Garfield Sobers

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Template:Infobox Cricketer


Sir Garfield St Aubrun Sobers, KBE (born July 28, 1936 in Barbados), better known as Garry Sobers (though earlier in his life he preferred the spelling Gary), was a West Indies cricket player. He was born with two extra fingers, one on each hand, which were removed at birth. He also excelled at other sports, and played golf, football and basketball for Barbados.

Sobers is best-known for his prowess at cricket. He was an all-rounder; that is, he both batted and bowled, and was also an outstanding fielder. With the ball, Sobers performed superbly, taking 235 Test wickets at an average of 34.03. He bowled left-arm orthodox spin, left-arm unorthodox spin, and also left-arm fast-medium. Sobers was also exceptionally talented with the bat, as well, with a career Test batting average of 57.78.

Sobers played his first Test match in 1953, aged only 17. Just under five years later, in 1958, Sobers set a Test cricket record by scoring 365 runs in a single innings against Pakistan, his first Test century, a record which stood for over 36 years. The record has since been surpassed twice by Brian Lara, also of the West Indies, who scored 375 and 400 in 1994 and 2004 respectively, and Matthew Hayden of Australia who scored 380 in 2003.

In 1968, Sobers became the first batsman to hit six sixes off one over of six consecutive balls in first-class cricket. Sobers was playing as captain of Nottinghamshire against Glamorgan in Swansea; the unfortunate bowler was Malcolm Nash. This feat has been matched once, by Ravi Shastri, playing for Bombay against Baroda in 1984.

In 1975, Queen Elizabeth awarded Sobers a knighthood for his services to the sport.

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.

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, behind Sir Donald Bradman (who received all 100 votes). Sir Jack Hobbs (30 votes), Shane Warne (27 votes) and Sir Vivian Richards (25 votes) were the others chosen. (Many members of the panel complained that two of the five votes cast by each member would be wasted, as they had to be cast for Bradman and Sobers!)

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