Headley in Hall of Fame

(CMC) – West Indies legend George Headley was posthumously inducted into the International Cricket Council Hall of Fame during the second One-Day International between England and Australia at Lord’s last week.

Commemorative caps were presented to Headley’s son Ron, who himself played two Tests and one ODI for West Indies.

‘My father was the first player to score a century in each innings of a Test at this historic ground, so I am delighted to be here to accept the cap on behalf of the Headley family,’ said Ron. ‘2009 is also my dad’s century year, so it makes this award even more special.’

He added: ‘Dad’s talents make him perhaps the greatest West Indian batsman ever. He was a genius with the bat who is often compared on an equal footing to Don Bradman.

‘His impact on cricket in the Caribbean cannot be overestimated and he will be fondly remembered on both sides of the Atlantic.’

Headley was the first great black batsman to emerge from the West Indies. In his 24-year Test career from 1930 to 1954, he scored 2,190 runs in 22 Tests at an average of 60.83 which is the third highest average by any player with a completed career behind fellow Hall of Famers Don Bradman and Graeme Pollock.

He scored 10 hundreds (eight against England and two against Australia), including a century in each innings (106 and 107) against England at Lord’s in 1939 which made him the first batsman to achieve the feat at that ground.

His rate of scoring one century for every four innings is bettered only by Bradman.

In his debut series against England in 1930, Headley, who was born in Panama in 1909 and went to Jamaica to learn English aged 10, scored 704 runs in eight innings of four Tests.

Headley’s career-best 270 was also against England at Sabina Park in March 1935.

After playing 16 Tests between 1930 and 1935, Headley played the last six Tests in 19 years. In 1948, Headley became the first black player to captain the West Indies, while his final appearance for the West Indies made him the oldest West Indian Test cricketer at 44 years and 236 days. Headley was named Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1934.

Besides his son Ron, George’s grandson Dean played 15 Tests and 30 ODIs for England in the last decade.

It was the first of only two instances of a father, son, and grandson playing Test cricket, the other being Jahangir Khan, Majid Khan and Bazid Khan.