Top 10 Fast Bowlers of all Time: # 10: Malcolm Marshall

The Caribbean Town of St.Micheal had much more than the rich flavors in Bistros & Brasseries.It gave West Indies one of the finest bowlers of all time-Malcolm Marshall or Maco better known. Maco- not tall enough to deliver bouncers but his heights to real glory were endless.Malcolm Marshall beat almost every batsman with accuracy and what all it took for a fast bowler to get the good length ball,he had them.

“I was scared, my heart was pumping and I was out caught down the leg-side first ball. As he went past me with his hands in the air he stopped and touched me on the shoulder and said ‘Tough luck!’ That was the first time I had got close to him”- Brain Lara about Maco.

“Like Father Like son” they say but in Maco’s case it was his grandfather who taught him the grace and aggression needed for a fast bowler. Maco’s international debut was against a bunch of equally talented English men.It took sometime for Maco to climb up the ladder. Maco’s Tour of India was one to be forgotten for the fact that his wickets tally were dry .Soon Maco’s power and determination paid off when he toured England and instilled a pack of Caribbean fear in them. His second innings rampage with a figure of 7-53 at the Headingley test sent the English men packing.

There were other stories alongside the test match when English man Andy Lloyd was hurt by a career stopping bouncer of Maco. Lloyd’s cricketing career ended on a sad note with the scare of Caribbean pace.Maco never stopped there , for a peak for 4 years from 1982 to 1986, with 20 wickets every series and bowling at an average just below 20.No matter how the batsman played he had only one choice-to give up at some point. Broken thumbs were no reasons to sit down but Maco managed to make the most of it.

On a number of occasions Maco served as a powerful lower order batsman and his 92 against India at kanpur proves it. Maco’s armoury included leg cutters those came at speeds which were blinding and swinging the ball in both ways. A leg cutter so accurate and deceptive that what appears to go wide stays on line and hits the middle stick.Maco’s height was made use of well, he added speed and swing to bouce in such a manner that the batsman had no choice but to defend himself form getting hurt or edge it only to be caught at the slips

Maco didn’t spare any nation,his 22 five wicket hauls in tests prove that he was the best for the Caribbean during the 80s.However Maco failed to impress in ODIs like in Tests,no-five wicket haul in ODIs and a best figure of 4-18. The key for such statistics might be the angle at which Maco delivered the ball..Maco’s career came to a halt at the oval in 1991.

Maco later went on to be the coach for Hampshire and then the West Indies for a short tenure.It was during 1999 World Cup, that colon cancer took away Maco and the churchyard of St Bartholomew found its purpose. Rose Bowl- the entrance to the Hampshires ground is named after this great. No matter how many years pass, the fear felt when a young batsman faced Maco at the nets was immeasurable. Maco proved to be one of the most dangerous bowlers of all time, inches short of a good height . Yet he was debated as one of the best fast bowlers of all time. Maco was truly an epitome of resilience, stamina and courage. South African Bowler Shaun Pollock learnt from and still attributes his road to glory to Marshall.

To a remembrance was “The Malcolm Marshall Trophy” added but what he left in the barren minds of batsman who faced him would still remain in the broken helmets and dangerous beamers.

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Edited by Staff Editor
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