Ridley Jacobs – West Indies Wicket Keeper

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Ridley Jacobs – West Indies Wicket Keeper

A fairly short, stocky man with broad shoulders, Ridley Detamore Jacobs was hardly the archetypal wicket-keeper. He looked a bit clumsy behind the stumps, but was generally regarded as a competent wicket-keeper. Jacobs was born in Swetes Village, Antigua on November 26th, 1967. He had to wait 31 years before he made his Test debut on the West Indies’ ill-fated tour of South Africa in 1998.

Although he had to bide his time for several years to make his international debut for the West Indies, Jacobs held on to that position until 2004. After the retirement of Jeffery Dujon in 1991, theCaribbean side tried a few wicket-keepers before placing faith in Jacobs. The wicket keeping duties revolved primarily around Courtney Browne and Junior Murray between 1992 and 1998.

Jacobs appeared to be a somewhat clumsy and limited batsman as well. He knew how to play a few shots still. From 65 Test matches for the Caribbean side, Jacobs accumulated 2577 runs at an average of 28.31. His batting average is moderate, but that he had a strike rate of 47 paints a better picture. Generally, the stocky wicketkeeper could be relied on to score 28 runs every innings and occupy the crease for about 58 balls. In an era of decline, this was rather helpful.

Jacobs was often referred to as “dependable”. He played at a time when West Indies batting collapses were commonplace. Batting at number 7, Jacobs usually brought the most out of the tail. He was good enough to score 14 Test half-centuries and 3 valuable Test hundreds. In the ODI format of the game, Jacobs scored 1865 runs at an average of 23.31 in 127 matches. He was used to open the batting in the ODI form of the game. Ridley’s aggressive (but selective) batting gave the reional team more stability at the top of the order.

At the domestic level, Ridley Jacobs scored many runs at an average that batsmen would be proud of. Jacobs pillaged 7518 runs at a good average of 38.75 at First-class level. This included 40 half centuries and 17 centuries. Jacobs made his First-class debut for the Leeward Islands in the 1991/1992 season. He last played First-class cricket in the 2005 season and also represented his native Antigua in the inaugural Stanford 20/20 tournament back in 2006.

Although Jacob’s batting technique was often good enough- like his wicket-keeping- he was susceptible to good spin bowling. His consistency and heart were his strengths, however. Among West Indies teammates who often appeared indifferent and lazy, the soft-spoken Antiguan was diligent and proud. His was a quiet confidence that helped mitigate the devastating results suffered by the regional team since his debut in 1998.

Ridley Jacobs – West Indies Wicket Keeper

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