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42 Facts about Sir Garfield Sobers

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Sir Garfield Sobers is greatest West Indian cricketer of all time and finest all-rounder in the world. Here are 42 facts about the cricketer:

Former West indian cricketer Sir Garfield Sobers during the 2010 DLF Indian Premier League T20 group stage match between the Deccan Chargers and the Kolkata Knight Riders played at DY Patil Stadium on March 12, 2010 in Mumbai, India.
(Photo : Chirag Wakaskar-IPL 2010/IPL via Getty Images) Former West indian cricketer Sir Garfield Sobers during the 2010 DLF Indian Premier League T20 group stage match between the Deccan Chargers and the Kolkata Knight Riders played at DY Patil Stadium on March 12, 2010 in Mumbai, India.
  1. Sobers was born on July 28, 1936 in Bridgetown, Barbados. He was christened Garfield St Aubrun Sobers.
  2. He was one of the six children to Shamont and Thelma Sobers. He lost his father at the age of five due to shipwreck in 1942.
  3. He did his schooling at Bay Street Boys School. He along with his brother Gerald Sobers helped his school to three inter-school cricket championships.
  4. He had natural talent for sport and excelled in cricket, football and basketball. Still in his teens, he was invited to play cricket for Kent St. Philip club and Wanderers club.
  5. His talent was spotted by Wilfred Framer, the captain of police team in the Barbados Cricket League. He was 15 years old when he played for the club in the first division during 1951-52 season.
    West Indian cricketer Garfield Sobers batting at the Oval in London, during a test match against England, 1957.
    (Photo : Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images) West Indian cricketer Garfield Sobers batting at the Oval in London, during a test match against England, 1957.
  6. Sobers first international exposure was when he got selected for the Barbados eleven for a match against touring Indian team on January 31, 1953 at the age of 16 years. He made immediate impression with his bowling taking 7 for 142 in the match.
  7. His performance against touring Marylebone Cricket club earned him his test call. He took two wickets and scored 46 & 27 in that match.
  8. Sobers made his test debut in the final and fifth test against England at Sabina Park, Kingston, Jamaica in March 1954. He was 17 years old replacing indisposed Alf Valentine and made modest impression taking 4 wickets and scoring 14 not out and 26.
  9. Sobers was asked to open the innings in the fourth test against Australia at Barbados, when Jeff Stollmeyer was injured. He scored three boundaries of first three balls. He scored 43 in the opening partnership of 52 with JK Holt.
  10. Sobers overseas tour was disastrous. The green top pitch in New Zealand made him think, how he could bat and score in these condition. Playing in four tests he scored 81 runs and took two wickets during the 1956 West Indies tour of New Zealand.
    Gary Sobers before the start of the 5th Test between the West Indies and England at the Oval.
    (Photo : Titmuss/Getty Images) Gary Sobers before the start of the 5th Test between the West Indies and England at the Oval.
  11. During a trial match to select a squad for the tour of England, Sobers and Everton Weekes preferred to score heavily of Frank Mason to get his fellow Barbados team mate, Wes Hall selected in the team.
  12. The tour of England in 1957 earned Sobers praise from ‘Wisden Cricketer’s Almanack’ for his stroke play and predicted bright future. He had the distinction of scoring double century against Nottinghamshire.
  13. Sobers scored his maiden test century in the Sabina Park, Kingston, Jamaica test match against Pakistan. He went on to score 365 not out, a world record then
  14. Sobers is the youngest to score triple century and the youngest to break a individual record in test. He was 21 years and 216 days.
  15. Before the tour of India in 1958-59 series, West Indies Board announced non availability of Sobers along with Hunte, Ramadhin and Smith due to deadlocked negotiation over fee. The matter was settled with the efforts of Maharaj Kumar of Vizianagaram.
    Sir Garfield Sobers of the West Indies bats while Alan Knott of England waits behind the wicket during a match at the Kennington Oval in London.
    (Photo : Allsport UK /Allsport) Sir Garfield Sobers of the West Indies bats while Alan Knott of England waits behind the wicket during a match at the Kennington Oval in London.
  16. Sobers lived up to his early promise by amazing runs in the series against Pakistan, India and England. He scored 2,250 runs in 24 test matches at an average of 93.75. He had scored nine centuries during the period.
  17. His 226 in a 399 run partnership with Frank Worrell in the first test against England at Kensington Oval Bridgetown, Barbados lasted nine and half hour.
  18. Sobers scored hundred in the famous first ever tied test in the history of cricket, played at Brisbane Cricket Ground during the 1960-61 series. He scored 132, which was considered by many as the finest hundred they had ever seen.
  19. Sobers felt he became a better cricketer after the sad demise of his great friend Collie Smith, who died in a car accident driven by him on September 06, 1959.
