Tour of England 1963 Captain: Frank Worrell
Twelfth West Indian Test tour
Sixth Test-playing tour of England by West Indies
- September 1963)
This marvellous tour was instrumental in
changing the nature of English cricket seasons. By public demand the West
Indians (who had visited England
only five times in the previous 35 years) would now come twice as frequently
as before. To permit the West Indies to
return in 1966, twin tours involving two countries’ visits being squeezed into
each English summer, would be arranged from 1965 onwards.
1963 team was strong in all departments of the game. Frank Worrell continued
his work of blending the brilliant talents from the different islands into
one cohesive unit. The only shortcoming in the balance of the side was
perhaps an opening batting partner for Conrad Hunte. Worrell had unofficially sounded out Roy
Marshall before the tour but he declined because it would jeopardise his
career with Hampshire. Since then the rules on eligibility to play county
championship cricket have been eased but Marshall never played another Test match
Fast bowling from Charlie
Griffith and Wes Hall, often short-pitched, added excitement for the
spectators, though one such delivery broke Colin Cowdrey’s arm. England took on the fast bowlers at Lord’s
when the brilliance of Dexter and defiance of Close, who both scored 70 and
to within six runs of victory with their last pair at the wicket (one of them
Cowdrey, incapacitated with his arm in plaster), saw a wonderful match eventually
left drawn. A Times editorial said “Thanks to the West Indians fresh air and
light have moved over the face of cricket in England.”
An extra one-day match, first suggested
in the press, against Gillette Cup ‘knock-out champions’ Sussex, was added to
the end of the tour: Sussex won by four wickets in front of 13,000 people at
Other West Indies
To Australia 1960-61
To India 1965-66 cancelled
To England 1966
Next tour of England
Members of the Test tour party (17)
Opening batsmen Joey Carew,
Conrad Hunte, Easton McMorris
Middle-order batsmen Basil
Butcher, Rohan Kanhai, Seymour Nurse, Gary Sobers, Frank Worrell, Joe Solomon.
Allan, Deryck Murray.
Spin bowlers Lance
Gibbs, Willie Rodriguez, Tony White (reinforcement), Alf Valentine.
Fast bowlers Charlie
Griffith, Wesley Hall, Lester King.
D W Allan
B F Butcher
M C Carew
L R Gibbs
C C Griffith
W W Hall
C C Hunte
RHB opener vice-captain
R B Kanhai
L A King
E D A McMorris
D L Murray
S M Nurse
W V Rodriguez
G S Sobers
J S Solomon
A L Valentine
F M M Worrell
Regional representation :
- British Guiana (4)
– Trinidad & Tobago (3)
Trinidad and Tobago achieved independence in
age of team at time of first Test
28 yrs 3
Test Appearances made before the tour
46, Sobers 42, Valentine 36, Kanhai 33, Hunte 26, Hall 23, Solomon 18, Gibbs 16, Butcher 10, McMorris 9, Nurse 5, Allan 2, Rodriguez 2, Griffith 1, King 1, Carew 0, Murray 0, White 0.
Duckworth joined the tour at the
specific request of Worrell.
Harold Burnett of Guyana later became Hon Secretary of the West
Indies Cricket Board of Control and represented West
Indies with Allan Rae at the ICC meeting about World Series
Cricket in 1979.
Gaskin (British Guiana - chairman),
John Goddard (Barbados), Gerry Gomez (Trinidad & Tobago), Allan Rae (Jamaica) and Frank Worrell (captain).
captaincy was awarded to Frank Worrell on 12 May 1962. Extraordinarily, C L R James, after
campaigning so vigorously in the ‘fifties for Worrell to become captain, now
urged him not to go as captain fearing he may no do himself justice because
of the strain on his health. (Caribbean Beat, Sep/Oct
Unavailable: Sonny Ramadhin (running a
pub in Yorkshire); Jackie Hendriks (had
taken a job in the United
Tour Party Announced : 11 September 1962.
Not selected : Cammie
Smith, Chester Watson.
between selection and departure from West Indies
(11 September - 28 March)
Bridgetown T Avonmouth
Hunte, Nurse, Griffith and
Allan and Manager Gaskin boarded the 'Golfito'
When the ship docked at Port of Spain, no
accommodation had been arranged for Rodriguez so he flew from Piarco Airport on 6 April (Pascal Roberts
flew with him. He was engaged as a league professional with Lowerhouse,
substituting for Butcher, and would be available to reinforce the team).
The ship docked next in Jamaica
on the afternoon of Monday 25 March. The tourists played a practice match. Then
the two managers and twelve cricketers sailed from Port Antonio at noon on
Thursday 28 March.
Worrell's request to fly was
granted and he left Palisados
Airport on 29
King arrived from a coaching
engagement in India
on 4 April. Hall arrived in Bridgetown on 5
April on his way to London after playing a
season for Queensland, Australia.
Sobers who had been playing for South Australia
on 8 April.
The 'Golfito' berthed at Avonmouth docks at dawn on 8 April. Worrell
met the team at Paddington Station and they went down to their tour
headquarters, a hotel in Eastbourne, to prepare
for the tour.
spent in England
(8 April - 20 September)
On-tour selection panel
Frank Worrell (captain), Conrad Hunte (vice-captain), Gary Sobers, Berkeley Gaskin (manager).
Tony White was called up when Willie Rodriguez
injured his knee (an old soccer injury) batting against Surrey
on 25 May. He needed an immediate operation on his right cartilage. The other
spin bowlers, Lance Gibbs (broken hand) and Alf Valentine (hamstring pull)
were also unfit at different times but Sonny Ramadhin could not obtain
release from his contract with Lancashire League club Radcliffe because
compensation could not be agreed, so the tourists summoned Tony White from
Sir Learie Constantine accepted an offer
to turn out for the tourists in a minor match but was eventually unable to do
so until the final match of the season, played for an Anglo-West Indies
Worrell played for the
opposition in the first match of the tour and Valentine in the last match.
† Kingston, Jamaica
Cricket Board (pre-tour)
Col L C Stevens XI
inns 203 r
inns 43 r
inns 118 r
WON 10 w
LOST 217 r
ENGLAND Fourth Test
WON 221 r
inns 2 r
WON 8 w
R Gilligan's XI
T N Pearce's XI
Sussex (55 overs)
† not first-class
Time spent in England
before First Test: 59
April - 6 June)
Time from end of final Test until
departure from England 25 days
August - 20 September)
Test appearances on tour
Butcher, Gibbs, Griffith, Hall, Hunte, Kanhai, Murray, Sobers, Solomon, Worrell
- Allan, King, Nurse, Valentine.
Conrad Hunte made West Indies’ highest score to date against England with
182 at Old Trafford.
• Lance Gibbs took 11-157 at Old Trafford :
5-59 and 6-98, the best return of his Test career so far.
• Charlie Griffith three times took five
wickets in an innings and ended the series with 32 wickets.
Basil Butcher (113) saved West Indies
at Lord’s, and Gary Sobers (102) did so at Headingley
Deryck Murray created a West Indian record with 24 wicket-keeping
dismissals in the series
Other first-class matches
ϯ Minor matches
In addition there was a pre-tour match
and two Machado Festival matches in Jamaica, which were not part of
the tour and not included in the summary above.
Return to West Indies
London Q New York Q Kingston
Just before the team's departure Kanhai
surprised his team-mates by marrying Brenda Hague of Blackpool. After a farewell reception at the Mansion
House the team flew from Heathrow Airport
on 20 September 1963, virtually unnoticed compared with West Indies ticker-tape
farewell from Australia
in 1960-61. C L R James wrote “Departure of the West Indians” about
the scene, printed in “C L R James: Cricket” (Allison & Busby, 1989,
Wes Hall and journalist L R Roberts lost
their documents and had to be revaccinated at New York’s
in order to enter the Bahamas.
The team arrived from Nassau at Palisados Airport, Jamaica,
in the afternoon and went on to a huge reception party in Kingston’s George VI Park in the
evening. Several of the team failed to
get through the traffic jams to the park and one of their cabs was in a
On return to Jamaica all members of the team,
apart from David Allan, played two matches in the Machado Festival (B &
J B Machado Tobacco Co Trust).
away from West Indies
(28 March -
The leading professionals - Hall, Sobers,
Kanhai - earned £600 for the tour but
the other players were on a daily allowance of only one pound a day.
After paying the players substantial
bonuses, the West Indies Board of Control made a profit of £29,800.
Written accounts of the tour
Indies at Lord's" by Alan Ross (Eyre & Spottiswoode,
1963; Constable 1986 reprint)
"Cricket with a Swing" by John Clarke; (Stanley Paul, 1963)
"Cricket, Lovely Cricket" by Ian Wooldridge (Hale, 1963)
"Summer Spectacular" by J S
Barker (Collins 1963)
had in Australia,
Worrell instilled the spirit of brighter cricket in his players, and they had
the talent to deliver. His valedictory
1963 tour of England
ended with the words “I have had a great run and, as I have satisfied my
greatest ambition in the last two years, ….I have no complaints. My aim was to see the West
Indies moulded from a rabble of brilliant island individuals
into a real team and I have done it.”
retired from cricket, was awarded a knighthood in the 1964 New Year honours,
and became West Indies team manager.