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West Indies and Sri Lanka to battle for Sobers-Tissera Trophy in upcoming series

Davis James
ANALYST
News
07 Oct 2015, 16:57 IST
Jason Holder (L) and Angelo Mathews (R) at the pre-series launch

The upcoming West Indies Test series against Sri Lanka is set to be renamed the Sobers/Tissera Trophy according to a report on the ICC Official WebsiteFormer West Indies all-rounder and captain Sir Garfield Sobers and former Sri Lanka captain Michael Tissera will be honoured during the forthcoming Test series.

Sri Lanka Cricket made the official announcement at the pre-series launch on Tuesday night. West Indies and Sri Lanka will play two Test matches – one at the Galle International Stadium (October 14-18) in the coastal town of Galle; and the other at the P Sara Oval (October 22-26) in the capital, Colombo.

At the series launch, West Indies captain Jason Holder appreciated the gesture of renaming the trophy was a "special touch”.

“Having the trophy named after Sir Garfield Sobers is something truly special. He was one of the greatest to play the game and he still makes a major contribution to the game. Only recently he joined us in Barbados and wished everyone the very best for this tour of Sri Lanka. It is always good to see him and interact with him and it would be great for us to take home the trophy with his name on it,” the young West Indies captain said.

“We have players in the team who are eager to do very well for West Indies cricket. We all look up to Sir Garry and the legends of West Indies cricket who paved the way for us to be here. We will look to play in the true spirit of the game and look to emulate the great things of our past heroes.”

Sir Garfield Sobers, who is 79 now, has been rated as the best all-rounder the game has ever seen. His record speaks for itself. He played 93 Test matches for West Indies in a career that spanned 20 years between 1954 and 1974. He scored 8032 runs, which included 26 centuries. In addition to that, he picked up 235 wickets and held 109 catches. He is particularly famous for becoming the first ever batsman to hit six sixes in a single over in first-class cricket.

Michael Tissera, who is 75 now, played only three Test matches for Sri Lanka. He played in the first Cricket World Cup in 1975. Tissera, when he was 25, had led Sri Lanka to an unofficial Test win on Indian soil against a Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi-led Indian side.

The Sobers-Tissera Trophy will be the first series for Sri Lanka without batting legends Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara. It will be interesting to see how the new-look Sri Lankan side performs under the leadership of young captain Angelo Matthews.

It is also a tricky phase for West Indies cricket, with their coach Phil Simmons having been suspended recently, and limited-overs captain Jason Holder taking over the responsibility of the longer format for the first time.

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