Everton Weekes: Approaching yet another hundred


A short, compact man with amazing artillery of strokes, he used to time the ball to perfection. He also had wonderful eyes and wrists. Blessed with the gift of getting into the ideal position for each stroke, he seemed to have several options for each ball — most of them attacking.

Richie Benaud later recounted that according to many Australians who saw him bat, Everton Weekes was the closest in style to pre-World War II Don Bradman. When he called it a day, he was considered by many to be the most accomplished batsman amongst the hallowed trio — Clyde Walcott and Frank Worrell being the other two — aptly named the Three Ws.

Weekes created history by notching up five Test centuries on the trot. When a murky run out decision ended his innings in the course of a huge total, Weekes walked back ten short of what would have been his sixth consecutive hundred. West Indies won by an innings to take the lead in the series and the newspaper reports ran: “Weekes finally fails — out for 90.”

Today, Everton Weekes is approaching yet another hundred. And he is living it up.

Two years ago, cricket bookseller John McKenzie published the last book of Tony Cozier, named simply: Everton Weekes: An Appreciation. McKenzie recalls meeting Weekes in Barbados: "When I was in Barbados I called him to say that I would come and see him. He immediately offered to drive down to my hotel instead. The man is 92, but he drove down, got off his car and walked into the hotel. Still sprightly."

Weekes is in fine form as he celebrates his 94th birthday on February 26.

Text: Arunabha Sengupta

Illustration: Maha