By Neto Baptiste
Former national and West Indies wicketkeeper, Ridley Jacobs, believes his late selection to the region’s senior squad was due to selection politics, and that players from other countries were given the nod ahead of him simply because of where they were from.
The wicketkeeper batsman debuted for the regional squad in 1998 at the age of 31 and played 65 Tests in six years. He also played 147 One Day International matches.
“Well I know that for a fact, because based on my performances over the years, I knew it had to be something personal and it had nothing to do with performance, so I just kept on doing what I had been doing in terms of training harder and keep scoring runs, taking catches and doing what I have to do and do it efficiently, and that’s what I did for a number of years consistently, and I knew one day I would get an opportunity. I always believed in God and knew God does everything in his own time so I was just working hard and waiting on the opportunity to go out there and do my best,” he said.
A resident of Swetes Village here, Jacobs said he knew he fared better than many other wicketkeepers in the region at the time because he measured his performances against others.
“I would look at other guys performances and match it up and then say I need to do better than this guy or that guy because if you’re on par, then it’s going to be problems, so I’ve always looked on my performances over the years and kept doing better than the other guys and just waiting on the opportunity to come,” he said.
Jacobs also jointly holds the world record for taking seven catches in a Test innings, which he achieved against Australia in Melbourne in 2000. He shares the feat with Wasim Bari, Bob Taylor and Ian Smith. He also featured in an outstanding partnership in the record-breaking innings of Brian Lara against England in which Jacobs made a hundred and Lara made 400 not-out.