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When Rahul Dravid inspired Anthony Martin

June 14, 2011 10:13 IST

West Indies leg-spinner Anthony Martin, who produced a career-best spell in his team's win over India in the fourth ODI, said bowling to Rahul Dravid five years ago led him to believe that he could have a career in international cricket.

"There was this practice game against India in 2006. Dravid hit my first ball for a four and was gone off the second, caught in the slips," remembers the leg-spinner whose 4-36 led to India's 103-run loss in the fourth one-dayer.

"I remember telling myself: 'Hey, here is this batsman who I watch thrash international bowlers all over the world on television. If I can pick him, I can play international cricket'."

"It was also a game where I took Virender Sehwag's catch. The man just stood in the middle and didn't want to leave the pitch. I ran around the stadium in celebration." A firefighter by profession, Martin's story is one of triumph over adversity as a debilitating injury once almost finished his budding career. 

"I represented Leeward Islands in under-15 cricket as a paceman in 1998. But then I suffered a serious injury and damaged my back. 

"Since I love this game so much, I started bowling off breaks. Now my Antigua Under-19 coach told me the team has two good off-spinners. So I turn to leg-spin. I always used to bowl a couple of deliveries of leg-spin in the nets as a sort of warm-up. I knew something

about it so started working on it."


said he was motivated to do well after he wasn't picked up in the third match on Saturday. 


motivated me. I went to the hotel and thought 'hey, my coach doesn't think I am fit to play. I am gonna show'. Trinidad was slow. But Antigua is my pitch. Nobody destroys me here," he said. 


comes here and destroys me in my house. I didn't want the whitewash. Losing is not a word in my vocabulary. Like my uncle who is my mentor, I don't tolerate crap. I am always serious. I don't crack jokes in the middle," he added.

Martin is mindful that in a land which is known for its fast bowlers -- Andy Roberts, Curtly Ambrose, Winston Benjamin etc --

he is the first spinner to make his mark. 


I am here to make a difference." Martin owes a lot to his mother and said the mere mention of her makes him feel like shedding tears.


feel like shedding tears for her. She has done a lot for me, always supported me. She was today sitting in the stands with my daughter—but I am not married you know." He has done well in cricket, but Martin still feels that his job as a firefighter is a priority.

"I sometimes have to handle fire-fighting.

Otherwise I do regular police work. Whatever I am told to do I do. If they want me to leave cricket, I would do so. It's my job," he said.

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