Australia v West Indies – Hobart Test: Memorable West Indies names


WINDIES NAMES – Ranking the ultimate XII

by Brutas Mudcake


So Australia have already won the Frank Worrell Trophy 3-0 and nobody will turn up, and we will all lament the sad decline of West Indies cricket. However there is one last vestige of the great allure Caribbean cricket has for us Australians – their ridiculously good names. Here are 12 of the best since the 1970s:



Formally Sir Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards, the most macho of macho West Indians single-handedly turned the feminine Vivian into ‘Viv’ and a statement of raw masculinity. The name rolls of the tongue as one of an elite group who are universally known by one name, but remember that the most swag cricketer who ever swagged had a pretty girl’s name.


The 90s decline in on-field stocks coincided with a boon for surnames as first names. The Windies selectors were busy churning through so many new players that they became altogether muddled. Obviously they kept picking ordinary players with two surnames in the hope they’d somehow provide the output of two players.



West Indies cricket has always been a fan of alliteration. From legends like Gordon Greenidge to not-so-legendary types like Cameron Cuffy and Corey Colleymore. But then there’s alliteration on steroids –where the first name almost replicates the surname. In the 80s and early 90s Richie Richardson and Patrick Patterson were destructive cogs in Aussie-conquering teams as we wished we had the audacity to name children like our surnames.


The clash of cultures name has always been a Windies favourite, these four give a good cross-section. Whether it be neighbouring dictators, Mexicana or Hispanic, West Indies cricket names have opened their borders to nearby cultural influences in the last 15 years.  For sheer simplicity the little known Dave Mohammed takes the cake here. Not ‘David’, ‘Dave’.


The stance that faced square-leg, the marking of the guard by hammering the bail into the pitch, the anti-glare stickers under his eyes – so idiosyncratic that you forget about his name. Just when you think you’ve got it pegged it turns another corner. There’s more twists and turns than a Hollywood thriller. Have you ever belted out ‘Chanderpaul’ instead of ‘Wonderwall’ in a drunken singalong – do it, it feels really good.



It’s called bogan baby-naming here but when it comes to West Indian cricketers it’s a-ok by me. The new generation represented with not one but two needless spelling change flourishes on the standard ‘Craig’. Couple that with a surname that speaks of sequin jumpsuits to a generation of Australians and an inexplicable soft-rock anthem for a newer musically tasteless generation and you have a bright light to lead the Windies out of the mire.



I’m not sure if there’s been a more apt name for a more lethal bowler. Ambrose is a sleek surname that mirrors his striding to the crease. Curtly was the permanent demeanour of the silent assassin with the permanent death stare only broken into rage by those stupid enough to ask him to remove his wristbands or those with an unhealthy fascination with green fabric. Amidst the inane (‘Belt that Up Ya Ginger’), racist (‘Curry Muchers’) and only-just-funny-the first-time idea of fitting as many players’ surnames into one nonsensical sentence ( something about a WARNEing of WAUGH) that was 80s and 90s crowd signs came one gem. ‘How do you speak to a 7 foot tall West Indian? Curtly’.


Another back-up to the greats, Bacchus wore a unique helmet that was the equivalent of his name. In the early 80s Australia had its own ‘Bacchus’ in Rod Marsh. The West Indies effortlessly one-upped “You call him Bacchus mon? Yeah we got a Bacchus too, but it’s his REAL NAME mon.”



I’ve never heard of anyone called Eldine and I’ve never heard of anyone called Baptiste. Vaguely feminine, vaguely biblical, wholly brilliant. A classic fill-in of the powerful mid-80s generation, brought out for one-dayers who had nothing like the talent of his peers, but stood tall when it came to his name.



Confession: I had no idea who Elquemedo Willet was before I went to Wikipedia on the topic but I’ve never heard anything more exquisite. The left arm orthodox played three Tests against the 1973 Australians but the tragedy of the West Indies pace battery coming to the fore was that this bloke never toured Australia. If only they’d been a little more liberal in taking never-used spinners on tours, Elquemedo could have been the household name in this country that, say, Roger Harper is.



…..ok this is just a cheap cultural stereotype, forget it.



The grand-daddy of them all, that fact he’s never been called ‘Jeff’ or ‘Dujon’ tells a story –he’s only ever been Jeffrey Dujon and that’s because every human relishes saying ‘Jeffrey Dujon’. Bringing a French flourish to Calypso cricket gets him the number one spot, and hands up if every time you read ‘dijon sauce’ on a restaurant menu you think of West Indies keeper/batsmen?


Honourable Mentions:

Alvin Kallicharran, Albert Padmore, Vasbert Drakes, Vanburn Holder and Larry Gomes*

*Note: the wistfulness associated with his name may be more influenced by his hair and striking similarity to John Oates.




  1. Scott McIntyre says

    The name Alvin Kallicharan has a very satisfying mouthfeel.

    Gordon Greenidge went down the alliteration path, using his middle name as a forename, but I am a big fan of his real first name of Cuthbert. Desmond and Cuthbert – what an opening pair.

    Going back a bit – honourable mentions to Seymour Nurse, Conrad Hunte, Everton Weekes.

  2. Everton DeCourcy Weekes – the sole surviving member of the famous “3 W’s”
    Esmond Kentish
    Junior Murray – there have been so many WI wicketkeepers with the name ‘Murray’ that one of them had to be called ‘Junior’
    Lord Leary Constantine
    Simpson Guillen – represented NZ in tests as well as WI

    (Note: Andy Roberts also was christened ‘Anderson’)

  3. Brutus,
    So glad you gave an honourable mention to Vanburn Holder.
    One of my favourite of all West Indian names.

  4. Manny Koufalakis says

    Not a cricket buff but I do like watching test cricket as opposed to other forms of the game.
    Anyway, I’ve always been intrigued by the West Indian names.
    Have there ever been 2 players with the same christian name not just in the same team but ever?
    I assume they would run out of names at some stage but for a cricket amateur like me I look forward to the naming each season of the Windies test side
    just to try and pick a christian name that has repeated.

  5. We used to Vanburnouts in his honour

  6. Great article. There’s been some rippers.

    When most seemed to sport aristocratic handles Wayne Daniel was reassuringly council estate.

  7. Excellent Mr Brutus. That is your real name i trust.

    Your essay does nothing to shift the perception that anglos of an English persuasion are boring white bread stereotypes. So, well done!

  8. The great man was always GARFIELD Sobers, not Gary. So good they named a cartoon cat after him.

  9. Peter Flynn says

    Alipate Carlisle

  10. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Sylvester Clarke must be worth a few points. Great list. We are so boring in comparison. Sir Vasbert Bradman would have been something.

  11. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Mention of Willett reminded me that he wasn’t even mentioned in the ABC Cricket Book for that 73 tour.

    Other notable names in that series were Uton Dowe (as in Dowe Shall Not Bowl) , Raphick Jumadeen and Charlie Davis.

    If you’ve got a spare five minutes, check out the dearth of West Indian fast bowlers in the Fifth Test of 73

  12. Not even in the ballpark for quantity or quality but some of my favourite Australian test names gleaned from childhood hours looking at old cricket books (and a wiki refresher):
    – Bransby Cooper
    – Billy Midwinter
    – Algy Gehrs
    – Vernon Ransford
    – Barlow Karkeek
    – Nip Pellew
    – Clarrie Grimmett
    – Otto Nothling
    – Percy Hornibrook
    – Hammy Love
    – Wally Grout

  13. I think Eldine Baptise is my fave.

    Poor Brendan Nash, he must have felt a tad inadequate.

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