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Wes Hall

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Wesley Winfield Hall is a Barbadian
Barbados
Barbados is an island country in the Lesser Antilles. It is in length and as much as in width, amounting to . It is situated in the western area of the North Atlantic and 100 kilometres east of the Windward Islands and the Caribbean Sea; therein, it is about east of the islands of Saint...

 former cricket
Cricket
Cricket is a bat-and-ball game played between two teams of 11 players on an oval-shaped field, at the centre of which is a rectangular 22-yard long pitch. One team bats, trying to score as many runs as possible while the other team bowls and fields, trying to dismiss the batsmen and thus limit the...

er and politician. A tall, strong and powerfully built man, Hall was a genuine fast bowler and despite his very long run up, he was renowned for his ability to bowl long spells. Hall played 48 Test matches
Test cricket
Test cricket is the longest form of the sport of cricket. Test matches are played between national representative teams with "Test status", as determined by the International Cricket Council , with four innings played between two teams of 11 players over a period of up to a maximum five days...

 for the West Indies from 1958 to 1969. Hall's opening bowling partnership with fellow Barbadian Charlie Griffith
Charlie Griffith
Charles Christopher Griffith is a former West Indian cricketer who played in 28 Tests from 1960 to 1969. He formed a lethal fast bowling partnership with Wes Hall during the 1960s...

 was a feature of the strong West Indies teams throughout the 1960s. Hall was one of the most popular cricketers of his day and was especially popular in Australia, where he played two seasons in the Sheffield Shield with Queensland.

A wicket-keeper
Wicket-keeper
The wicket-keeper in the sport of cricket is the player on the fielding side who stands behind the wicket or stumps being guarded by the batsman currently on strike...

/batsman as a schoolboy, Hall did not take up fast bowling until relatively late. He was included in the West Indies squad to tour England in 1957
West Indian cricket team in England in 1957
The West Indies cricket team toured England in the 1957 season to play a five-match Test series against England.England won the series 3-0 with two matches drawn...

 having only played one match of first-class cricket
First-class cricket
First-class cricket is a class of cricket that consists of matches of three or more days' scheduled duration, that are between two sides of eleven players and are officially adjudged first-class by virtue of the standard of the competing teams...

. He made his Test cricket debut against India in 1958 and was instantly successful. He took a Test hat-trick in Pakistan in 1959, the first West Indian cricketer to do so. Hall bowled the final over in two famous Test matches, the Tied Test
Tied Test
Tied Test refers to a rare result in Test cricket. Only two ties have occurred in the 2,000 Tests played since 1877. The first was in 1960 and the second in 1986...

 against Australia in 1960 and the Lord's
Lord's Cricket Ground
Lord's Cricket Ground is a cricket venue in St John's Wood, London. Named after its founder, Thomas Lord, it is owned by Marylebone Cricket Club and is the home of Middlesex County Cricket Club, the England and Wales Cricket Board , the European Cricket Council and, until August 2005, the...

 Test against England. Years of non-stop cricket and resultant injury reduced Hall's effectiveness in the latter part of his Test career.

After his playing days Hall entered Barbadian politics, serving in both the Barbados Senate
Senate of Barbados
The Senate is the name given to the Upper House of the bicameral legislature the Parliament of Barbados. The Senate is accorded legitimacy by Chapter V of the Constitution of Barbados. It is the smaller of both chambers and also includes HM Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Barbados...

 and House of Assembly
House of Assembly
House of Assembly is a name given to the legislature or lower house of a bicameral parliament. In some countries this may be at a subnational level....

 and appointed Minister of Tourism
Government of Barbados
Government of Barbados consists of: The Monarch, HM Queen Elizabeth II ; The Prime Minister, The Hon. Freundel Stuart, and his Cabinet; as legislature, divided into two chambers , and an independent judiciary...

 in 1987. He was also involved in the administration of West Indies cricket as a selector
Selector (sport)
In many team sports, a selection panel consist of selectors who choose teams or individuals to represent a country or club in sporting competitions.Selectors tend to be past players....

 and team manager and served as President of the West Indies Cricket Board
West Indies Cricket Board
The West Indies Cricket Board is the governing body for professional and amateur cricket in the West Indies...

 from 2001 to 2003. Hall was later ordained a minister in the Christian Pentecostal Church. He is a member of the West Indies Cricket Hall of Fame.

Early life and career


Hall was born in Saint Michael, Barbados—"just outside the walls of [HM Prison] Glendairy"—to a teenaged mother, his father a sometime light-heavyweight boxer. Hall began his schooling at St Giles' Boys' School and later obtained a place at the renowned Combermere School thanks to a free scholarship. At Combermere, he played for the school cricket team initially as a wicketkeeper/batsman. At the time the leading schools in Barbados played against grown men in the elite Division 1 of the Barbados Cricket Association
Barbados Cricket Association
The Barbados Cricket Association is the ruling body for cricket in Barbados. The BCA was sstablished in 1933 by an Act of Parliament to replace the Barbados Cricket Challenge Cup Committee, which had administered Barbadian cricket since its formation in 1892...

 and Hall was exposed to a high standard of cricket at an early age. One of his teammates at Combermere was the school groundskeeper, the West Indian Test cricketer Frank King
Frank King (cricketer)
Frank McDonald King was a West Indian cricketer who played in 14 Tests between 1953 and 1956.Born in Delamere Land, Brighton, St Michael, Barbados, King was a hostile right-arm fast bowler who opened the bowling for the West Indies in three consecutive home series in the early 1950s...

.

After completing his schooling, Hall found employment with the cable office in Bridgetown
Bridgetown
The city of Bridgetown , metropolitan pop 96,578 , is the capital and largest city of the nation of Barbados. Formerly, the Town of Saint Michael, the Greater Bridgetown area is located within the parish of Saint Michael...

