By yearend, visitors to Barbados’ Kensington Oval, fondly called the Mecca of West Indies cricket, will have looking down upon them not only the keen eyes of the world’s greatest cricketer, Sir Garfield Sobers, but also those of a former terrorising fast bowler, Sir Wesley Hall.
Media reports are that a statue of the now 81-year-old Hall will be placed alongside the towering edifice of his compatriot, Sobers, by November this year, as another form of recognition of the Bajan giant who was known for the fear he instilled in batsmen worldwide when doing duty for the West Indies.
The Barbados Nation newspaper has reported former chairman of World Cup Barbados,
Chris de Caires, confirming that the likeness of Hall will be erected as part of a plan to pay tribute to all of the island’s great cricketers.
For 11 years Wesley Winfield Hall, now an International Cricket Council’s Hall of Fame member, terrified those who faced internationally with remarkable pace, delivered on behalf of his beloved West Indies, then went on to serve the people as a government minister and worked for his God as an ordained minister, now he is to be recognised with a statue in his likeness.
With his right-arm fast deliveries from 1958 to 1969, Hall reaped for the West Indies 192 wickets from 48 matches at an average of 26.38.
Martin Williamson of Cricinfo stated that among Hall’s best efforts were, “in the classic Tied Test on 1961 at Brisbane he took nine for 203, and bowled the last over with six runs were needed for victory with three wickets left… Against India in 1961-62 he grabbed 27 wickets at 15.74 and in 1963, partnered by Charlie Griffith, he blasted England into defeat. At Lord’s, in another epic finish, he bowled unchanged for three-and-a-half hours and took four for 93 (as well as breaking Colin Cowdrey’s arm).
“In 1964-65 his 16 wickets were instrumental in guiding West Indies to their first series win over Australia.”
de Caires said that this monument that will be put up in months is overdue and in time more will be done for other outstanding cricketers who Barbados produced.
“If you travel the world you would see that statues are used to promote images of nation-building, and someone like Sir Wes definitely fits that profile as not just a great cricketer, but a former West Indies manager, West Indies board president, Cabinet minister and priest,” the Nation newspaper reported de Caires saying.