Legend of the game drops in at King’s
ONE of Wisden’s Cricket Almanac’s five greatest cricketers of all time Sir Garfield Sobers passed on his wisdom to lucky King’s School cricketers on a surprise visit to the top Macclesfield school.
The 79-year-old Barbadian was representing the Barbados Cricket Board, where King’s have previously toured but as always simply enjoyed the chance to pass on some gems from his illustrious sporting career.
Arguably the greatest all rounder of all time, he broke the record for the highest Test score, 365, at the age of only 21, going on to score 8032 runs at an average of nearly 58. He could bowl left-arm orthodox, wrist spin and fast-medium, taking 232 wickets at a fraction above 34. A brilliant, lightening quick fielder anywhere on the ground, he was also the first player to hit six sixes in an over in a first-class game.
Sir Garfield modestly recounted his destruction of Malcolm Nash, saying he had been lucky because “Nottinghamshire were going for a quick declaration,” and that having hit five sixes, he was thankful for Malcolm for continuing to bowl normally.
He compared the modern greats of Lara and Tendulkar and reminisced about the talents of his own generation in Everton Weekes and Sir Frank Worrell.
He said: “In my time the odds were stacked against the batsmen with uncovered pitches, the absence of the front foot no ball rule and the lack of protective equipment and the game has changed immeasurably, though still retains all its qualities.”
Though Sir Gary played some domestic one day cricket he did not play any at international level and King’s Cricket Coach Steve Moores said: “He would have a master of the one day game as he was at Test March level.”
Steve added: “Sir Gary is one of the icons of the game; a languid but lethal cricketer who played the game with a cavalier spirit.
“He enjoys nothing more than travelling the cricketing world and talking to the younger generation and is incredibly generous with his time and I am sure all the pupils and certainly the staff, will remember their meeting with this sporting genius for the rest of their lives.”
The other members of the five are Sir Donald Bradman, Sir Jack Hobbs, Sir Vivian Richards and Shane Warne.
●● Sir Garfield Sobers with King’s Joey Chong and Josh Rajendran and coach Steve Moores