- Everton Weekes
Infobox Historic Cricketer
nationality = West Indies
country = West Indies
country abbrev = WI
name = Everton Weekes
picture = Cricket_no_pic.png
batting style = Right hand bat
bowling style = Right arm leg break
tests = 48
test runs = 4,455
test bat avg = 58.61
test 100s/50s = 15/19
test top score = 207
test balls = 122
test wickets = 1
test bowl avg = 77.00
test 5s = -
test 10s = -
test best bowling = 1/8
test catches/stumpings = 49/-
FCs = 152
FC runs = 12,010
FC bat avg = 55.34
FC 100s/50s = 36/54
FC top score = 304*
FC balls = 1,125
FC wickets = 17
FC bowl avg = 43.00
FC 5s = -
FC 10s = -
FC best bowling = 4/38
FC catches/stumpings = 124/1
debut date = January 21
debut year = 1948
last date = March 31
last year = 1958
source = http://content-aus.cricinfo.com/ci/content/player/53241.html CricInfo
Sir Everton DeCourcey Weekes, KCMG, GCM, OBE (born
26 February, 1925) is a leading former West Indian cricketer who, along with Frank Worrelland Clyde Walcottwas known as "The Three Ws" of West Indian cricket.
Youth and early career
Born in a wooden shack on Pickwick Gap in Westbury, Saint Michael,
Barbados, near Kensington Oval, Weekes was named by his father after English football team Everton (when Weekes told English cricketer Jim Lakerthis, Laker reportedly replied "It was a good thing your father wasn't a West Bromwich Albionfan.") [Walcott p. 14.] Weekes is unaware of the source of DeCourcey, his middle name, although he believes there was a French influence in his family. [Walcott p. 14.]
Weekes's family was poor and his father was forced to leave his family to work in the Trinidad oilfields when Weekes was eight. He did not return to Barbados for eleven years [Weekes p. 4.] . In the absence of his father, Weekes and his sister were raised by his mother Lenore and an aunt, whom Weekes credits with his successful upbringing. [Weekes p. 4.] Weekes attended St Leonard's Boys' School, where he later bragged that he never passed an exam (although he would later successfully study Hotel Management [Walcott p. 18.] ) and preferred to concentrate on sport.Sandiford, K. (1995) "Everton DeCourcey Weekes", Famous Cricketers Series: No 29, Association of Cricket Statisticians and Historians, Nottingham. ISBN 0947774556] In addition to cricket, Weekes was also a keen football player, representing Barbados. [Walcott p. 17.] As a boy Weekes assisted the groundsmen at Kensington Oval and often as acted as a substitute fielder [Spooner, P. (1998) "Sir Everton Weekes: My First Test", "The Barbados Nation", 18 December 1998] in exchange for free entry to the cricket, giving himself the opportunity to watch leading international cricketers at close range. [Walcott p. 20.] . At age 13, Weekes began playing for Westshire Cricket Club in the Barbados Cricket League (BCL). He would have preferred to have played for his local club, Pickwick, but the club only catered to white players. [Sandiford (1995) p. 6.]
Weekes left school in 1939, aged 14 and, not having a job, spent his days playing cricket and football. He later attributed much of his cricketing success to this time spent practicing. [Weekes p. 5.] In 1943, Weekes enlisted in the
Barbados Regiment, and served as a Lance-Corporal[Sandiford (1995) p. 6.] until his discharge in 1947 and while he never saw active service, [Walcott p. 20.] the fact he was in the military meant he was eligible to play cricket for Garrison Sports Club in the higher standard Barbados Cricket Association in additon to Westshire in the BCL. [Sandiford (1995) p. 6.]
