West Indies cricket legend Sir Everton Weekes passes away at 95
Sir Everton Weekes, the legendary West Indies batsman, has tragically passed away at the age of 95 in Barbados.
Considered to be one of the finest batsmen to ever play the game, Weekes was the last living member of the famed West Indies 'Three Ws' that additionally comprised of Sir Clyde Walcott and Sir Frank Worrell.
The trio formed the cornerstone of a formidable West Indies batting lineup that terrorised oppositions across their reign in world cricket.
Weekes made his Test debut in 1948 against England at the age of 23 and later went on to witness an illustrious career with the bat.
Although short in stature, Weekes' textbook technique and nimble footwork allowed him to dominate the bowlers at will as his rich form rarely stumbled.
His astonishing numbers in Test cricket make for impressive reading as he averaged a towering 58.61 from 48 games.
He made 15 centuries throughout his career but the extraordinary consistency of his run-spree is captured by his record five hundreds in a row - he sadly missed out on a sixth when a contentious run-out dismissal in Madras left him 10 short of the triple-figure mark.
Weekes' impact on cricket in the Caribbean and his glorious strokeplay is summarised in this quote from former West Indies captain Jeffrey Stollmeyer, who described him as "a five foot six inch bundle of muscle".
"There was no nonsense about Weekes, no tomfoolery. Once on the job, he was purposeful. His business was to score runs," said Stollmeyer.
"Playing strokes was the game he knew and loved best, and unless circumstances warranted discretion, Weekes would produce his smashing square cut, slashing cover drive, resounding hook and forceful on-drive for all to see and enjoy."
One of the many enthralling knocks produced during Weekes' career was his outstanding partnership with Sir Garfield Sobers at Lord's in the tour of England in 1957.
West Indies were staring at a humiliating defeat when Weekes joined Sobers in the second innings and shellacked the England bowling attack featuring the likes of Fred Trueman, Brian Statham and Trevor Bailey.
Despite copping a severe blow to his finger, Weekes battled it out in the middle for three hours and departed for a glamorous 90 laced with 16 boundaries.
This was one of the last of his memorable performances at the highest level as he bowed out of the international arena prematurely owing to troubles with a persistent thigh niggle.
Weekes went on to serve in an administrative capacity in the International Cricket Council and also officiated a few Tests and ODIs as a match referee.
"Our hearts are heavy as we mourn the loss of an icon. A legend, our hero, Sir Everton Weekes," tweeted Cricket West Indies as tributes poured in from the cricket fraternity.
"Our condolences go out to his family, friends and many fans around the world. May he rest in peace."