. Hall played for the Cable Office cricket team
LIME Sports Club
LIME Sports Club is a cricket club in Barbados. The club competes in the Barbados Cricket Association Division 1 competition, the premier cricket competition in Barbados...

 and it was there that Hall took up fast bowling. In a match against Wanderers
Wanderers Cricket Club
Wanderers Cricket Club is a Barbadian cricket club. The club plays in the Barbados Cricket Association Upper Intermediate Division, having been relegated from Division 1 in 2010....

, Hall was asked to fill in when his team's regular opening bowler was absent. He took six wickets that day and decided that bowling would be his path to the West Indies team. His talent was soon recognised and in 1956 he was included in the Barbados team
Barbados national cricket team
The Barbadian cricket team is the representative first class cricket team of Barbados.It does not take part in any international competitions , but rather in inter-regional competitions in the Caribbean, such as the Regional Four Day Competition and the WICB Cup, and the best players may be...

 to play E. W. Swanton
E. W. Swanton
Ernest William Swanton CBE is chiefly known for being a cricket writer and commentator under his initials, E. W. Swanton. He worked as a sports journalist for The Daily Telegraph and as a broadcaster for BBC Radio for 30 years. He was a regular commentator on Test Match Special, easily recognised...

's XI in 1956. Hall, still very young and inexperienced, did not take a wicket in the match, his first-class cricket
First-class cricket
First-class cricket is a class of cricket that consists of matches of three or more days' scheduled duration, that are between two sides of eleven players and are officially adjudged first-class by virtue of the standard of the competing teams...

 debut. Hall was unlucky, however, not to pick up a wicket having Colin Cowdrey
Colin Cowdrey
Michael Colin Cowdrey, Baron Cowdrey of Tonbridge, CBE , better known as Colin Cowdrey, was the Captain of Oxford University, Kent County Cricket Club and the England cricket team in a career that lasted from 1950 to 1976...

 dropped by Kenneth Branker at first slip. Despite the lack of success Hall did catch the eye of Swanton who marked him down as a bowler of "great promise".

Based partly on this promise, Hall was selected in the West Indian squad to tour England in 1957
West Indian cricket team in England in 1957
The West Indies cricket team toured England in the 1957 season to play a five-match Test series against England.England won the series 3-0 with two matches drawn...

. Despite great enthusiasm, Hall struggled in the unfamiliar surroundings, unable to pitch the ball anywhere near the wicket. Hall remarked later "When I hit the softer wickets I was like a fish out of water." Hall did not play in any of the Test matches and in first-class matches on the tour as a whole took 27 wickets at an average
Bowling average
Bowling average is a statistic measuring the performance of bowlers in the sport of cricket.A bowler's bowling average is defined as the total number of runs conceded by the bowlers divided by the number of wickets taken by the bowler, so the lower the average the better. It is similar to earned...

 of 33.55. Hall's lack of success in England saw him overlooked for the entire home Test series against Pakistan in 1957–58.

Debut and hat-trick


Originally left out of the West Indies team to tour India and Pakistan in 1958–59, Hall was called into the team as a back up for the Trinidadian Jaswick Taylor
Jaswick Taylor
Jaswick Ossie Taylor was a West Indian cricketer who played in three Tests from 1958 to 1959....

 after the all-rounder
All-rounder
An all-rounder is a cricketer who regularly performs well at both batting and bowling. Although all bowlers must bat and quite a few batsmen do bowl occasionally, most players are skilled in only one of the two disciplines and are considered specialists...

 Frank Worrell
Frank Worrell
Sir Frank Mortimer Maglinne Worrell is sometimes referred to by his nickname of Tae and was a West Indies cricketer and Jamaican senator...

 withdrew from the team at a late stage. Hall met with some success an early match against Baroda
Baroda cricket team
The Baroda cricket team is a domestic cricket team based in the city of Vadodara. The home ground of the team is the Moti Bagh Stadium on the palace grounds. The team is run by the Baroda Cricket Association. It has been one of the most successful teams in the Ranji Trophy in the new millennium...

, taking 5 wickets for 41 runs (5/41) in Baroda's second innings. This performance saw Hall overtake Taylor to become the first-choice partner of Roy Gilchrist
Roy Gilchrist
Roy Gilchrist was a West Indian cricketer who played 13 Tests for the West Indies in the 1950s. He was born in Saint Thomas, Jamaica and died of Parkinson's disease in St Catherine, Jamaica at the age of 67....

 in the Test team. The pair had a highly successful Test series against the Indians with Wisden Cricketers' Almanack
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack is a cricket reference book published annually in the United Kingdom...

 describing the duo as "two fearsome opening bowlers reminiscent of the days of [Manny] Martindale
Manny Martindale
Emmanuel Alfred Martindale was a West Indian cricketer who played in ten Tests from 1933 to 1939. He was a right-arm fast bowler and a lower-order right-handed batsman....

 and [Learie] Constantine
Learie Constantine
Learie Nicholas Constantine, Baron Constantine MBE was a West Indian cricketer who played 18 Test matches before the Second World War. He took West Indies' first wicket in Test cricket and was the team's leading all-rounder and opening bowler for the entirety of his career...

."

