Famous Barbadian Cricketers

You can­not go any­where in Bar­ba­dos, and even the Caribbean for that mat­ter, and not feel the pas­sion we have for Cricket! Bar­ba­dos has always had a renowned rep­u­ta­tion for pro­duc­ing stel­lar crick­eters. His­tor­i­cally, Bar­ba­di­ans have played a great role in West Indies cricket as well as inter­na­tion­ally. Select from the list to learn more about some of these great players.


Sir Garfield St Aubrun Sobers

Play­ing role– Allrounder

Bat­ting style– Left-hand bat

Bowl­ing style– Left-arm fast-medium, Slow left-arm ortho­dox, Slow left-arm chinaman

This Bar­ba­dian National Hero is said to be the finest all-rounder crick­eter in mod­ern his­tory. He broke the record for the high­est Test score — 365 — at 21 and was also the first player to hit six sixes in an over in a first-class game. As an all-rounder, he could bowl two styles of spin– left-arm ortho­dox and wrist spin, and fast-medium open­ing bowler. He was also a bril­liant fielder any­where on the ground.

Born July 28th, 1936, Sobers demon­strated remark­able apti­tude in a num­ber of sports dur­ing his child­hood, includ­ing golf, foot­ball and bas­ket­ball, in addi­tion to cricket. He made his first world class cricket debut on Jan­u­ary 31, 1953 at 16 years old. Here, he bat­ted at num­ber nine, scored 7 not out in his only innings and bowled an impres­sive 450 and 392. This match was played against an Indian tour­ing team at Kens­ing­ton Oval in Barbados.

At age 17, Sir Garfield Sobers then played his sec­ond first-class match, also against another tour­ing team. Here, he bat­ted at num­ber five, scored 46 and 27 and took down two wick­ets. These two show­ings were impres­sive enough to earn him a place on the West Indies cricket team, mak­ing his third first-class match his Test debut in March 1954 at 17 years old.

Sobers’€™ first over­seas tour with the West Indies took place in New Zealand in 1956. He was 19 years of age. From here he con­tin­ued to make a name for him­self in West Indies cricket, and in 1964 he suc­ceeded Frank Wor­rell as West Indies Cap­tain. He enjoyed this cap­taincy up until 1972.

He imme­di­ately made quite a state­ment as cap­tain, as his team defeated Aus­tralia by 179 runs in the First Test at Sabina Park. West Indies went on to win the series 2 – 1, the first time West Indies had beaten Aus­tralia in a Test series.

On Decem­ber 14, 1967 it was announced that Sobers would play as cap­tain for Not­ting­hamshire. It was dur­ing this cap­taincy that he made the his­tory, where he became the first bats­man ever to hit six sixes in a sin­gle over of six con­sec­u­tive balls in first-class cricket.

Sir Garfield Sobers retired from cricket in 1974, and was knighted by Queen Eliz­a­beth II on a royal visit to Bar­ba­dos in Feb­ru­ary 1975 for his out­stand­ing achieve­ments and con­tri­bu­tion to the game. Sobers was made a National Hero of Bar­ba­dos by the Cab­i­net of Bar­ba­dos in 1998 he was declared a National Hero of Bar­ba­dos by the Cab­i­net of Bar­ba­dos, an hon­our bestowed to only ten Bar­ba­di­ans, Sir Garfield­be­ing the only liv­ing recip­i­ent. There is also a statue of his like­ness inside of Kens­ing­ton Oval, a venue with a long cricket lin­eage. In 2000, Sir Gary was named as one of the five Wis­den Crick­eters of the Century.


Desmond Leo Haynes

Bat­ting style– Right-hand bat

Born on Feb­ru­ary 15, 1956, Desmond Haynes is with­out a doubt one of Bar­ba­dos’€™ great­est con­tri­bu­tions to the West Indies Team. He is known as one of the finest open­ing bats­men in the his­tory of cricket.

Grow­ing up, it was quickly realised that he had tremen­dous apti­tude for the sport. He started play­ing for the Bar­ba­dos cricket team in 1976 at a young 20 years, and it was only 2 years later in Feb­ru­ary 1978 that he had his One Day Inter­na­tional debut for the West Indies.

At this One Day, Haynes bat­ted a notable 148 off 136balls– the high­est ever score for a One Day Inter­na­tional debut and the high­est ever score at the Recre­ation Ground in a One Day Inter­na­tional. His records still stand to this day.

The 1980s saw him form a for­mi­da­ble part­ner­ship with fel­low West Indies open­ing bats­man, Gor­don Greenidge. This part­ner­ship was a force to be reck­oned with, as between them they made 16 cen­tury stands, four in excess of 200 and a com­bined total of 6482 runs with an aver­age of 44.07– the sec­ond high­est for a bat­ting part­ner­ship in Test cricket his­tory. They have only been bested by the Aus­tralian duo, Justin Langer and Matthew Hay­den, who achieved an aver­age of 51.07, although they hit 1,211 runs less.

Also known as the ‘€˜Lion of Bar­ba­dos’€™, Haynes is known for his ruth­less streak in the game, and his great tech­nique and dili­gence. In 1991 he was also named He was a Wis­den Crick­eter of the Year. He later retired in 1997, but not before play­ing for Mid­dle­sex in Eng­land and West­ern Province in South Africa. His last cricket game was played in 1994. After retire­ment he later served as Chair­man of Selec­tors of the Bar­ba­dos Cricket Asso­ci­a­tion, Pres­i­dent of Carl­ton Cricket Club, Sec­re­tary of the West Indies Play­ers Asso­ci­a­tion and is cur­rently a Direc­tor of the West Indies Cricket Board, where he sits on a West Indies “Win World Cup” Com­mit­tee, Sen­a­tor and the Chair­man of the National Sports Council.

He can also be found play­ing golf for relax­ation and enjoy­ment. You can read more about Desmond Haynes in his biog­ra­phy €˜Lion of Bar­ba­dos€™.


Cuth­bert Gor­den Greenidge

Bat­ting style– Right-hand bat

Bowl­ing style– Right-arm medium

Gor­don Greenidge was born on May 1, 1951 in Bar­ba­dos where there was a love, zeal and pas­sion for cricket. He later moved to Read­ing, UK in 1965 with his par­ents, and quickly became a mid­dle order bats­man for his school, Sut­ton Sec­ondary School.

Admit­tedly a ‘€˜lousy fielder’€™ in the begin­ning, Greenidge admits that he was only inter­ested in bat­ting. He realised that he quickly needed to mas­ter this side of cricket in order to progress in the game. He took to run­ning the streets of Southamp­ton past mid­night in an effort to get fit­ter. This cer­tainly paid of, as Greenidge is ranked as one of cricket’€™s best field­ers in the world.

With his increased suc­cesses and per­sonal achieve­ments, it soon became quite clear that Gor­den Greenidge was Test mate­r­ial. After some spec­u­la­tion on whether he would go on to play for Eng­land, or the West Indies. He later chose the West Indies cit­ing the need “to see what cricket was like back home and to try my luck”.

His Test debut came in the 197475 India vs West Indies Test at Ban­ga­lore. In the 1980s he made up one half of a for­mi­da­ble part­ner­ship with fel­low West Indies open­ing bats­man Desmond Haynes. Between the two of them they made 16 cen­tury stands, four in excess of 200 and a com­bined total of 6482 runs– the high­est total for a bat­ting part­ner­ship in Test cricket history.

Described as “brood­ing and mas­sively destruc­tive”€™, one of his most notable feats was scor­ing a double-double cen­tury per­for­mances against Eng­land in the 1984 sum­mer Test series. He scored 214 runs dur­ing the sec­ond Test at Lords in June 1984, and then fol­lowed up with 223 runs dur­ing the fourth Test at Old Traf­ford dur­ing the last five days of July.

Greenidge has played 108 Test matches scor­ing 7,558 runs with 19 cen­turies, and he has also played 128 One Day Inter­na­tion­als, scor­ing 5,134 runs and 11 cen­turies. His last Test was West Indies vs Aus­tralia at St John’s, The Frank Wor­rell Tro­phy, in 199091.

Cuth­bert Gor­don Greenidge later went on to become the coach of Bangladesh in 1997, help­ing them become cham­pi­ons of ICC Tro­phy in 1997 along with the chance to play at their first World Cup finals in 1999. His efforts were hon­oured by Bangladesh as the gov­ern­ment granted him hon­orary cit­i­zen­ship of the country.

In Bar­ba­dos there is a pri­mary school named in his hon­our– the Gor­don Greenidge Pri­mary School. Greenidge plays an active role for the school, and also has a side hobby of own­ing Akita dogs. Other notable achieve­ments are in 1977 he was named Wis­den Crick­eter of the Year, and in 1986 he was the Hamp­shire Cricket Soci­ety Player of the Year.


Sir Frank Mor­timer Maglinne Worrell

Bat­ting style– Right-hand bat

Bowl­ing style– Left-arm fast-medium, Left-arm slow

Sir Frank Wor­rell is famously known for two notable life­time achieve­ments– he was the first black cap­tain of the West Indies cricket team, and he was the only bats­man to have been involved in two 500-run part­ner­ships in first-class cricket.

Born August 1, 1929, Wor­rell made his West Indies debut as a player in 1947-€“48 ver­sus the Eng­land team of Gubby Allen, barely miss­ing a cen­tury on this debut. Around this period, cricket was always cap­tained by a white man. Wor­rell smashed these colour bar­ri­ers, largely thanks to a cam­paign run by the then edi­tor of €˜The Nation€™ news­pa­per in Trinidad, C. L. R. James.

Evi­dence of Worrell’€™s human­ity and com­radery was shown when on Feb­ru­ary 3 1962, Nari Con­trac­tor, the cap­tain of the tour­ing Indian team, received a seri­ous career-ending head injury from a bouncer bowled by West Indies fast bowler Char­lie Grif­fith. Wor­rell was the first player from both sides who vol­un­teered to give blood in a bid to save Nari’€™s life. This day is remem­bered by the state of West Ben­gal in India as ‘€˜Sir Frank Wor­rell Day’€™, where every year on this day the Cricket Asso­ci­a­tion of Ben­gal organ­ises a blood dona­tion drive.

Sir Frank Worrell’€™s illus­tri­ous 16 year crick­et­ing career spanned 51 Tests dur­ing which he scored 3,860 runs at an aver­age of 49.48 with nine hun­dreds. His high­est score was 261 against Eng­land at Trent Bridge in 1950. As a bowler, dur­ing his career he ousted 69 wick­ets at 38.72 a piece, with his best score being 7 – 70 against Eng­land in the Head­in­g­ley test of 1957.

He later retired from the game in 1964, and went on to man­age the West Indies dur­ing the 1964-€“65 visit by Aus­tralia, fur­ther groom­ing Sobers to be a West Indies cap­tain. Wor­rell was offi­cially knighted in 1964, becom­ing known as Sir Frank Wor­rell. Another achieve­ment of note is that he was named Wis­den Crick­eter of the Year in 1951.

In the win­ter of 1966/7, he accom­pa­nied the West Indies team to India, and was diag­nosed with leukaemia while there. This dis­ease proved fatal as he died only one month after return­ing to Jamaica on March 13, 1967, at the age of 42.

Sir Frank Wor­rell was a world-class bats­man and a stel­lar slow left arm bowler and swing bowler dur­ing his crick­et­ing career. He was well loved around the world and espe­cially in Bar­ba­dos, evi­denced by the huge crowd that gath­ered when his body was brought home in mid March of 1967. There was also a memo­r­ial ser­vice was held in his hon­our in West­min­ster Abbey, the first time such an hon­our was granted to a sportsman.

Bar­ba­dos has pre­served the mem­ory of this great man with a Sir Frank Wor­rell Bust, unveiled on Feb­ru­ary 27, 2002 at the front of the Comber­mere School Hall– his old sec­ondary school in Bar­ba­dos. There is also a Sir Frank Wor­rell Pavil­ion at this school. Sir Frank Wor­rell makes up one of the great 3Ws who dom­i­nated West Indies Cricket in the 1950s. The other ‘€˜Ws’€™ are Sir Clyde Wal­cott and Sir Ever­ton Weekes.


Ever­ton DeCourcy Weekes

Bat­ting style– Right-hand bat

Bowl­ing style– Legbreak

Born on Feb­ru­ary 26 1925, Ever­ton Weekes later went on to become one of the great 3Ws, who utterly dom­i­nated West Indies Cricket in the 50s. The 3Ws (Sir Frank Wor­rell, Sir Clyde Wal­cott and Sir Ever­ton Weekes) all were born within sev­en­teen months of each other, and within one mile of the famed Kens­ing­ton Oval. Inci­den­tally, all three ‘€˜Ws’€™ were friends.

The term ‘€˜3Ws’€™ was first coined by a British jour­nal­ist dur­ing the 1950West Indian tour of Eng­land when the trio cer­tainly made quite an impres­sion. In hon­our of this amaz­ing trio, the Uni­ver­sity of the West Indies in Bar­ba­dos has a 3Ws Oval, with a 3Ws Mon­u­ment bear­ing the bust of the three leg­ends directly opposite.

Ever­ton Weekes grew up in hum­ble con­di­tions, with his father emi­grat­ing to Trinidad to work in the oil­fields when Weekes was just eight. As a boy, Weekes had always been attracted to cricket, and was also a skilled foot­ball player, rep­re­sent­ing Bar­ba­dos a few times. He was often seen assist­ing the Kens­ing­ton grounds-men, using the oppor­tu­nity to wit­ness world-class cricket up close.

Before Weekes made his Test debut for the West Indies Team, he had also played for West­shire Cricket Club in the Bar­ba­dos Cricket League (BCL). In those days, domes­tic cricket fell under two umbrel­las– the Bar­ba­dos Cricket League (BCL) and the Bar­ba­dos Cricket Asso­ci­a­tion (BCA). The BCA cer­tainly was the more pres­ti­gious of them as this was where the selec­tors looked for those who were picked for the full Bar­ba­dos side. Top, promis­ing play­ers in the BCL had to hope to find some way of cross­ing over to a BCA team if they wanted to progress to First Class level in the game.

This crossover came for Weekes after he had com­mit­ted some Army ser­vice. The year 1943 saw Weekes enlist­ing in the Bar­ba­dos Reg­i­ment, where he served as Lance-Corporal. He was later dis­charged in 1947. This brief stint in the mil­i­tary how­ever enabled Weekes to play cricket for the Gar­ri­son Sports Club in the BCA.

Weekes made his First Class debut Feb­ru­ary 24, 1945 for Bar­ba­dos against Trinidad and Tobago at Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain. He was 19 years of age. Here he bat­ted at num­ber six, with scores of 0 and 8. Start­ing out, it can be said that Weekes was a fair bats­man, and it was only until 19467 when he came more into his own bat­ting his maiden first-class cen­tury, 126 against British Guiana at Bourda, George­town, aver­ag­ing 67.57 for the sea­son. He then came to the atten­tion of West Indian selec­tors in 19478.

At age 22, Ever­ton Weekes made his Test debut for the West Indies team against Eng­land at Kens­ing­ton Oval on Jan­u­ary 21, 1948. Per­haps his most noted feat took place in 1948/9, when he scored a test-record five cen­turies in con­sec­u­tive innings. Some of his other sta­tis­tics are a com­bined 338 test runs from a bat­ting part­ner­ship with Sir Frank Wor­rell, and the three cen­turies scored against New Zealand in 1956. In 1951, as a result of his out­stand­ing per­for­mance Test series in Eng­land in 1950, he was named Wis­den Crick­eter of the Year.

Weekes’€™ illus­tri­ous test cricket career came at an end when he retired in 1958 due to an aggra­vat­ing thigh injury. How­ever, he con­tin­ued First Class cricket up until 1964. Post retire­ment, Weekes was appointed a Bar­ba­dos Gov­ern­ment Sports Offi­cer in 1958, appointed coach of the Cana­dian side at the 1979 Cricket World Cup, exec­u­tive of the Bar­ba­dos Cricket Asso­ci­a­tion and in 1994 was appointed as an Inter­na­tional Cricket Coun­cil match ref­eree, ref­er­ee­ing in four Tests and three One Day Internationals.

Weekes has also pub­lished his mem­oirs, titled Mas­ter­ing the Craft: Ten years of Weekes, 1948 to 1958, in Decem­ber 2007 and also became a Jus­tice of Peace.

Bar­ba­dos hon­ours this son of its soil with a round­about in his name. The Ever­ton Weekes round­about is located in the War­rens dis­trict and is spon­sored and main­tained by the CIBC First Caribbean Bank.


George Chal­lenor

Bat­ting style– Right-hand bat

Bowl­ing style– Right Arm Medium Pace

Born June 28, 1888, George Chal­lenor was one of the first eleven play­ers to play Test cricket for the West Indies. He was one of the sev­eral white play­ers on the team who were descen­dants of the colonists.

Chal­lenor was one of four broth­ers to play cricket, and was described by Gerry Wol­sten­holmein his book The West Indian Tour of Eng­land 1906 as ‘€˜a mem­ber of the famous crick­et­ing fam­ily who should score a fine aver­age. He is an attrac­tive bat who com­bines bril­liant hit­ting with sound defence. He is young but most promising’€™.

Dur­ing his crick­et­ing career he belonged to three teams: Bar­ba­dos, West Indies and Maryle­bone Cricket Club. His First Class debut came when he was 17 years for Bar­ba­dos in the 1905-06 Inter-Colonial Tour­na­ment in Trinidad. Here he scored 94 runs. His per­for­mance earned him a place on the West Indies team who was ready to do in Tour of Eng­land in 1906. On this tour he scored 1017 runs, one of only 3 tourists to reach a thou­sand runs.

His high per­for­mance on the Bar­ba­dos team also led to him being cho­sen for the 1923 West Indies tour of Eng­land. Here he had a par­tic­u­larly good run, scor­ing 1,556 runs in first-class matches with six cen­turies and an aver­age of 51.86 runs per innings.

Over­all, Chal­lenor played 95 First-class matches with a total of 5,822 runs at a respectable aver­age of 38.55. He was good enough to score an unbeaten 237 -€“ his high­est score at First-class level. That was, by far, the best of his 15 cen­turies. He also scored 29 half-centuries in his 25-year career.

The West Indies team pro­gressed to Test sta­tus when George Chal­lenor was 39 years old and he was cho­sen to be on the ini­tial West Indies Test cricket team. He had his Test debut at the 1928 Eng­land Vs West Indies, 1st Test at Lord’s Cricket Ground in St John’s Woods. He turned 40 dur­ing this tour, and under­stand­ably was not in as great a form as his ear­lier years. He scored only 29 runs (29 and 0) in his first match. He played only three Tests for the West Indies, scor­ing 101 runs at an aver­age of 16.83.

George Chal­lenor died in Bar­ba­dos in 1947 at 59 years old. He left behind a legacy in cricket, being one of the first play­ers in West Indies Test cricket, and he is the first West Indian to reach the mile­stone of 5,000 First Class runs. His achieve­ments also earned him mem­ber­ship to the Maryle­bone Cricket Club.


Joel Gar­ner

Bat­ting style– Right-hand bat

Bowl­ing style– Right-arm fast

Affec­tion­ately called ‘€˜Big Bird’€™ because of his tow­er­ing height at 6ft 8in, Joel Gar­ner has caused many a bats­man to quake because of his superb fast bowl­ing skills. He is cer­tainly one of the tallest bowlers to ever play Test cricket.

Born Decem­ber 16, 1952, Joel Gar­ner was one of a few West Indies fast bowlers that helped secure the team’€™s dom­i­nance in Test and One-day cricket. Gar­ner was known to throw a dev­as­tat­ing Yorker, which is a term used to describe a deliv­ery which hits the cricket pitch around the batsman’s feet. One of England’€™s cap­tains, Mike Brearly, stated “The trou­ble is that Garner’s hand deliv­ers over the top of the sightscreen, which makes him impos­si­ble to sight early”, he said. “When you have one ball get­ting up chest height and another com­ing in at your toe­nails it’s jolly dif­fi­cult to sur­vive, espe­cially when you’re look­ing for quick runs as we were.”

Bar­ba­dos cer­tainly has a way of bring­ing forth out­stand­ing crick­eters, and Gar­ner cer­tainly was no excep­tion. By the time he reached sec­ondary school he was extremely famil­iar with the sport. To his advan­tage, he had Wes Hall and Char­lie Grif­fith as coaches, who were both known to be dev­as­tat­ing with the ball. Accord­ing to Gar­ner, “€œAt school we had Sey­mour Nurse and Ever­ton Weekes as the main coaches, and some­times Manny Martindale…We knew they were great play­ers and we all wanted to get as far as they’d done. It was Char­lie who made me change my action. I used to deliver with a round-arm, dou­ble swing which he said would not do at all. In a few months I was doing it the cor­rect way.”

His debut Test per­for­mance was West Indies v Pak­istan at Bridgetown, Feb 18 – 23, 1977. Here he took 25 wick­ets. Between his first Test match in 1977 and his retire­ment in 1987, Gar­ner played 58 Tests, tak­ing 259 wick­ets at an aver­age of barely above 20, mak­ing him sta­tis­ti­cally one of the most effec­tive bowlers of all time.

In the 1979 Cricket World Cup, Gar­ner crushed England’€™s hopes with a world class per­for­mance of 5 for 39– the best ever per­for­mance by a bowler in a final. Gar­ner also showed his dev­as­tat­ing traits in One Day Inter­na­tion­als. He is the only player with more than 100 ODI wick­ets to aver­age under 20, while his econ­omy rate of just over 3runs per over, and aver­age of less than 20 runs per wicket are also the best ever for any bowler who took more than 100 wickets.

