Tue | Aug 11, 2020

Skerritt hails Weekes as founding father of cricket

Published:Thursday | July 2, 2020 | 12:14 AMRachid Parchment/Assistant Sports Editor
Weekes
Weekes

Cricket West Indies President Ricky Skerritt has described the late Windies legend Sir Everton Weekes as one of the founders of the region’s cricket.

Sir Everton, 95 years old, passed away after a period of illness at his home in Christ Church, Barbados, at around midday yesterday.

Skerritt says while he did not have the opportunity to see him bat, he was able to get to know him in his elderly years.

“I got the opportunity to read about him and to look at videos of him when I could,” Skerritt told The Gleaner. “A most amazing pioneer in West Indies cricket, a tremendous gentleman, just simply wonderful human being. I got to spend a couple hours with him last year, just sitting and talking, when he had just recovered from a serious illness where he had been hospitalised. Such a humble and genuine human being. I have always respected his cricket career, even though I never saw him, but I got to love him and to respect him even more as a gentleman. May he rest in peace and may the Caribbean understand that he was literally a founding father of our cricket.”

FIVE SUCCESSIVE CENTURIES

Weekes registered 4,455 Test runs at an average of 58.61 and is the only man in history to score five successive Test centuries, achieving the feat in 1948. He came close to a sixth but was run out on 90 during the Windies’ fourth Test match against hosts India in Chepauk, Madras, now Chennai, in January 1949. He later described the umpire’s decision as “rather doubtful”.

The Barbadian was a member of the famed trio in early West Indies cricket referred to as the ‘Three Ws’, with Sir Clyde Walcott and Sir Frank Worrell. After making their debut within weeks of each other in 1948, they led the Windies to their first Test win over rivals England in 1950.

Weekes retired in 1958 and was knighted in 1995. He was the third oldest surviving cricketer, behind South African John Watkins and Englishman Donald Smith, both 97 years old.

rachid.parchment@gleanerjm.com