Frank Worrell

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Sir Frank Worrell
Frank Worrell cropped.jpg
Personal information
Full name Frank Mortimer Maglinne Worrell
Born (1924-08-01)1 August 1924
Saint Michael, Barbados
Died 13 March 1967(1967-03-13) (aged 42)
Kingston, Jamaica
Batting style Right-handed
Bowling style Slow left arm orthodox
Left arm medium
Relations Larry Worrell (cousin)
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 61) 11 February 1948 v England
Last Test 26 August 1963 v England
Domestic team information
Years Team
1941–1947 Barbados
1947–1964 Jamaica
Career statistics
Competition Test First-class
Matches 51 208
Runs scored 3,860 15,025
Batting average 49.48 54.24
100s/50s 9/22 39/80
Top score 261 308*
Balls bowled 7,141 26,979
Wickets 69 349
Bowling average 38.72 28.98
5 wickets in innings 2 13
10 wickets in match 0 0
Best bowling 7/70 7/70
Catches/stumpings 43/– 139/–
Source: CricketArchive, 8 January 2009

Sir Frank Mortimer Maglinne Worrell (1 August 1924, Bank Hall, St Michael, Barbados – 13 March 1967, Kingston, Jamaica), sometimes referred to by his nickname of Tae, was a West Indies cricketer and Jamaican senator. A stylish right-handed batsman and useful left-arm seam bowler, he became famous in the 1950s as the first black captain of the West Indies cricket team. He was the first of the two batsmen to have been involved in two 500-run partnerships in first-class cricket.[1]

Career[edit]

By 1947 his mother had moved to New York and his father was away at sea most of the time so Worrell moved to Jamaica.

As a player for West Indies, Worrell made his debut in 1947–48 versus the England team of Gubby Allen. Following this series he took up residence in Lancashire, England to play for Radcliffe in the Central Lancashire League and to read economics at Manchester University. He made his highest Test score of 261 against England at Trent Bridge in 1950, and was a Wisden Cricketer of the Year for 1951.

Following a successful campaign led by C. L. R. James, who was then editor of The Nation in Trinidad, the period of white Test captaincy in the West Indies came to an end. Worrell became the first black cricketer to captain the West Indies cricket team for an entire series, thus breaking the colour barriers then found in West Indian cricket.[2] He led the side on two particularly notable tours. The first was to Australia in 1960–61. Both Worrell and his opposing captain, Richie Benaud, encouraged their teams to play attacking cricket. The first Test of the series ended in a dramatic tie. Though West Indies lost the series 2-1, with one draw in addition to the tie, they took much credit for contributing to the series. Such was their performance and conduct on Australian soil that they were given a large ticker-tape parade in Australia at the end of their tour.

On 3 February 1962, Nari Contractor, the captain of the touring Indian team, received a career-ending head injury from a bouncer bowled by West Indies fast bowler Charlie Griffith.[3] Worrell was the first player from both sides to donate blood to the injured Contractor, which saved his life. In 1963, West Indies toured England. They were again popular, and this time they also won the series, 3-1.[4][5]

Worrell retired after the West Indies-England series. When he left professional cricket, he became Warden of Irvine Hall at the University of the West Indies, and was appointed to the Jamaican Senate by Sir Alexander Bustamante. He strongly supported a closer political union between the nations of the Caribbean. He was knighted for his services to cricket in 1964.

left to right: Ray Lindwall, Australian Prime Minister Robert Menzies, Lindsay Hassett, Frank Worrell.

Worrell managed the West Indies during the 1964–65 visit by Australia, and accompanied the team to India in the winter of 1966–67. It was while in India that he was diagnosed with leukaemia. He died at the age of 42, a month after returning to Jamaica. A memorial service was held in his honour in Westminster Abbey, the first time such an honour was granted to a sportsman.

Legacy[edit]

Since the 1960–61 series, the Frank Worrell Trophy has been awarded to the winner of the Test series between Australia and West Indies.[6]

One of the two Halls of Residence at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Cave Hill Campus in Barbados, is named after him.

The Sir Frank Worrell Memorial Ground, also or formerly known as University of West Indies Ground, is a cricket stadium in Saint Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago.[7]

Caribbean journalist Ernest Eytle (born Guyana 1918) wrote a biography of Worrell entitled Frank Worrell: The Career of a Great Cricketer in 1963.

In June 1988 Worrell was celebrated on the $2 Barbadian stamp alongside the Barbados Cricket Buckle.

In 1993, the annual Sir Frank Worrell Memorial Lecture was instituted at UWI Cave Hill by Professor Hilary Beckles,[8] the inaugural lecture, entitled "Sir Frank and the rise of West Indies cricket", being delivered by Michael Manley in 1994.[9]

In March 2002, "to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Central Bank of Barbados" a limited-edition $5 banknote bearing Worrell's likeness was issued.[10]

In 2007, the Sir Frank Worrell Memorial Committee was founded to mark the 40th anniversary of his death (which coincided with the opening match - West Indies vs Pakistan, Sabina Park, Jamaica - of the ICC Cricket World Cup in the West Indies). In 2009, the Sir Frank Worrell Memorial Blood Drive was begun in Trinidad and Tobago, inaugurated by the 74-year-old Nari Contractor,[11] to whom Worrell had donated blood after his head injury in 1962.[12] In remembrance of this act, the Cricket Association of Bengal organises a blood donation drive on this day every year[13] and the day is commemorated as Sir Frank Worrell Day in the state of West Bengal in India.

See also[edit]

Frank Worrell's career performance graph.

References[edit]

  1. ^ 500-run partnerships.
  2. ^ Potted biography of James, including his part in getting Worrell made captain
  3. ^ Contractor has said: "It was as Griffith was to deliver the fourth ball of his second over that somebody opened a window in the pavilion. There were no sight screen at that time and my 100 per cent concentration wasn’t on that delivery. I saw it just inches away before it hit me. But it isn’t true that I ducked.” Quoted in Arzan Sam Wadia, "Nari Contractor: ‘I don’t mind living it all over again’", Parsi Khabar, 7 March 2009.
  4. ^ Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, 1962 edition, "West Indies in Australia, 1960–61"
  5. ^ Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, 1964 edition, "West Indies in England, 1963"
  6. ^ Report announcing the Frank Worrell Trophy, Glasgow Herald, 10 February 1961.
  7. ^ "West Indies / Grounds: Sir Frank Worrell Memorial Ground". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 19 December 2012. 
  8. ^ Boria Majumdar, J. A. Mangan (eds), Cricketing Cultures in Conflict: World Cup 2003, Routledge, 2004, p. 97.
  9. ^ Hilary McD. Beckles, The Development of West Indies Cricket, Vol. 1: The Age of Globalization, Pluto Press, 1998, p. 51.
  10. ^ "Barbados 30th anniversary 5-dollar commemorative confirmed", Banknote News, 6 March 2011; quoting Marion Williams, Governor, 20 March 2002.
  11. ^ Clayton Murzello, "50 years on, Nari recalls near fatal blow", Mid-Day, 20 March 2012.
  12. ^ A. C. de Silva, "Frank Worrell donated blood to save Indian Nari Contractor's life", Sunday Observer (Sri Lanka), 3 January 2010.
  13. ^ "Ali Bacher signatory for CAB blood donation camp", The Indian Express, 30 January 2010.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Gerry Alexander
West Indies Test cricket captains
1960/1 - 1963
Succeeded by
Garfield Sobers