Malcolm Marshall is a former cricketer from West Indies who is regarded as one of the finest pacemen to have ever played the game. Born on the 18th of April, 1958, Malcolm was a right-arm fast bowler and a right-handed batsman who was handy in the middle order.
Marshall first learned cricket from his grandfather who looked after him after his father’s death, when he was just one year old. Though he started as a batsman, he soon found out that fast bowling was his forte.
His early cricket began with the Banks Brewery team from 1976. He failed to make an impact in the first few games that he played. However, on 13 February 1978, Malcolm played his first List A match for Jamaica and took six wickets in the first innings.
At the age of 20 and with one List A match experience, the fast bowler made his debut for West Indies on the 15th of December, 1978 against India. He just picked up one wicket in the drawn encounter. He did not make any impact in further matches of the series.
From 1982-83 to 1985-86, Marshall had a golden run at the international level. In each of the series that he played in that period, he took 21 or more wickets and averaged under 20.
In 1983-84, Marshall demolished India by taking 33 wickets in the series and scored runs at an average of 34. In this process, he made his highest Test score of 92 at Kanpur. Malcolm Marshall was one of the few bowlers who proved to the world that height and physique do not determine a great fast bowler. He developed a great bouncer that batsmen found it almost impossible to face. He maintained mastery of orthodox outswing and inswing from a neutral position without telegraphing his intent. Later in his career, Marshall developed a leg-cutter that made him a complete bowler with all the weapons at his disposal.
Marshall was instrumental in the famous “Blackwash” tour against England in 1984. To this date, the West Indies are the only team to beat England 5-0 in England. He was instrumental in the series as he picked up 24 wickets at an impressive strike rate of 42. Among the bowlers who have taken more than 200 wickets, Marshall had the lowest average.
Marshall started his county stint with Hampshire. He took 134 wickets in the 1982 season at an average of 16. He remained with the team until 1993 and took more than 1000 wickets for Hampshire.