, there's now a competition for the talented youngsters, whether they will go into basketball, baseball, or cricket...

I think cricket is king and will always have the 1st place, but the authorities must now go out and spot the talent and bring them on... We can't afford to leave it to their own efforts now.

(In the meantime, someone strolls in and asks the following question)

avl: Who is Conrad Hunte?

(upon which several people message him that Conrad Hunte is a great West Indian Batsman. But Hunte himself answers the question with a touch of wit!)

Hunte: avl: Conrad Hunte is like the Hank Aaron of Cricket !!

Ozzi: Mr. Hunte: If you had to pick only one between say Richards, Javed Miandad, Alan Border and Sunil gavaskar for your team, who would you pick?

Hunte: Ozzi: wow... (thinking)...
Richards can tear any bowling apart... Sunil Gavaskar has the highest aggregate runs in Test cricket and the most Test centuries... (except for Border of course on the aggregate runs). And Javed, along with Allan Border, has been one of the longest serving cricketers around... So a hard choice...

But if I had to pick one, I think I would pick Viv Richards...

The greatest players are those who can dominate the proceedings, and of all of those, he [Richards] can really dominate.

Ros: Ok, Conrad must leave now. We thank him for a lively and entertaining chat.

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