Former cricket player, Franklyn Stephenson is known by many as the greatest player never to play for the West Indies following his controversial appearance in the unofficial Test and One Day International matches played between the rebel West Indies team and the then banned South Africa. He predominantly played as a hard-hitting middle-order batsman, who in his prime was very fast. He was also well-known for developing a pioneering slower ball, and for being the first bowler to use it on a regular occurrence. Considered as an all-rounder, he first came to prominence playing for the West Indies as part of their young cricketer's team.
The West Indies young cricketers team toured England in 1978, and off the back of that tour Franklyn made his first-class cricket debut in 1981 playing for Tasmania. It was however in 1982 when Franklyn's career-defining debut took place, playing in matches with the rebel West Indies against the South African cricket team who had been banned from world cricket due to apartheid. As a consequence of playing these games, the West Indian cricketers were banned from all levels of West Indies cricket for life, that was until the ban was lifted in 1989.
During his career, Franklyn Stephenson worked as a cricket speaker and player for British domestic teams Gloucestershire and Nottinghamshire as well. In 1988 Franklyn began playing for the Nottinghamshire cricket club, and his first season for the club was sensational. This first season with the club saw him become one of only two cricket speakers to achieve the all-rounder’s “double” of 1000 runs and 100 wickets. The only other player able to boast such a record is Richard Hadlee and Franklyn stormed past Hadlee’s record by achieving 1018 runs and 125 wickets. Franklyn was named Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1989 for his achievements.
Despite his brief ban after the West Indies rebellion Franklyn Stephenson returned to international cricket in 1989-90 playing for Barbados in the Red Stripe Cup. As well as working as a cricketing sports speaker Franklyn is also a keen golfer and is one of only two birdies scored on the infamous Extreme 19th in South Africa.
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