In Octo­ber 2010 Gar­ner was named interim man­ager of the West Indies for the tour of Sri Lanka, and he cur­rently is the Pres­i­dent of the Bar­ba­dos Cricket Association.


Sey­mour Nurse

Bat­ting style– Right-hand batsman

Bowl­ing style– Right-arm off-break

Sey­mour Nurse was born in Bar­ba­dos on Novem­ber 10, 1933. As a young boy, Nurse excelled in both foot­ball and cricket, but was forced to aban­don his ambi­tions in foot­ball after a nasty leg injury and an admo­ni­tion from his father to leave the rough sport of foot­ball and pur­sue cricket.

His first club was Bay Street Boys’ Club in the Bar­ba­dos League, which had also seen the likes of Sir Garfield Sobers, Con­rad Hunte and Char­lie Grif­fith. His First Class debut was in 1958 for Bar­ba­dos, with the fol­low­ing year see­ing him back an astound­ing double-century against the Eng­lish tourists. This feat was described by Wis­den say­ing “Nurse, a promis­ing young bats­man, and the estab­lished Sobers, shared a third-wicket stand of 306 and paved the way for the high­est score ever made by a Colony side against M.C.C.”

It also caught the eye of West Indies offi­cials, and although he was not ini­tially called to play in the first Test, he was soon after called to play for the Caribbean team after an injury caused Wor­rell to drop out. His Test debut was in the third game of the series West Indies v Eng­land at Kingston, Feb 17 – 23 in 1960.

Between 1960 and 1966 a series of mishaps occurred. He injured his ankle from a fall dur­ing the Aus­tralian 1960tour, and in 1963 dur­ing his first tour of Eng­land he painfully pulled a mus­cle. There was also the per­vad­ing per­cep­tion, accord­ing to Wis­den, that Nurse had a “tem­pera­ment not really suit­able to the rigours of inter­na­tional cricket”. This led to him not being a per­ma­nent fix­ture in the West Indies team in the early 60s. He was also com­pet­ing for mid­dle order with other team mem­bers of enor­mous tal­ent, such as Wor­rell, Sobers, Solomon and Butcher.

The next time he appeared was in the first Test against Aus­tralia in 1965 as an open­ing part­ner to Hunte at Sabina Park. They scored dis­ap­point­edly (15 and 17) and Nurse was placed in lower order in the third Test. He also bat­ted mod­estly here, but was yet again retained for the fourth Test which took place in Bar­ba­dos at Kens­ing­ton Oval. Per­haps it was the feel of being at home, but what­ever it was, Nurse showed what his poten­tial was by scor­ing his maiden Test cen­tury– 201 runs includ­ing 30 bound­aries. This secured his spot on the West Indies team.

Nurse went on to the 1966 West Indies tour of Eng­land, where he scored a stag­ger­ing 501 runs in the Test series at an aver­age of 62.62, on both counts only sur­passed by his cap­tain, Sobers. He also dis­played power and flu­ency in his strokes evi­denced in the third Test at Trent Bridge Nurse scored 93 in the first innings from a total of only 235.

He was named Wis­den Crick­eter of the Year in 1967 after his incred­i­ble dis­play at the fourth Test at Head­in­g­ley where he scored his first cen­tury against England.

Nurse retired from his Test cricket career after the West Indies tour to Aus­tralia and New Zealand in 1968 – 69after a series of dis­heart­en­ing events– a move many felt was pre­ma­ture as he was arguably now on top of his game. This gave him a total of play­ing in 29 Tests and 141 first-class matches scor­ing 9,489 dur­ing his career.

His early retire­ment puz­zled many peo­ple, and Sey­mour defended his posi­tion say­ing “€œMy aim was always to play for Bar­ba­dos and the West Indies, and hav­ing achieved this I was sat­is­fied. Life has been good and I must say I’m happy, I played for my peo­ple and they showed me great respect”€.

He later went to man­age and coach the Bar­ba­dos team and was a Bar­ba­dos Cricket Asso­ci­a­tion board member.


Sir Con­rad Cleophas Hunte

Bat­ting style– Right-hand bat

Bowl­ing style– Right-arm medium

Born May 9, 1932 in Bar­ba­dos, Con­rad Hunte, like many black Bar­ba­di­ans around that time, grew up in poor con­di­tions. Com­ing from a fam­ily of nine, Hunte later went on to become one the great­est West Indian batsmen.

At age 12, thanks to the deter­mi­na­tion of his father to make sure he had a good edu­ca­tion, Hunte won a schol­ar­ship to attend Alleyne School, a sec­ondary school in Bar­ba­dos. It quickly became appar­ent that Hunte was cer­tainly more skilled in cricket than aca­d­e­mics. His poten­tial was spot­ted by the school’€™s games-teacher, Mr. Harley C. Cum­ber­batch, who soon placed him on the school’€™s cricket team with boys much older than him­self. To fur­ther moti­vate him, Mr. Cum­ber­batch would offer Hunte a shilling every time he made 25 runs.

He later went on to play cricket from a club, Belle­plaine Sports and Social Club, under the umbrella of the Bar­ba­dos Cricket League. At this time in Bar­ba­dos, cricket was under the umbrella of two organ­i­sa­tions– the Bar­ba­dos Cricket League (BCL) and the Bar­ba­dos Cricket Asso­ci­a­tion (BCA). The BCA was cer­tainly the more elite and pres­ti­gious of the two, whereas the BCL accom­mo­dated play­ers from poor and rural Barbados.

