By Neto Baptiste
Iconic West Indies captain and one of two living national heroes in Antigua and Barbuda, Sir Vivian Richards, has labelled former great Sir Everton Weekes as someone who had a vast knowledge of cricket, adding that he paved the way for others like himself to excel.
“With all the stuff we see going on today, with our colour as people, and the fact that we’re hated by so many races around the world, these guys went to places like Australia, England and I know it [racism] wasn’t any better then so we have to take our hats off to these guys and give them all of the praise they can be.
“They would have laid the foundation for us as individuals and that’s the way I would have looked at it in terms of the history and these are the people who would have laid that foundation and all the stuff they would have went through; we were the ones who benefitted,” he said.
Sir Everton, a former Barbados and West Indies batsman, died on Wednesday this week aged 95 after being ill for several months.
The legendary batsman began his international career against England on January 21 1948, and would go on to enjoy a career spanning 48 Tests in 20 years of service to the regional side.
“I remember the times that we did spend together when we had the Stanford T20 tournament that was held here and apparently he was one of the members of the board and whenever you were in his company, this guy was so clever with words that you would glue on to everything he said.
“Everything that came out of his mouth was of so much use to you in the future. I know he is going to be sadly missed and not just from the cricketing fraternity but his homeland Barbados where he was so revered,” Sir Viv said.
The Antiguan, one of four knighted cricketers here, sent his sympathies to the Weekes family.
“Condolences to the Weekes family, David his son who I knew well, we roomed together on many occasions on tour so I know he will be greatly missed and I can only say now that he was such a wonderful individual, down to earth,” he said.
“I am feeling the loss; it’s another member who would have worn the maroon proudly that we would have lost.
Let’s hope the younger individuals get an understanding who people like Sir Everton Weekes were and things like that in terms of the contributions they would have made to prepare the way for them and the future,” he added.
Sir Everton boasted a remarkable average of 58.61, scored 15 centuries and 19 half-centuries with a highest score of 207.