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Sir Clive Lloyd, Kanhai and Greenidge among those paying tribute to  Sir Everton Weekes

first_imgALL around the cricket world tributes have been pouring in to honour and respect the great Sir Everton Weekes, who passed away on Wednesday at his home on Barbados.The oldest surviving West Indies cricketer and third oldest surviving men’s Test player, Sir Everton was 95, bringing to an end one of the finest ever chapters in West Indies and world cricket.One of the greatest cricketers of all time, Sir Everton was widely revered and remained a seminal figure in the cricket fraternity up until the time of his passing.In Manchester, the West Indies team paid tribute to the great man by wearing black armbands on the final day of their four-day inter-squad warm-up match at Emirates Old Trafford. Head Coach, Phil Simmons and Team Manager, Rawl Lewis offered words of condolences on behalf of the squad.Test great Sir Gordon Greenidge on Wednesday hailed Sir Everton as a “favourite of all West Indians”. This was followed by other heartfelt tributes from Sir Clive Lloyd and Rohan Kanhai – two former Test captains – from their homes in the United Kingdom.Sir Gordon Greenidge said:“He was a genuine man. He had a great sense of humor and was a very jovial person. Sir Everton was a favourite of all West Indians. We will all miss him. He had a remarkable cricketing career with some superb performances on the field and was someone we all admired and had great respect for.”“He always offered great advice on batting. He always told you ‘if you don’t hit the ball in the air you won’t get caught’. Our conversations were always very pleasant. May he rest in peace.”Sir Clive Lloyd, one of the greatest leaders in cricket history also remembered Sir Everton as a stalwart and pioneer, one who paved the way for many others to follow.“He was a great Barbadian and a great West Indian. Someone who was proud the fly the West Indies flag wherever he went. He was a pioneer and paved the way for persons like myself to come along. We kept in close contact and was someone I had the greatest respect for. He was one of those great men in West Indies cricket who taught us how to play cricket.Sir Clive continued:The Three Ws showed fortitude and were very professional. They showed the world we could play the game. They were winners and were respected all over the world. People always speak with reverence about Sir Everton in India, in the Leagues in England and wherever he went,”Born just outside the storied Kensington Oval on February 26, 1925, Sir Everton became a member of the famous Empire Cricket Club where he played alongside another legendary former West Indies captain Sir Frank Worrell.The pair later united with Sir Clyde Walcott in the Barbados and West Indies teams and formed the now famous Three Ws batting combination. Sir Frank died in 1967 at age 42 while Sir Clyde died in 2006 at age 80.Sir Everton made his Test debut in the opening Test against England at Bridgetown in 1948 alongside Sir Clyde in a side captained by the peerless George Headley, and stroked his maiden Test hundred in the fourth Test at Kingston.Rohan Kanhai said:“He was my favourite cricketer, I loved to see him bat. He was class, he was a joy to see. When I joined the team in ’58 he was still playing. I learned so much from him. He was a teacher, he would someone who would talk to you about batting, but he would also go out there on the pitch and show how to get it done. As a batsman he was of the highest class, to average at 58 at the highest level shows how much of a brilliant batsman he was. It was also an honour to play alongside the other illustrious gentlemen – Sir Frank and Sir Clyde. I came along at a time and I grew to understand what they did for West Indies cricket and how I had to carry on for the people.”In his illustrious career, Sir Everton scored 4455 runs at an average of 58.61 in 48 Tests and is the only man to make centuries in five consecutive Test innings. His first-class career yielded 12010 runs and 36 centuries from 152 matches, at an average of 55.24 runs per innings. The innings set in train history as Sir Everton promptly reeled off hundreds in his next four innings on the tour of India, including triple figures in each innings at Calcutta (now Kolkata), to establish an unbroken world record.Following his retirement, Sir Everton served as an International Cricket Council(ICC) match referee, Barbados and West Indies team manager and a coach with the local government, and also worked as an analyst on local radio and television for the Shell Shield first-class tournament and international matches at Kensington Oval. (Cricket West Indies)last_img read more

