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By Corey Greaves
Rev Sir Wesley Hall and Charles Griffith formed one of the famed lethal, opening bowling partnership for the West Indies in the 60s and on Thursday the Cricket Legends of Barbados honoured these two great fast bowlers.
Coupled with the welcome reception for the visiting County Cricket teams by the British high Commissioner, his excellency Paul Brummell, the museum exhibition is aptly titled ‘Pace Like Fire’.
The Hon. Richard Sealy, M.P., Minister of Tourism and International Transport, official opened the exhibition which featured photos, some history on the two players, and a recording of a commentator on a game which would be played in a corner through a preserved radio fusion speaker. There was also clothes each player would have worn at different stages of their career among other things.
The fast bowlers of the West Indies have been said to hunt in packs and this was the case with Sir Wes and Griffith and the legendary fast bowlers have been remembered for their love of the game and not only for their role on the field, but off as well.
Opposing batsmen would be faced with an examination like never before as a relentless battery of bowlers who possessed fiery pace, skill, and sustained aggression would come at them.
Griffith, who started as wicketkeeper before moving to spin and, in his late teenage years, fast bowling, sent down a delivery which rose quickly and awkwardly and cracked Indian batsman Nari Contractor's skull, prematurely ending Contractor's international career.
Griffith feared for his toe-crunching yorkers as well, went on the coach Barbados among other things.
Sir Wes is said to have had one of the longest run up in the history of the game and bowled one of the long spells unchanged as well, which he reminded the large audience gathered during one of his memorable speeches filled with highfalutin words which always brings a smile to the captivated audience.
The two legends gave a snapshot of their careers before heading off to open the exhibition which is contain in two adjoining rooms.
Both were said to have started as wicketkeepers and then turned to bowling and Sir Wes is said to “simply exudes good nature at every pore," as captured in CLR James, Beyond A Boundary.
Sir Wes has been a selector, manager and even Board President, a minister in political and religious minister.