Early first-class career
Weekes's excellent performances in Barbados club cricket led to his selection in a 1945 trial match to select a first-class side to represent Barbados on a Goodwill tour of
Trinidad and Tobago. Weekes scored 88 and 117 retired and was selected for the tour, making his first-class debut on 24 February 1945, aged 19 years, 364 days, for Barbados against Trinidad and Tobago at Queen's Park Oval, Port of Spain. Batting at number six, he scored 0 and eight as Barbados lost by ten wickets. ["Cricket Archive", Trinidad v Barbados scorecard http://www.cricketarchive.co.uk/Archive/Scorecards/17/17467.html Accessed 24 April 2008.]
Weekes scored his maiden first-class half century in his next match, making 53 as an opener against Trinidad in March 1945 (where he also bowled for the first time in a first class match, conceding 15 runs in four wicketless overs). ["Cricket Archive", http://www.cricketarchive.co.uk/Archive/Scorecards/17/17469.html Accessed 24 May 2008] In his first two first-class seasons Weekes was only a moderate success with the bat, averaging 16.62 by the end of the 1945/46 season but began to find form in 1946/47, when, batting at number four, his maiden first-class century, 126 against British Guiana at
Bourda, Georgetown, ["Cricket Archive", Scorecard British Guiana v Barbados in 1946/47 http://www.cricketarchive.co.uk/Archive/Scorecards/17/17878.html Accessed 29 May 2008] and averaged 67.57 for the season.
The 1947/48 season included a tour by MCC and Weekes impressed West Indian selectors with an unbeaten 118 against the tourists prior to the first Test in Bridgetown.
The Three Ws
Weekes was one of the "Three Ws", along with
Clyde Walcottand Frank Worrell, noted as outstanding batsmen from Barbados who all made their Test debut in 1948 against England. The three were all born within seventeen months of each other and within a mile of Kensington Oval in Barbados [Dyde p. 160.] and Walcott believed that the same midwife delivered each of them. [Walcott p. 2.] Weekes first met Walcott in 1941, aged 16, when they were team mates in a trial match [Walcott p. vii.] . They shared a room together when on tour [Walcott p. vii.] and, along with Worrell, would go dancing together on Saturday nights after playing cricket. [Walcott p. 7.]
The name "Three Ws" was coined by an English journalist during the 1950 West Indian tour of England. [Walcott p. 13.] Walcott believed that Weekes was the best all-round batsman of the three, while Worrell was the best all-rounder and modestly referred to himself as the best wicket keeper of the trio. [Walcott p. 15.]
After their retirement from cricket, the three remained close and, following the death of Worrell in 1967, Weekes acted as one of the pallbearers at his funeral. [ Walcott p. 19.]
3Ws Oval, situated on the Cave Hill campus of the University of the West Indieswas named in their honour, and a monument to the three Ws is opposite the oval. ["West Indies Cricket: 3Ws Oval, Barbados" http://www.barbados.org/3ws_oval.htm Accessed 27 April 2008] Worrell and Walcott are buried on ground overlooking the oval ["West Indies Cricket: 3Ws Monument" http://www.barbados.org/3ws_memorial.htm Accessed 27 April 2008] but there has been no official word from Weekes whether he intends to be buried with them upon his death.
Weekes made his Test debut for the West Indies against England at Kensington Oval on 21 January 1948, aged 22 years and 329 days. He was one of 12 debutants; seven from the West Indies (the other were Walcott,
Robert Christiani, Wilfred Ferguson, Berkeley Gaskin, John Goddard and Prior Jones) and five for England; Jim Laker, Maurice Tremlett, Dennis Brookes, Winston Placeand Gerald Smithson. Batting at number three, Weekes made 35 and 25 as the match ended in a draw. ["Cricinfo", Scorecard, 1st Test: West Indies v England at Bridgetown, Jan 21-26 1948 http://content-www.cricinfo.com/westindies/engine/match/62681.html Accessed 27 April 2008]
Weekes's performance in his next two Tests, in the words of "Wisden", "did little to indicate the remarkable feats which lay ahead"Belson, F. (1951) "Cricketer of the Year - 1951 Everton Weekes", "Wisden Cricketer's Almanack"] and was initially dropped from the Fourth and final Test of the series against England before an injury to
George Headleyallowed Weekes to return to the side. [Sandiford (1995) p. 13.] After being dropped on 0, Weekes scored 141, his maiden Test centurySandiford, K. (2004) "Everton Weekes - West Indies' Whirlwind", "The Journal of the Cricket Society", vol. 21 no. 4 Spring 2004] and was subsequently chosen for the West Indies tour of India, Pakistan and Ceylon.