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Larson: Badgers’ victory showcased complete team effort, what is needed to reach NCAA final

first_imgHad you walked into LaBahn Arena this weekend and not known that it was the NCAA Quarterfinal game, you would’ve thought Saturday was a typical regular season matchup from the calm atmosphere.The crowd slowly but steadily filled into the arena, and goaltender Ann-Renée Desbiens and Rachel Jones were hanging out in the Badgers’ box, talking to the young Badger fans on the other side of the glass.It seemed as if the pressure of the evening had not gotten to the star goaltender, who was content, making faces and small talk with every kid she could see.Wisconsin (35-3-1, 24-3-1 WCHA) found themselves facing Mercyhurst University (19-11-5, 14-3-3 WCHA) that night, an opponent they see about once a year. But Badgers had one thing on their side — the game took place at LaBahn Arena.Desbiens’ cool and calm demeanor stayed in-tact throughout the whole game, in which the junior goaltender blocked each and every one of Mercyhurst’s 22 shots on goal, leading to a 6-0 final score and her 21st shutout of the season.If there is one thing that has been evident, not only of this game, but for this season, it is that Desbiens is a goaltender unlike any other that transcend far beyond her shutout record.Wisconsin head coach Mark Johnson has been watching Desbiens make gradual changes in her gameplay, and knows that all of them are what are helping her to succeed as one of, if not the, top goaltender in the NCAA.“We came off Christmas break and came back, and [Desbiens] took her game and focused,” Johnson said. “She stepped up. I think as you’ve watched us play the last six or seven weekends you’ve noticed that her ability to play the puck is a big asset. Her ability and her connection to her defensemen, that’s a big, big plus to have.”But while Desbiens can do so many things, putting points on the board is not one of them, and for that she relies on her teammates to get the job done. Wisconsin saw goals from six different players, proving that no matter who has the puck, they can score.Desbiens, who continues to break her own record for single-season shutouts, was not the only Badger to make a personal record on Saturday. Sophomore Annie Pankowski tallied the 100th point of her career off an assist to Sam Cogan’s opening goal.Saturday’s game showed Wisconsin’s strength as a team, and gave Mercyhurst goaltender Sarah McDonnell one challenging game.The freshman goaltender saw 41 shots on goal and got a rather rough initiation to NCAA play courtesy of the Badgers.As junior Sarah Nurse pointed out, if there is one thing this team likes to do, it is test other goaltenders and their ability to block shots.“We like to get shots on net, and we like to make the goalie earn their saves,” Nurse said.McDonnell certainly had her work cut out for her, considering she saw almost twice as many shots on goal as Desbiens. But to hold up that well against a team of this caliber proves that one day she might be able to give Desbiens a run for her money.Another incredible team feat came from the combined team effort that held Mercyhurst from scoring on four separate power plays. Considering the Lakers scored 26 percent of their goals this season from power plays, the Badgers truly defied statistics to keep points off of the board.In fact, not only did they prevent Mercyhurst from scoring on a power play, but in true Wisconsin fashion, Sydney McKibbon managed to score a shorthanded goal in the second period.With this win, the Badgers now advance to the semi-final round of the Frozen Four tournament, which will take place in New Hampshire. Their opponent, however, is not a newcomer to the schedule like Mercyhurst, it is none other than bitter rival University of Minnesota.The Badgers have met Minnesota in this exact same scenario for the past two years, coming away with losses both times, 5-3 in 2015 and 3-1 in 2014. The Badgers are currently 3-2 against the Gophers this season and will need to be on top of their game to make it 4-2 to end the season.Nurse, who played in both games alongside Desbiens, knows that the team cannot psych themselves out about this game. She believes the team needs to stay focused on what they’ve been doing, and that should help them break the stretch of past outcomes of this game.“As we go into practice this week, we really have to worry about our own game,” Nurse said. “I think we’ve been a successful team all year and if we keep doing what we’ve been doing, we’ll have a lot of success next weekend.”last_img read more