The last of the three iconic Ws of West Indies Cricket, Sir Everton Weekes, breathed his last at his home at Christ Church in Barbados earlier today.
Weekes, who made his Test debut for the West Indies in 1948, formed a formidable batting unit for the West Indies throughout the ’50s, along with Sir Frank Worrell and Clyde Walcott. While the three of them went on to stamp their legacies in West Indies Cricket in their own ways; with Worrell being West Indies’ first black captain, having the West Indies-Australia Test series named after him, and later, a senator in Jamaica. Walcott, along with wicketkeeping and medium pace bowling duties in his 44 Tests, averaged 56.68 in Test cricket and later became the first non-white chair of the ICC. But among the three Weekes was, arguably, the best batsman of the three.
At one stage, between March and December 1948, he registered five successive Test hundreds, including hundreds in both innings at the Eden Gardens against India (162 and 101). He missed out on a sixth due to an umpiring error when he was adjudged run-out for 90. He holds the distinction of being the only West Indian to score a triple hundred on tour to England, when he made 304* against University of Cambridge. He passed 1,000 Test runs in 12 innings, one fewer than Sir Don Bradman, and finished with an outstanding final Test average of 58.61.
Weekes also played in the Lancashire League for seven seasons, signed for £500 to play for Bacup in 1949. In 187 League matches, Weekes scored 10,214 runs, including 35 hundreds and 58 fifties, at an average of 92.01. He also rolled his arm over quite often in the league, taking 519 wickets in the process.
Weekes was the father of three sons and one daughter, one of whom, David Murray, went on to play 19 Tests as West Indies’ wicketkeeper between 1978 and 1982, before losing his way due to the emergence of Jeffrey Dujon and his participation in the rebel tour to South Africa in 1983.
Cricket West Indies issued a tribute to the former hard hitting legendary batsman, which read, “Our hearts are heavy as we mourn the loss of an icon. A legend, our hero. Our condolences go out to his family, friends and many fans around the world.”
Ricky Skerritt, president of CWI, also had to say a few words, “I’d like to add my public recognition of Sir Everton’s amazing legacy. He was both a great cricketer and a cricket human being. He was the last of the famous Three Ws to pass to the great beyond. He was the most amazing man. And one of the most humble and decent and wonderful people you would ever have met.”
Previously, Weekes had been taken into intensive care in June 2019 after suffering a heart attack. Although there is no confirmation of the family’s wishes at this stage, his final resting place could well reunite him with Worrell and Walcott – both of whom are buried at The Three Ws Oval on the outskirts of Bridgetown in Barbados. A plot has been left vacant for Weekes should he wish to join them.