Hall made his debut in the first Test against India at Brabourne Stadium
Brabourne Stadium
The Brabourne Stadium is a cricket ground in the Indian city of Mumbai. It is located on 90,000 square yards of reclaimed land along Marine Drive near Churchgate railway station in South Mumbai. The stadium is owned by the Cricket Club of India . Brabourne Stadium is India's first permanent...

 at Bombay and met with almost instant success. He dismissed the Indian opener Nari Contractor
Nari Contractor
Nariman Jamshedji "Nari" Contractor is a former cricket player. He was left-handed opening batsman whose international career was ended abruptly by a serious injury....

 for a duck
Duck (cricket)
In the sport of cricket, a duck refers to a batsman's dismissal for a score of zero.-Origin of the term:The term is a shortening of the term "duck's egg", the latter being used long before Test cricket began...

 and quickly followed than with the wickets of Pankaj Roy
Pankaj Roy
Pankaj Roy was an Indian cricketer. A right-handed opening batsman, he is best known for establishing the world record opening partnership of 413 runs, together with Vinoo Mankad, against New Zealand at Chennai. The record stood until 2008. He was honoured with the Padma Shri...

 and Vijay Manjrekar
Vijay Manjrekar
Vijay Laxman Manjrekar is a former Indian cricketer who played 55 Tests. A small man, he was a fine cutter and hooker of the ball. He was the father of Sanjay Manjrekar....

. In what ended as a dour draw, Hall finished with 3/35 in the first innings and 1/72 in the second. When Gilchrist was dropped from the second Test at Modi Stadium in Kanpur, Hall—in only his second Test match—was given the responsibility of leading the West Indies bowling attack. Hall was equal to the task, playing "a decisive part in India's downfall" taking 11 wickets in the match. Over the entire five Test series—won by the West Indies three Tests to nil—Hall and Gilchrist terrorised the Indian batsman, who had neither the "experience or the physical capacity" to stand up to the West Indian fast bowling duo.

The West Indies were not as successful in the three Test series against Pakistan, losing the first two Tests before winning the final Test—the first time Pakistan had lost a Test match at home. Hall bowled well in both the matches, however. In the second Test at Dacca, Hall relied on movement through the air rather than sheer pace and had Pakistan reeling on stage, five wickets down for only 22 runs made (22–5) In the third Test at Bagh-e-Jinnah
Bagh-e-Jinnah
Bagh-e-Jinnah is a historical park in the city of Lahore, Pakistan. It was formerly known as Lawrence Gardens. Today, the large green space contains a botanical garden, a mosque, and Jinnah library situated in a Victorian building.There are also entertainment and sports facilities within the...

 in Lahore
Lahore
Lahore is the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab and the second largest city in the country. With a rich and fabulous history dating back to over a thousand years ago, Lahore is no doubt Pakistan's cultural capital. One of the most densely populated cities in the world, Lahore remains a...

, Hall made history by becomimg the first West Indian to take a hat-trick in Test cricket. His victims were Mushtaq Mohammad
Mushtaq Mohammad
Mushtaq Mohammad is a former Pakistani cricketer who played in 57 Tests and 10 ODIs from 1959 to 1979. A right-handed batsman and a leg-spinner, he is one of the most successful Pakistani all-rounders and went on to captain his country in nineteen Test matches...

 (aged 15 and in his debut Test match, at the time the youngest cricketer to play Test cricket), Nasim-ul-Ghani
Nasim-ul-Ghani
Nasim-ul-Ghani is a former Pakistani cricketer who played in 29 Tests and one ODI from 1958 to 1973. At the time of his debut, aged 16 years, he was the world's youngest test player....

 and Fazal Mahmood
Fazal Mahmood
Fazal Mahmood was a Pakistani cricketer, regarded as the finest pace bowler of his country's early years. He played in 34 Test matches and took 139 wickets at a bowling average of 24.70...

.

Hall once again performed well when England toured the West Indies in 1959–60. Wisden remarked that Hall "with a lovely action, genuine speed and remarkable stamina" was "always the biggest threat to England." Hall came close to winning the third Test at Sabina Park
Sabina Park
Sabina Park is the home of the Kingston Cricket Club, and is the only Test cricket ground in Kingston, Jamaica and is often referred to as "The Holiday Home of Cricket"....

 in Jamaica for the West Indies on the first day when England were reduced to 165/5 at stumps, Hall having captured five of the wickets to fall. Only Colin Cowdrey
Colin Cowdrey
Michael Colin Cowdrey, Baron Cowdrey of Tonbridge, CBE , better known as Colin Cowdrey, was the Captain of Oxford University, Kent County Cricket Club and the England cricket team in a career that lasted from 1950 to 1976...

 was able to stand in his way with Hall finishing the innings with 7/69, his best bowling figures in Test cricket. In the third Test in a placid pitch at Bourda
Bourda
The Bourda is a cricket ground in Georgetown, Guyana, used by the Guyanese cricket team for matches with other nations in the Caribbean as well as some Test matches involving the West Indies. Located in Bourda in Georgetown, Guyana, between Regent Street and North Road, it is home to the Georgetown...

 in British Guiana
British Guiana
British Guiana was the name of the British colony on the northern coast of South America, now the independent nation of Guyana.The area was originally settled by the Dutch at the start of the 17th century as the colonies of Essequibo, Demerara, and Berbice...

, Hall again broke the back of England's batting taking six wickets for 90 runs in the England first innings. This included bowling
Bowling
Bowling Bowling Bowling (1375–1425; late Middle English bowle, variant of boule Bowling (1375–1425; late Middle English bowle, variant of boule...

 M. J. K. Smith out for a duck for the second Test in a row. Hall played alongside his great partner Charlie Griffith
Charlie Griffith
Charles Christopher Griffith is a former West Indian cricketer who played in 28 Tests from 1960 to 1969. He formed a lethal fast bowling partnership with Wes Hall during the 1960s...

 in Test cricket for the first time in the fifth Test at Port of Spain
Port of Spain
Port of Spain, also written as Port-of-Spain, is the capital of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and the country's third-largest municipality, after San Fernando and Chaguanas. The city has a municipal population of 49,031 , a metropolitan population of 128,026 and a transient daily population...

. By this stage, Hall had "burned himself out" and he bowled only four overs in the England second innings as the West Indies pushed for a series-equalling win. Unfortunately for the West Indies and Hall, England held on for a draw and won the series one Test to nil.

