Ahead of next weeks opening test match between England and West Indies,news from the Caribbean reached us today that one of the great West Indian batsman of all time Sir Everton Weekes passed away at the age of 95.
He was one of the three W’s who made Barbados and West Indies famous for cricket in the 1950’s. The other two W’s are Sir Frank Worrell and Sir Clyde Walcott who are both buried at the University of the West Indies in Barbados, and it is there that this outstanding batsman will join his fellow legends of the game.
Weekes played in 48 test matches for the West Indies from 1948 to 1958.He made his test debut against England in 1948 and played his last test against Pakistan ten years later.
His highest test score was 207 which he made against India at Port-of-Spain in 1952. He continued to play first cricket until 1964, surpassing 12,000 first class runs in his final innings.
Weekes was the first batsman to score five Test centuries in consecutive innings, eventually going on to make 4,455 test runs at an average of 58.61.
Everton DeCourcy Weekes was born in Saint Michael Barbados on the 26th February 1925. He was named after the famous Merseyside football team which his father was a huge fan off.
He appeared in ten first class games for Barbados before being called up to face England in his home town a month before his 23rd birthday.
His first Test century came in the final game of the series in Jamaica. Weekes will also be remembered for being controversially run out on 90 in the fourth test in Madras while chasing a sixth century in a row.
Weekes decided to come to England in 1949 and played for Bacup in the Lancashire League and was rewarded for his work with a salary of £1,000. He went on to play for Bacup for seven successful seasons, ending with an average of more than 90.
Weekes was honoured to be named as one of Wisden’s five cricketers of the year in 1951. Despite injury setbacks in the years that followed, he still managed to hit double centuries against both India and England and three back to back hundreds against New Zealand in 1956.
Later, in his life he went on to coach Canada at the 1979 World Cup and also served on the Barbados Cricket Association Board, along with some very impressive stints commentating on the radio. He was also briefly an ICC match referee.
To lose two of the great W’s was such a sad loss to West Indian cricket, but now the final W has gone to join his fellow W’s in the wicket in the sky. Sir Everton will always be remembered for being a wonderful human being, and a true West Indian cricket legend.
RIP Sir Everton Weekes