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Windies' Wonders

'No more popular side has ever toured the old country', claimed Wisden, the cricketers' almanac, writing about the West Indies victorious tour of England during the summer of 1963.

Mike Phillips, the writer and broadcaster, re-captures the excitement caused by the West Indies' style of cricket in 1963 and explores the impact of the team's success on the many West Indians who had recently settled in Britain but experienced discrimination and violence - the Notting Hill riots had occurred only five years earlier.

By 1963, it had been six years since the last West Indies' cricket tour of England. On their last visit, they had been led by a white captain and lost the Test series by 3 - 0. But all this changed in 1963, when they achieved a stylish 3 - 1 triumph under the captaincy of Frank Worrell, who had become the first black cricketer to lead the West Indies during a full Test series in Australia in 1960-61. In England in 1963, the brilliance of players such as Gary Sobers, Rohan Kanhai, Wes Hall and Charlie Griffiths, and the epic Test match at Lords, when the result hung in the balance until the final over, captured the public imagination.

But did the West Indies' victory over England have a wider impact? Did the West Indies' prowess on the cricket field give West Indians living in Britain a stronger sense of identity and new feeling of pride?

Among those taking past are Deryck Murray, the West Indies wicket-keeper who made his Test debut and set a world record for wicket-keeping during the 1963 tour; Ebony Rainford-Brent, the first black woman to play for the England women's cricket team; Herman Ouseley, former head of the Commission for Racial Equality, and Bill Morris, the former trade union leader and now a member of the England and Wales Cricket Board.

Producer: Rob Shepherd.

28 minutes

Last on

Fri 16 Aug 2013 11:00
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