All around th e cricket world tributes have been pouring in to honour and respect the great Sir Everton Weekes, who passed away on Wednesday at his home on Barbados. The oldest surviving West Indies cricketer and third oldest surviving men’s Test player, Sir Everton was 95, bringing to an end one of the finest ever chapters in West Indies and world cricket. One of the greatest cricketers of all time, Sir Everton was widely revered and remained a seminal figure in the cricket fraternity up until the time of his passing.
In Manchester, the West Indies team paid tribute to the great man by wearing black armbands on the final day of their four-day inter-squad warm-up match at Emirates Old Trafford. Head Coach, Phil Simmons and Team Manager, Rawl Lewis offered words of condolences on behalf of the squad.
Test great Sir Gordon Greenidge on Wednesday hailed Sir Everton as a “favourite of all West Indians”. This was followed by other heartfelt tributes from Sir Clive Lloyd and Rohan Kanhai – two former Test captains – from their homes in the United Kingdom.
Sir Gordon Greenidge said:
“He was a genuine man. He had a great sense of humor and was a very jovial person. Sir Everton was a favourite of all West Indians. We will all miss him. He had a remarkable cricketing career with some superb performances on the field and was someone we all admired and had great respect for."
“He always offered great advice on batting. He always told you ‘if you don’t hit the ball in the air you won’t get caught’. Our conversations were always very pleasant. May he rest in peace.”
Sir Clive Lloyd, one of the greatest leaders in cricket history also remembered Sir Everton as a stalwart and pioneer, one who paved the way for many others to follow.
“He was a great Barbadian and a great West Indian. Someone who was proud the fly the West Indies flag wherever he went. He was a pioneer and paved the way for persons like myself to come along. We kept in close contact and was someone I had the greatest respect for. He was one of those great men in West Indies cricket who taught us how to play cricket.
Sir Clive continued:
The Three Ws showed fortitude and were very professional. They showed the world we could play the game. They were winners and were respected all over the world. People always speak with reverence about Sir Everton in India, in the Leagues in England and wherever he went,”
Born just outside the storied Kensington Oval on February 26, 1925, Sir Everton became a member of the famous Empire Cricket Club where he played alongside another legendary former West Indies captain Sir Frank Worrell.
The pair later united with Sir Clyde Walcott in the Barbados and West Indies teams and formed the now famous Three Ws batting combination. Sir Frank died in 1967 at age 42 while Sir Clyde died in 2006 at age 80.
Sir Everton made his Test debut in the opening Test against England at Bridgetown in 1948 alongside Sir Clyde in a side captained by the peerless George Headley, and stroked his maiden Test hundred in the fourth Test at Kingston.
Rohan Kanhai said:
“He was my favourite cricketer, I loved to see him bat. He was class, he was a joy to see. When I joined the team in ’58 he was still playing. I learned so much from him. He was a teacher, he would someone who would talk to you about batting, but he would also go out there on the pitch and show how to get it done. As a batsman he was of the highest class, to average at 58 at the highest level shows how much of a brilliant batsman he was. It was also an honour to play alongside the other illustrious gentlemen – Sir Frank and Sir Clyde. I came along at a time and I grew to understand what they did for West Indies cricket and how I had to carry on for the people.”
In his illustrious career, Sir Everton scored 4455 runs at an average of 58.61 in 48 Tests and is the only man to make centuries in five consecutive Test innings. His first-class career yielded 12010 runs and 36 centuries from 152 matches, at an average of 55.24 runs per innings. The innings set in train history as Sir Everton promptly reeled off hundreds in his next four innings on the tour of India, including triple figures in each innings at Calcutta (now Kolkata), to establish an unbroken world record.
Following his retirement, Sir Everton served as an International Cricket Council match referee, Barbados and West Indies team manager and a coach with the local government, and also worked as an analyst on local radio and television for the Shell Shield first-class tournament and international matches at Kensington Oval.
News of Sir Everton Weekes' passing rocked social media and tributes poured in, in honour of the West Indies legend.