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Feb 15, 1956: Haynes sprouts in Jamaica
- Updated: February 15, 2017
On February 15, 1956, West Indies legend Desmond Haynes was born.
Haynes, along with Gordon Greenidge, formed one of the greatest opening partnerships ever witness in Test match history. The West Indies thrived in the 1980s, and the two are widely regarded as an integral component in their success.
They put together 16 century stands in Tests, with Haynes usually playing the sedate straight man to Greenidge’s slayer.
“Desmond and I often shadowed each other. If things were going well for him, he took the lead. If it was my day, I pushed on while he dug in.
“Our communication was good. We’d chat well in between overs. Our running between the wickets got better the longer we batted together. Sometimes we didn’t even bother calling. We just knew when to run and when not to,” Greenidge said, pointing to just how strong their sixth sense worked when batting together.
Haynes would be the first to admit he was the more relaxed one, saying that his partner was always brooding.
Despite his slower and more calculated style of play, he was a big success in ODIs as well, registering 17 hundreds, a world record at the time.
The tally was eventually bettered by Sachin Tendulkar.
Known to be a compact cricketer, fielding restrictions allowed him to manipulate gaps that others usually see.
While Greenidge retired in 1991, Haynes carried on until 1994 in international cricket and finally packed up from all forms of the game in 1997.
With 61 centuries in 376 First Class games, Haynes would frequently be seen tormenting the opposition bowlers in Kensington Oval, his home ground in Barbados.
He would be smiling while batting, but you wouldn’t see the same emotion on the fielding captain’s face.
He was smart too and wanted to win at all costs.
In his debut Test match as captain against England in Trinidad in 1989-90, he used time-wasting tactics to deny England victory.