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Fast bowling legend Joel Garner appointed West Indies team manager

Nicknamed the "Big Bird," Garner had served as interim manager of West Indies for a short period during the 2009/10 season.

Joel Garner West Indies Cricket
Garner will serve for a three-year period starting with the four-Test series against India

West Indies fast bowling legend Joel Garner, who used to strike fear into the opposition batsmen during his playing days as part of the fearsome bowling attack under Clive Cloyd’s captaincy during the 70s and 80s, has been appointed the team manager of the West Indies men’s side for a three-year period. Garner will assume the responsibility of his new role starting with the upcoming four-match Test series against India. 

The 59-year-old formed a deadly partnership with the likes of Michael Holding, Andy Roberts, Malcolm Marshal and Courtney Walsh, Garner formed part of the great West Indies side of the past that enjoyed unprecedented success during the 1970s and 1980s. He picked up 259 wickets in 58 Tests at a miserly average of 20.98 but was even better in the 50-over format, picking up 146 wickets from 98 ODIs at an average of just 18.84. 

Garner’s figures of 5/39 in the 1979 World Cup final against England still remains the best ever bowling performance recorded in the final of ODI’s premier competition. No wonder the West Indies Cricket Board approached the Carribean legend to help out the team and the 63-year-old was more than happy to oblige. 

In fact, Garner has remained active in the game ever since his retirement in 1987 overseeing various administrative roles, including serving as an interim manager for the West Indies from 2009 to 2010, which included West Indies tours of Australia and Sri Lanka; South Africa and Zimbabwe tours to the West Indies and the ICC World Twenty20 which was held in the Caribbean in 2010

"I always answer the call in West Indies cricket," Garner said. "It is always an honour to serve in any capacity in West Indies cricket and I'm pleased to be back with the team as manager to share my knowledge and experience to the team and be an ambassador for West Indies cricket and the region.”

It is hard to disagree with Garner’s words as a simple look at the roles he has accomplished after his playing career reveals his immense contribution to West Indies cricket. He was a director on the board for West Indies Cricket Board and has served as president of the Barbados Cricket Association for the last three terms. He also donned the role of West Indies A team manager and a national selector for a brief period.  

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