In April 1960, Hall began the first of his three seasons as a professional with Accrington Cricket Club
Accrington Cricket Club
Accrington Cricket Club are a cricket club in the Lancashire League, which play their home games at Thorneyholme Road in Accrington. For the 2011 season their captain is Jimmy Hayhurst and their professional is Ashar Zaidi....

 in the Lancashire League. Hall was first offered a contract by Accrington for the 1959 season, which he turned down through loyalty to his employer in Barbados who had provided him with leave to tour England.Hall, p. 54. Hall was a success in League cricket, capturing 100 wickets in the 1960 season, 106 wickets in the 1961 season (when Accrington won the Lancashire League championship) and 123 wickets in the 1962 season, falling just short of the then-League record. Hall also managed to capture 10 wickets in an innings on two occasions with Accrington, 10/57 against Burnley
Burnley Cricket Club
Burnley Cricket Club, based at Turf Moor in Burnley, Lancashire, is a cricket club in the Lancashire League.The club was a founder member of the Lancashire League in 1892. Its captain for the 2011 season is Steve Brunt and its professional is Imad Wasim...

 and 10/28 against Bacup
Bacup Cricket Club
Bacup Cricket Club, based at Lanehead in Bacup, Lancashire, are a cricket club in the Lancashire League.The club started in 1892 when the Lancashire League was formed. Their professional for the 2008 season was Chris Harris. Their captain for the 2011 season is David Warren and their professional...

. Hall left Accrington in 1964 to take up a less restrictive contract with Great Chell Cricket Club in the Staffordshire League. During the 1964 season, Hall married his childhood sweetheart Shurla in Liverpool
Liverpool
Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough of Merseyside, England, along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. It was founded as a borough in 1207 and was granted city status in 1880...

.

Success in Australia



The 1960–61 Test series against Australia is one of the most famous in the history of Test cricket and Hall played a major role in its outcome. The first Test
Tied Test
Tied Test refers to a rare result in Test cricket. Only two ties have occurred in the 2,000 Tests played since 1877. The first was in 1960 and the second in 1986...

 in the series at The Gabba in Brisbane
Brisbane
Brisbane is the capital and most populous city in the Australian state of Queensland and the third most populous city in Australia. Brisbane's metropolitan area has a population of over 2 million, and the South East Queensland urban conurbation, centred around Brisbane, encompasses a population of...

 had a thrilling finish. The West Indies set Australia a target of 233 runs to win the match. Hall broke through early, taking the wickets of Bob Simpson
Bob Simpson (cricketer)
Robert Baddeley Simpson AO is a former cricketer who played for New South Wales, Western Australia and Australia, captaining the national team from 1963–64 until 1967–68, and again in 1977–78. He later had a highly successful term as the coach of the Australian team...

 and Neil Harvey
Neil Harvey
Robert Neil Harvey MBE is a former Australian cricketer who represented the Australian cricket team between 1948 and 1963, playing in 79 Test matches. He was the vice-captain of the team from 1957 until his retirement...

, followed, after some stubborn resistance, by Norm O'Neill
Norm O'Neill
Norman Clifford O'Neill OAM was an cricketer who played for New South Wales and Australia. A right-handed batsman known for his back foot strokeplay, O'Neill made his state debut aged 18, before progressing to Test selection aged 21 in late 1958...

. The West Indies captain Frank Worrell
Frank Worrell
Sir Frank Mortimer Maglinne Worrell is sometimes referred to by his nickname of Tae and was a West Indies cricketer and Jamaican senator...

 then dismissed Colin McDonald before Hall struck again for his fourth wicket, Les Favell
Les Favell
Leslie Ernest Favell was an Australian cricketer who played in 19 Tests from 1954 to 1961. He was a strong batsman who liked to hit the ball around the ground and was a much loved character...

 caught by Joe Solomon
Joe Solomon
Joseph Stanislaus Solomon is a former West Indian cricketer who played 27 Tests for the West Indies. He played Test cricket from 1958 to 1965, scoring 1326 runs, mainly from number six and seven in the batting line-up...

. Australia were 57/5 and the West Indies seemed set to win the match. After the sixth Australian wicket fell with Australia having made only 92 runs, the Australian captain Richie Benaud
Richie Benaud
Richard "Richie" Benaud OBE is a former Australian cricketer who, since his retirement from international cricket in 1964, has become a highly regarded commentator on the game....

 came to the crease to join Alan Davidson
Alan Davidson (cricketer)
Alan Keith Davidson, AM, MBE is a former Australian cricketer of the 1950s and 1960s. He was an all rounder: a hard-hitting lower-order left-handed batsman, and an outstanding left-arm fast-medium opening bowler...

. Together the pair took Australia to 226/7 and now Australia looked assured victors with only 7 runs to get. Joe Solomon then turned the game again with a direct hit on the stumps to run out
Run out
Run out is a method of dismissal in the sport of cricket. It is governed by Law 38 of the Laws of cricket.-The rules:A batsman is out Run out if at any time while the ball is in play no part of his bat or person is grounded behind the popping crease and his wicket is fairly put down by the opposing...

 Davidson. Hall was entrusted by his captain Worrell to bowl the last over of the day with Australia needing four runs and West Indies needing three wickets to win the game. In one of the most exciting finishes in Test match history, Hall had Benaud caught behind, then dropped a catch and two Australian batsmen were run out trying to make the winning run. The match finished in a tie, the first in Test cricket.

Hall bowled well in the second Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground
Melbourne Cricket Ground
The Melbourne Cricket Ground is an Australian sports stadium located in Yarra Park, Melbourne and is home to the Melbourne Cricket Club. It is the tenth largest stadium in the world, the largest in Australia, the largest stadium for playing cricket, and holds the world record for the highest light...