In his next Test, the First against India, at
Delhi, in November 1948 (the first by West Indies in India), Weekes scored 128, followed by 194 in the Second Test in Bombayand 162 and 101 in the Third Test in Calcutta. Weekes then made 90 in the Fourth Test in Madras, being controversially run out and 56 and 48 in the Fifth Test at Bombay. Weekes's five Test centuries in consecutive innings is a Test record, passing the record previously held by Jack Fingletonand Alan Melville["The Adelaide Advertiser", "Young West Indian's Test Record" 4 January 1949, p. 10.] as was his achievement of seven Test half centuries in consecutive innings, passing the record previously jointly held by Jack Ryder, Patsy Hendren, George Headley and Melville. ["Fifties in consecutive innings", "Cricinfo", http://stats.cricinfo.com/ci/content/records/283043.html Accessed 6 October 2008.] ( Andy Flowerequalled Weeke's record of seven half centuries in 2000/01 [Lynch, S. (2007) "Losing four times running, and seven fifties in a row", "Cricinfo", http://content-usa.cricinfo.com/ci/content/story/280837.html Accessed 6 October 2008.] )
By the end of the series, which also included a century against Ceylon, at that time a non-Test cricketing nation, and a half century against Pakistan in a match not classed as a Test match, Weekes had a Test batting average of 82.46 and had passed 1,000 Test runs in his twelfth innings, one fewer than
Donald Bradman. [ [http://uk.cricinfo.com/db/STATS/TESTS/BATTING/FASTEST_CAREER_TEST_RUNS/TEST_FASTEST_TO_1000_RUNS.html Cricinfo: Fastest To 1000 Runs] ]
As a result of his series, Weekes was named one of the 1949 "Indian Cricket" "Cricketers of the Year". ["Cricket Archive", "Indian Cricketer Cricketers of the Year", http://www.cricketarchive.co.uk/Archive/Players/Overall/Indian_Cricket_Cricketers_of_the_Year.html Accessed 27 April 2008.]
The next season saw no Test cricket played by West Indies but Weekes scored 236* against British Guiana at Bridgetown, averaged 219.50 for the season and raised his career first-class average to 72.64. [Sandiford (1995) p. 16.]
West Indies in England 1950
In 1950 West Indies toured England and Weekes continued his excellent form, scoring 338 runs at 56.33 and playing a significant part in the West Indies 3-1 victory in the Test series, as well as 2310 first-class runs at 79.65 (including five double centuries, a record for a West Indian tour of England). [Sandiford (1995) p. 17.]
By the end of the series, Weekes had scored 1,410 Test runs at 74.21 and had enhanced his reputation as one of the finest slip fielders in world cricket, taking 11 catches in the series. Additonally, his 304* against
University of Cambridgeremains the only triple century by a West Indian on tour in England. [Sandiford (1995) p. 17.] In recognition of his performance, Weekes was named a 1951 Wisden Cricketer of the Year.
West Indies in Australia and New Zealand 1951/52
Named as a member of the West Indian team to tour Australia in 1951/52, Weekes was troubled by a thigh injury throughout the tour and was not at his best. [Sandiford (1995) p. 21.] Additionally, as the leading West Indian batsman, Weekes was targeted by the Australian fast bowlers, in particular
Ray Lindwall, subjecting him to Bodyline-like tactics of sustained short pitched bowling. Reviewing the series, the " Sydney Morning Herald" claimed that the Australian tactics to contain Weekes may have been just within the laws of cricket but infringed on the spirit of the game. [Goodman, T. "Lindwall's bowling to Weekes was overdone", "Sydney Morning Herald", 30 January 1952.] Leading cricket commentator Alan McGilvraylater wrote "I remain convinced to this day the bumpers hurled at Weekes had a definite influence on charging up West Indian competitiveness in future series." [McGilvray, A. (1989) "Alan McGilvray's Backpage of Cricket", Lester Townsend Publishing, Paddington.]
