Eras finish. On Wednesday, the passing of Everton Weekes felt that approach. He was 95, the final of the famed three Ws of the West Indies that cricket lovers of a sure classic knew in addition to their alphabets.
Frank Worrell, whose dignified management expertise shepherded and formed a complete technology of Caribbean cricketers, handed away in 1967. Clyde Walcott, an enforcer with the bat, died in 2006. The trio was born inside a mile and a half of one another.
The 3Ws, all Barbadians, loomed within the collective consciousness of Indian cricket lovers like mythic figures, their willows crammed with limitless powers.
Weekes was the prime agent in creating that enduring picture. Few cricketers have relished Indian bowling like Weekes. In the course of the West In-dies’ 1948-49 tour of India, he hammered 128, 194, 162, 101, 90, 56 and 48. He was solely 23 then. The 779 runs got here at an astounding common of 111. It was the primary Take a look at tour by a visiting crew to post-Independence India.
Weekes had struck 141 in his final Take a look at towards England in Jamaica earlier than the India tour. Mihir Bose writes in A Historical past of Indian Cricket that he was “controversially” run out for 90. Six would have been tremendous however 5 tons in 5 innings was nonetheless a superb report.
Not many know that an ‘Everton Weekes Testimonial’ fund was began by the Sunday Information of India in appreciation of the batsman’s 5 centuries, which acquired enormous donations from Bombay’s cricket-lovers. Crowd-puller Mushtaq Ali, who performed that collection, vividly particulars Weekes’ fashion of batsmanship in his autobiography, Cricket Pleasant.
“Brief in stature however in any other case nicely constructed, Weekes at all times performed business-like cricket. No bowler appeared to fret him as soon as he had adjusted his sights. He scored mercilessly, executing that elegant stroke – half minimize, half drive with super energy and beautiful timing,” he stated. Ali additionally wrote, “Skipper Amarnath stated that Weekes was as a lot an issue to him within the collection as Bradman was within the collection in Australia.”
In that dreadful 1947-48 collection Down Underneath, India’s first tour overseas after the nation gained freedom, Bradman amassed 4 centuries, together with a double ton, scoring 715 runs at a median of 179. Former India captain Vijay Hazare additionally praised Weekes in his autobiography, Cricket Replayed.
He wrote, “Each Walcott and Weekes introduced sledgehammer ways, the previous his thunderous drives off the back-foot and the latter in his hooks.” Weekes 162 at Eden Gardens was “undoubtedly” his finest innings of the 1948-49 tour, noticed the Occasions of India in its Jan 1, 1949 match report. Ali reaffirmed, “Certainly the primary innings performed at Calcutta was a masterpiece within the noble artwork of batting with its infinite selection and oddity. With strokes that have been all grace and ease, he despatched the ball to all elements of the sphere and it flashed previous the fielders like lightning, giving them not the appearance of an opportunity.”
No shock, former West Indies captain Jeffrey Stollmeyer described Weekes as “a five-foot six-inch bundle of muscle”. He continued to be the scourge of Indians after they visited the West Indies three years later. This time his scores have been 207, 47, 15, 161, 55 not out, 86, 109 and 36 – 716 runs for a median of 102, Bradmanesque once more.
In a profession embellished by 15 tons, 4,455 runs and an envy-arousing common of 58.61, Weekes scored three centuries on the trot towards New Zealand too (123, 103, 156) in 1956. He was additionally fairly profitable towards England and Australia, particularly at house.
He was a much-loved determine within the dressing room. Fellow batting nice Rohan Kanhai wrote in his autobiography, Blasting for Runs, that when Weekes made 197 towards Pakistan in 1958 after a lean run, his success “delighted all of the boys as a lot as if they’d notched a ton themselves”.
(With inputs from AFP)