WALCOTT, Sir CLYDE
Ever since its beginning, cricket has been described as a gentleman’s game and if ever there was anyone that took that description to heart it had to be Sir Clyde. A member of the famous Three W’s, along with Sir Frank Worrell and Sir Everton Weekes, who brought so much glory to West Indies cricket during the 1950’s – 60’s, Sir Clyde, who succumbed to illness Saturday, August 26, 2006 at the age of 80, throughout his life and cricketing career was a gentleman both on and off the field.
Sir Clyde began his first class career at the age of 16 playing for his country Barbados, scored 2,798 runs in 44 Test appearances at an average 56.68, including 15 centuries. His contribution to the game all over the globe, and to Barbados and the West Indies, were among the best in the history of the game.
He retired from the game at the early age of 33 due to a wrangle over money with the West Indies Board. The Board wanted him to play for nothing after he took a paid coaching job in Guyana. Sir Clyde, instead of turning his back on the game went on to serve the game as robustly as he played. We will remember him by his statistics as a player
Sir Clyde was the first batsman to score five centuries in a single Test series (1955 vs. Australia), contributed substantively to the development of West Indies cricket both at the grassroots and administrative levels. His time as manager, selector and eventually president of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) from the late 1970’s through the early 1990’s coincided with the most successful period of West indies cricket. The team did not lose a Test series for 15 years. He is also the only West Indian and black man to serve as president of the International Cricket Council (ICC).
From 1954-1970 he lived in British Guiana, working and developing cricket on the sugar plantations, Sir Clyde helped to unearth and groom several players, who acknowledge the value of his coaching. As a coach in Guyana, he produced such West Indies greats as Rohan Kanhai, Basil Burcher, Joe Solomon, Roy Fredericks, Alvin Kallicharran and Lance Gibbs. The legacies left by Sir Clyde should serve as an inspiration to the current generation of West Indian players. He was a man committed to what he did. It was his life. He lived for cricket.