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Saturday, 2 February, 2002, 18:07 GMT
Calcutta remembers Windies legend
Frank Worrell batting against England in 1950
Frank Worrell batting against England in 1950
BBC Sport Online reports on India's special way of remembering Sir Frank Worrell

Each year, on 3 February, the people of Bengal take time to pay tribute in their own unique way to one of the great names of cricket.

Thousands line up outside Calcutta's Eden Gardens ground to donate blood in recognition of Sir Frank Worrell who, 40 years ago, gained the admiration of the Indian people for his gesture to one of Bengal's favourite sons.


When I got the invitation, there was no doubt in my mind about attending this event
Wes Hall
Nari Contractor, the former India captain, was seriously injured during a tour game between Barbados and India in Bridgetown in 1962.

He was felled by a vicious bouncer which cracked his skull, and was immediately rushed to hospital where emergency surgery was performed.

Sir Frank was one of the players on both sides who donated blood and helped save the player's life.

Greats attend

That act of kindness has never been forgotten in India, hence the Cricket Association of Bengal's annual Sir Frank Worrell Day.

People donate blood at camps all around Bengal, including Kulti, Behrampur, Tamluk, Bhaktinagar and Bishnupur.

Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Donald Bradman, Sunil Gavaskar, and Imran Khan are just some of the cricketing greats that have participated in the event in previous years.

Australia and West Indies still compete for the Frank Worrell Trophy
Australia and West Indies still compete for the Frank Worrell Trophy

This year West Indies Cricket Board president Wes Hall has accepted an invitation from Indian counterpart Jagmohan Dalmiya.

"Sir Frank was like a mentor to me, and it's a great honour to be part of such a worthy event because everyone knows I hold Sir Frank in the highest esteem," remarked Hall.

"When I got the invitation, there was no doubt in my mind about attending this event. I took the personal decision that whatever the circumstances, I would attend."

Sir Frank will always be linked with Calcutta; it was there in 1966 that he was diagnosed with leukaemia, a disease that tragically claimed his life at the age of 42 a year later.

An excellent all-rounder, he was named Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1951, and became the first black cricketer to captain the West Indies in 1960.

With a highest Test score of 261 against England, Sir Frank received many accolades before his death.

The West Indies and Australia still compete for the Frank Worrell Trophy, first awarded at the end of the famous Test series between the two countries in 1961.

From 1962 to 1964 he sat in the Senate of Jamaica and in 1964 received a knighthood for services to cricket.

See also:

02 Feb 02 |  Cricket
West Indies avoid follow-on
20 Nov 00 |  Cricket
Legends recall classic Test
05 Apr 00 |  Cricket
Warne voted one of the greats
17 Jul 00 |  England v West Indies
The 1957 series
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