George was born 30 May 1909 in Colon, Panama. He was a former West Indies Cricket Player. He considered one of the greatest players of all time. He batted at number three. His team was heavily depending on him in batting. He was chosen as one of the Wisden Cricket of the Year in 1934.
Headley was born in Panama where his father had migrated to work on building the Panama Canal. When he was ten years old, Headley was sent to Jamaica to get an English education. In 1928 at eighteen years, George was good enough to be selected to represent Jamaica against a visiting English side. During this same year, his parents had migrated to the United States from Panama and had sent for George to come and study a profession. Ironically the papers that had been sent from Panama were delayed.
Headley scoring ability was so nice and fast led to his being dubbed the black Bradman. Through his career, his contribution was critical to the achievements of the West Indies. Before the war, Headley had played 35 test innings in ten years. He had scored two double centuries, eight centuries and five fifties at an average of 70.64
Headley had a wonderful start to his career. Headley scored 704 runs at an average of 87.88 in the four test matches. In this score, four centuries are included. When compared with Sir Don Bradman who at age twenty-one made his debut in four Tests in 1929 scoring 486 runs at an average of 66.85. George Headley became the first black captain for West Indies in 1948.
The war was interrupted the career of Headley. He returned to the test cricket, but the injuries harmed him. He did not achieve his previous level of cricket. Headley became the coach of the cricket team by the Jamaican Government.
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Headley made his Jamaica debut against Lord Tennyson X1 on 9 February 1928. In the first innings, he scored just 16 runs but in the second innings, he scored 71 runs. In the second match, he scored his maiden first-class century against Lord Tennyson X1. In this innings first, he was playing very carefully and slowly. After the settled, he hit the bowling of Alan Hilder for four consecutive fours and twice hit three fours for the other bowler. He was finally out on 211. The highest score ever the West Indies player against the England. He also took his median test wicket in this match. Headley was selected for England series in 1929.The home side lost the toss and had to bat in very difficult conditions following rain. Headley found the fast bowlers difficult but survived the period when the pitch was most difficult to bat on before he was out for 44. In the second innings, he attacked from the start and used a wide range of shots. In this series, he scored 326 runs at the average of 54.33.
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Test Match Career
In 1930 the Marylebone Cricket Club was coming to playing. The team was not at international strength, most of the players were playing their first match.
This team was missing several starts of the bowler. In the first innings of the match he played aggressively but the crowd barracked him, and he was bowled for 21. But in the second innings, he scored 176 runs and became the first West Indies player to scored century in debut. In the 3rd match of the series Headley scored centuries in the both innings of the match and became the first West Indies player to scored hundred in the both innings.
Headley was selected for the West Indies tour of Australia in the 1930-31. Headley made a good start to the tour and attracted praise from the press in Australia and West Indies.
In 1931-32 he was selected in the first match against the tourists. In the first innings, Headley had scored 344 unbeaten, after batting for 407 minutes and hitting 39 fours. Headley continued his success in the second match and scored 84 in the first innings and 155 not out in the second innings.
Headley scored 16 runs in his last test match.
Headley played 22 International matches. He scored 2190 runs with (10 century, five fifty). His top score is 270*.
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Headley became the coach of the cricket team by the Jamaican Government in 1955. Headley and his son traveled back to Jamaica, while the rest of the family remained in England. He was trying to improve standards and facilities throughout the country. He created many stars of cricket in his coaching time.
Family and retirement
Headley married Rena Saunders in 1939. He had nine children. His son Roy went to play professional for the English counties Worcestershire and represented the Jamaica before playing two Tests for West Indies in 1973. Another son Lyndie reached from semi-finals of the 100 meters and came 4th in the 100 meters relay at the 1964 Olympics.
After his retrenchment from coaching, Headley remained with cricket associated. He represented awards and playing in friendly matches. He was the official representative of the Jamaican Cricket Board. In the later years, he received the Order of Distinction.
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