Garfield Sobers Biography
Born on 28 July 1936 at Bridgetown in Barbados, Sir Garfield Sobers is a former cricketer who played for the West Indies between 1954 and 1974, and is widely considered to be cricket's greatest all-rounder of all time.
He was the ultimate quadruple spear. Be it the batting, bowling - both seam and spin, or fielding, Sir Garry had mastered all of them.
In 2000, he was honoured as ‘The Wisden Cricketer of the century’ by a 100-member panel of experts, and the cricketing genius would arguably tower over every other claimant to the title of the greatest all-rounder of all time in the history of cricket.
He was fifth among his siblings. Childhood was full of hardships and it became worse at the age of 5, when his father died.
Sobers was instrumental in the victory of his school team, Bay Street Boys in the primary school Inter-School Cricket championship for three consecutive years.
Later he played for Kent club in Barbados Cricket League and for Wanderers Club, in the Barbados Cricket Association.
He played a total of 383 First Class matches and 95 List-A matches, scoring a massive total of 28,314 runs in the former and 2,721 runs in the latter.
He also claimed 1043 and 109 wickets in the two formats respectively.
Sobers propelled himself to the international arena at the age of just 17.
His debut was against England at Kingston, where Garry showcased the glimpse of his capabilities. His handy 14* and 26 runs, batting at no. 9 was laudable.
He also claimed 4 wickets in the first innings of his debut match. Since then, there was no turning back.
He was of an era when Tests were the masterpiece and ODI cricket was not so developed.
In the only ODI match he played, was against England in 1973. He got out on duck and took a wicket.
Rise to glory
He became a worldwide sensation when he amassed 2,250 runs at an exceptionally high average of 93.75 in 24 Tests.
This includes his unconquered 365 versus Pakistan at home, a record that stood for 36 long years as the highest individual score in Test cricket until Brian Lara snatched the honour in 1994.
In 1961 against Australia, he cracked 132 in the fairy-tale Brisbane Test - the first ever tied Test- before the counter-attacking 168 at the SCG. Sobers took 15 wickets in the series, including a best analysis of 5/120, at an average of 39.20.
However, his finest bowling figures (6-73) arrived against Australia at Brisbane in 1968-69.
It took Sir Garry 4 years, to establish his ultimate supremacy. Till 1957, Sobers had frustrated his admirers by failing to convert good starts into high scores. He had reached double figures in 18 of his 22 Test innings, although his highest score was still only 66.
A controversial declaration in 1967 by Sobers, enabled England to score the necessary 215–3 to win at just four runs an over and West Indies was surprisingly beaten 3-0 at home by England.
Sobers represented Nottinghamshire in addition to his stints with Radcliffe Cricket Club and Norton Cricket Club in UK.
Playing as a captain for Nottinghamshire in 1967 he did miracles and hit sixes in an over - first ever batsman to do so.
He also served South Australia with distinction, becoming the first cricketer Down Under to boast a rare double of 1000 runs and 50 wickets in the same season in 1962-63.
His multi-dimensional skills, which were worth its weight in gold, drew massive crowds in Australia.
As a captain
His stats and capabilities earned him Wisden Cricketer of the Year 1964 and succeeded Worrell to become the captain of West Indies international squad.
As a captain, he has so much to savour, the team defeated Australia in a series for the first time in 1964.
Against England in 1966, West Indies won the series by 3–1, with one match drawn.
After this success,he was widely acclaimed as "King Cricket". In the following year, team defeated India in the challenging spin-uber tracks.