Rowe’s fast fears

(CMC) Legendary West Indies batsman Lawrence Rowe is concerned that som of the present West Indies fast bowlers are taking too long to stamp their authority on international cricket.

He believes that the West Indies Cricket Board must begin the search for fast bowlers who are over six feet tall, so that they can be more effective in world cricket.

‘Our bowlers are not learning fast enough,’ Rowe said.

‘Our pace attack has not excelled as it should. When you look at Malcolm Marshall, who was under six feet and how he managed to learn from greats like Michael Holding, Andy Roberts, Colin Croft and Joel Garner and himself make an impact, this is not the case with players who are of his height.

‘During the successful years, we had a habit of selecting tall fast bowlers, most of them over six feet tall and I would love to see the board doing that again,’ said Rowe, whose exquisite hooks, pulls, cuts and drives off fastbowlers were delightful to watch.

Rowe – born in Whitfield Town, Kingston – turned 60 on January 8. He played in 30 Tests for the West Indies, scored 2,047 runs with seven centuries at an average of 43.55, including a best of 302 in a total of 596 for eight against England at the Kensington Oval, Barbados, in 1974.

Now is the time, he believes, with the fast bowlers collectively not doing so well, for a spinner to be introduced. But there must be a comfort zone established for that individual, he suggested.

‘I believe that the West Indies can afford to play one spinner, but he must be a natural spinner of the ball.

‘We will not get a world-class spinner overnight, so whoever is selected must be given the chance to excel.’

As for the series against England involving four Test matches, five One-Day Internationals and a 20/20 fixture, Rowe believes that it will be close.

Don’t be fooled by the discord that dogged English cricket in recent weeks, he said, as the firing of former captain Kevin Pieterson and the elevation of Andrew Strauss may have positives.

‘The Test series should be close and I believe that it will be decided by a 1-0 margin, which hopefully will be in our favour.’