Obituary: Ken Weekes

KEN "BAM BAM" WEEKES made his name in the last series before the Second World War, the 1939 tour of West Indies to England. He was a left- handed bat and wicket-keeper, broad-chested and hawk-eyed, a prodigious hitter who had first appeared for Jamaica in 1938 and who won his touring place as much because he made a useful deputy for the first-choice keeper Ivan Barrow.

In those days England regarded matches against the West Indies as an opportunity to experiment, rather as England regarded Chile in the football match at Wembley the week before last.

Weekes was among four West Indians who made their debuts in the first Test, over three days at Lord's, while England named such fringe players as Arthur Wood and Harold Gimblett and gave a first cap to the Derbyshire fast bowler Bill Copson.

Weekes scored 20 and 16, not enough in a flaky order that was over-dependent upon George Headley, to keep his place. Headley became the first player to score a century in each innings of a Lord's Test yet his team lost by eight wickets after Hutton and Compton had added 248 for the fourth England wicket in not much more than two hours.

Weekes thus missed the Manchester Test, which was drawn, but, having scored 146 against Surrey at the Oval he was recalled for the last Test, at the Surrey ground.

Walter Keeton, of Nottinghamshire, another England experiment, had the misfortune to be bowled first ball, by Tyrell Johnson, but England's score of 352 was looking handsome when West Indies slumped to 164-4.

Weekes appeared, nervously, but 11 in one over from Reg Perks, another trialist, settled his eye. With Vic Stollmeger he added 163 in 156 minutes, 50 runs came off the first four overs of the new ball, Perks being hit for another 21 in one over, high into the deep. West Indies drew the match, Weekes never played in Test cricket again, thus retiring with with a dazzling batting average of 57.

His career average, playing his last game for Jamaica in 1948, was a more realistic but neverthless worthy 40. He afterwards returned to his native United States and spent his later days working in New York. Weekes paid little attention to the coaching manual and his stance was once described bg Douglas Jardine as "insolent".

He was born in America, of a Barbadian father and Jamaican mother and had he arrived 80 years later, a southpaw batter of such prowess, Ken Weekes would have signed for the Yankees and died a multi- millionaire.

Derek Hodgson

Kenneth Hunnell Weekes, cricketer: born 24 January 1912; married (six children); died New York 9 February 1998.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: IT Support Engineer - Growing Law firm

£35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A reputable law firm based in central London ...

Ashdown Group: Part time Network Support Analyst / Windows Systems Administrat

£30 per hour: Ashdown Group: An industry leading and well established business...

The Jenrick Group: Controls Engineer

Negotiable: The Jenrick Group: A Controls Engineer is urgently required for a ...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Manager

£32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an an exciting opportunity to jo...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas