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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 2 April, 2003, 08:43 GMT 09:43 UK
Legend behind the Worrell Trophy
By Saj Chowdhury
BBC Sport

The name Sir Frank Worrell not only commands respect in cricket circles, but also among people who recognise the role he played as an ambassador for his country.

WORRELL FACTFILE
Worrell was considered the most stylish of the Three Ws
Born: 1/8/24, St Michael, Barbados
Died: 13/3/67, Kingston, Jamaica
Tests: 51
Runs: 3860 at 49.49
Knighted 1964
Wisden Cricketer of the Year 1951
Worrell became the first black captain of the West Indies and in doing so became a symbol for the Caribbean's drive for independence.

And it is a mark of his impact on the game that Australia and West Indies still compete for a trophy that bears his name.

All-rounder Worrell began his first-class career with Barbados in 1941 and at the age of 23 made his West Indies debut against England in Trinidad.

He found himself sandwiched in between Everton Weekes and Clyde Walcott in the batting line-up - the trio soon became known as The Three Ws, feared and respected by opponents worldwide.

It was not until the 1950 series in England where the cricket world really noticed Worrell's great talent.

His 261 in the third Test at Trent Bridge was an innings of pure brilliance, including a record fourth-wicket partnership of 283 with Weekes.

The West Indies won the series 3-1 and Worrell was named Wisden Cricketer of the Year.

Former Australia batsman Neil Harvey
Worrell was probably the most stylish of the Three Ws
Neil Harvey
Former Australia batsman
The assumption that the side could not cope under the captaincy of a black player was to be tested when Worrell was awarded the role for 1960/61 series against Australia.

Worrell, typically, blew the suggestion aside with his enigmatic leadership both on and off the field of play, resulting in one of the greatest Test series ever.

Australia's Neil Harvey, who played in the famous series, described how Worrell and his side left a lasting impression both with himself and the public.

"I played two series against Frank, in 1955 and then when the West Indies came to Australia," Harvey told BBC Sport.

"It certainly was a frightening prospect facing the three Ws - what a combination they were - although I would say that Worrell was probably the most stylish.

"Worrell and our captain Richie Benaud believed in playing magic cricket."

Australia won a series that began with the legendary Tied Test in Brisbane 2-1.

Steve Waugh kisses the trophy after retaining it in 1999
Australia and West Indies still compete for the Worrell Trophy
But so enamoured were the Australians with Worrell's leadership that they named the winners' trophy after the touring captain.

And the side were given a motorcade and tickertape farewell through the streets of Melbourne

Former Test player Ernie McCormick, a jeweller by profession, was commissioned to create a trophy incorporating the ball used in the Tied Test.

Worrell played Test cricket until 1963 and a year later he was awarded a knighthood for his services to cricket.

He went to become a senator in his native Barbados in order to lend his hand to the political development of the island before and after its independence in 1966.

However, a year after witnessing the historic occasion, Worrell died from leukaemia at the age of 42.

"Frank was a great man, he was lovely both on and off the pitch," added Harvey.

"He was one of the players I would pay money to go and watch, because he always went out their to try and entertain.

"Frank's death was a very sad loss."



Links to more WI v Aus 2003 stories


 

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