A monument will soon adorn a yet to be named location in Barbados honouring one of the island’s and West Indies’ path-breaking fast bowlers, Wesley Winfield Hall.
For 11 years he terrified batsmen the world over 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.
The Nation newspaper has reported a that a private group is spearheading a fund-raising drive aimed at raising the money that is estimated to amount to over $100,000 (Bds$1 = 50 cents US) to place a lasting tribute to Sir Wesley Hall who celebrated his 80th birthday in September.
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.”
Now a gentle giant, the octogenarian was gracious when discussing the coming tribute to his career.
“Wes Hall could not bowl out people alone, and in those days it was a team and it still is a team,” he said this week. “When a statue of one man is erected, you can bet your life that there were another 30 people helping him, so I am grateful for them.
“It was a good thought something that I never thought could be my lot.”
The International Cricket Council’s Hall of Fame member continues to be grace public functions with his presence in Barbados, the Caribbean and across the world.
On many of those occasions Hall can be seen passing on his knowledge to youngsters.