The 3W cartel is consisted of three West-indies legends. That is Clyde Walcot,Everton Weeks and lastly Frank Worrel. They are unarguably the best middle order batsmen line up that ever existed. Before their inauguration for playing in the West Indies team, this side was comparatively a weaker one. They couldn’t put themselves into a position to challenge the likes of Australia & England. In the pre-3W period the only player that was exemplary was George Headly. His 19 Tests had fetched him 2135 run at 66.71, with 10 centuries, which were twice as many as all the other West Indians put together had managed. Due to world war  2 cricket was in a slouch for eight years.

torch bearer for the west-indies time in the pre -3w period. photo source-Crickethighlights.com
torch bearer for the west-indies time in the pre -3w period. photo source-Crickethighlights.com

After 1948 test cricket again recommenced for West Indies with a series against England. This was marked by the start of a new era. An era which saw the rise of dominance of west-Indies cricket.in the first test Clyde Walcott opened the batting & Everton weeks came down at number3. In the following match they were joined by another Barbadian Frank worrel (Frank worrel also marks his name as the first black captain of the west indies years later).In the first innings of that game, they occupied positions 3-5, slots they would take several times over the next decade, going on to become one of the greatest middle-order line-ups the game has ever seen.

photo source:mossgreen.com
photo source:mossgreen.com

One of the most noteworthy aspects of the emergence of these 3 great players is that it happened at a time when West-Indies was still struggling to find its foothold. They had only one great player who could take charge & that was George Headly. He played only three test matches after the war. And the West Indies team had a very undistinguished middle order before the 3w’s came up.. So the surfacing of these three players was of paramount importance for the West Indies cricket in the decade to come.

sir frank worrel playing his favorite shot photo source: Cricketweb.net
sir frank worrel playing his favorite shot
photo source: Cricketweb.net

There are striking differences between the batting average of pre & post period of the 3W’s. Till January 20, 1948, the average for the middle order (Nos. 3-6) in their 22 Tests had been 29.38, well below the corresponding numbers for Australia (35.42) and England (35.57).

From 1948-1958 the batting average went up to a colossal 63 %. On the same period the batting average of Australia & England hardly changed. This helped to put West Indies in a whole new different level which had an average of 47.99.  Australia had Neil Harvey and Lindsay Hassett; Denis Compton, Peter May and Tom Graveney were all around for England; while Vijay Hazare and Polly Umrigar scored a fair number of runs for India. Despite this no other team could collectively score as much runs as the 3w. The brilliance’s exhibited by the performance of Weekes, Walcott and Worrell as a collective order outshine everyone else.

 

Everytime these three got together, they had a good laugh. Photo source:crcketcountry.com
Everytime these three got together, they had a good laugh.
Photo source:crcketcountry.com

It is to be noted that despite having the most sophisticated middle order batting lineup of the time, west-indies was the third best performer. The reason is the other compartments were not performing on to the same level as the 3w. Australia & England had the best openers. And on the other hand countries like South Africa ,Australia, Pakistan had better bowling attacks. West Indian bowlers only averaged 32.73 runs per wicket compared to Australia’s 26.10. But in terms of middle-order batting, no team came close to West Indies’ classy line-up.

Worren, weekes & walcot played together about 29  test matches & in those matches worrel was the only one to reach an average of 50. They not only had a professional relationship, all of them were great friends. They also became anointed knights. Worrel was the first one to get this honour at 1964. And walcot and weekes got their ones at 1994 & 1995 respectively.

They are probably the greatest chapter of west-indies cricket. They elevated the game at different height. They had an average of 47 when runs didn’t came as easy as it does now. They have been revered in many ways. For example: the 3w monument which is dedicated to these greats. This monument, bearing the busts of this magnificent trio, can be found surrounded by tropical flora in the park opposite the 3Ws Oval at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill campus in Barbados. Both Sir Frank Worrell and Sir Clyde Walcott are buried on the grounds of the University campus on a hill overlooking the square.

This monument, bearing the busts of this magnificent trio, can be found surrounded by tropical flora in the park opposite the 3Ws Oval at the University of west-indies. photo source: bigfooty.com
This monument, bearing the busts of this magnificent trio, can be found surrounded by tropical flora in the park opposite the 3Ws Oval at the University of west-indies. photo source: bigfooty.com

 

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