August 4, 2001

Hall to deliver sermon at Gilchrist's funeral

President of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), Reverend Wes Hall, will deliver the sermon at the funeral service of former West Indies fast bowler, Roy Gilchrist, in Jamaica tomorrow (Sunday).

Hall, a former team-mate and room-mate of the late cricketer, left Barbados yesterday to represent the WICB at the funeral. The president described his late colleague as "his mentor" and "one of the early legends of West Indies fast bowling."

Gilchrist, who died on July 18, made his debut for the West Indies in 1957 on an overseas tour to England. He played his last Test in 1959 in India and finished his career with 57 wickets in 13 Tests at an average of 26.68 per wicket.

During the India tour, Gilchrist was part of an intimidating opening attack with Hall (between them they claimed 56 wickets). The Jamaican's finest performance was in the third Test where he took three wickets for 18 runs and six for 55 as part of a massive West Indies win. Overall, he took 26 wickets in the four Tests he played on that tour. He retired from first-class cricket in 1963.

Gilchrist, 67, was one of the colourful personalities in our rich cricketing history and his fiery pace and aggression have become legendary. He feared no batsman and has been described by many whom he opposed, including another former team-mate Sir Garfield Sobers, as the fastest bowler they ever faced.

India's current chairman of selectors Chandu Borde who crossed swords with Gilchrist in the 1958-59 series has paid tribute to the West Indian as "a real terror... we had never played that kind of bowling before... He was fast all the time and had tremendous stamina".

The WICB salutes the contribution of Roy Gilchrist to West Indies cricket and extends deepest condolences to his family and friends. May he rest in peace.