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Last Updated: Saturday, 26 August 2006, 14:55 GMT 15:55 UK
Obituary: Sir Clyde Walcott
Clyde Walcott square cuts in 1957
Walcott was known for his smooth and powerful batting
Clyde Leopold Walcott, with Everton Weekes and Frank Worrell, was one of the so-called 3 Ws who dominated West Indian cricket in the years after World War II.

The three were all born within a square mile of the Kensington Oval cricket ground in Bridgetown, Barbados between 1924 and 1926, delivered by the same midwife.

They never had a day of coaching, instead playing in the backyard or on the beach after school, sometimes with an improvised bat and a breadfruit for a ball.

Walcott was educated at Barbados's most prestigious school, Combermere, and first played for the country at the age of 16.

Wonderful Walcott
In 1946, he scored 314 not out for Barbados
He averaged 56.68 for the West Indies over 44 Tests
He scored 15 centuries and made 3,798 runs

At 6ft 2ins and weighing 15 stone, he was a powerful presence at the crease.

He was a great strokemaker, equally adept on the on and off side.

At 20, he and schoolmate Worrell made a record 574 runs for the fourth wicket against Trinidad, Walcott scoring 314 not out, the highest total of his career. He was soon displaying his astonishing skill internationally.

At one time in his Test career, he scored 827 runs in five Tests against Australia, including five centuries.

Clyde Walcott keeping wicket
Walcott kept wicket before injuring his back

Something of an all-rounder, he served reliably as a wicket-keeper. When a back injury forced him to give up the position, it only improved his batting averages.

He became a proficient slip-fielder instead, and even helped the West Indies team with his fast-medium bowling. In all, he played in 44 tests and scored 15 centuries.

Towards the end of his career, he had a successful three-year spell playing in the Lancashire League.

Walcott's retirement at the early age of 33, while still in his prime, came as quite a surprise.

It was suggested by the left-wing cricket writer, CLR James, that Walcott was upset by the choice of an average white cricketer to captain the Barbados team.

But Walcott later put his retirement down to a wrangle over money. The West Indies Board insisted he played for nothing after he took a paid coaching job in British Guiana, now Guyana.

Walcott batting
Walcott scored 15 centuries in 44 Tests

In this job, he nurtured an array of talented proteges including Rohan Kanhai and Clive Lloyd, both of whom went on to captain the West Indies.

The closest Walcott came to anger about racial issues was when he criticised a comment made by Sir Len Hutton.

The England captain had suggested that "the gradual exclusion of white folk is a bad thing for the future of West Indies cricket".

Walcott asked then, "Does he think that coloured people, on the grounds of education and intelligence, are incapable of maintaining the traditions and standards of the game?"

Walcott was awarded an OBE in 1966 for his services to cricket and, in the 1970s, he managed several West Indies touring teams.

Sir Clyde Walcott
Sir Clyde Walcott was Chairman of the ICC 1993-99

Though he worked in business for many years, he maintained his cricket connections and, in 1993, was elected as chairman of the International Cricket Council, the first black and non-English person to hold the office.

In the same year he received his knighthood for services to the game.

He served for six years as head of the ICC, during which time he was closely involved in setting up an inquiry into match-fixing allegations involving Pakistani and Australian players.

When he stepped down in 1999, Cylde Walcott became chair of the cricket sub-committee where he stated that anyone found guilty of match-fixing should be banned for life.

Asked why he continued to work so hard at the administration of his beloved game, he replied, "Cricket has done so much for me that I can't do enough for cricket."

Windies mourn Test great Walcott
26 Aug 06 |  West Indies


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