Leg­end of the game drops in at King’s

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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

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