Barbados plans Wes Hall statue outside Kensington Oval
Plans are being considered to add a statue of the fast bowler alongside that of Garry Sobers
Plans are being considered to add a statue of Wes Hall outside the Kensington Oval in Barbados.
Hall, now aged 81, enjoyed an excellent career as a fast bowler with West Indies before becoming a respected administrator. He also served as a minister for tourism and sport in the Barbados government and qualified as an ordained minister. He remains hugely popular in Barbados and has a stand named after him and his opening partner, Charlie Griffith, at the ground.
As a player, his career highlights include the first Test hat-trick by a West Indies player - against Pakistan in 1959 - and a leading part in a maiden series victory over Australia in 1964-65. He also bowled the final over in the tied-Test at Brisbane in 1961 and helped West Indies to victory over England in 1963. Desmond Haynes recently named him among his best-ever Barbados XI.
There is already a statue of Garry Sobers on the approach to Kensington Oval. Originally unveiled in Wildey, a few kilometres outside of Bridgetown, in 2002, it was moved to the ground ahead of the World Cup in the Caribbean in 2007. The plan is for the statue of Hall to complement that of Sobers, which has become something of a tourist attraction in its own right.
Meanwhile, CWI has estimated that the economic impact of hosting this Test is worth up to US$40m to the Barbadian economy. With thousands of England supporters combining some cricket with their beach holidays, the hotels and restaurants of Barbados are currently thriving.
"We commissioned an independent report a few years ago that said the economic impact of an England tour was approximately US$5 million a day," Jonny Grave, the CWI chief executive, told the National newspaper in Barbados. "I think there are more England fans here than the previous tour; we're up to 7000, at least, here just for the cricket.
"And I think [more] people probably would have been here in the masses if it wasn't the hotel accommodation and flight availability. Most of the hotel rooms are full and overflowing, which is fantastic.
"With this game and the two one-day internationals to come, we're looking at probably almost conservatively US$30 million, US$40 million worth of economic impact, which is brilliant and not just for Barbados but also the millions of people back in the United Kingdom watching the cricket who have never come here on holiday or think they need to get back here on holiday."
George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo