George Wight bowled out for 74
By Michael DaSilva
January 6, 2004
George Leslie Wight, the `Colin Cowdrey of British Guiana Cricket' played his last innings on December 4, 2003 in Canada.
The dour righthanded batsman, born on May 28, 1929, played one single test match, the West Indies versus India fourth test in India's 1952/53 tour of the West Indies.
Batting at the unusual number six at the world famous Georgetown Cricket Club ground, Wight, in his only test innings, made 21 to end his test career with an average 21. He was bowled by M.H. Mankad.
According to Desmond `Wato' Watkins, a former close friend of Wight, who bowled to him (Wight) in nets at the GCC ground for many years, Wight who played first class cricket for GCC from 1949 to 1953 was suffering for many years with cancer in his spine.
Watkins told Stabroek Sport that many years ago, Wight's wife purchased some bush (herbs) and gave him (Wight) to drink, and that apparently helped him, since he (Wight) went back into the cricket arena, playing in Canada along with a Mr Walker.
During his first class career, Wight played 12 matches and batted in 21 innings. He was left unbeaten twice and scored 1,260 runs. His highest first class score was 262 not out versus Barbados in a goodwill match at the GCC ground.
Wight scored four centuries and six half centuries and took 12 catches during his first class career.
According to Watkins, who was employed by the late George Comacho as a net bowler (bowling to batsmen during net practice), Wight and Glendon Gibbs, another Guyanese, had established a record 390 runs in regional first class cricket for the first wicket. This record was broken in 2002 by Jamaicans Leon Garrett and Chris Gayle during a Red Stripe match versus West Indies `B' Team.
Among Wight's GCC team mates were Bruce Pairaudeau, Comacho, Peter Bailey, Lennie Thomas, Alan Outridge, Norman Whyte and Peter Whyte.
Watkins explained that Wight was a very disciplined, focused cricketer, who gave his best at all times. "During the tea break, that man would just sip a cup of tea while keeping focused on the playing area," Watkins said.
Watkins remembered that Wight made a century against Trinidad in the twin island republic. "He was on 99 and needed just a single to get to a 100, he stroked a ball and could have got two, but instead the man just stood up and did not run, the next ball the man hit a four and got his century."
Watkins said Wight's best innings was the 262 he made against Barbados. "They [Barbados] had a good bowling attack but Gibbs and Leslie [Wight] tore it apart. In that [goodwill] match, Berkley Gaskin took seven second innings wickets to help steer Guyana to victory."
Some other members of the team were Lennie Thomas, Hugh Dyer, Brian Patwa, Eric Chase (Berbice), Eon Jordon and Norman Whyte.
Watkins remembers Wight wearing a white handkerchief around his neck while playing cricket.
Talking about Wight's 21 versus against India in the 1952/53 tour, Watkins opined that the then West Indies captain Jeffrey Stollmyer failed Wight by putting him to bat at number six instead of opening the batting.
According to Watkins, Stollmyer and Wight should have opened the batting but instead, Stollmyer and Pairaudeau opened and the latter made a meagre eight runs. "All Guyanese were mad with Stollmyer. He [Wight] should have opened he would have made runs. But he was bowled by one of the greatest cricketers that India has produced [Mankad]."
(Information on Wight's first class and List A career, courtesy of ACS.)