With the cal­i­bre of the BCA being so high, it was no won­der Hunte first attracted atten­tion when he bat­ted 137runs for the BCL in an annual match against the BCA in 1950. He was the first BCL player to make a cen­tury in this annual game.

Very soon after he impressed onlook­ers with his cen­tury, he was selected to make his First Class debut for the Bar­ba­dos team against Trinidad and Tobago on home grounds at Kens­ing­ton Oval in 1950. He was a mere eigh­teen years of age. Here he scored 78 runs (63 and 15), which helped him make the tran­si­tion from the BCL to a club, Empire Cricket Club, under the BCA.

Hunte’s cricket career slowed down a bit, and he made a move to Eng­land in 1956 with the hopes of land­ing a pro­fes­sional con­tract in Eng­lish league cricket. He was suc­cess­ful as he soon signed to Ley­land Motors Cricket Club in the North­ern League in 1956, and in the fol­low­ing year he signed to Enfield Cricket Club in the Lan­cashire League. It seems that he had found a good match in Enfield, as he stayed with them for six sea­sons (1957−1962), some­thing that rarely occurred as league pro­fes­sion­als usu­ally go from club to club. In 1959 he had even set a club record for the most runs scored in one season.

Hunte’€™s debut Test with the West Indies came a lit­tle later than expected and had a telegram not gone astray he would ha€™ve debuted in 1957. How­ever, his debut occurred not too long after in 1958 against Pak­istan dur­ing their tour of the West Indies. He was 25 years of age.

Dur­ing this match he opened with Rohan Kan­hai and made 142 runs in his first innings. In the third Test of the same series he made 260, includ­ing a spec­tac­u­lar part­ner­ship of 446 with Garfield Sobers, which was then the second-highest part­ner­ship in his­tory. In the fourth Test of the series, Hunte made another cen­tury. He fin­ished his debut series with 622 runs at an aver­age of 77.75, and the West Indies won the series 3 – 1.

In 1964, because of his strong per­for­mance in the West Indies’ series win in Eng­land in 1963, he was one of the Wis­den Crick­eters of the Year. This series saw him score two cen­turies– 182 in the first innings of the sum­mer as West Indies won by 10 wick­ets and 108 not out as the West Indies won by eight wick­ets. The West Indies won the series 3 – 1.

After this tour of Eng­land Frank Wor­rell, the West Indies Team cap­tain, retired and was replaced by Garfield Sobers. This move was a dis­ap­point­ment for Hunte, who had hoped to be selected for cap­taincy. He how­ever con­tin­ued to play for the team, with noted per­for­mances such as the 1965 Aus­tralia series where he scored a total of 550 runs. This held the record of the high­est series aggre­gate with­out a cen­tury up until 1993.

A life-changing moment for Hunte occurred in 1961, when on the West Indies’ tour of Aus­tralia he saw the film The Crown­ing Expe­ri­ence, about the life of the black Amer­i­can edu­ca­tor Mary McLeod Bethune. This film was pro­moted by Moral Re-Armament (MRA), a multi-faith organ­i­sa­tion pro­mot­ing absolute moral and eth­i­cal stan­dards of behav­iour. There­after he devoted the rest of his life to coach­ing and reli­gious work. Accord­ing to Peter Short, chair­man of the West Indies Board dur­ing much of Hunte’s career, “Many peo­ple talk about Chris­tian­ity. Con­rad Hunte lives it”.

Hunte retired from cricket in 1967 to work full time for the MRA, which has made a pro­found impact on his life. In his bid to improve race rela­tions around the world, in 1991 Hunte offered his coach­ing ser­vices in South Africa to help develop cricket in the black town­ships and pro­mote rec­on­cil­i­a­tion between the races, as the coun­try was now com­ing out of the Apartheid. He worked as National Devel­op­ment Coach for seven years. He has been quoted speak­ing of this sit­u­a­tion say­ing “The United Cricket Board faces two ten­sions, the first being the high expec­ta­tion of the pop­u­la­tion who want more black play­ers in the national team. The other prob­lem is that although the devel­op­ment pro­gramme has been going on for 15 years, it takes at least three gen­er­a­tions to pro­duce super­stars. We have to have black play­ers at the top level but they have to be qual­i­fied to be there”.

Hunte was later con­ferred the high­est hon­our in Bar­ba­dos in 1998– a Knight of St. Andrew (KA) of the Order of Bar­ba­dos. He was elected to the pres­i­dency of the Bar­ba­dos Cricket Asso­ci­a­tion, with plans to revive cricket in the coun­try, but he died two months later of a heart attack play­ing ten­nis, while in Aus­tralia to speak at a con­fer­ence of the MRA.


Mal­colm Den­zil Marshall

Bat­ting style– Right-hand bat

Bowl­ing style– Right-arm fast

Mal­colm Mar­shall was with­out a doubt on of the finest, if not the finest, fast bowler at Test level cricket has ever seen, despite his ‘€˜short’€™ stature at 5 feet 11 inches. He was one of the stars of the West Indies team who dom­i­nated inter­na­tional cricket for more than a decade from the mid-1970s.

Born April 18 1958, Mar­shall made his First Class debut for Bar­ba­dos against Jamaica in Feb­ru­ary 1978. One the heels on this debut later down the year, he made his West Indies Test debut at M Chin­naswamy Sta­dium, Ban­ga­lore against India on Decem­ber 15, 1978. He played in three Tests on this India tour, tak­ing 37 wick­ets in all first-class games. He also learnt to swing the ball while on tour.

