Andy Roberts (cricketer)

Last updated

Sir Andy Roberts
Personal information
Full nameAnderson Montgomery Everton Roberts
Born (1951-01-29) 29 January 1951 (age 70)
Urlings, Saint Mary
NicknameHit Man
Height6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
BowlingRight-arm fast
Role Bowler
International information
National side
Test debut(cap  149)6 March 1974 v  England
Last Test24 December 1983 v  India
ODI debut(cap  15)7 June 1975 v  Sri Lanka
Last ODI7 December 1983 v  India
Domestic team information
1970–1984 Leeward Islands
1970–1981 Combined Islands
1973–1978 Hampshire
1976 New South Wales
1981–1984 Leicestershire
Career statistics
Competition Test ODI FC LA
Runs scored7622313,5161,091
Batting average 14.9410.0415.6914.54
Top score6137* 8981*
Balls bowled11,1353,12342,7609,841
Wickets 20287889274
Bowling average 25.6120.3521.0118.58
5 wickets in innings 111472
10 wickets in match2070
Best bowling7/545/228/475/13
Catches/stumpings 9/–6/–52/–33/–
Source: CricketArchive, 12 January 2009

Sir Anderson Montgomery Everton Roberts, KCN (born 29 January 1951) is a former Antiguan first-class cricketer who is considered the father of modern West Indian fast bowling. [1] [2] Roberts played Test cricket for the West Indies, twice taking seven wickets in a Test innings. Arriving in England in 1972, he played first-class cricket for Hampshire County Cricket Club and then later for Leicestershire County Cricket Club.


Roberts was the first Antiguan to play Test cricket for the West Indies, thus leading the way for many of his famous countrymen including Viv Richards, Richie Richardson and Curtly Ambrose. In October 2005, Roberts was inducted into the United States Cricket Hall of Fame, becoming the second Antiguan to be recognised.

In 2009, Roberts was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. [3]

International career

Roberts formed part of the "quartet" of West Indian fast bowlers from the mid-Seventies to the early Eighties (the others being Michael Holding, Joel Garner and Colin Croft) that had such a devastating effect on opposition batsmen at both Test and One Day International level. He was also part of the West Indies team that won the first two Prudential World Cups in England in 1975 and 1979. [4] [5] [6] [7]

By his own reckoning, the best spell Roberts ever delivered was during the Headingley Test of the West Indies' 1976 tour of England: "I only got three wickets, but in my mind there was a decision given against me. It was a leg-before decision against Peter Willey, where he played right back onto his stumps to a fuller delivery. I would've bowled England out that afternoon if the umpire had given me the decision." [8] Despite an excellent record in Tests his international career was relatively short and ended in 1983. Imran Khan (former captain Pakistan national cricket team) once described a ball bowled to him by Andy Roberts as the fastest and most terrifying he had ever faced.

One of his trademarks was the use of two different bouncers. One was delivered at a slower pace and was often dealt with quite easily by the batsman. However, this was a ploy by Roberts to lull the batsman into a false sense of security. Roberts would then deliver the second bouncer, pitching in a similar spot to the first, but delivered at far greater pace. The batsman would attempt to play this delivery in the same fashion as the first slower bouncer only to be surprised by the extra pace and bounce of the ball. Many batsmen were dismissed, and many more struck painful blows, by Roberts using this ploy.

Roberts was also the part of the West Indies team which ended up as runners-up in the 1983 ICC Cricket World Cup. [9] [10]

John Snow believes that Roberts saw reduced effectiveness after being overbowled during 1974 by Hampshire and West Indies. [11]

After cricket

Andy Roberts' contribution to West Indies cricket has continued since his retirement as a player. As an administrator overseeing the preparation of pitches, he helped prepare the pitches in Antigua on which Brian Lara twice broke the world record for highest Test scores.

Roberts worked with Bangladesh's fast bowlers in 2001 and again in 2005, [12] and also helped coach India's seam bowling all-rounder Irfan Pathan in 2006. [13] Roberts joined the West Indies Cricket Board selection panel in July 2006. [14] In 2008 Roberts was one of 12 former West Indies cricketers who made up the 'Stanford Legends' who promoted the Stanford 20/20. [15]

Roberts was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the Nation (KCN) by the Antiguan Barbudan government on 28 February 2014. [16]


  1. "Biography Of Andy Roberts- Father Of Modern West Indian Fast Bowling On Cricketnmore On Cricketnmore". Cricketnmore. Retrieved 13 February 2021.
  2. "Andy Roberts – The expressionless assassin". Cricket Country. 10 May 2014. Retrieved 13 February 2021.
  3. Cricinfo (2 January 2009). "ICC and FICA launch Cricket Hall of Fame". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 19 July 2019.
  4. "Final: Australia v West Indies at Lord's, Jun 21, 1975 | Cricket Scorecard | ESPN Cricinfo". Cricinfo. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
  5. "AUSTRALIA v WEST INDIES". Cricinfo. 12 January 2006. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
  6. "Final: England v West Indies at Lord's, Jun 23, 1979 | Cricket Scorecard | ESPN Cricinfo". Cricinfo. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
  7. "ENGLAND v WEST INDIES". Cricinfo. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
  8. Nagraj Gollapudi (8 November 2008). "'Gavaskar was better than Boycott'". ESPN Cricinfo.
  9. "Cricket Records | Records | World Cup | Highest partnerships by wicket | ESPN Cricinfo". Cricinfo. Archived from the original on 19 February 2017. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
  10. "4th Match: India v West Indies at Manchester, Jun 9–10, 1983 | Cricket Scorecard | ESPN Cricinfo". Cricinfo. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
  11. p41, John Snow, 'Cricket Rebel'
  12. "Bangladesh hire Andy Roberts". ESPN Cricinfo. 25 July 2005.
  13. Siddhartha Vaidyanathan (6 June 2006). "Roberts helps Pathan with action". ESPN Cricinfo.
  14. "Greenidge replaces Carew as convener of selectors". ESPN Cricinfo. 15 July 2006.
  15. "Stanford legends given the chop". ESPN Cricinfo. 17 December 2008. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  16. "Three New Knights" (PDF). The Antigua and Barbuda High Commission Official News letter. 28 February 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2016.

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