Weekes — last of West Indies’ famous Ws passes away

03 Jul 2020

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EVERTON Weekes seen in this April 5, 2008 filephoto.—AP
EVERTON Weekes seen in this April 5, 2008 filephoto.—AP

BRIDGETOWN: Sir Everton Weekes, who formed one of the famous three Ws of West Indian cricket as part of a formidable batting lineup for more than a decade, has died at the age of 95.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) announced the Barbados-born Weekes died Wednesday. He played alongside Frank Worrell and Clyde Walcott, with all three players making their Test debuts in 1948.

“Our hearts are heavy as we mourn the loss of an icon. A legend, our hero, Everton Weekes. Our condolences go out to his family, friends and many fans around the world. May he rest in peace,” CWI said on Twitter.

Weekes was also a highly respected coach, analyst, team manager, match referee for the International Cricket Council (ICC), and a member of the ICC Hall of Fame.

Weekes made his Test debut at the age of 22 against England at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown. His final match was against Pakistan at the Queen’s Park Oval in Port-of-Spain a decade later.

In his career, Weekes played 48 Tests and amassed 4,455 runs at an average of 58.61 with the help of 15 centuries — that included a world-record five consecutive centuries in 1948 with scores of 141 against England in Kingston, followed by innings of 128, 194, 162 and 101 in India. In his next innings, he made 90 when he was run out. His highest Test score was 207.

Of the famous trio, Worrell died in 1967 and Walcott in 2006. All three had been born within a mile and a half of each other over an 18-month period.

Today, the national stadium in Bridgetown is named the Three Ws Oval.

Weekes’ batting average places him, along with another West Indies legend George Headley, in the top 10 Test averages of all time.

“Everyone at MCC and Lord’s are saddened at the news of Sir Everton Weekes passing,” the Marylebone Cricket Club said in a statement. “He will forever be remembered as one of the West Indies finest cricketers.”

CWI president Ricky Skerritt said Weekes was a gentleman and quite simply a wonderful human being.

“I got to spend a couple hours with him last year just sitting at his home and talking with him, at a time when he was recovering from a serious illness,” Skeritt said of Weekes’ heart attack in June 2019. “I grew to appreciate his sense of humour and his love of people, and witnessed the love and respect that so many held for him in Barbados and across the entire region.

“A tremendous gentleman and a wonderful human being. He was literally a foun­ding father of our cricket. May he rest in peace.”

Former West Indies captain Jeffrey Stollmeyer desc­ribed Weekes as ‘a five foot six inch bundle of muscle’.

West Indies Players’ Association tweeted: “We salute a great West Indies icon; Sir Everton made an invaluable contribution to the sport, his country and the region. We were blessed to have him among us, may his soul rest in peace.”

Retired West Indies fast bowler Ian Bishop added: “I had the great privilege of spending time in the company of Sir Everton on several occasions over the past two decades.

“Never once did I leave his presence without feeling a sense of warmth, cheerfulness & having learnt something rich & endearing each time. A truly great human being.”

Published in Dawn, July 3rd, 2020