Ultimate XI Test Profile: George Headley (Wildcard)

By May 14, 2020
George Headley George Headley

It is unfortunate that in a 24-year-long career, West Indies legend George Headley only managed 22 Tests. An intervening World War and the difficulties of travel made Test cricket in the 1930s and ‘40s a much less regular occurrence than it is today.

Still, Headley’s wildcard selection to the SportsMax Ultimate XI Test cricket competition is perhaps no surprise and certainly not unwarranted.

Headley, averaged more than 60 in those 22 Tests, a remarkable feat when you consider how much time might elapse between games at the highest level. In those 22 Tests, Headley also scored 10 centuries and five half-centuries, which suggest when he got going, chances are you were going to staring down a three-figure innings.

Headley was solid when his West Indies teammates were considered ‘vulnerable and impulsive’. Headley was the first immortal at Lord’s, scoring a century in both innings of a 1939 Test against England.

Other greats, like Sir Len Hutton and Clarrie Grimmett, have all expressed sentiments suggesting they were very impressed with Headley’s batting. Sir Len said he had never seen a batsman play later than did Headley, while Grimmett said he was the strongest on-side player he had ever bowled to.

Test statistics aside, Headley’s first-class achievements playing in England tell a story of his class as well. He scored heavily at every turn, matching the exploits of the modern-day greats stride for stride.

But Headley’s contribution to West Indies cricket cannot be overstated. He was the first great batsman of the region, paving the way for an avalanche of eye-catching wonders from the Caribbean.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: George Alphonso Headley

Born: May 30, 1909, Colon, Panama

Died: November 30, 1983, Meadowbridge, Kingston, Jamaica (aged 74 years 184 days)

Major teams: West Indies, Jamaica

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Legbreak

 

Test Career: West Indies (1930-1954)

Mat    Inns    NO     Runs      HS         Ave     100s    50s    

22         40      4      2190       270*      60.83      10       5     

 

Career Highlights

  • Nicknamed the “black Bradman”
  • Tallied 2190 runs from 40 innings at an average of 60.83
  • Scored 10 centuries and 5 half-centuries
  • Highest score of 270*
  • Played 16 of his 22 Tests against England
Paul-Andre Walker

Paul-Andre is the Managing Editor at SportsMax.tv. He comes to the role with almost 20 years of experience as journalist. That experience includes all facets of media. He began as a sports Journalist in 2001, quickly moving into radio, where he was an editor before becoming a news editor and then an entertainment editor with one of the biggest media houses in the Caribbean.

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