  20. As a tribute to Collie Smith, Sobers had a wonderful series against touring English team. He scored 709 runs with three centuries. He felt he had to play for two, Smith and Sobers.
  21. In the 1960-61 series against Australia in Australia, Sobers was outstanding with bat and ball. He scored 430 runs and took 15 wickets apart from 12 catches. He was invited by Don Bradman to play for South Australia.
  22. For his service to cause of South Australian cricket he was appointed “Officer of the Order of Australia” in 2003.
  23. After the series against Australia in 1960-61, he started to be rated as an all-rounder. He was awarded title ‘Wisden Leading Cricketer in the World’ eight times in his cricketing career.
  24. Sobers was appointed as captain of the West Indies team for home series against Australia in 1965. He led them to 2-1 series victory to claim the newly constituted ‘Frank Worrell Trophy.’ He was the first captain to win a series against Australia.
  25. Sobers with his all round performance won the series 3-1 against England in England in 1966. His 722 runs had three centuries at an astonishing average of 103. He also took 20 wicket and 10 catches. His performance earned him the nick name ‘King Cricket.’
    The captain of the Rest of the World Cricket team Gary Sobers with the Guinness Trophy, after his team beat England at the Final Test match held at the Oval.
    (Photo : Central Press/Getty Images) The captain of the Rest of the World Cricket team Gary Sobers with the Guinness Trophy, after his team beat England at the Final Test match held at the Oval.
  26. The Trinidadian Calypso artist ‘Mighty Sparrow’ credited Sobers with a song ‘Sir Garfield Sobers,’ well before he was knighted.
  27. Sobers had a poor run as captain losing four test series against England, Australia and India from 1967 to 1971.
  28. Sobers lost the captaincy to Rohan Kanhai for the 1972-73 home series against Australia. He did not play in that series.
  29. Sobers last played test match for West Indies in the home series against England. In the final test at Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain, Trinidad, he scored 20 runs and took 3 wickets. His last test wicket was Geoff Arnold, the English fast bowler.
  30. Sobers captained Rest of the World Team against England in the unofficial test match in 1970 in place of South Africa national team due to apartheid policy. He bowled seam high speed in the first innings and slow wrist spin in the second innings. He also scored 183 runs in that test.
    West Indian cricketer, Garfield Sobers, at Arundel 27th April 1963.
    (Photo : Bob Thomas/Getty Images) West Indian cricketer, Garfield Sobers, at Arundel 27th April 1963.
  31. Sobers act of playing in a friendly double-wicket tournament at Salisbury Sports Club in Rhodesia, nearly caused him to lose his captaincy and also threatened the unity of West Indies team itself.
  32. Sobers innings of 254 for Rest of the World against Australia in January 1972, was described by Don Bradman as “One of the greatest exhibition of batting ever seen in Australia.” It was also felt that the innings was “Superb display of forceful cricket” played in Melbourne Cricket Ground.”
  33. Sobers was the one of the first cricketer from West Indies to play as a professional in the English league crcicket. He represented Radcliffe Cricket Club in the Central Lancashire League from 1958 to 62. He was paid £500 a season apart from match day collection.
  34. Sobers was signed up Nottinghamshire county on November 14, 1967 to play as overseas cricketer for a sum of £ 7000 a year including apartment and car.
  35. Sobers was the first ever to score six sixes in an over. He scored of Malcolm Nash in Nottinghamshire against Glamorgan match on August 31, 1968.
  36. Sobers married Prue Kirby an Australian in September 1969. Apart from his two sons Mathew and Daniel, he adopted a daughter Genevieve.
  37. Sobers authored a book for children titled Bonaventure and the Flashing Blade.
  38. Sobers was accorded the “The Right Excellent “by the Barbados government when he was made the “National Hero of Barbados” in 1998.
  39. In 1975 Sobers was awarded knighthood by the Queen Elizabeth II in the New Years Honours during her visit to Barbados.
  40. Sobers was selected as one of the five Wisden Cricketer of the Century in 2000. He garnered 90 votes out of possible 100.
    Former West indian cricketer Sir Garfield Sobers during the 2010 DLF Indian Premier League T20 group stage match between the Deccan Chargers and the Kolkata Knight Riders played at DY Patil Stadium on March 12, 2010 in Mumbai, India.
    (Photo : Chirag Wakaskar-IPL 2010/IPL via Getty Images) Former West indian cricketer Sir Garfield Sobers during the 2010 DLF Indian Premier League T20 group stage match between the Deccan Chargers and the Kolkata Knight Riders played at DY Patil Stadium on March 12, 2010 in Mumbai, India.
  41. In 2004 International Cricket Council inaugurated ‘Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy’ in honour of Sobers. The trophy is awarded to ICC Player of the Year.
  42. Sobers played 93 tests scoring 8032 runs and took 235 wickets. He has played 383 first class matches and has scored 28,000 runs with 1000 wickets.

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