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How the Caribbean became a pace paradise once again

CricViz analysis features in this week’s Telegraph newsletter, which shows how the Caribbean became a haven for pace bowling again.

CricViz have an agreement in place to provide The Telegraph newspaper in the UK with advanced data analysis and visualisations, delivered to their team of award-winning journalists via our team of analysts.

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This week Tim Wigmore examines the changing nature of conditions in the Caribbean in first class cricket that have seen pace bowlers fight back after a period of dominance for spinners.

“The notion that many Caribbean wickets had become subcontinental in character — with fast bowlers primarily existing to remove the shine from the new ball — is not exaggerated,” writes Wigmore. “By 2015/16, spinners bowled 62 per cent of all overs in West Indies domestic first-class cricket, and took 63 per cent of the wickets. Spinners took wickets more frequently, at a lower average and a cheaper economy rate per over. That summer, there was only a solitary quick among the top ten wicket-takers in the West Indies first-class game.”

But now, pace is ascendant in the Caribbean once again. The proportion of domestic wickets taken by pace bowlers has risen every year since 2015/16, with quicks taking 59 per cent of wickets in 2019/20. Six of the top ten leading wicket-takers last season were pace bowlers.

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