Sir Garfield Sobers pays tribute to boxing legend Muhammad Ali at Lord's
Sir Garfield Sobers, one of the greatest all-rounders in the history of cricket, paid a special tribute to Muhammad Ali at Lord’s on Friday, which coincided with the day of the legendary boxer’s funeral. Thousands of people were expected to attend the funeral at Ali's hometown, Louisville, to bid him adieu.
Black and white photographs of Ali meeting Sobers in the Lord's dressing room were projected on giant screens in the ground, during the lunch interval on the second day of the ongoing third test between England and Sri Lanka. The former West Indian cricketer rang the bell in the pavilion, five minutes before the start of the second session for the day, as a mark of respect and a tribute to the great Ali.
The boxing hero had been hospitalized in Phoenix, Arizona earlier in the week due to respiratory problems. Although his condition was said to be stable, he lost his 32-year long fight to Parkinson’s disease at the age of 74 on 3rd June.
Also read: Boxing legend Muhammad Ali no more
Sobers and Ali’s friendship dates back to 1966, when they first met at Lord’s, when Sobers was in England to play a Test match for West Indies and the heavyweight champion was in London for his second fight with Britain’s Henry Cooper.
Both of them saw success that year, as Ali triumphed to victory in the sixth round, to retain his heavyweight title, and the left-handed Sobers scored 163 not out in the second innings to save his team from a defeat and drew the Test for the Windies.
The 79-year-old batsman could also bowl in varied styles of fast-medium, orthodox spin and wrist spin and was a brilliant fielder as well. In his 20-year long cricketing career for the West Indies, from 1954 to 1974, Sobers played 93 Tests, scoring a mammoth 8032 runs and picked up 235 wickets.
People from around the world paid their tributes to the great Muhammad Ali, here are a few tweets: