George Headley      

Full name George Alphonso Headley

Born May 30, 1909, Colon, Panama

Died November 30, 1983, Meadowbridge, Kingston, Jamaica (aged 74 years 184 days)

Major teams West Indies, Jamaica

Batting style Right-hand bat

Bowling style Legbreak

Relation Son - RGA Headley, Grandson - DW Headley

In a nutshell "The black Bradman", George Headley was unstoppable at every level of the game, making runs with a style and brilliance few have ever matched, and setting the standards for generations of West Indian players to follow. More

George Alphonso Headley
Batting and fielding averages
Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave 100 50 6s Ct St
Tests 22 40 4 2190 270* 60.83 10 5 1 14 0
First-class 103 164 22 9921 344* 69.86 33 44 76 0
Bowling averages
Mat Inns Balls Runs Wkts BBI BBM Ave Econ SR 4w 5w 10
Tests 22 14 398 230 0 - - - 3.46 - 0 0 0
First-class 103 3845 1842 51 5/33 36.11 2.87 75.3 1 0
Career statistics
Test debut West Indies v England at Bridgetown, Jan 11-16, 1930 scorecard
Last Test West Indies v England at Kingston, Jan 15-21, 1954 scorecard
Test statistics
First-class span 1927/28 - 1953/54

Wisden obituary
George Alphonso Headley MBE, who died in Jamaica on November 30, 1983, aged 74, was the first of the great black batsmen to emerge from the West Indies. Between the wars, when the West Indies batting was often vulnerable and impulsive, Headley's scoring feats led to his being dubbed the black Bradman. His devoted admirers responded by calling Bradman the white Headley - a pardonable exaggeration.

  • Read More

Gideon Haigh on George Headley

The great black hope

The Atlas of West Indian cricket was a colossus among modest talents

Stats analysis

West Indies' first world-class batsman

Headley played only 22 Tests, but he racked up numbers that will remain among the best in Test cricket

    • May 30, 1909
      Panama's only Test cricketer
      • Headley is born in an unusual country for a future Test captain, Panama, where his father is working on the construction of the Panama Canal.
    • 1919
      Spiritual home, real home
      • At the age of 10, he moves to Jamaica, to learn English. Spanish has been his first tongue so far, but he is now preparing to study dentistry in America.
    • February 1928
      Dentistry's loss, cricket's gain
      • Falls in love with cricket during his time in Jamaica. In 1928, is about to leave for America to study dentistry, but some confusion over his papers delays the departure. While waiting, he plays a few matches against the visiting LH Tennyson's XI, scoring 16 and 71 on first-class debut. A stunning double-century in the second match convinces him to give up dentistry and concentrate on cricket.
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Best Performances
    • 21 and 176 v England, Barbados, 1929-30
      • A much-anticipated debut after Headley's impressive showing against LH Tennyson's touring side to Jamaica. The anticipation rose after he was not picked for West Indies' first-ever Test tour, to England. Now in the first Test of England's return tour, West Indies found themselves trailing by 98 runs in the first innings. Against an attack featuring legendary left-armers of both varieties, Bill Voce and Wilfred Rhodes, Headley scored 176 out of a second innings of 384, which was enough to stall England. In four attempts, this was the first time West Indies came out of a Test undefeated.
    • 114 and 112 v England, Georgetown, 1929-30
      • After having assured West Indies' first draw, Headley played a major role in their first-ever win, in only his third Test. Through a 192-run stand with Clifford Roach, who scored a double-century, Headley set up a big first innings. The bowlers did their job, but with his team struggling in the second innings, Headley became the first West Indian to score centuries in each innings of a Test, and bats England out. The result is a 289-run win.
    • 10 and 223 v England, Jamaica, 1929-30
      • West Indies were level with England going into the last Test of the series, and it was agreed to have a timeless Test. Andy Sandham became the first man to score a triple-century, as England piled up a massive 849 in the first innings and bowled West Indies out for 286. They chose to not enforce the follow-on, and set West Indies 836 to get. In the face of a near-impossible task, Headley scored 223 in only six-and-a-half hours, hitting 28 fours, taking West Indies to the end of the seventh day. Rain intervened for the next two days, and England were due to return for their home summer next day, letting West Indies finish the series on level terms.
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Latest Articles
Latest Photos


George Headley at the 1981 Barbados Test

George Headley at the 1981 Barbados Test

© Wisden Cricket Monthly

Aug 29, 1951

George Headley pulls, Commonwealth XI v England XI, 29 August 1951

George Headley pulls

© PA Photos

Aug 21, 1939

George Headley takes the aerial route while Arthur Wood and Wally Hammond look on, England v West Indies, 3rd Test, The Oval, 2nd day, August 21, 1939

George Headley takes the aerial route

© Getty Images


Wisden Cricketer of the Year 1934