West Indies Cricket Players:
Wisden Cricketer of the Year 1980
Joel Garner (born December 16, 1952 in Christ Church, Barbados) also known as "Big Joel" or "Big Bird", was a West Indian cricket player, and a member of the highly regarded late '70s and early '80s West Indies cricket sides.
He was a popular 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) fast bowler capable of ripping through the heart of opposing batting line-ups. In conjunction with fellow fast bowlers Michael Holding, Andy Roberts, Colin Croft and later Malcolm Marshall, the West Indies reached unprecedented heights in the Test and one-day cricket arenas, not losing a Test series 15 years. He is the tallest bowler ever to play Test cricket.
In Test cricket he played 58 Tests between 1977 and 1987 and took over 259 wickets at an average of barely above 20, making him one of the most effective bowlers of all time.
However, it was in the limited overs cricket that Garner put his height to use with devastating effect. In 98 matches he took 146 wickets. He had the ability to unleash a devastating yorker, as well as the ability to generate more bounce. His economy rate of just over 3 runs per over and strike rate of less than 20 runs per wicket are the best ever for anyone who took more than 100 wickets. His 5-39 in the 1979 World Cup final vs. England remains the best ever performance by a bowler in a final.
Joel played for Barbados in the West Indies, for South Australia in the Sheffield Shield and more famously alongside Viv Richards and Ian Botham for Somerset in the English County Championship. He was at Somerset in the most successful time in the county's history.