, taking 4/51 in the first innings and another two wickets "bowling at his fastest" in the second innings in which Australia comfortably made the 70 runs they needed to win the Test. The pitches used in the remaining three Test of the series favoured slow bowling and Hall did not play as large a role from that point on. West Indies won the third Test, the fourth Test was a thrilling draw but Australia won the final Test, at Melbourne again, to win the series two Tests to one. Over the course of the series both teams had striven to play bright, attractive cricket and the Australian public took the West Indian team to their hearts. Hall and the West Indies were farewelled with a ticker-tape parade
Ticker-tape parade
A ticker-tape parade is a parade event held in a built-up urban setting, allowing large amounts of shredded paper to be thrown from nearby office buildings onto the parade route, creating a celebratory effect by the snowstorm-like flurry...

 through the streets of Melbourne
Melbourne
Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia. The Melbourne City Centre is the hub of the greater metropolitan area and the Census statistical division—of which "Melbourne" is the common name. As of June 2009, the greater...

. Hundreds of thousands of Australians keen to express their appreciation for the team brought the city to a standstill and reportedly brought Hall and his teammates to tears. Hall described the spontaneous display of affection from the public as one usually "reserved for royalty or the Beatles".

His popularity in Australia saw Hall invited to play with Queensland for the 1961–62 Sheffield Shield season. Hall enjoyed an immensely successful season with Queensland and a key part of the team's second place in the Sheffield Shield competition—behind perennial powerhouse New South Wales. Hall took 43 wickets for the season at an average of 20.25, trailing only Richie Benaud
Richie Benaud
Richard "Richie" Benaud OBE is a former Australian cricketer who, since his retirement from international cricket in 1964, has become a highly regarded commentator on the game....

 of New South Wales in the season aggregate. Hall's 43 wickets set a new record for a Queensland bowler in a first-class cricket season. Hall returned for a second season with Queensland in 1962–63, taking 33 wickets for the season as Queensland again finished runner-up in the Sheffield Shield, this time to Victoria. Towards the end of Hall's second season, it became clear that the demands of playing cricket 12 months of the year were starting to take a toll on Hall. Queensland were keen to see Hall return for another season in 1963–64 but Hall declined, fearing his body would not stand up to the strain.

Finest hour


After his first season with Queensland, Hall returned to the Caribbean to join the West Indies team in their Test series against India
Indian cricket team in West Indies in 1961–62
The India national cricket team toured the West Indies during the 1961–62 cricket season. They played five Test matches against the West Indian cricket team, with the West Indies sweeping the series 5–0.-1st Test:-2nd Test:-3rd Test:...

 in 1962. Hall took up where he left off against the Indians two years before. The Indians were a better batting side than the one Hall destroyed in the sub-continent in 1960 but they were still unable to come to terms with his pace. The West Indies won the series 5 Tests to nil and Hall took 27 wickets at an average of 15.74. When the second Test at Sabina Park was heading towards what looked to be a tame draw on a placid pitch, Hall broke the game wide open with some "grand bowling", taking 6/49 and West Indies won the match by an innings. In the fourth Test at Queens Park Oval, Hall was part of a 93-run partnership for the last wicket, making 50 runs himself. He then scythed through the Indian top order, taking the first five wickets of the innings to have India at 30/5 at one stage, a position they could not recover from.

The success of Hall and his fast bowling partner Griffith saw the arrival of the West Indies pace duo in England for the 1963 Test series
West Indian cricket team in England in 1963
The West Indian cricket team in England in 1963 played 30 first-class matches of which they won 15, lost 2 and drew 13. West Indies played five Tests and won the series against England by three matches to one, with one game drawn....

 "greeted with the public awe and press build-up formerly accorded to [the Australians] Ted McDonald
Ted McDonald
Edgar Arthur "Ted" McDonald was a cricketer who played for Tasmania, Victoria, Lancashire and Australia, as well as being an Australian rules footballer who played with Launceston Football Club, Essendon Football Club, and Fitzroy Football Club.A very fast bowler with the...

 and Jack Gregory or Ray Lindwall
Ray Lindwall
Raymond Russell Lindwall MBE was a cricketer who represented Australia in 61 Tests from 1946 to 1960. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest fast bowlers of all time. He also played top-flight rugby league football with St...

 and Keith Miller
Keith Miller
Keith Ross Miller MBE was an Australian Test cricketer and a Royal Australian Air Force pilot during World War II. Miller is widely regarded as Australia's greatest ever all-rounder. Because of his ability, irreverent manner and good looks he was a crowd favourite...

." Before the tour, Hall and fellow professional cricketers Garry Sobers and Rohan Kanhai threatened to withdraw from the team unless paid the equivalent of their professional earnings they had forsaken. Only the intervention of captain Frank Worrell saw the three join the tour. The West Indies, with their "sparkling batting, bowling and fielding", won the series three Tests to one and captured the imagination of the English public. While Hall had a successful series—taking 16 wickets at an average of 33.37—it was Griffith who was the main destroyer for the West Indies. Hall was "the ideal foil" for Griffith and played an invaluable support role. As a partnership, Hall and Griffith were "the centre of attraction and the key to victory".

Perhaps Hall's greatest performance of the English summer was in the second Test at Lord's
Lord's Cricket Ground
Lord's Cricket Ground is a cricket venue in St John's Wood, London. Named after its founder, Thomas Lord, it is owned by Marylebone Cricket Club and is the home of Middlesex County Cricket Club, the England and Wales Cricket Board , the European Cricket Council and, until August 2005, the...

