By Neto Baptiste
Two of the country’s cricket stalwarts, Vaughn “Hungry” Walsh and Tyrone “Pacer” Williams, are adamant that had it not been for selection politics they would have played at the highest level.
Both former national fast bowlers, the duo appeared on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show on Tuesday and were adamant they were just as, and in some cases, maybe better than those who went on to West Indies stardom.
Walsh, who claimed 92 wickets in 27 First Class matches, said that despite consistent good performances at the national level, he struggled to break into the Leeward Islands squad.
“I don’t think there is no wrong time; it’s just like who they prefer in the cricket and not about performance all the time, and if you get the right story from the right person, then you would know who was the one who put the spoke in my wheel. I just moved on to something else because if cricket didn’t make it, I had another plan or a plan B to move on to, so I really didn’t make that be a big problem for me,” he said.
“Just as Willy said, you play for Antigua all those years and you still can’t get a play for Leeward Islands. It took me going to England and getting nine wickets for four runs, so these guys in this part of the world could pick me for Leeward Islands and that to me should never be. I think we don’t recognise our own until some Englishman or somebody else from foreign decides you’re good enough,” he added.
Batting, Walsh amassed 268 runs in 27 First Class encounters. While living in England in 1991, in a match for his club, Leicester Nomads, he took nine wickets for two runs.
Meanwhile, Williams, who has made a name for himself as an aggressive fast bowler, said he had to impress selectors consistently for several years before he was given an opportunity to play for the sub-region.
“Sometimes you just do your best because I don’t know how I didn’t play for Leeward Islands, it’s just unbelievable but they just won’t pick you. I remember one time ago, when I topped the average in 1975 and they still didn’t pick me and I had to ask what is going on here,” he said.
Williams is the father of deceased Nevisian and West Indies cricketer, Runako Morton. He is also the father of national youth cricketer, Tyrone Williams Jr.