Lester Anthony King
February 27, 1939, St Catherine, Jamaica
July 09, 1998, Kingston, Jamaica, (aged 59y 132d)
Right hand Bat
Right arm Fast
Lester King, who died on July 9, 1998, aged 59, of a liver complaint, was one of West Indies' leading fast bowlers of the 1960s. Unfortunately for him, the presence of Hall, Griffith and the multi-talented Sobers confined him to just two Tests. But in 1961-62 he made perhaps the most sensational of all entries into international cricket, aged 23, after just two matches for his native Jamaica. He was called in to open the bowling with Wes Hall against India at Sabina Park, and took five wickets in his first four overs. That left India 26 for five, and he finished with five for 46. King took two more quick wickets in the second innings, and West Indies completed a 5-0 series win. But they played no more Tests until they visited England more than a year later, and by then King had been superseded by the more hostile Charlie Griffith. Though he took 47 first-class wickets at 27.31 on the tour, he was actually tenth in the tour bowling averages that remarkable year. King pulled out of the 1966 trip through injury and, though he went to India and Australasia subsequently, never got the chance to play an overseas Test. He was called back in to replace Griffith for the final Test against England at Georgetown in 1967-68, taking two further wickets, but his second chance was his last. King was nowhere near as fast as many modern West Indian bowlers, but he had command of swing and cut. He was a clean tail-end hitter, and his cheerful disposition kept him going through the various disappointments. He played a season for Bengal, and also for Rawtenstall in the Lancashire League.
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack
Batting & Fielding