. On the final day of the Test, Hall bowled unchanged for 200 minutes, broken only by the tea interval. As in the Tied Test in Brisbane three years earlier, Hall found himself bowling the final over of the match with both sides still capable of winning. In the innings as a whole Hall bowled 40 overs for a return of 4/93 but despite Hall's brave efforts, England managed to hold on for a draw—the England batsman Colin Cowdrey
Colin Cowdrey
Michael Colin Cowdrey, Baron Cowdrey of Tonbridge, CBE , better known as Colin Cowdrey, was the Captain of Oxford University, Kent County Cricket Club and the England cricket team in a career that lasted from 1950 to 1976...

 returned to the crease with a broken arm to help save the match. The Times
The Times
The Times is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register . The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary since 1981 of News International...

 said of Hall that day, "His energy was astonishing, his stamina inexhaustible, his speed awesome, from the first ball to the last". Hall himself claimed that it was his "finest hour". There was a sour note in the final Test at The Oval
The Oval
The Kia Oval, still commonly referred to by its original name of The Oval, is an international cricket ground in Kennington, in the London Borough of Lambeth. In the past it was also sometimes called the Kennington Oval...

 when Hall was informally warned about intimidatory bowling. Hall bowled two successive bouncers to the England opening batsman Brian Bolus, prompting umpire
Umpire (cricket)
In cricket, an umpire is a person who has the authority to make judgements on the cricket field, according to the Laws of Cricket...

 Syd Buller
Syd Buller
John Sydney Buller, MBE was an English first-class cricketer, and notable international cricket umpire....

 to speak with West Indies captain Worrell saying, "We don't want this sort of bowling to get out of hand otherwise I will have to speak to the bowler." Later than innings, Griffith was formally warned by the same umpire.

The Australian tour of the West Indies in 1964–65 was somewhat overshadowed by concerns about the bowling action of Griffith, whom the visitors considered a "chucker
Throwing (cricket)
In the sport of cricket, throwing, commonly referred to as chucking, is an illegal bowling action which occurs when a bowler straightens their arm when delivering the ball. The Laws of Cricket specify that a bowler's arm must be fully extended and rotated about the shoulder to impart velocity to...

". Regardless, Hall again started a Test series strongly. In the first Test at Sabina Park—Hall's favourite hunting ground—Hall took 5/60 in the first innings and then 4/45 in the second to play a leading role in the West Indies victory. Wisden was of the opinion that Hall "probably never bowled faster or straighter." It was "the most important single contribution of bowling in the five Tests" but Hall was not as effective in the remainder of the series, taking only seven wickets in the following four Tests. West Indies held on to win the series two Tests to one—the first time the West Indies defeated Australia in a Test series.

Exhausted volcano



As a result of their huge support in 1963, the West Indies were invited to tour England again only three years later
West Indian cricket team in England in 1966
The West Indies cricket team toured England in the 1966 season to play a five-match Test series against England. West Indies won the series 3-1 with one match drawn....

. Despite the England press and public fearing the impact of Hall and his partner Griffith, it was soon clear that their powers had waned somewhat since 1963. Hall's "action was as poetic as ever and his committment was just as great, but something was missing." He captured 18 wickets in the five Tests at an average of 30.83. However, Hall was still considered "the key man of the [West Indies] attack" and on occasion was still as damaging as ever. His finest moment of the series was in the fourth Test at Headingley where a "spell of eighty minutes by Hall at his fastest and best destroyed England" aiding his team to win the match by an innings and 55 runs and wrap up the series and the Wisden Trophy
Wisden Trophy
The Wisden Trophy is awarded to the winner of the Test cricket series played between England and the West Indies. It was first awarded in 1963 to commemorate the hundredth edition of Wisden Cricketers' Almanack. Series are played in accordance with the International Cricket Council's future tours...

.

In 1966, the Trinidad
Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago officially the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is an archipelagic state in the southern Caribbean, lying just off the coast of northeastern Venezuela and south of Grenada in the Lesser Antilles...

-based company West Indian Tobacco (WITCO) engaged Hall on a three-year contract to promote youth cricket in Trinidad and Tobago, including playing for the Trinidad and Tobago national team in the Shell Shield, the West Indies first-class cricket championship. One of Hall's first roles for WITCO was to promote the Wes Hall Youth Cricket League, a new nation-wide junior cricket league.

Hall accompanied the West Indies cricket team to India and Ceylon in 1966-67 but was a shadow of the bowler that cut a swathe through India in earlier series. He injured his left knee during a net session early in the tour and the sub-continental pitches neutered his speed. Hall started the first Test of the series at Bombay in style, capturing two early wickets in a "superb" spell, "worthy of a great fast bowler" but did not take another wicket in the match. Wisden said of Hall's efforts in the series; "He could not bowl with the sustained hostility of old, and his form was erratic."

The slow decline of Hall as an effective Test match bowler became clearer after the home series against England in 1967-68. Hall "bowled with his old enthusiasm" in the second Test at Kingston, albeit on a pitch described by Wisden as "crazy paving" but as the series continued the England batsmen took a heavy toll on Hall and his long-time partner Griffith. Still, such was their prestige and their perceived psychological advantage over the English that the West Indies selector
Selector (sport)
In many team sports, a selection panel consist of selectors who choose teams or individuals to represent a country or club in sporting competitions.Selectors tend to be past players....

s stuck with the pair for the entire series. In the four Tests he played, Hall took only 9 wickets and those at an average of 39.22. In a summary of the tour Wisden said "In the event Hall proved to be little more than a shadow of the great fast bowler he had been. His pace was no longer to be feared ..."

The West Indies captain Garry Sobers had to fight with the selectors to have Hall included in the West Indies team to tour Australia and New Zealand in 1968-69. The West Indies Test selection panel told Sobers that Hall was "past his best" and that he would be left out of the team. Sobers still considered Hall one of the best bowlers in the Caribbean and insisted on his selection, threatening to withdraw from the tour himself if he did not get his man in the squad. The selectors eventually conceded and Hall was included in the touring party but—according to Sobers—one of the selectors was told to tell Hall he was only picked because of pressure from the captain. As it turned out Hall only played in two of the Tests in Australia with Wisden noting that "old age, as cricketers go, had finally had its say". The once fearsome pair of Hall and Griffith now "resembled exhausted volcanoes." Hall played the first Test against New Zealand at Eden Park
Eden Park
Eden Park is the biggest stadium in Auckland, New Zealand. It is used primarily for rugby union in winter and cricket in summer . The ground also occasionally hostts rugby league matches. To accommodate all three sports, the cricket pitch is removable...

 in Auckland. Hall sustained an injury and was not able to compete the match, having bowled only 16 overs for the match and taking a solitary wicket. It was Hall's final Test match. He was still unfit to play by the time the second Test started and never again played Test cricket.

After Test cricket



After the New Zealand tour, Hall joined the Barbados team for a short tour of England. Hall played two first-class matches on the tour, capturing two wickets at an average of 53.00. Hall then returned to Trinidad to complete his last season in the Shell Shield and his contract with WITCO. Hall met with moderate success, taking 15 wickets for Trinidad at a respectable average of 22.46. Hall's last first-class match was for Barbados against the touring Indians in 1971.

Before Hall left Trinidad in 1970 Gerard Pantin—a Catholic priest in the Holy Ghost Fathers
Holy Ghost Fathers
The Congregation of the Holy Spirit is a Roman Catholic congregation of priests, lay brothers, and since Vatican II, lay associates...

 order—asked him if he would assist Pantin in forming a humanitarian program to assist the poor and marginalised residents of the Laventille
Laventille
-Etymology:The name Laventille hearkens back to colonial times, especially when the French dominated the cultural traditions of the island. One etymological derivation of the name is due to the fact that the northeast trade winds come to this part of the Island of Trinidad before it reached any...

 community. Hall agreed and together the two men walked through the dangerous neighborhood, simply asking the residents how they could help them. This mission grew to become the SERVOL (Service Volunteered For All) voluntary organisation that now operates throughout Trinidad and Tobago and elsewhere in the Caribbean. While Hall returned to Barbados three months after the program started, he is recognised as one of SERVOL's co-founders.

Hall has served Barbados and West Indian cricket in a variety of roles since the end of his playing days including chairing the West Indies selection panel for some years. Hall also accompanied many touring West Indies teams as manager, including the ill-fated 1995 tour of England
West Indian cricket team in England in 1995
The first Test saw the home side opt for five specialist bowlers, but there was no place for Angus Fraser despite his performances down-under in the winter. Instead a debut was handed to Peter Martin, who had impressed with a four-wicket haul on his ODI debut, and Devon Malcolm was included on the...

, marred by player unrest. In 2001 Hall was elected president of the West Indies Cricket Board
West Indies Cricket Board
The West Indies Cricket Board is the governing body for professional and amateur cricket in the West Indies...

. During his time as president Hall was instrumental in attracting the 2007 Cricket World Cup
2007 Cricket World Cup
The 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup was the ninth edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup tournament that took place in the West Indies from 13 March to 28 April 2007, using the sport's One Day International format...

 to the West Indies. Hall also developed a system of collective bargaining
Collective bargaining
Collective bargaining is a process of negotiations between employers and the representatives of a unit of employees aimed at reaching agreements that regulate working conditions...

 with the West Indies Players Association. Hall chose not to stand for re-election in 2003, citing health problems. Hall was a member of the board of directors of the Stanford 20/20
Stanford 20/20
The Stanford 20/20 Tournament was a cricket tournament in the Caribbean island of Antigua. It was held first in July and August 2006 in the West Indies at the Stanford Cricket Ground, St. John's, Antigua and Barbuda and the same place the year after...

 cricket project.
At the end of his career as a cricketer, Hall reflected, "I realised that I’d been playing for ten years, and I was married with three children and I didn’t have any money." After working with SERVOL in Trinidad, Hall "knew from that moment on, [he] would commit my life to service." He studied Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management
Human resource management
Human Resource Management is the management of an organization's employees. While human resource management is sometimes referred to as a "soft" management skill, effective practice within an organization requires a strategic focus to ensure that people resources can facilitate the achievement of...

 at the Industrial Society
The Work Foundation
The Work Foundation is a British not-for-profit organisation and independent authority providing advice, consultancy and research on the future of work, improving the quality of working life, leadership, economic and organisational effectiveness. The foundation works with government, business...

 in London and then returned to Cable and Wireless in Barbados to take a role as Regional Staff Welfare Manager. As well as his role with WITCO in Trinidad, Hall also had high profile roles in private enterprise with Banks Barbados Brewery
Banks Barbados Brewery
Banks Breweries Ltd. is a Caribbean brewery founded in 1961 in St. Michael, Barbados. The company's main brand, the Banks Beer brand is also the flagship product of the wider Banks Holdings Limited...

 and Sandals Resorts
Sandals Resorts
Sandals Resorts is an operator of all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean and part of Sandals Resorts International , parent company of Sandals Resorts, Beaches Resorts, Grand Pineapple Beach Resorts and The Royal Plantation Collection. Sandals Resorts has a total of 15 couples-only properties,...

.

Hall became involved in Barbadian politics, joining the Democratic Labour Party
Democratic Labour Party (Barbados)
The Democratic Labour Party is a political party in Barbados, and currently the ruling party of the country. It is led by Freundel Stuart.-History:...

. First appointed to the Barbados Senate
Senate of Barbados
The Senate is the name given to the Upper House of the bicameral legislature the Parliament of Barbados. The Senate is accorded legitimacy by Chapter V of the Constitution of Barbados. It is the smaller of both chambers and also includes HM Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Barbados...

