Garfield Sobers

Garfield Sobers

Infobox cricketer biography
playername = Sir Garfield Sobers
country = West Indies
fullname = Garfield St. Auburn Sobers
nickname = Garry Sobers
living = true
dayofbirth = 28
monthofbirth = 7
yearofbirth = 1936
placeofbirth = Bridgetown
countryofbirth = Barbados
heightft = 5
heightinch = 11
batting = Left-handed
bowling = Left-arm fast medium
Slow left-arm orthodox
Slow left-arm chinaman
role = All-rounder
international = true
testdebutdate = 30 March
testdebutyear = 1954
testdebutagainst = England

lasttestdate = 5 April
lasttestyear = 1974
lasttestagainst = England
odidebutdate = 5 September
odidebutyear = 1973
odidebutagainst = England

club1 = Barbados
year1 = 1952 – 1974
club2 = Nottinghamshire
year2 = 1968 – 1974
club3 = South Australia
year3 = 1961 – 1964
club4 = MCC
year4 = 1961 – 1962
deliveries = balls
columns = 4
column1 = Tests
matches1 = 93
runs1 = 8032
bat avg1 = 57.78
100s/50s1 = 26/30
top score1 = 365*
deliveries1 = 21599
wickets1 = 235
bowl avg1 = 34.03
fivefor1 = 6
tenfor1 = 0
best bowling1 = 6/73
catches/stumpings1 = 109/–
column2 = ODI
matches2 = 1
runs2 = 0
bat avg2 = 0.00
100s/50s2 = 0/0
top score2 = 0
deliveries2 = 63
wickets2 = 1
bowl avg2 = 31.00
fivefor2 = –
tenfor2 = n/a
best bowling2 = 1/31
catches/stumpings2 = 1/–
column3 = FC
matches3 = 383
runs3 = 28314
bat avg3 = 54.87
100s/50s3 = 86/121
top score3 = 365*
deliveries3 = 70789
wickets3 = 1043
bowl avg3 = 27.74
fivefor3 = 36
tenfor3 = 1
best bowling3 = 9/49
catches/stumpings3 = 407/–
column4 = LA
matches4 = 95
runs4 = 2721
bat avg4 = 38.32
100s/50s4 = 1/18
top score4 = 116*
deliveries4 = 4387
wickets4 = 109
bowl avg4 = 21.95
fivefor4 = 1
tenfor4 = n/a
best bowling4 = 5/43
catches/stumpings4 = 41/–
date = 13 September
year = 2007
source = Cricinfo

Sir Garfield St Auburn Sobers, AO (born 28 July 1936 in Bridgetown, Barbados), often known as Garry Sobers (though earlier in his life he preferred the spelling Gary), is a former West Indies cricketer, widely regarded as the greatest all-rounder the game has ever seen, excelling at both batting and bowling.

Sobers was a talented left-handed batsman, with a superb career Test batting average of 57.78, one of the highest reached by any player. He scored 8,032 runs in his career, which was a record at the time. Sobers was also a versatile bowler, taking 235 Test wickets at an average of 34.03. He bowled left-arm spin and also left-arm fast-medium. He was also an outstanding fielder.

He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1975.

Personal life

Sobers was born on 28 July 1936 in Bridgetown, Barbados. At birth he had two extra fingers, one on each hand, which were removed. Besides cricket, he also excelled at other sports, and played golf, football, basketball, table tennis and dominoes for Barbados. [ [ "Garry Sobers: My Autobiography" - book review at Amazon,com] ]

He has two sons, Matthew and Daniel, and a daughter, Genevieve.

He is the author of a children's novel about cricket, "Bonaventure and the Flashing Blade", in which computer analysis helps a university cricket team become unbeatable.


Sobers played his first Test Match in 1953 aged 17. Just under five years later, in 1958 he set a Test cricket record by scoring 365 runs in 614 minutes in a single innings that included 38 fours and, interestingly, not one six against Pakistan. It was his first Test century, and a record which stood for over 36 years, until it was surpassed by Brian Lara. However, Sobers' innings still remains the highest maiden Test century ever. He played his last Test in 1974 against England in Trinidad.

ix sixes

In 1968 Sobers became the first batsman ever to hit six sixes in a single over of six consecutive balls in first-class cricket. His knock consisted of five clean sixes and one parried over the rope by Roger Davis. [ [ BBC Archive - 1968 footage of Sir Garfield Sobers hitting six sixes in one over] ] Sobers was playing as captain of Nottinghamshire against Glamorgan in Swansea; the unfortunate bowler was Malcolm Nash. This tally of 36 runs in an over broke a 57-year-old record of 34 runs, held by Ted Alletson.


In the New Year Honours 1975 Queen Elizabeth II created Sobers a Knight Bachelor for his services to the sport. [LondonGazette|issue=46444|supp=yes|startpage=1|endpage=2|date=31 December 1974|accessdate=2008-04-27] The award was made in the British Diplomatic and Overseas section of the list, rather than on the nomination of the Government of Barbados, which had stopped putting forward recommendations for British honours. This caused the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office some unease, as shown by papers released by The National Archives in 2005. However, since Barbados had not yet introduced its own system of honours, the Prime Minister of Barbados was pleased that an honour would be forthcoming for Sobers. [ Catalogue data for file FCO 57/606] , [ pdf copy of full document relating to award of knighthood to Sir Garfield Sobers] (fee required to view pdf)] The award was originally intended to be made in the 1975 Queen's Birthday Honours, but since there was a royal visit to Barbados planned for February 1975, it was moved forward to the New Year list so that Sobers could be knighted by the Queen in person during the visit, the very short turnaround between the decision to make the award and its announcement meant that the Governor-General of Barbados was not informed of the award before the public announcement, which caused some hurt feelings between London and Bridgetown. [LondonGazette|issue=46502|startpage=2671|date=27 February 1975|accessdate=2008-04-27] In 2003 he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia, where he played many first-class games for South Australia. [ [ Australian Government—It's an honour—Australia Celebrating Australians. Entry for SOBERS, Garfield St Aubrun] . Retrieved 2008-04-27] [ [ BBC Archive - Order of Australia appointment] ]

In 2000 Sobers was named by a 100-member panel of experts as one of the five "Wisden Cricketers of the Century". Sobers received 90 votes out of a possible 100. The other four cricketers selected for the honour were Sir Donald Bradman (100 votes - out of 100 possible), Sir Jack Hobbs (30 votes), Shane Warne (27 votes) and Sir Vivian Richards (25 votes).

He was made a National Hero of Barbados [ [ National Heroes of Barbados—Sir Garfield Sobers] , Government of Barbados. Retrieved 2008-06-26] by Prime Minister Owen Arthur in 1998.

Performance graphs




*Garfield Sobers, "Garry Sobers: My Autobiography", Headline; New Ed edition (7 April 2003), ISBN 0755310071

External links

* [ Interview with CricInfo Interactive]

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