New Zealand’s current series against the West Indies, two of the more ordinary sides in international cricket, has been, a few sessions aside, pretty uneventful. The expected fireworks from Gayle, some extremely composed innings from Chanderpaul, New Zealand struggling along like a three legged dog… But I’ve kept watching, and enjoying it, largely because of one man.
Fidel Edwards has got to be one of the most entertaining cricketers in the world right now. Unfortunately he plays for the West Indies, so he gets no support from the other end, and his average is a very tawdry 38… But damn, he’s cold. And this isn’t about his figures so much as his presence on the pitch. Check out this over to South Africa:
Not particularly effective (though worthwhile for audience response alone), but just feel the heat coming off the guy. His resemblance to a better-looking Marlo Stanfield, the murderous drug kingpin from The Wire is surely not coincidental.
For a guy from Gays (seriously) in Barbados he is pretty much the scariest thing you can encounter on a cricket wicket right now. After being discovered by Brian Lara bowling in the nets he was thrust into test cricket after only one first class innings, and has never looked back. There’s just so much to love about the guy, who bears the weight of spearheading the least-dangerous West Indian pace attack in history with a barely concealed rage.
He seems to take offence at anything, cheerily bounces tailenders (just ask Iain O’Brien) in contravention of generally accepted practice, and has a stare that would have most sensible cricketers retiring hurt rather than stand up to him. Bowling NINE dot balls to Jesse Ryder earlier today was one of the craziest things that’s ever happened in the South Island. Jesse went so mental he top edged the next ball for six, and the little bit of theatre that got Jacob Oram out was similarly invaluable.
After The Giant had hit 17 off the previous over, from Chris Gayle, and taken a single off the last ball to retain strike, Edwards was determined to avenge this unforgivable affront to his captain. He charged in at full tilt, all 5’6″ of him to Oram’s 6’6″ plus, then… failed to deliver the ball. Oram had squared up, looking to hoist it somewhere in the vicinity of Hornby, and Fidel wanted none of his insolence. He instead gave Oram one of his pant-shittingly intense glares and returned to his mark. Oram was so thoroughly spooked by Edwards’ murderous stare, that he played the same calculated shot to a ball inviting it but not quite there, and was caught by a diving Chattergoon at midwicket. And with him went our only forlorn hope of a decent total. I guess it serves him right.
Because you don’t mess with Fidel.
Just ask Brett Lee.