The Hamp­shire County Cricket Club had seen enough of Mar­shall to enlist him for the 1979 World Cup. He remained with this team until 1993. One of his notable feats for the club was in 1982 when he took 134 wick­ets for Hamp­shire in a 22-match championship.

His stel­lar 1982 per­for­mance made him a fix­ture in West Indies Test cricket from 1982 – 1986. In the 198384 match against India, he took 33 wick­ets, aver­aged 34 with the bat and made his high­est Test score of 92. Notably, he turned down an offer of US$1 mil­lion to join a rebel West Indies team on a tour to South Africa, a coun­try still suf­fer­ing inter­na­tional sport­ing iso­la­tion due to apartheid.

Marshall’€™s career-best took place in 1988 at Old Traf­ford when he per­formed 7 – 22 and ended the series with 35wick­ets in five Tests, at 12.65.

At the age of 33 in 1991, Mal­colm Mar­shall retired from Test cricket after the Eng­land Vs West Indies, 5th Test at The Oval, Lon­don, 1991. He retired from county cricket two years later, and became coach to the West Indies’ team, a posi­tion he had to retire from when his ill­ness was first diag­nosed. This ill­ness, colon can­cer, was first diag­nosed just before the start of the World Cup in 1999. He had had an abdom­i­nal oper­a­tion and announced that he was hop­ing to return. How­ever, he passed away later down the year on Novem­ber 4 1999.

Mal­colm Mar­shall will always be remem­bered in crick­et­ing his­tory for his for­mi­da­ble bowl­ing skills. Pak­istan cap­tain, Wasim Akram, described him as “One of the clever­est fast bowlers in cricket. His skills were to pick the mis­takes of bats­men straight away and pick their weak­nesses. He was a nice fel­low off the field but a fierce com­peti­tor on it.” Peter Short, the for­mer West Indies Cricket Asso­ci­a­tion Pres­i­dent also inputted about Mar­shall, “Mal­colm was one of the world’s great­est fast bowlers, a great thinker and a well-balanced indi­vid­ual who gave his best whether bat­ting or bowling”.


Sir Clyde Leopold Walcott

Bat­ting style– Right-hand bat

Bowl­ing style– Right-arm fast-medium

Field­ing posi­tion– Wick­et­keeper

One of the famous 3Ws, a name coined for three West Indian bats­men from Bar­ba­dos who dom­i­nated West Indies Cricket in the 1950s, Clyde Wal­cott was born Jan­u­ary 17, 1926 and went on to become one of cricket’s finest bats­men. The other ‘€˜Ws’€™ are Sir Frank Wor­rell and Sir Ever­ton Weekes. Inter­est­ingly, they were all born within a short dis­tance of each other in Bridgetown, Bar­ba­dos and they all made their Test cricket debut against Eng­land in 1948.

Wal­cott made his First Class debut for Bar­ba­dos in 1942 in Trinidad on his 16th birth­day. Three years later he scored a stag­ger­ing 314 not out for Bar­ba­dos against Trinidad in 1945, as part of a bat­ting part­ner­ship with school friend and fel­low 3W leg­end, Frank Wor­rell. Wal­cott and Wor­rell had a com­bined total of 574, a then world record for any part­ner­ship in first-class cricket. Dur­ing the period of 1942 – 1948, Wal­cott had no reg­u­lar place in the order when play­ing for Bar­ba­dos, and was seen as an all-rounder, a wicket-keeper batsman.

His West Indies Test debut came in Jan­u­ary 1948 against Eng­land in Bridgetown, and he went on to help the West Indies with their first Test vic­tory against with his unbeaten 168 in the sec­ond innings of the 2nd Test at Lord’s Cricket Ground. He also scored a cen­tury in both innings of two Tests in the series against Aus­tralia in 1955, when he became the first bats­man to score five cen­turies in a sin­gle Test series, totalling 827 runs from 10 innings. How­ever, despite that stag­ger­ing aggre­gate, the Aus­tralians still won the series.

Clyde Wal­cott, although a com­mend­able wicket-keeper, was first and fore­most a bats­man, and despite his bulky form, he was, accord­ing to Mar­tin Chan­dler at, “€œremark­ably light on his feet for a man of his build. He also, again unusu­ally for a tall man, was a pun­ish­ing hooker and puller”€.

For­mer Eng­land all-rounder, Trevor Bai­ley, also wrote of him in 1968 “€œClyde Walcott’s bat­ting was in keep­ing with his build, mas­sive and pow­er­ful .…..He had the abil­ity to hit good length deliv­er­ies with aston­ish­ing feroc­ity using a straight bat off both front and back foot. Drop the ball just a frac­tion short and back it would come so hard that, unless the bowler or fielder were unlucky enough to be in the way, it was inevitably a bound­ary. Exactly the same thing hap­pened if the ball was slightly over-pitched, except that then Clyde would belt it off his front foot”.

In 1951 he went on to play for Enfield in the Lan­cashire Leagues up to 1954. In 1954 he made a move to George­town in Guyana (then British Guiana) to be the cricket coach for the British Guiana Sugar Pro­duc­ers’ Asso­ci­a­tion. His role was to develop cricket in a coun­try that had always been con­sid­ered to be the weak­est of the Caribbean nations. He also played first-class cricket for the coun­try, and by 1956 he was cap­tain­ing the side.

The year 1958 saw him play for the West Indies against Pak­istan, where scored his fif­teenth and final Test cen­tury and also recorded his high­est series aver­age, 96. He had played four out of the five Tests as a result of a return of an old back injury. He had ini­tially retired after this Test series, but was con­vinced to return to play the last two Tests in 195960 when Eng­land vis­ited the Caribbean again. The Eng­lish were deter­mined to finally win a series in the Caribbean. He was per­suaded after promises to be paid as a pro­fes­sional as he had been treated as an ama­teur in the Test series against Pakistan.