Following the Australian tour, the West Indies visited New Zealand. In a tour match against Wellington, Weekes kept wicket in the absence of the injured
Simpson Guillenand effected the only stumping of his first class career. [Sandiford (1995) p. 23.]
Australia in the West Indies 1954/55
Weekes took his sole Test wicket in this series. In the First Test at
Sabina Park, Kingston, with Australia requiring just 20 runs in their second innings to win the Test, Weekes opened the bowling and had Arthur Morriscaught by Glendon Gibbs. ["Cricket Archive", Scorecard, West Indies v Australia in 1954/55, Sabina Park, Kingston http://www.cricketarchive.co.uk/Archive/Scorecards/21/21455.html Accessed 28 April 2008]
The Australians were surprised at the level of racism evident throughout the West Indies at the time, and were embarrassed to find that Weekes, Worrall and Walcott had not been invited to a cocktail party at the home of a white West Indian player. [Beckles p. 78.]
Other notable achievements include three centuries in consecutive innings against
New Zealandin 1956, and a partnership of 338 with Worrell against England in 1954, still a West Indian record for the third wicket. Weekes was the first black captain of Barbados. [Sandiford (1998) p. 22.]
West Indies in England 1957
Weekes was affected by sinusitus throughout the tour, requiring five operations, [Sandiford (1995) p. 8.] and broke a finger in late June. [Sandiford (1995) p. 29.] Reporting on the final day of the 1957 Lords Test where Weekes had made a rearguard 90 as the West Indies slumped to an innings defeat, "
The Times"'s cricket correspondent wrote "It had been a day to quicken one's feeling for cricket, glowing with freshness and impulse and friendliness, and it had belong to Weekes." Denis Comptonsaid of Weekes following this innings; "In every respect, it was the innings of a genius." [Armstrong p. 123.]
During the tour Weekes became only the fourth West Indian to pass 10,000 first-class runs. [Sandiford (1995) p. 30]
Weekes was the first West Indian to pass 3,000 Test runs, in 31 Test matches, and the first to score 4,000 Test runs, in 42 Tests.
In 1949 Weekes accepted an offer of £500 to play as the professional for Bacup in the Lancashire League. [Kay, J. (1969) "An Invitation from the Forgotten Leagues", "The International Cavaliers Cricket Book", Purnell, London] When he first arrived in Bacup, Weekes was greatly affected by the cold and took to wearing an army great coat everywhere, to the extent it became part of his League image. [Edmundson p. 69.] His homesickness for Barbados was tempered by his landlady's potato pies and the presence of Worrell and Walcott, who were playing for League clubs Radcliffe and Enfield respectively. The three Ws would regularly meet at Weekes's house midweek for an evening of piano playing and jazz singing. [Edmundson p. 71.]
In all, Weekes played seven seasons in the Lancashire League between 1949 and 1958, passing 1000 runs in each. ["Lancashire League" http://lancashireleague.com/Records/LL1000RUNS.html 1,000 runs in a Lancashire League season Accessed 26 April 2008] His 1,518 runs scored in 1951 is still the club record and for 40 years was the League record, until broken by
Peter Sleep. [Edmundson p. 125.] Weekes scored a total of 9,069 runs for Bacup at 91.61, with 25 centuries, including 195* against Enfield, a score that remains a League record [Edmundson p.69.] , as does his 1954 batting average of 158.25. [Edmundson p. 71.] Weekes also had success with the ball, taking at least fifty wickets in all but one season at Bacup, including 80 wickets in 1956. [Edmundson p. 69.]
