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Former West Indies star Michael Holding
"It was a very long struggle for Courtney"
 real 28k

Courtney Walsh's mother Joan Wollastom
"He got everything he needed as a child"
 real 28k

Courtney Walsh's 435th Test victim Henry Olonga
"I don't know if I should be glad that I've got this honour"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 28 March, 2000, 14:50 GMT 15:50 UK
Cricket praises model pro

Walsh: Talented, hard-working and extremely popular
The world's cricketers have paid tribute to West Indies fast bowler Courtney Walsh, who has broken the world record for number of Test wickets.

Walsh beat Kapil Dev's tally of 434 victims by dismissing Henry Olonga in the second Test against Zimbabwe in his home city of Jamaica.

"He fully deserves this achievement," said Walsh's former Gloucestershire captain and current England chaiman of selectors David Graveney.



During the 1994 test at Sabina Park, he bowled one of the fastest spells I have ever faced

Mike Atherton
"He's a true professional, he's a great example for any aspiring bowler or cricketer.

"They only need to look at him to see how to maintain their fitness and as a result of that it's not good fortune that he's been injury-free, it's because he's worked at it.

Former West Indies skipper Viv Richards recalled Walsh's unflagging contribution when he made his debut in 1984.



Richards was West Indies skipper when Walsh began his career
"I was able to get inside the man Courtney Walsh a little more and got to understand what a wonderful man he really is," Richards recalled.

"During my captaincy Courtney always gave me his all as he was promoted to use the new ball."

Former England skipper Mike Atherton, who has suffered more than most at the hands of Walsh was fulsome in his praise.

"During the 1994 test at Sabina Park, he bowled one of the fastest spells I have ever faced," Atherton said.



Atherton has been dismissed 11 times by Walsh
"The conditions were perfect for him; a frenzied home crowd, a fast, shimmering pitch and a young, unproven English captain as a target at the other end."

Meanwhile former England and Gloucestershire wicket-keeper Jack Russell said Walsh had been a formidable man to bat against or keep for.

"He always troubled me the most," he said.

"Ambling in off that smooth run you just don't know when he will produce that 'effort' ball, the one that appears to be bowled with the same action but picks up pace, angling in at the batsman, sending the 'keeper off balance as he tries to get the ball jagging back."

Australian skipper Steve Waugh and his vice-captain Shane Warne broke from their own record celebrations to praise Walsh.



Warne: Looking to surpass Walsh's mark one day
Walsh's achievement came just hours after Australia completed a national record ninth consecutive Test win in Wellington.

"It's great he's got it. He's well respected and dedicated and it's a great effort for a fast bowler to stay fit and keep going for over a decade," Waugh said.



He's as fierce as they come on the field but off the field he's a bit of a softie

Shane Warne
Warne, who became Australia's most successful bowler earlier this month when he claimed his 356th wicket, said Walsh was setting a record that would be tough to beat.

"He's raised the bar and the rest of us have to chase him," Warne said.

"He's an all-time great fellow and an all-time great bowler and I would like to think that we could have a beer or two together when we next catch up.

"He's as fierce as they come on the field but off the field he's a bit of a softie."

Meanwhile Jimmy Adams, current skipper of West Indies and the man who threw Walsh the ball, was grateful for his support.

"Whenever things don't go well, I've always said 'remember Courtney'," said Adams.

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See also:

27 Mar 00 | Cricket
Walsh tops bowling record
28 Mar 00 | Cricket
Walsh the wicket machine
28 Mar 00 | Cricket
Bowled over: In pictures
26 Mar 00 | Cricket
Adams leads Windies rearguard
25 Mar 00 | Cricket
Zimbabwe spoil Walsh show
24 Mar 00 | Cricket
Walsh reels in all-time record
20 Mar 00 | Cricket
Windies bowl a blinder
03 Mar 00 | Cricket
Adams named as new skipper
03 Mar 00 | Cricket
The cricketing life of Brian
Links to other Cricket stories are at the foot of the page.