, Hall was later elected to the House of Assembly. Hall was elected as the representative for the Assembly constituency of St. Michael West Central in 1986 and re-elected in 1991. In 1987 Hall was appointed Minister of Tourism and Sports in the Government of Barbados
Government of Barbados
Government of Barbados consists of: The Monarch, HM Queen Elizabeth II ; The Prime Minister, The Hon. Freundel Stuart, and his Cabinet; as legislature, divided into two chambers , and an independent judiciary...

. As Tourism Minister, Hall has been given credit for developing the sports tourism market in Barbados.

On a visit to Florida in 1990, Hall attended a Christian religious service. Impressed by the preacher, during the service, Hall "made a very serious decision to give [his] heart and life to God." Hall attended Bible school and was later ordained a minister in the Christian Pentecostal Church. Notably, Hall ministered to fellow Barbadian fast bowler Malcolm Marshall
Malcolm Marshall
By 1984 Marshall was seen as one of the finest bowlers in the world, and he demoralised England that summer, especially at Headingley, where he ran through the order in the second innings to finish with 7-53, despite having broken his thumb whilst fielding in the first innings...

 while Marshall was dying from colon cancer.

Hall is a member of the West Indies Cricket Hall of Fame. For his work in tourism, Hall has been awarded the Caribbean Tourism Organisation's Lifetime Achievement Award. The University of the West Indies
University of the West Indies
The University of the West Indies , is an autonomous regional institution supported by and serving 17 English-speaking countries and territories in the Caribbean: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Dominica,...

 awarded Hall an honorary Doctorate of Laws in 2005. Hall and fellow Barbadian fast bowler Charlie Griffith have a grandstand
Grandstand
A grandstand is a large and normally permanent structure for seating spectators, most often at a racetrack. This includes both auto racing and horse racing. The grandstand is in essence like a single section of a stadium, but differs from a stadium in that it does not wrap all or most of the way...

 at Kensington Oval
Kensington Oval
The Kensington Oval is located to the west of the capital-city Bridgetown on the island of Barbados. "The Oval" is one of the major sporting facilities on the island and is primarily used for cricket...

 named after them—the Hall & Griffith Stand.

Style and personality



Hall was a tall and muscular cricketer, 6 in 3 in (190.5 cm) tall and bearing the "physique and strength of a bodybuilder." He had a graceful, classical action and one of the longest run-ups in Test cricket. A genuinely fast bowler, he was timed at 91 miles per hour (146.5 km/h). Hall was able to sustain pace and hostility for very long spells—during the Test against England at Lord's
Lord's Cricket Ground
Lord's Cricket Ground is a cricket venue in St John's Wood, London. Named after its founder, Thomas Lord, it is owned by Marylebone Cricket Club and is the home of Middlesex County Cricket Club, the England and Wales Cricket Board , the European Cricket Council and, until August 2005, the...

 in 1963 he bowled unchanged for over three hours on the final day. While Hall was an aggressive fast bowler, he was not one to set out to injure the batsman. The England cricketer Ted Dexter—himself hit several times by Hall—said "there was never a hint of malice in [Hall] or in his bowling". Hall himself said after one of his deliveries fractured Australian cricketer Wally Grout
Wally Grout
Arthur Theodore Wallace Grout was a Test cricketer who kept wicket for Australia and Queensland.Grout played in 51 Test matches between 1957 and 1966...

's jaw "It made me sick to see Wal leaving and it made me sicker to hear some jokers in the crowd ranting on as though I had intentionally hurt [Grout]".

While Hall could never be described as an all-rounder, on occasions he was an effective batsman. His one century in first-class cricket was against Cambridge University Cricket Club
Cambridge University Cricket Club
Cambridge University Cricket Club is a first-class cricket team. It now plays all but one of its first-class cricket matches as part of the Cambridge University Centre of Cricketing Excellence , which includes Anglia Ruskin University...

 at Fenners—scored in 65 minutes, the fastest century of the 1963 English season
1963 English cricket season
The 1963 English cricket season marked the beginning of limited overs cricket at List A level with the inauguration of the knockout competition that was originally called the Gillette Cup. It also included a memorable Test series against West Indies...

. Wisden said of this innings, "[Hall's] batting promised so much ... [he] made his runs in the classic mould, not in the unorthodox manner usually adopted by fast bowlers." With his characteristic humour, Hall said of this innings, "Ah, but it wasn't any old hundred, it was against the intelligentsia."

Hall was one of the most popular cricketers of his day. The Australian commentator Johnnie Moyes
Johnnie Moyes
Alban George "Johnny" Moyes MBE MC was a cricketer who played for South Australia and Victoria. Following his brief playing career, Moyes, a professional journalist, he later gained greater fame as a writer and commentator on the game.As a right-hand batsman Moyes scored 883 runs at an average of...

 descibed Hall as "a rare box-office attraction, a man who caught and held the affections of the paying public." Hall was particularly popular in Australia. When invited back to play for Queensland in the Sheffield Shield in 1961–62, Hall arrived in Brisbane to "scenes more in keeping with the arrival of a pop star, a thousand people jamming the old terminal building at Eagle Farm airport
Eagle Farm Airport
Eagle Farm Airport was a small airport located south-west of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.-History:An area located near Eagle Farm Racecourse was initially used as a landing field in 1922 and Eagle Farm Aerodrome was officially opened in 1925...

 to welcome him." Hall was fond of a bet and was a keen follower of horseracing. Hall is known as a good humoured man; C. L. R. James
C. L. R. James
Cyril Lionel Robert James , who sometimes wrote under the pen-name J.R. Johnson, was an Afro-Trinidadian historian, journalist, socialist theorist and essayist. His works are influential in various theoretical, social, and historiographical contexts...

 observed "Hall simply exudes good nature at every pore." Tony Cozier states "[Hall] is renowned for his entertaining, if prolonged orotory, as well as for his tardiness."

External links