Sir Everton Weekes, the last of the three Ws, dies at age 95

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Sir Everton Weekes, the latest member of the legendary Three Ws, died at the age of 95.Along with Sir Clyde Walcott and Sir Frank Worrell, Weekes have formed a formidable batting unit with the West Indies. All three were born a few kilometers from each other – rumored to have been delivered by the same midwife – within 18 months in Barbados between August 1924 and January 1926, and all made their mark. test starts within three weeks in early 1948.

While all continued to enjoy exceptional careers – Worrell became the first long-term black captain in the West Indies and was later a senator in Jamaica, while Walcott averaged 56.68 years in cricket testing and later became the first non-white ICC chair – Weekes was, without a doubt, the best drummer of the three.

At one point, between March and December 1948, he recorded five centuries of successive attempts and insisted that, without an error in arbitration when he was forfeited for 90, it would have been six. He had 1,000 tries in 12 innings – one less than Sir Don Bradman; no one reached the milestone faster than Weekes – and finished with an exceptional test average of 58.61. Only nine men who hit the cricket test at least 20 times have a higher average. Richie Benaud later said that players who had seen the two bats up close suggested that Weekes was closest in style and class to Bradman.

READ ALSO: Tony Cozier on 90 years of Everton Weekes (2015)

Weekes was born in extreme poverty. His family lived in a wooden cabin, and his father was forced to spend more than a decade in Trinidad to send money back to the family. Everton left school at 14 and was not allowed to play for his local club, Pickwick, as they only allowed white players at the time.

However, his athletic ability was such and he was so dedicated to his trade, that people quickly began to notice the stocky boy with the fast feet. Named in honor of Everton FC, Weekes was a good enough footballer to represent Barbados in the sport. But cricket was his true love. He volunteered to help both as a defensive player and as a ground staff member at the Kensington Ring and was thus able to see some of the best players in the world up close. He also joined the Barbados Defense Force and, therefore, was eligible to play a high level of club cricket.

He made his first class debut at the age of 19 and his test debut at the age of 22. His first century of testing didn’t take place until his fourth game, but it was the start of an incredible race that saw him record six centuries – including five in a row – and five half centuries in his next 13 sleeves. He was fired only once for less than 48 years.

He was named one of Wisden’s cricketers of the year in 1951 after helping to defeat England in the test series of the previous summer, a tour in which he made seven centuries. , five of them two centuries and one of them a triple. In 1952-53 he averaged 102.28 in the series against India and was also dominant in New Zealand in 1955-56 in a series of tests in which he did three successive centuries and averaged 83, 60.

A persistent thigh injury forced him to retire relatively prematurely – he was 33 and had played 48 tests – but he first had a successful secondary career as a coach (he was, among other things, coach of the Canadian team that played at the 1979 World Cup). ) and, from 1994, as ICC match referee. He also represented Barbados at Bridge and became a justice of the peace. Her son David Murray played for the West Indies and is known as an exceptional wicket keeper.

Despite his status as a game legend, Sir Everton remained a humble and accessible figure. His phone number remained in the Barbados phone book and he could be seen almost every day, in his forties, swimming in Miami Beach, near Oistins. In 1995, he became the last of the three Ws to receive the title of knight.

Although there is no confirmation of the family’s wishes at this point, his final resting place may well reunite him with Worrell and Walcott – who are both buried at The Three Ws Oval on the outskirts of Bridgetown in the Barbados. A plot among the bougainvilleas has been left vacant for Weekes if he wishes to join them.

“Our hearts are heavy as we mourn the loss of an icon,” said Cricket West Indies in a tribute. “A legend, our hero. Our condolences go out to his family, friends and many fans around the world. ”

“I would like to add my public recognition of Sir Everton’s extraordinary legacy,” said Ricky Skerritt, President of CWI. “He was both a great cricketer and a human cricketer. He was the last of the famous three Ws to pass beyond. He was the most amazing man. And one of the most humble, decent and wonderful people you have ever known to have met. ”

England Cricket, who will face the West Indies in next week’s first test at the Ageas Bowl, added his own tribute in a Twitter article: “A real big game player. Our thoughts and condolences go out to Sir’s family and friends. Everton Weekes. ”

West Indies head coach Phil Simmons added: “The West Indies have not only lost one of their best cricketers, we have lost a real gentleman. My condolences and prayers go out to his family and friends. RIPSirEverton. “

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