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Joel Garner (born 16 December 1952) is a former West Indian cricketer, and a member of the highly regarded late 1970s and early 1980s West Indies cricket teams. Garner is the highest ranked ODI bowler and #36 in Tests as per the ICC best ever bowling ratings.

Joel Garner
Personal information
Full nameJoel Garner
Born (1952-12-16) 16 December 1952 (age 66)
Christ Church, Barbados
NicknameBig Bird
Height6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)
BowlingRight arm fast
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 160)18 February 1977 v Pakistan
Last Test15 March 1987 v New Zealand
ODI debut (cap 21)16 March 1977 v Pakistan
Last ODI28 March 1987 v New Zealand
Domestic team information
1982/83South Australia
Career statistics
Competition Test ODI FC LA
Matches 58 98 214 256
Runs scored 672 239 2,964 1,023
Batting average 12.44 9.19 16.74 11.75
100s/50s 0/1 0/0 1/8 0/1
Top score 60 37 104 59*
Balls bowled 13,169 5,330 39,829 13,359
Wickets 259 146 881 397
Bowling average 20.97 18.84 18.53 16.61
5 wickets in innings 7 3 48 10
10 wickets in match 0 0 7 0
Best bowling 6/56 5/31 8/31 6/29
Catches/stumpings 42/– 30/– 129/– 71/–
Source: Cricinfo, 13 September 2009

He was a 6 feet 8 inches (2.03 m) fast bowler capable of ripping through the heart of opposing batting line-ups. In conjunction with fellow fast bowlers Michael Holding, Andy Roberts, Colin Croft, and later Malcolm Marshall, Curtley Ambrose and Courtney Walsh, the West Indies reached unprecedented heights in the Test and one-day cricket arenas, not losing a Test series in 15 years.

In 2010, Garner was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.[1]


Garner first came to the attention of Somerset whilst playing for Littleborough in the Central Lancashire League. He replaced Sir Garry Sobers as the clubs paid man for the 1976 season, continuing in the role for the 1977 and 1978 seasons. During his three year stay at Littlebourough his amassed over 1500 runs with the bat and took 334 wickets at 9.34 runs apiece. He signed for Somerset for the start of the 1977 season. One of the tallest bowlers ever to play cricket, Garner appeared in 58 Tests between 1977 and 1987 and took 259 wickets at an average of barely above 20, making him statistically one of the most effective bowlers of all time. However, it was in limited overs cricket that Garner put his height to use with devastating effect. In 98 matches he took 146 wickets. He had the ability to unleash a devastating yorker, as well as the ability to generate more bounce. He is only player with more than 100 ODI wickets to average under 20, while his economy rate of just over 3 runs per over, and average of less than 20 runs per wicket are also the best ever for any bowler who took more than 100 wickets. His 5 for 39 in the 1979 Cricket World Cup final against England remains the best ever performance by a bowler in a final; it included a spell of 5 wickets for 4 runs, and he was on a hat-trick twice.[2][3]

He was also the part of the West Indian team which emerged as runnersup in 1983 ICC Cricket World Cup. In the finals he along with Sir Andy Roberts set the highest ever 10th wicket partnership in World Cup history (71).[4][5]

Garner played for Barbados in the West Indies, for South Australia in the Sheffield Shield and alongside Viv Richards and Ian Botham for Somerset in the English County Championship. He was at Somerset in the most successful time in the county's history. In Barbados, his club team was YMPC.[6]

Until the appearance of 7 feet 1 inch (2.16 m) tall Pakistani fast bowler Mohammad Irfan in 2010, Garner and former Australian pace bowler Bruce Reid, who also stood at 6 feet 8 inches (2.03 m) tall, were the tallest players ever to play international cricket.

After retirementEdit

In October 2010 Garner was named interim manager of the West Indies for the tour of Sri Lanka. He was one of the new faces in the team including captain Darren Sammy.[7]

In the 2013 election he was the BCA candidate for vice-president of the West Indies Cricket Board, losing to Dave Cameron's running mate, Emmanuel Nanthan of Dominica, 8–4.[8] As of 2016 he continues as Barbados Cricket Association president, spearheads West Indies’ drive in Masters Cricket, has served as a West Indies selector, and fulfils various other duties.[9]


  1. ^ Staff (6 October 2010). "Walsh, Garner inducted into Hall of Fame". Guardian Media. Retrieved 19 July 2019.
  2. ^ "Final: England v West Indies at Lord's, Jun 23, 1979 | Cricket Scorecard | ESPN Cricinfo". Cricinfo. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
  3. ^ "ENGLAND v WEST INDIES". Cricinfo. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
  4. ^ "Cricket Records | Records | World Cup | Highest partnerships by wicket | ESPN Cricinfo". Cricinfo. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
  5. ^ "4th Match: India v West Indies at Manchester, Jun 9-10, 1983 | Cricket Scorecard | ESPN Cricinfo". Cricinfo. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
  6. ^ "MPC rewards Barbados under-15 cricketers". Caribbean Sports Network. 26 March 2010. Archived from the original on 6 October 2011. Retrieved 5 July 2011.
  7. ^ "West Indies v Sri Lanka: Joel Garner named interim West Indies manager | Cricket | ESPN Cricinfo". Retrieved 9 November 2015.
  8. ^ "Whycliffe Cameron elected new WICB president". ESPNcricinfo. 28 March 2013. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  9. ^ "Current BCA Board Members". Barbados Cricket Association. 2016. Retrieved 8 April 2016.

External linksEdit