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Sunday, 5 December, 1999, 15:54 GMT
Surrey legend Clarke dies aged 44
Clarke is congratulated by Viv Richards and Deryck Murray in 1980

Former Surrey and West Indies fast bowler Sylvester Clarke has died at his home in Barbados.

Clarke, who was just 44, collapsed in Bridgetown. It was not immediately clear what caused his death.

He is the third West Indies and Barbados player to die in the last month following Malcolm Marshall and Sir Conrad Hunte.

Clarke's record
42 Test wickets at 27.85 average
942 first class victims at 19.52
Former Surrey team-mate Alec Stewart today paid tribute to him during England's tour of South Africa, where Clarke also starred during his career.

"He was one of the nicest blokes I've ever met and probably the best fast bowler I've played with or against," said Stewart, who played alongside Clarke from 1979 to 1989 with Surrey.

"It was a pleasure fielding to him when I started my career with Surrey - I think he'll go down as one of Surrey's greatest ever fast bowlers."

Fast and fearsome: Clarke in full flight
Clarke established a reputation as a bowler of genuine pace and hostility with Surrey, Transvaal, Northern Transvaal and Orange Free State.

He took 42 wickets in his 11 Tests at an average of 27.85, while his first class record showed his quality with 942 wickets in 238 matches costing him just 19.52 runs each.

In the 1984-85 season, he set a new record in South Africa's Currie Cup with 58 wickets at less than 13 runs each.

Clarke also scored one first class hundred for Surrey, and was still an active club player at the time of his death.

He played only 11 Tests and suffered from the fierce competition for places provided by outstanding fast bowlers like Marshall, Michael Holding, Andy Roberts and Joel Garner.


I think he'll go down as one of Surrey's greatest ever fast bowlers
Alec Stewart
The limited opportunities prompted him to join the so-called West Indies rebel teams that broke the international sports boycott and toured South Africa in the 1982-84 seasons.

All players involved were subsequently banned from playing for the West Indies.

Clarke had previously been suspended by the West Indies Cricket Board in 1981, after throwing a brick into a crowd and seriously injuring a student leader.

The bowler had responded to objects thrown at him by spectators by hurling the boundary-marker back into the crowd.

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See also:
05 Dec 99 |  England on Tour
Hussain makes landmark ton
03 Dec 99 |  Cricket
Windies batting legend dies
05 Nov 99 |  Cricket
Cricket legend Malcolm Marshall dies
Links to other Cricket stories are at the foot of the page.