West Indies Hall of Fame May 9, 2007

Walcott and Hall inducted into Hall of Fame

Philip Spooner

Two of greatest cricketers produced by Barbados and the West Indies were honoured for their outstanding contributions to the game on Sunday night.

Sir Clyde Walcott and Wes Hall, who were brilliant players and highly-respected administrators, were inducted into the Sticky Wicket West Indies Hall of Fame during a lavish ceremony in Antigua at the Stanford Cricket Ground.

Sir Clyde died last August at age 80. He was an outstanding batsman and member of the famous 3Ws. After his playing days he became chairman of West Indies selectors, manager of the team, president of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and the first non-Englishman to be appointed president of the ICC. He had a superb batting record, making 3 798 runs in 44 Tests with 15 centuries, at an average of 56.68. He was represented at the ceremony by his wife Lady Walcott and son, Michael.

In his heyday Hall was a barrel-chested fast bowler and was the best in the game in the 1960s, and ended his career with 192 wickets in 48 matches. After hanging up his boots he too was chairman of selectors and manager of the Windies team, and was also president of the WICB. He was a minister of Government in the 1980s. Fast bowling legend Michael Holding played in the West Indies with both Hall and Sir Clyde as manager. In his tribute to Sir Clyde, he outlined how he was instrumental in helping to develop his career especially when he had been struggling in the unfamiliar conditions on the 1976 tour of England. Holding said Sir Clyde genuinely cared about people and was an individual who instilled discipline.

Holding referred to Hall as "chief" and described the 69-year-old as a "great" manager and stressed he was "still a great man". He pointed out that Hall, who also served as manager after retiring from international cricket, was very accommodating and had made time for players under his charge.

In his address, Hall said he was honoured to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, which was the brainchild of Texan billionaire Allen Stanford. Hall also noted that his aim was to continue to make a contribution to the game.

Lady Walcott spoke to the media and said she was thrilled by the tribute paid to Sir Clyde. She also noted that if he were still alive, Sir Clyde would have graciously accepted the honour.

The event was attended by several other outstanding cricketers including Barbados National Hero Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Viv Richards, Sir Everton Weekes, Lance Gibbs, Joel Garner, Gordon Greenidge, Desmond Haynes, Richie Richardson, Curtly Ambrose, Courtney Walsh, Ian Bishop, and Colin Croft.