George Headley

Country: West Indies
Born: May 30, 1909, Colon, Panama
Batting Style: Right hand Bat
Bowling Style: Legbreak
Died: November 30, 1983, Meadowbridge, Kingston, Jamaica, (aged 74y 184d)

George Headley Bio

George Alphonso Headley, often referred to as the “black Bradman,” holds a significant place in the history of West Indies cricket. Born in Panama on May 30, 1909, Headley was the first prominent black batsman to emerge from the Caribbean. His incredible talent and ability to score runs consistently established him as one of the greatest batsmen of his time.

At the age of 10, Headley moved to Jamaica with his family, where he pursued his education and discovered his passion for the sport. Originally planning to pursue dentistry in the United States, Headley’s cricketing talent soon took precedence.

Headley burst onto the scene at the young age of 18 when he was selected to play against an English touring team led by the Hon. LH Tennyson. In his debut match, he showcased his immense potential by scoring 78 runs. He further solidified his talent with a monumental innings of 211 in the second match. The dentistry world lost a promising student, as Headley chose to dedicate his life to cricket.

Despite his early success, Headley was surprisingly overlooked for the 1928 tour of England. However, he made his mark in the subsequent home series against England in 1929-30. In this series, he amassed an impressive total of 703 runs in just eight Test innings, boasting an average of 87.80. His standout performances included scores of 21 and 176 in his debut Test, 114 and 112 in the third match, and an astonishing 223 in the fourth. He quickly became a vital cog in the West Indies team.

Headley continued his dominance on the field, excelling against various opponents both home and away. In the 1930-31 tour of Australia, he amassed two more Test centuries and ended the series with a total of 1066 runs. A year later, Headley showcased his exceptional batting skills by scoring a remarkable 344 not out, his highest-ever score, against an English side visiting Jamaica. During this exceptional run of form, he also scored 84, 155 not out, and 140, leaving the opposition helpless.

In the 1934-35 series against England, Headley continued to impress, compiling yet another colossal innings of 270 not out in Kingston. His technique and precision when playing the ball were unmatched, earning praise from the likes of Sir Leonard Hutton, who regarded him as the batsman with the latest shot execution he had ever seen.

Headley’s international career spanned 22 Tests, during which he scored 2190 runs, including 10 centuries, at an impressive average of 60.83. Eight of his centuries came against England, solidifying his reputation as one of the greatest batsmen in the Caribbean. Notably, he was the first player to score a century in each innings of a Test match at Lord’s in 1939, further highlighting his greatness.

His success extended beyond international cricket, as he excelled in league cricket in England as well. Headley’s consistent scoring ability and his contribution to the growth of West Indies cricket cannot be overstated. His legacy lives on, with his son, RGA, representing the West Indies and his grandson, Dean, playing Test cricket for England.

George Alphonso Headley’s impact on the game will forever be remembered. His elegant style, superb placement, and ability to adapt to any situation made him a true cricketing legend. Even after his playing days, his influence and inspiration continue to shape the sport.

George Headley Career Stats

George Headley Batting Stats

Batting Matches Innings Nos Runs High Score Ave BF SR 100s 50s 4s 6s Ct St
Tests 22 40 4 2190 270* 60.83 - - 10 5 - 1 14 0
T20Is - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
ODIs - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
FC 103 164 22 9921 344* 69.86 - - 33 44 - - 76 0
List A - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T20s - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

George Headley Bowling Stats

Bowling Matches Innings Balls Runs Wkts BBI BBM Ave Econ SR 4w 5w 10w
Tests 22 14 398 230 0 - - - 3.46 - 0 0 0
T20Is - - - - - - - - - - - - -
ODIs - - - - - - - - - - - - -
FC 103 - 3845 1842 51 5/33 - 36.11 2.87 75.3 - 1 0
List A - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T20s - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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