Weekes's performances were a significant contribution to League crowds, with over 325,000 spectators attending Lancashire League matches in 1949, a record as yet unsurpassed. [Edmundson p. 69] He also played up for the crowds; batting in a match against
Rawtenstall Cricket Club, Weekes waited until a ball had passed him before taking his left hand off his bat and hitting the ball around his back through square leg for four. [Edmundson p. 69.]
Weekes had a classic batting style, possessed a variety of shots on both sides of the wicket, [Walcott p. 20.] and is considered one of the hardest hitters in cricket history. [Armstrong p. 122.] Described by "
The Times" as lightly bow-legged, with a wonderful eye, wrists the envy of any batsman, and feet always the right place to play a shotOur Cricket Correspondent, "Weekes and West Indies earn Honour in Defeat", "The Times", 24 June 1957.] , Richie Benaudstated that many Australians who saw Weekes in action said he was the closest batsman in style to the pre-World War II Donald Bradman. [Armstrong p. 122.] He was also compared to Bradman in his ability to keep the scoreboard moving and at using his feet to come down the pitch to slower bowlers. [Walcott p. 21.]
Additionally, Weekes was an excellent fielder, initially in the covers before moving into the slips. [Walcott p. 21.]
Retirement and post-cricketing career
Weekes retired from Test cricket in 1958 due to a persistent thigh injury but continued in first-class cricket until 1964, his final first-class match being against Trinidad and Tobago in Port-of-Spain, scoring 19 and 13. ["Cricket Archive", "Scorecard, Trinidad and Tobago v Barbados in 1963/64", http://www.cricketarchive.co.uk/Archive/Scorecards/26/26610.html Accessed 8 May 2008] Weekes passed 12,000 first-class runs in his final innings, becoming only the third West Indian, after Worrell and
Roy Marshall, to do so. [Sandiford (1995) p. 38.]
Post-retirement, Weekes would make occasional appearances in charity matches, including for the
International Cavaliers. [Bailey (1968) p. 52.] In one 1967 match, at the age of 42, Weekes, out of practice and in borrowed gear, dominated a bowling attack half his age. [Bailey (1968) p. 52.]
While Weekes was never coached as a young player, he was appointed a Barbados Government Sports Officer in 1958 [Sandiford (1995) p. 9.] and found great success as a coach, encouraging young players to obey their instincts and develop their own style. [Bailey (1968) p. 56.] Such was his success, Weekes was appointed coach of the Canadian side at the
1979 Cricket World Cup. [Sandiford (1998) p. 150.]
Additionally, Weekes served on the executive of the
Barbados Cricket Associationfor many years [Sandiford (1998) p. 23.] and helped develop many leading Barbadian players, including Conrad Hunteand Seymour Nurse, both deeply influenced by Weekes. [Sandiford (1998) p. 26.]
Weekes also found time to work as a television and radio cricket commentator, known for his acerbic wit and deep knowledge of the game [Sandiford (1995) p. 10.] and began to play Bridge competitively, representing Barbados in regional Bridge championships. The "
New York Times" referred to his style as "aggressive". [Truscott, A. "Bridge; Can't Be Beat?", "The New York Times", 3 July 1988.]
In 1994 Weekes was appointed as an
International Cricket Councilmatch referee, refereeing in four Tests and three One Day Internationals. ["Cricinfo", "Everton Weekes Profile", http://content-www.cricinfo.com/westindies/content/player/53241.html Accessed 24 April 2008.]
