Thatscricket - News - Jamaica raises a toast to celebrated son

Published: Tuesday, March 20, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
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Port of Spain: West Indies cricketer Courtney Walsh on Monday reached one of the most significant sporting milestones since soccer's Pele scored his 1,000th goal 32 years ago.The veteran Jamaican fast bowler made history by taking his 500th wicket in Test cricket, becoming the first player to reach the landmark in the history of the game.Walsh, 38, and probably playing his last Test series, reached the magic figure when he took two wickets in the space of three balls during the second test against South Africa at Queen's Park Oval.Jacques Kallis was the man on the wrong end of sporting history when he was lbw for nought on the second ball he received.Kallis defended the ball with his pad, the West Indians appealed loudly, the crowd went wild with anticipation and, after what seemed an eternity, Australian umpire Darrell Hair lifted his finger to set off wild celebrations around the ground.The fact that television replays suggested Kallis was slightly unlucky failed to dampen the celebrations.Security guards had to stop fans from climbing the fence around the pitch to mob their hero, the South Africans embraced Walsh at the tea interval and Jamaican prime minister P J Patterson was quick to send a tribute.''We think it is a fitting reward for his excellence, his commitment and I would like to express my congratulations and those of the people and government of Jamaica,'' he told CANA radio from Kingston.Walsh's feat may be surpassed one day, although it is unlikely to be done by a quick bowler.It may not prove quite such a daunting task as emulating Pele's achievement since the legendary Brazil, who passed his milestone in a club match at Rio de Janeiro's Maracana stadium in 1969, played in an era when goals were easier to come by.Nobody has since got near his mark. (c) Reuters Limited. Click here for Restrictions

Extras:Click here for more news on Walsh's 500

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