Former West Indies fast bowler Sir Andy Roberts has opined that the art of fast-bowling is diminishing gradually in the Caribbean. He stated that the bowlers nowadays are more focused on bowling at proper line and length instead of raw pace and ‘real’ fast bowling.
In case you didn’t know, Roberts was an integral part of the West Indies cricket team during his active days as a cricketer. He formed the pace attack of the team along with Colin Croft, Michael Holding and Joel Garner. Once upon a time, Roberts bowled a delivery at a pace of 159.5 kmph.
Roberts commented on the recent status of fast bowlers and said that players should focus more on raw pace. He felt that accuracy and swing can be added to the arsenal by experience. However, in his view, the current direction for fast bowling is not right. He said the bowlers who do not bowl raw pace do not excite him.
Giving his honest opinion on the status of fast bowling in the West Indies team, Sir Andy Roberts said during an ICC video:
“To me, the fast bowling in West Indies is not as encouraging as it was 15-20 years ago. Even after the greats have retired, we still had a few youngsters, who were coming through. I don’t know if it is the advent of T20 cricket that is not allowing bowlers and bowl fast.”
Sir Andy Roberts feel you can transform into medium-pacer from a fast bowler
Discussing the issue further with former Ireland cricket team player Niall O’Brien, Roberts opened that the bowlers should start with raw pace, and once they master swing and accuracy, they can transform into medium pacers during the later half of their careers. He also added that a medium pacer cannot become a fast bowler, but a fast bowler can always switch to a medium pace.
Roberts gave his opinion after the U-19 team of the West Indies failed to qualify for the quarterfinals of the ongoing ICC U-19 World Cup 2022. Fans should note that the West Indies team is the host of the mega event. However, since they managed only one win in the three group stage matches, the Boys in Maroon failed to make the cut to the next round.