How­ever, both Tests were drawn and Eng­land emerged finally vic­to­ri­ous in the Caribbean after thirty years of try­ing. Wal­cott sub­se­quently retired after this Test series in 1960, and from First Class cricket in 1964. He had played in 146 first-class matches, scor­ing 11,820 runs and aver­ag­ing 56.58 in his 44 Tests. He scored 40 cen­turies, with his high­est score being 314. He was named Wis­den Crick­eter of the Year in 1958, and Indian Cricket Crick­eter of the Year in 194849.

He later went on to become heav­ily involved in cricket admin­is­tra­tion, man­aged and coached var­i­ous cricket teams and was also a cricket com­men­ta­tor. Other notable achieve­ments were Pres­i­dent of the Guyana Cricket Board of Con­trol from 1968 to 1970, a vice-president of the Bar­ba­dos Cricket Asso­ci­a­tion, Chair­man of the West Indies selec­tors from 1973 to 1988, and he man­aged the West Indies teams that won the Cricket World Cup in 1975 and 1979, and also in 1987. He was also Pres­i­dent of the West Indies Cricket Board from 1988 to 1993, awarded the Bar­ba­dos Gold Crown of Merit in 1991, and became a Knight of St Andrew in the Order of Bar­ba­dos in 1993.

He ended his career at the ICC. He was an Inter­na­tional Cricket Coun­cil match ref­eree in three matches in 1992, and became chair­man of the Inter­na­tional Cricket Coun­cil from 1993, the first non-English per­son and the first black man to hold the posi­tion. He was knighted for ser­vices to cricket in 1994. Sir Clyde Wal­cott passed away August 26, 2006, but not after for­ever etch­ing his name in his­tory as a leg­end in cricket. He is also fea­tured in the 3Ws Mon­u­ment, a mon­u­ment ded­i­cated to the mem­ory of 3Ws — Sir Frank Wor­rell, Sir Clyde Wal­cott and Sir Ever­ton Weekes.


Char­lie Christo­pher Griffith

Bat­ting style– Right-hand bat

Bowl­ing style– Right-arm fast

Born Decem­ber 14 1938 in Bar­ba­dos, Char­lie Grif­fith went on to become one of the most fear­somely effec­tive fast bowlers cricket has ever seen.

He started play­ing cricket at a young age and started as a wicket-keeper-batsman. After spend­ing two years with the Crick­land Cricket Club, he joined Wind­sor where he played as an off-spin bowler. How­ever, it was when he joined Lan­cashire that he honed his skill as a fast bowler dur­ing one game, fin­ish­ing with fig­ures of 7 for 1. In his first sea­son with Lan­cashire, at just 19, he claimed seventy-three wick­ets, includ­ing a spec­tac­u­lar hat-trick. The next club he joined was Empire, and it was dur­ing his first sea­son that he came to the atten­tion of the Bar­ba­dian selectors.

Grif­fith made his First Class debut for Bar­ba­dos against the Maryle­bone Cricket Club in 1959 at 21 years. He impressed onlook­ers when in the space of two overs he had dis­missed sea­soned Eng­lish play­ers Colin Cow­drey, Mike Smith and Peter May. He wasn’t done yet. The next day saw him take down Ken Bar­ring­ton, Smith again, and Ted Dexter.

Dur­ing the 1960s Grif­fith formed a for­mi­da­ble fast bowl­ing part­ner­ship with fel­low Bar­ba­dian, Wes Hall, and the dynamic duo shared an open­ing attack which ranks now as one of the finest and fastest of all time.

There was an unhappy event in his career where in March 1962, at a match between Bar­ba­dos and the tour­ing Indi­ans, a deliv­ery from Grif­fith hit Nari Contractor’s tem­ple, crack­ing his skull. For­tu­nately Con­trac­tor sur­vived the blow, but the injury cer­tainly ended his inter­na­tional career. Not sur­pris­ingly, this is not an event Grif­fith likes to bring up. Later in this same match, Grif­fith was no balled as a thrower for the first and only time in his life.

Grif­fith was surely a for­mi­da­ble bowler, and Wis­den describes him as “€œa deter­mined man who regards the occa­sional bouncer as a legit­i­mate weapon of the pace bowler’s armoury and uses it not to intim­i­date bats­men but to dis­miss them”€.

His West Indies Test debut was against Eng­land in Port of Spain 1960, after just one first-class match, and it was not until the fifth Test of the series that he won inter­na­tional recog­ni­tion and shared the new ball with Hall, the bowler he con­sid­ers the best and fastest in cricket today. He had to wait until the tour of Eng­land in 1963 to play with the West Indies again.

On this Eng­lish tour, Grif­fith was an early suc­cess with eight for 23 and five for 35 against Glouces­ter­shire at Bris­tol and five for 37 against the Cham­pi­ons at Mid­dles­brough– feats that made him an auto­matic choice for the Tests. His deadly yorker stumped many an Eng­lish bats­man, and he fin­ished the tour with 37 more wick­ets than Sobers, the next most suc­cess­ful West Indian bowler. In 1964, Grif­fith was sub­se­quently named one of Wisden’s Crick­eters of the Year.

After his play­ing days were over, Char­lie Grif­fith later served as an admin­is­tra­tor on the Bar­ba­dos Cricket Association’s Board of Man­age­ment and was also a West Indies Cricket Board member.


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