Skerritt hails Weekes as founding father of cricket

Tanya Simon
July 3, 2020

"On behalf of CWI I want to publicly express our deepest sympathy to the family of this remarkable Iconic sportsman and gentleman, who passed away earlier today", Cricket West Indies president Ricky Skerritt said in a release.

However, after proving his fitness following an ankle injury which kept him sidelined since September past year, Cricket West Indies (CWI) announced Gabriel's inclusion for the three-match bio-secure series.

The Cricket Association of Bengal, while mourning the demise of West Indian legend Sir Everton Weekes, announced on Thursday that the iconic cricketer would feature in the Cricket Museum at Eden Gardens. By several accounts, he was the best batsman of the three. 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.

He was named one of Wisden's Cricketers of the Year in 1951 after helping defeat England in the previous summer's Test series, a tour on which he made seven centuries, five of them double-centuries and one of them a triple.

He ought to have had a sixth consecutive hundred but was run out for 90 in Madras, a decision that Walcott described as "rather doubtful". His first Test century didn't come until his fourth game but it was the start of an incredible run which saw him register six centuries - including five in succession - and five half-centuries in his next 13 innings.

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"He set out to hammer bowlers".

Weekes' batting average of 58.61 is the 10th highest of all batsmen to have played at least 20 Test innings. He is especially remembered by all of us here for being the first person to score an global century at Eden Gardens in independent India.

Weekes officiated as an ICC match referee in three Tests and four One Day Internationals, all in 1994. He never donned the Indian colors again. He volunteered to help both as substitute fielder and as a member of the ground staff at the Kensington Oval and was, as a effect, able to see some of the best players in the world at close quarters.

The 57-year-old said it was important for him to be with his family and that it would not affect the squad's preparations for the three-tests series beginning in Southampton on Wednesday. "We would also be highlighting Late Banerjee's contribution to Bengal Cricket since one has to remember that he had been the highest wicket-taker during the 1952 / 53 season where Bengal lost to Holkar in the Ranji Final at Eden Gardens by a whisker".

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