Rapid on his day and with a unique slingy action, Fidel Edwards was one of the more thrilling bowlers West Indies have produced in the modern era. Far from possessing the classic, tall physique of a West Indian fast bowler, Edwards made up for his lack of height with a quick arm and an explosive delivery stride that generated his pace.
Edwards made his Test debut in 2003 as 21-year-old after just one First Class match for Barbados. He took five wickets against Sri Lanka in his debut innings in Jamaica – his first two Test victims were Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara – before following it up in his next match with another five-wicket haul in Harare against Zimbabwe. It was a spectacular start to his Test career but, despite his ability to swing the ball both ways and fire in yorkers with regularity, Edwards was often accused of lacking control.
His finest performance in a West Indies shirt came in Napier in December 2008 when he ripped through New Zealand’s top order to finish with career-best figures of 7-87, an innings that also saw him take his 100th Test wicket in his 36th Test.
Later in his career, Edwards was dogged by several back injuries that saw him come in and out of the team as well as somewhat hindering his pace. He did not feature at all in Tests in 2010 and there were fears that his career might be reaching its climax. Edwards did ultimately return to the Test side for the home series against India in 2011 and appeared back to his best, picking up four wickets in the first Test in Jamaica, before successive five-wicket hauls in Barbados and Dominica.
Edwards was unable to produce a repeat performance during the return series later that year, picking up just five wickets in three matches as West Indies were beaten in India. Edwards was then in and out of the team throughout 2012 with his final hurrah coming with a return of 6-90 in his last Test match, against Bangladesh in Khulna.
Since the West Indies selectors have moved on from Edwards, he has forged a successful career in English domestic cricket with Hampshire. A mainstay of the bowling attack for three of his four seasons (injury limited him to just two First Class appearances in 2016), Edwards has shown himself to still be capable of the moments of magic that made him such an exciting bowler to watch.
1982-02-06, Gays, St Peter
Jamaica Tallawahs, Delhi Bulls, Hampshire, Warwickshire, Winnipeg Hawks, Marylebone Cricket Club, Leo Lions, Sylhet Superstars, St Lucia Zouks, Barbados, Trinbago Knight Riders, West Indies A, Rangpur Riders, West Indians, Dolphins, Sydney Thunder, Deccan Chargers, West Indies