Weekes published his memoirs "Mastering the Craft: Ten years of Weekes, 1948 to 1958" in December 2007, when it was announced that the book will be included in the curriculum of the Caribbean Civilisation Foundation course at the University of the West Indies. [Indo-Asian News Service "Sir Everton pens a book" 4 December 2007]
Kenneth Weekesand son David Murray also played Test cricket for the West Indies, while his grandson Ricky Hoyteplayed first-class cricket for Barbados ["Cricket Archive", "Everton Weekes" http://www.cricketarchive.co.uk/Archive/Players/0/812/812.html Accessed 24 April 2008.] and his nephew Donald Weekes played one first-class match for Sussex. ["Cricinfo", "Donald Weekes", http://content-www.cricinfo.com/westindies/content/player/22829.html Accessed 24 April 2008.]
Honours and Legacy
Following the end of his cricketing career, Weekes received a range of distinctions, including an appointment as an
Officer of the British Empire(OBE), the Barbados Gold Crown of Meritand in 1995 Weekes received a Knighthood for his services to cricket. ["Reuters", "Everton Weekes and Peter Blake Knighted" 16 June 1995.]
For the 2000 edition of "Wisden Cricketers' Almanack", Weekes was asked to be a member of the 100 strong electorate to select the Five Cricketers of the 20th Century. All voters were allowed to nominate five players and while there was no disclosure of which five each voter chose, "Wisden" editor
Matthew Engelrevealed that Weekes voted for Dennis Lilleeand, as Sir Donald Bradmanreceived 100 votes, it is obvious Weekes voted for Bradman as well. [Engel, M. "How they were chosen", "Wisden Cricketers' Almanack" 2000, John Wisden & Co. Ltd, Guildford, Surrey.]
Prime Minister of Barbados Owen Arthurpaid tribute to Weekes for his role in bringing social change to Barbados and the Caribbean, stating "Through his excellence on the cricket field, Sir Everton helped in a fundamental way to change Barbados for the better, forever, by proving that true excellence cannot be constrained by social barriers." [Weekes p. iv.]
As of July 2008, Weekes' career Test batting average of 58.61 is the eighth highest of all players with 30 or more innings. ["Cricket Archive", "Highest Batting Averages in Test Cricket" http://www.cricketarchive.co.uk/Archive/Records/Tests/Overall/Highest_Batting_Average.html Accessed 7 July 2008] An oddity of his career was the first innings bias averaging 71.44 compared with 36.64 in the second, and only one of his fifteen tons came in the second innings.
Test match performance
* Armstrong, G. (2006) "The Greatest 100 Cricketers", New Holland: Sydney. ISBN 1741104394.
* Bailey, T. (1968) "The Greatest of My Time", Eyre & Spottiswoode: London. SBN 41326910.
* Beckles, H. (1998) "The Development of West Indian Cricket", Pluto Press ISBN 0745314627.
* Belson, F. (1951) "Cricketer of the Year - 1951 Everton Weekes", "Wisden Cricketer's Almanack".
* Dyde, B. (1992) "Caribbean Companion: The A-Z Reference", MacMillan Press, ISBN 0333545591.
* Edmundson, D. (1992) "See the Conquering Hero: The Story of the Lancashire League 1892-1992", Mike McLeod Litho Limited, Accrington. ISBN 095194990X.
* McGilvray, A. (1989) "Alan McGilvray's Backpage of Cricket", Lester Townsend Publishing, Paddington.
* Sandiford, K. (1995) "Everton DeCourcey Weekes", Famous Cricketers Series: No 29, Association of Cricket Statisticians and Historians, Nottingham. ISBN 0947774556.
* Sandiford, K. (1998) "Cricket Nurseries of Colonial Barbados: The Elite Schools, 1865-1966", Press University of the West Indies, ISBN 9766400466.
* Walcott, C. (1999) "Sixty Years on the Back Foot", Orion, London. ISBN 0752834088.
* Weekes, E. (2007) "Mastering the Craft: Ten Years of Weekes 1948 to 1958", Ian Randle Publishers.
* [http://content.cricinfo.com/westindies/content/player/53241.html Cricinfo page on Sir Everton Weekes]
* [http://www.cricketarchive.co.uk/Archive/Players/0/812/812.html CricketArchive page on Sir Everton Weekes]
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