Sunday, April 21, 2024

The stars of February


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Richard Hoad

Sir Everton Weekes, Desmond Haynes and Robin Bynoe have at least two things in common.

They have all played for the West Indies and are all February born men.

Haynes celebrated his 63rd birthday on February 16, Bynoe turns 78 tomorrow and Sir Everton will be 94 on Tuesday.

Bynoe had a brief international career, playing just four Tests, all on the Asian subcontinent, but there was no doubting his ability. He was certainly one of the best opening batsmen in the Caribbean in the 1960s and early 1970s, scoring heavily for Barbados in the Shell Shield with a career-best 190 off Trinidad and Tobago in 1972.

No Barbadian has played as much Test cricket as Haynes, who was capped 116 times. Haynes is the first player in history to bat through an innings three times.

Haynes is also the only Barbadian to score a One-Day International hundred at Kensington Oval. His 116 against New Zealand in 1985 was the very first one-day ton on the ground.

To date, 21 one-day hundreds have


Mike King



been scored at Kensington Oval and ten have been scored for the West Indies. Haynes has two, the second of which was a knock of 117 off India in 1989.

Apart from Don Bradman, Everton Weekes is the only batsman who reached a runs-per-Test value of 100.0 in his career. Weekes went past 100.0 in six Tests between his 31st and 38th.

In 48 Tests between 1948 and 1958, he was one of the most exciting batsmen in the game at a time when West Indies were first established as a potent and positive force in the world game. Richie Benaud, who had six Tests for Australia against Weekes, said simply that “he set out to hammer bowlers”.

Weekes’ average of 58.61 is second only to the great George Headley’s 60.83 in the galaxy of West Indies batting stars.

He was 33 when he retired from Tests. His 197 at Kensington Oval in the first match of the home series against Pakistan in 1958 was his only hundred on the ground he had known since he was a boy.

Weekes, Haynes and Bynoe are among several outstanding Barbadian sportsmen with birthdays this month.

This country’s most acclaimed boxer, Tyrone Downes; former Olympic athlete Victor Houston; top netballers Marva Sealy, Harriett Banfield and Anna Shepherd; footballer/table tennis player Dale Rudder; and basketballer Oliver Nicholas are all celebrating birthdays on Sunday.

Born and raised in the rural parish of St Joseph, Downes was a quick twofisted puncher who dominated the local professional ranks in the 1970s before moving to Trinidad and Tobago and establishing himself as a worldclass featherweight.

Downes turned professional a week away from his 18th birthday after just two amateur fights, both of which he lost to Trevor Evelyn at the YMCA.

Sealy, deemed by many to be the best and most dynamic centre court player this country has produced, was a household name in Barbados in the 1970s. She was the star player for the Bayland-based Banks Spurs and the driving force of the Barbados team that took part in the 1979 World Championships in Trinidad and Tobago.

Banfield, one of several sisters from the Bayland to make the Barbados team, was one of the top goal attacks in the country in the 1980s, making her debut at the Caribbean Championships in St Lucia in 1986 while the imposing Shepherd made a name firstly as a tough defender and then as a long-serving national coach.

Netball star Marva Sealy is celebrating anbotyherRm iiclehstaonred. (FPH)

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