Weekes Away

I'm grateful to Will Luke for mentioning on The Corridor that Middlesex's Paul Weekes has announced his retirement. This had passed me by, and Will's summary of him is absolutely accurate.

It means something to me as I grew up supporting Middlesex and Weekes was just about the last young player to come into the Middlesex side before I left London to live in Devon in the early nineties. Since then, I've become more closely associated with cricket in Devon and Somerset, but I keep an eye on Middlesex and get to games whenever I can. With Middlesex's impending relegation from Division One of the County Championship they'll be playing Somerset again in first-class cricket for the first time since the competition split into two divisions and I reckon I might just be at Taunton (and possibly Lord's) for their matches next season.

In my early years in the south-west I still regarded myself as an exiled Middlesex supporter and went to a lot more of their games than I've managed in recent years. I have a particular memory of being at Worcester in August 1991 and seeing Weekes make a self-possessed and gutsy 57* in a poor Middlesex innings. This marked him down as a player who looked as though he'd be around for a while, and so it has proved. Apart, I think, from just one England A tour, wider recognition has eluded him, but he's played many more resolute innings, as well as a good few brilliant ones, especially in one-day cricket. Throw in some handy spells of off-spin and you have a very useful cricketer indeed.

At Bath in June he seemed happy to play the part of modest elder statesman in a young Middlesex side, and, seeing him field in the gloom as Somerset self-destructed, I got the impression that his career was beginning to wind down.

Cheers, Weekesy.

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