Sir Everton Weekes West Indies Cricket icon, dead at 95




Sir Everton Weekes West Indies Cricket Great, Dead at 95

Sir Everton Weekes – The West Indian cricket family mourns one of its favorite sons of cricket after the death of the great Sir Everton Weekes. He is dead at 95.
The Bajan batsman was feted as one of the three Ws – the others being Sir Clyde Walcott and Sir Frank Worrell – with the trio representing one of the most formidable batting units for more than a decade after they made their Test debuts weeks apart in 1948.

Sir Everton Weekes was taken ill after a heart attack last June but returned to celebrate his 95th birthday in February.

Sir Everton Weekes, was one of the world’s greatest ever batsmen. Clyde Walcott, Weekes and Frank Worrell each represented the most dynamic that immediate post-war generation of Barbadian cricketers whose efforts helped propel the West Indies to the forefront of world cricket.

Such was Weekes’s batting ability that he regularly found himself likened to the great Australian batsman Sir Donald Bradman. His career included five consecutive Test centuries, and after leaving cricket, he found himself on another international stage: representing Barbados at the bridge.

A native of the Saint Michael district of Bridgetown in Barbados, Everton de Courcy Weekes was educated at St Leonard’s School. After serving with the Barbados Battalion of the Caribbean Regiment during the Second World War, he made his first-class debut for Barbados against Trinidad and Tobago at Port of Spain in February 1945.

Sir Everton Weekes West Indies Cricket Great, Dead at 95

A largely uncoached right-handed batsman, generally featuring in the middle order, Weekes was a small, neat and nimble back-foot player, a ruthless accumulator of runs who hooked and cut the fast bowlers with relish. Though highly disciplined, he always batted with the air of a man keeping an appointment with a century and must not be late. Whether patrolling in the covers or as a close catcher, he was also an outstandingly agile fielder.

Alongside Walcott, Weekes made his Test match debut for the West Indies against England at the Kensington Oval in Barbados in January 1948. Struggling to assert himself in the series, he was dropped for the fourth and final encounter at Sabina Park, Kingston. However, with George Headley forced to withdraw, Weekes won a reprieve.

He was initially proving an unpopular selection for the home crowd, which changed following a matchless 141 that gave his side a landmark victory. Chosen for the succeeding tour of India, he then knocked off four Test centuries in succession – 128 in Delhi, 194 in Bombay, and 162 and 101 both at Calcutta. It would have been six in all had he not been harshly adjudged run out for 90 at Madras. He ended the tour with a remarkable average of 111.28.

Touring England in 1950, Weekes again topped the West Indian batting with 2,310 runs. Failing by only ten runs to equal George Headley’s run aggregate of the 1933 tour, Weekes instead created a new record with a batting average of 79.65.

Five of his seven hundred were double tons, only Bradman with six in 1930 had made more in the summer. They included a ferocious 279 made against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge and a career-best 304 not out, accumulated against Cambridge University at Fenner’s. In the Test arena, he registered 338 runs, including 129 made in a fourth-wicket partnership of 283 with Worrell, also at Trent Bridge. Snaffling five catches in the fourth Test at the Oval helped the visitors claim the rubber 3-1, and a historic first series win in this country.

Cricketing world remembers Sir Everton Weekes

Cricketing world remembers Everton Weekes

Weekes had first experienced English conditions 12 months earlier when playing professionally for Bacup in the Lancashire League. He announced his arrival that season with a record 195 not out against Enfield. Having struggled initially to cope with the cold weather, he quickly became a revered and popular figure throughout the town.

In his seven seasons in Lancashire, he scored 9,069 runs at an average of 91.61, including 32 centuries. Topping 1,000 runs each year, and his most prolific was 1951 when he totaled 1,518. He also chipped in as a more than a useful bowler. Having won the Worsley Cup in 1956, two years later, in his last season at the club, they captured the league title.

Touring England in 1950, Weekes again topped the West Indian batting with 2,310 runs. Failing by only ten runs to equal George Headley’s run aggregate of the 1933 tour, Weekes instead created a new record with a batting average of 79.65. Five of his seven hundred were double tons, only Bradman with six in 1930 had made more in the summer.

They included a ferocious 279 made against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge and a career-best 304 not out, accumulated against Cambridge University at Fenner’s. In the Test arena, he registered 338 runs, including 129 made in a fourth-wicket partnership of 283 with Worrell, also at Trent Bridge.

Snaffling five catches in the fourth Test at the Oval helped the visitors claim the rubber 3-1, and a historic first series win in this country.
Weekes had first experienced English conditions 12 months earlier when playing professionally for Bacup in the Lancashire League. He announced his arrival that season with a record 195 not out against Enfield.

Having struggled initially to cope with the cold weather, he quickly became a revered and popular figure throughout the town. In his seven seasons in Lancashire, he scored 9,069 runs at an average of 91.61, including 32 centuries.

Topping 1,000 runs each year; his most prolific was 1951 when he totaled 1,518. He also chipped in as a more than a useful bowler. Having won the Worsley Cup in 1956, two years later, in his last season at the club, they captured the league title.

By contrast, the visit to England in 1957, his fifth major tour, proved a complete anti-climax. Both Weekes and the team fared badly, drawing two and losing three of the five-Test matches. Badly affected throughout with sinusitis, muscle spasms, and double vision, his best knock by far was a gutsy 90, made despite a broken finger, on an unusually spiteful wicket at Lord’s.

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Happily, he returned fighting fit for the eagerly anticipated inaugural visit of the Pakistani tourists in 1958. In his final international series, he was back to his imperious best, crashing a typical barnstorming 197 during the first Test in Barbados.

Winning a total of 48 Test caps in the ten years between 1948 and 1958, he scored 4,455 runs at an average of 58.61, including 15 centuries. An occasional leg-spin bowler, his one wicket at this level was the Australian opener, Arthur Morris, in 1955.

Playing for Barbados until 1964, Sir Everton Weekes captained the side from 1960 onwards. In first-class cricket, he compiled 12,010 runs at an average of 55.34. During 1965, aged 40, he led a Barbados Colts XI against the touring Australians, retiring undefeated at tea on 105.

Weekes stayed in the game as a West Indies board member, coach, selector, team manager, and media pundit, before becoming an ICC match referee. He would successfully move to the much more intimate green baize of the bridge table, competing in several international championships. He was awarded an OBE in 1960, then Barbados’s Gold Crown of Merit, and in 1995 he was knighted.