Home > Features >

Sheldon Cotterrell: The soldier makes his way in cricket

Sheldon Cotterel

Sheldon Cotterrell’s celebratory salute after every wicket and every catch is a gesture to his colleagues in the Jamaican army, letting them know he is thinking of them and that although he is away playing cricket he continues to be a soldier © Getty Images

By Garfield Robinson

There is something about the military that engenders pride within its members. A few months ago I met an ex-military man who, despite being a schoolteacher, a father, a hunter, and racking up quite a number of subsequent achievements, the thing he was especially proud of, the thing that defined him most, is that he was a member of the United States Marines.

We realized this soon after he picked us up. A few of us were invited to a small gathering and he graciously agreed to transport us from the train station and to return us home later the evening. When asked the time he gave it to us military style — 1600 if hours if I remember correctly — but was kind enough to also give us the more conventional four o’clock, and he never missed an opportunity, in conversation, to mention that he was a Marine. He didn’t do this in any kind of boastful or condescending way. Quite simply, he was a Marine and was proud of it.

Left-arm pacer Sheldon Cotterrell is a member of the Jamaica Defence Force and he is proud to let everyone know. His celebratory salute after every wicket and every catch is a gesture, he said, to his colleagues in the Jamaican army, letting them know he is thinking of them and that although he is away playing cricket he continues to be a soldier.

Judging from his performances in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), however, it is doubtful he will be able to remain one for very long. On Tuesday, August 13, playing for the Antigua Hawksbills against the Barbados Tridents, he sent down four overs of such high velocity that some deliveries must have singed the grass on the track at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium. The sturdy 6’5″ pacer, seemingly bursting with energy and raw physical power, finished with figures of four for 20, totally undermining the Tridents’ innings as they limped to 96 off their 20 overs.

His second delivery struck Jonathan Carter in a very sensitive area and brought him down like a felled ox, writhing in pain. The Barbadian was also lucky to survive the next delivery. According to Hawk Eye, the still unsteady batsman was struck in line and the ball would have crashed into the stumps, but the umpire was not moved to raise his index finger. The resultant leg-bye must have come as a relief.

Mumbai Indians star Dwayne Smith was late on a pull shot to Cotterel’s fifth ball, and could only lob an easy return-catch off his glove, which the soldier was only too happy to collect.

In his second over, he accounted for Carter, who received a delivery that lifted sharply from just short of a length, and Shakib-Al-Hasan who landed a cut from another short ball right in third man’s lap.

By then the Tridents had slumped to 25 for three, all three falling to the bustling Jamaican. He was reintroduced later in the innings to bowl his third and fourth overs, uprooting the stumps of Ryan Nurse with his second to last delivery to end with excellent figures of four for 20.

In the 10th over of the game, bowled by captain Marlon Samuels, Cotterel unsheathed the salute again after flying to his left at square-leg to take down what will surely be one of the catches of the tournament. Viv Richards, coach of the Hawksbills, was delirious with excitement. It was a catch that the West Indian legend, a spectacular fielder in his day, would have been very happy to take.

It was no surprise then when the pacer received the man-of-the-match award. Nobody else was really in contention for the prize. He had bowled with high pace and aggressive intent. And if, as some have suggested, he needs a bit of smoothing out, that should not be beyond the capabilities of the West Indies cricket authorities. Many a fast bowler, some of the great ones even, went through a period of refinement before becoming masters of the craft.

In June 2011, when India visited Jamaica for the fifth and final match of the One Day International (ODI) series, Cotterrell, decked in camouflage and beret, was one of the army personnel guarding the square during the innings break. “It is an overwhelming feeling, just being there looking around and actually being on the pitch and seeing the fans,” the pacer gushed. “It was just like me seeing the future to tell you the truth; I just have to work hard.”

When the aforementioned gathering came to an end and it was time to leave we asked our transportation provider if he was sure he’d be able to find his way back after taking us home. “Oh I’ll find my way,” he smiled, “I was a Marine.” Being a man of the military, Cotterrell too will find his way.

(Garfield Robinson is a huge fan of West Indies cricket, but attributes VVS Laxman as the reason behind taking to writing. You can follow him on Facebook)

World T20 League 2014

Sep 30, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Bengaluru

World T20 League 2014

Oct 2, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Oct 2, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

West Indies tour of India 2014, Practice match

Oct 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Mumbai

Matador BBQs One-Day Cup, 2014

Oct 4, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Woolloongabba, Brisbane

More

World T20 League 2014

Sep 30, 2014  at Bengaluru

Perth Scorchers won by 3 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 29, 2014  at Hyderabad

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 36 runs

World T20 League 2014

Sep 28, 2014  at Mohali

Kings XI Punjab won by 7 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 28, 2014  at Mohali

Hobart Hurricanes won by 6 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 27, 2014  at Bengaluru

Chennai Super Kings won by 13 runs

Photos

Cricket on Mt. Kilimanjaro

Videos

Brian Lara speaks on the art of batting

Mitchell Marsh helps Perth Scorchers clinch 3-wicket victory against Lahore Lions in CLT20 2014

Live Cricket Score Barbados Tridents vs Northern Knights CLT20 2014 Match 20: Rain interrupts play

Gautam Gambhir becomes second player after MS Dhoni to captain in 100 T20 matches

Consecutive century opening partnerships in ODIs for each team

Have Manish Pandey’s T20 performances eclipsed his impressive First-Class record?

Asian Games Asian Games 2014 Barbados Tridents Champions League T20 2014 Chennai Super Kings CLT20 CLT20 2014 Dolphins Incheon Asian Games 2014 India at Asian Games 2014 Kings XI Punjab Perth Scorchers

Barbados Tridents vs Northern Knights CLT20 2014 Match 20: Match stopped due to rain

Barbados Tridents vs Northern Knights CLT20 2014 Match 20: Knights lose Kane Williamson early, make slow start

Rohit Sharma launches cleanliness campaign

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will face Hobart Hurricanes, Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) will face Chennai Super Kings (KXIP) in CLT20 2014 semi-finals

India vs West Indies 2014: Delhi High Court gives green signal to DDCA for Feroz Shah Kotla ODI

Gautam Gambhir becomes second player after MS Dhoni to captain in 100 T20 matches

Lahore Lions vs Perth Scorchers Match 19 CLT20 2014: Lahore likely XI

CLT20 2014: Lahore Lions vs Perth Scorchers Match 19 — Key Battles

Consecutive century opening partnerships in ODIs for each team

Players scoring 50-plus in both innings of a Test match most number of times

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

671 Posts | 6 Fans

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Kings XI Punjab- Final Match Highlights from IPL 2014

Alcohol could leave you sleepless even after you have quit

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will face Hobart Hurricanes, Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) will face Chennai Super Kings (KXIP) in CLT20 2014 semi-finals

Ello might be ad-free, but it is far from claiming Facebook’s throne

Champions League T20 2014 Points Table & Results of CLT20: Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings top Group A Points Tally, through to semis

NGOs pursue education for all

Health Minister says UHAM to be world’s largest public health insurance programme

Cleanliness campaign launched by Rohit Sharma

Samsung reportedly manufacturing displays for Apple’s iPad Air 2, and iPad Pro

Bigg Boss 8: Karishma Tanna takes a dig at Diandra Soares’ bikini!

Krushna Abhishek and Bharti Singh reunite for Comedy Classes!

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here