The 50th anniversary of the death of Sir Frank Mortimer Maglinne Worrell, the legendary former West Indies captain, was marked on Mar. 13.
Sir Frank was born in Barbados, educated at Combermere School and represented the historic Empire Club, which produced several other icons of West Indies cricket. He died aged 42 on Mar. 13, 1967.
He was hailed worldwide as an outstanding servant of the game and a man of great vision and acumen. After his playing days, he was a senator in Jamaica.
A stylish middle-order batsman, he made 3,860 runs in 51 Test matches at an average of 49.48 runs per innings. Sir Frank made nine Test centuries including a best score of 261 against England on the famous tour in 1950.
He was also a left-arm bowler, who could use the new ball and also bowl spin. He was a member of the 3Ws master batsmen, which included fellow greats Sir Everton Weekes and Sir Clyde Walcott.
Sir Everton remembered his former team-mate and close friend fondly. He said: “His legacy will live on forever. All over the cricket world and even outside of cricket people respect his immense contribution to the game and to life of West Indian people. There are many tributes in his honour. He had many great qualities. He was a great cricket thinker…a great thinker period.”
Sir Everton added: “He was one of the finest batsman I have ever seen, graceful, classy and elegant at the crease. There was a lot of variety in his bowling, he could bowl fast in-swingers, then bowl slow. Overall his greatest attribute in cricket was his leadership. He had vision, he led from the front and he was able to get best out of those around him.”
Sir Frank was credited as playing a major role in helping to “save cricket” due to his inspirational leadership and diplomacy. This was demonstrated during the West Indies tour of Australia in 1960-61. During that series Australia and West Indies had several enthralling battles including the first ever tied Test in Brisbane.
To honour his work and legacy, the Test trophy for matches between West Indies and Australia was named the Sir Frank Worrell Trophy.