Andy Roberts has stated that the advent of the T20 cricket has ruined the art of fast bowling, and at present, the bowlers are more focused on the line and lengths. Roberts further added that it is disappointing to see that West Indies are not in the knockouts of the Under-19 World Cup 2022.
West Indies have a legacy of fast bowling as they had a pace-quartet comprised of 4 genuine fast bowlers, namely Michael Holding, Andy Roberts, Joel Garner and Colin Croft in the 1970s and early 80s. Andy Roberts has 202 wickets from 47 Tests at a bowling average of 25.63. Former West Indies pacer Andy Roberts is of the opinion that the advent of T20 cricket has ruined the art of fast bowling and the bowlers are now focusing on the line and lengths rather than bowling fast.
“To me, the fast bowling in West Indies is not as encouraging as it was 15-20 years ago. Even after the greats have retired, we still had a few youngsters, who were coming through. I don’t know if it is the advent of T20 cricket that is not allowing bowlers and bowl fast. People are more focused on line and length these days instead of real fast bowling,” Roberts said while speaking former Ireland captain Niall O’ Brien during a clash of the Under 19 World Cup.
Roberts was part of the West Indies' World Cup-winning squad in 1975 and 1979. Also, the speedster has 87 wickets from 56 ODIs with a bowling average of 20.35. Roberts reckoned that he likes the sight of pacer's running and bowling fast.
“Anybody, who runs and bowls fast is what I like and who I like because you can transform from a good fast bowler to a good swing bowler or a good medium pacer bowler. But You can’t go from being a medium pacer to a fast bowler. It takes a lot out to do that,” he explained.
The current edition for U-19 World Cup 2022 has started but the West Indies team failed to reach the knockouts of the tournament. West Indies finished third in the group stage with a single victory from three matches. Roberts said that it was disappointing to not see West Indies in the final stages of the ICC event.
“I have a great passion for the game and especially West Indies cricket. So to me, it is very sad to see that West Indies are not taking part in the final stage of the ICC Men’s U-19 World Cup,” he stated.
Roberts was the first Antigua based cricketer who went on to play Test cricket for West Indies, and the pacer expressed his joy over the achievement.
“It was a good sign coming from here. There were better fast bowlers than myself from Antigua in the 1960s and early 70s. Lester Bird (former Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda) and Hubert Anthonyson, these are names who are not well known but for our generations back then in the Antigua circuit, they were inspirations,” he concluded.