Sir Everton Weekes, the last member of the legendary Three Ws, has died at the age of 95.
Alongside Sir Clyde Walcott and Sir Frank Worrell, Weekes formed a formidable batting unit in the West Indies team. All three were born within a couple of miles of one another – rumour has it they were delivered by the same midwife – within 18 months in Barbados between August 1924 and January 1926, and all made their Test debuts within three weeks in early 1948.
While all went on to enjoy outstanding careers – Worrell became West Indies’ first black captain and was later a senator in Jamaica, while Walcott averaged 56.68 in Test cricket and later became the first non-white chair of the ICC – Weekes was, arguably, the best batsman of the three.
At one stage, between March and December 1948, he registered five successive Test centuries and insisted that, but for an umpiring error when he was adjudged run-out for 90, it would have been six. 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.
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.
Weekes played the last of his 48 Tests against Pakistan in 1958 – the same series in which Sir Garfield Sobers posted his then world-record 365 not out – and in 1995 he became the last of the three Ws to receive a knighthood.
He 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.
“Our hearts are heavy as we mourn the loss of an icon,” said Cricket West Indies in a tribute. “A legend, our hero. Our condolences go out to his family, friends and many fans around the world.”
“I’d like to add my public recognition of Sir Everton’s amazing legacy,” said Ricky Skerritt, the president of CWI. “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.”
England Cricket, who take on West Indies in next week’s first Test at the Ageas Bowl, added its own tribute in a Twitter post: “A true great of the game. Our thoughts and condolences go out to Sir Everton Weekes’ family and friends.”
Weekes had been taken into intensive care in June 2019 after suffering a heart attack. (ESPNCricinfo)