Son of Grace

New release – available now!

348 pages, hardback

Practically a hundred years after his birth, Frank Worrell’s name still carries significant currency within the global cricket community. As a cricketer, he mesmerised spectators with his stylish play, his elegance and his classy strokes – an artist in a realm replete with talent. Apart from that finesse on the field, he epitomised the sporting characteristics associated with the finer aspects of the game: the spirit of cricket. He relentlessly advocated for more equitable playing conditions; rebuking the many discriminatory practices that still plague sport.

He was the first black man to be officially appointed West Indian captain for the famous 1960–61 tour of Australia, but he had been regarded as its de facto leader throughout the 1950s. What set Worrell apart was his natural air of authority. He did not need to be in a leadership position to manifest it, and this characteristic defined his life. By the time his international playing days were over after his final Test in England in 1963, he had become an icon as a West Indian leader, whose qualities of grace and wisdom framed him as the ideal representative of a society still constructing its identity.

While this biography looks at his cricket, its primary focus is examining the nature of this enigmatic and charismatic figure, whose personal journey altered many of the existing concepts of what it meant to be West Indian. For much of his career he was plagued by insecurities and haunted by traumas, embittered by inequities within the social structures that dominated regional life. Yet he was a natural mentor, who generously shared his wisdom and experience with everyone who came into his sphere. If contemporary cricketers and administrators could have access to the kind of unconventional coaching he provided, it would make a world of difference to the approach to development, especially within the West Indies.

All around the Caribbean, monuments have been erected to celebrate him, yet given the amnesiac quality of memory, it is likely that they stand in name only, without context, for a generation whose history has practically disappeared without a trace of its legacy. This biography, a result of years of research, will shed some light on the life and legacy of Sir Frank Mortimer Maglinne Worrell, and his impact on a world that needs heroes more than ever.

About the author:

For three decades Vaneisa Baksh has written about cricket and the West Indies. Her work has appeared around the Caribbean and the globe for international cricket websites such as ESPNcricinfo and in the esteemed Wisden Almanack. Her MPhil in Cultural Studies from The University of the West Indies focused on West Indies cricket and cultural identity, such is her passion for the game.

PRAISE FOR SON OF GRACE

“Sensitive and extremely conscientious” – Gideon Haigh

“Well put together, deeply researched and essential reading” – Simon Barnes, The Cricketer
“Vaneisa Baksh has spent almost a decade researching the life of Frank Worrell, the first full-time black captain of West Indies …That his life has such texture in these pages is a tribute to Baksh, both her perseverance and the empathy she has for her subject. With Son of Grace, Worrell has a biography that befits him” – Jon Hotten, Wisden Cricket Monthly
“Vaneisa Baksh’s efforts have produced a fitting and comprehensive tribute to a man who was much more than simply a cricketer” – Martin Chandler, CricketWeb 

£22.00

Description

New release – available now!

348 pages, hardback

Practically a hundred years after his birth, Frank Worrell’s name still carries significant currency within the global cricket community. As a cricketer, he mesmerised spectators with his stylish play, his elegance and his classy strokes – an artist in a realm replete with talent. Apart from that finesse on the field, he epitomised the sporting characteristics associated with the finer aspects of the game: the spirit of cricket. He relentlessly advocated for more equitable playing conditions; rebuking the many discriminatory practices that still plague sport.

He was the first black man to be officially appointed West Indian captain for the famous 1960–61 tour of Australia, but he had been regarded as its de facto leader throughout the 1950s. What set Worrell apart was his natural air of authority. He did not need to be in a leadership position to manifest it, and this characteristic defined his life. By the time his international playing days were over after his final Test in England in 1963, he had become an icon as a West Indian leader, whose qualities of grace and wisdom framed him as the ideal representative of a society still constructing its identity.

While this biography looks at his cricket, its primary focus is examining the nature of this enigmatic and charismatic figure, whose personal journey altered many of the existing concepts of what it meant to be West Indian. For much of his career he was plagued by insecurities and haunted by traumas, embittered by inequities within the social structures that dominated regional life. Yet he was a natural mentor, who generously shared his wisdom and experience with everyone who came into his sphere. If contemporary cricketers and administrators could have access to the kind of unconventional coaching he provided, it would make a world of difference to the approach to development, especially within the West Indies.

All around the Caribbean, monuments have been erected to celebrate him, yet given the amnesiac quality of memory, it is likely that they stand in name only, without context, for a generation whose history has practically disappeared without a trace of its legacy. This biography, a result of years of research, will shed some light on the life and legacy of Sir Frank Mortimer Maglinne Worrell, and his impact on a world that needs heroes more than ever.

About the author:

For three decades Vaneisa Baksh has written about cricket and the West Indies. Her work has appeared around the Caribbean and the globe for international cricket websites such as ESPNcricinfo and in the esteemed Wisden Almanack. Her MPhil in Cultural Studies from The University of the West Indies focused on West Indies cricket and cultural identity, such is her passion for the game.

PRAISE FOR SON OF GRACE

“Sensitive and extremely conscientious” – Gideon Haigh

“Well put together, deeply researched and essential reading” – Simon Barnes, The Cricketer
“Vaneisa Baksh has spent almost a decade researching the life of Frank Worrell, the first full-time black captain of West Indies …That his life has such texture in these pages is a tribute to Baksh, both her perseverance and the empathy she has for her subject. With Son of Grace, Worrell has a biography that befits him” – Jon Hotten, Wisden Cricket Monthly
“Vaneisa Baksh’s efforts have produced a fitting and comprehensive tribute to a man who was much more than simply a cricketer” – Martin Chandler, CricketWeb 

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Weight 2 kg

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