Bridgetown, Barbados, July 4 - (www.bcacricket.org) - Batting legend Sir Everton Weekes has been hailed as “a great player and tremendous person” by his former Barbados and West Indies teammate and the world’s greatest ever all-rounder, Sir Garfield Sobers.
In interviews with the local Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) radio and Sportstar of India, Sir Garfield spoke of his friendship with Sir Everton, who died at the age of 95 on Wednesday at his home in Chancery Lane, Christ Church following a lengthy illness.
“He was certainly a great player and a wonderful person. He helped West Indies and world cricket tremendously,” Sobers told Sportstar.
Sobers, who celebrates his 84th birthday on July 28, played 19 of his 93 Tests with Weekes, who was one of the famous 3Ws - the others were Barbadians as well, Sir Frank Worrell and Sir Clyde Walcott, who both predeceased him.
In 48 Test matches between January 21, 1948 and March 31, 1958, Weekes scored 4455 runs including 15 centuries and 19 half-centuries, at an average of 58.61. His highest score was 207. He also took 49 catches.
Weekes played 152 first-class matches, amassing 12010 runs with 36 hundreds and 54 half-centuries including a highest of 304 (ave: 55.34).
“I spent time with him as a young boy growing up… I always found him a very tremendous person to be with,” Sobers told CBC Sports.
“He knew his cricket well and he helped a lot of people. Seymour Nurse, Charlie Griffith worked with him when he was coaching and they learnt a lot from him. He helped them tremendously in their own game.”
Both Nurse, an elegant batsman, who died in May last year at the age of 85 and former fearsome fast bowler Griffith (now Sir Charles; aged 81), like Sir Everton played for the famous Empire Club in Bank Hall before representing Barbados and West Indies.
Sobers also pointed out that Sir Everton was a no-nonsense man.
“He was always a person that you can talk to. If he had to tell you where to get off, he would tell you where to get off. He was that kind of person,” Sobers told CBC Sports.
“I always found him to be a very, very pleasant person. A person you enjoyed being with. I played dominoes with him and he and I got on very well for many years. He is obviously going to be missed. His contribution to cricket in general and West Indies cricket was tremendous.”
In the interview with Sportstar, Sobers remarked: “He did a tremendous job with Barbados in terms of coaching, bringing out youngsters and getting them into West Indies cricket…” .
“Even in these times, he was always willing to talk (about cricket) and was always the first one to help out people. He was a great man, who will be missed a lot by a lot of people.
“I played with Everton in my early days, but not a tremendous amount of cricket. When I went in at the age of 16-17, Everton was getting down a bit then. He was practically getting ready to… (even though) he played about a few years after that (Weekes played his last Test against Pakistan in 1958). So, I did not have the opportunity of playing a lot with him,” Sobers said.