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Frank Mortimer Maglinne Worrell

West Indies

Born on 1 August, 1924 at Bank Hall, Bridgetown, Barbados and died on 13 March, 1967 at Mona, Kingston, Jamaica. Right handed middle order batsman and slow left arm bowler who turned to swing bowling later in his career, Frank Worrell made his first test appearance against England at Port of Spain in 1947-48 and missed a century on debut. He made up for it in the second test, scoring 131. Playing 51 tests in a career lasting 16 years, he scored 3,860 runs at an average of 49.48 with nine hundreds and a highest score of 261against England at Trent Bridge in 1950. He also captured 69 wickets at 38.72 apiece, with best figures of 7-70 against England in the Headingley test of 1957.

Worrell was nominated Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1951 and was knighted for his services to cricket in 1964. He had started his career as a slow left arm bowler for Barbados as a 17-year-old. Two years later, he hit 308 n.o. against Trinidad and announced to the world the arrival of a world class batsman. He was a stylish batsman with superb timing and elegant strokes. He was the first black man to captain the West Indies and has been ranked amongst the finest skippers ever. In 15 tests between 1960 and 1963, he welded the players from different islands into a fighting unit and instilled in the players a spirit of national pride and sportsmanship.

Two years after he bid adieu to test cricket, after the series in England, Worrell died of leukaemia - having visited India as a guest of the University Grants Commission only months earlier. A memorial service was held for him at the Westminster Abbey, a measure of the love and respect he commanded the world over. The Frank Worrell trophy is now presented to the winner of the test series between the West Indies and Australia in memory of the man they called the ‘Gandhi’ of cricket.


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