Firefighter Anthony Martin, in the cold, dubs West Indies ‘team of friends’ | india-vs-west-indies-2017 | Hindustan Times
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Firefighter Anthony Martin, in the cold, dubs West Indies ‘team of friends’

Antiguan leg-spinner Anthony Martin stunned visiting Indian batsmen during the 2011 limited-overs series, but got few opportunities to play for West Indies

india vs west indies 2017 Updated: Jul 01, 2017 22:29 IST
Khurram Habib
Anthony Martin was the hero for West Indies in a 2011 ODI against India as he finished with figures of 4/36.
Anthony Martin was the hero for West Indies in a 2011 ODI against India as he finished with figures of 4/36.(AFP/Getty Images)

The last time India played a One-day International here in 2011, Anthony Martin was the unlikely hero, the leg-spinner shaking up the Indian batting by taking four for 36 as West Indies defended a modest 249 to win by a whopping 103 runs. (IND v WI full coverage)

The outspoken Martin, also an Antiguan firefighter, had deceived Virat Kohli in flight to have him stumped and also accounted for Rohit Sharma. West Indies, down 3-0, had gone on to win the last match in Jamaica as well to make the final scoreline 3-2. Martin picked two wickets in the last game too, bowling an economical spell.

Breathing fire

Martin had also toured India for ODIs, giving a good account of himself, again dismissing Kohli and Rohit. But as it has happened to many cricketers here, Martin fell away and is still waiting for an opportunity with the maroon men.

To supplement his income from his job as firefighter, Martin started driving a truck. Today, however, the 34-year-old has made enough to be able to employ a driver for his truck.

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“I am not friends with selectors. This team is made up of people who are friends with selectors, share drink with them. I don’t, so I have not been in the team. These players, they have done nothing to deserve a place in the team. You see the performance, it’s a team of friends,” he says as he drives through St John’s with wife and daughter.

“I don’t do nothin’ (to appease them),” he says.

“I am still better than whoever is playing now.”

Few backers

Martin hasn’t been watching cricket these days but is desperate to stay connected with the sport.

“No one has pushed for the inclusion of my name. None of the great Antiguan cricketers have bothered to push my name,” he says when asked if former greats Viv Richards, Curtly Ambrose and Any Roberts have come forward to push his case.

“I don’t go and ask them to do that, just like I don’t speak to the selectors. If I am good enough, then I should be getting an opportunity. And I believe I am better than the rest.”

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Martin nurses a big dream, and that is to have a crack at some of the top players in the game. “I want to play just one IPL game and have a crack at the top batsmen like in the RCB. I want to show these guys where they have erred.”

Martin would even be glad to do the odd commentary stint as he desperately wants to be involved in the game.

However, cricket officials, it seems, don’t like him much as he speaks his mind.