Home > Features > Moments in history >

Garry Sobers scores a duck and concedes defeat in the final over of his only ODI

Garry Sobers scores a duck and concedes defeat in the final over of his only ODI

Garry Sobers © Getty Images

On September 5, 1973, Garry Sobers played his only One-Day International (ODI) and was sadly dismissed for a duck, before conceding defeat with the ball in the final over. For the world’s greatest all-rounder, it was a forgettable outing, one that he labels ‘regret’ in his cricketing career. Karthik Parimal revisits the fixture at Headingley.
If asked to pick a few cricketers from the bygone era who would have thrived in limited-overs cricket had they an opportunity to play a lot of it, Garry Sobers’s name would have featured unanimously in all the lists. The world’s greatest all-rounder at the time was so entertaining as a batsman, bowler and fielder that despite playing only the longest format of the game for a significant part of his career, there was no doubt in people’s mind the world over that the southpaw was cut out for One-Day cricket or, more recently, Twenty20. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be.
The only dig

On this day in 1973, Sobers played his only overs-limit game, a 55-over One-Day International (ODI) against England at Headingley, but the stage failed to bring to fore his dexterity in Tests that had awed many. It was West Indies’ first ODI and hence very few in the squad could nonchalantly adapt to the change. Nonetheless, Sobers’s only outing was forgettable: after facing five balls, he edged the sixth behind to wicketkeeper Bob Taylor off Chris Old and was dismissed for nought.

West Indies could muster just 181 and although they had England on ropes for a brief part of the game, Bob Willis and Derek Underwood steered them across the line, scoring the winning runs off Sobers’s final over. “The second ball was hit straight back over the bowler for two; the next steered to third man for two more and England were home,” noted Wisden. Sobers accounted for the wicket of Old, poetic justice perhaps, but it was to be the only scalp he would show for in the format. He was absent from the second ODI of that series, played at The Oval — a fixture the West Indies won by eight wickets riding on Roy Frederick’s heroics — owing to fatigue from the long tour.

The rise of the one-day game coincided with the fag end of Sobers’s career. He was selected to play in the first World Cup, eventually bagged by the West Indies in 1975, but was soon sidelined with a slight groin strain. In his autobiography, Sobers confesses that he could have carried on despite that niggle, but refrained from bargaining with the powers that be after the commotion that ensued when he toured Australia not a hundred per cent fit, a few months before the tournament. Rohan Kanhai was named Sobers’s replacement and the former played a sturdy role, standing up to the likes of Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson to take his side home in the final.

As Sobers assertively states, his game was based on attack whether as a batsman, bowler or captain. The fact that he looked to extract a result from even the most insipid matches — his declaration at Port of Spain springs immediately to mind — provides ample evidence. He played the game so that everyone could enjoy it; not just the players on the field but the spectators as well. “That’s why so many fans turn up to watch one-day cricket — they know they will see attractive cricket,” he further stresses. While that statement emphasises his love for the sport and the attached entertainment, it also underlines one of his deep regrets, that of never having the opportunity to play a lot of one-day cricket.

Would Sobers have had fun playing the abridged format, especially when it’s sans the rigours of Test cricket? “I’m certain that I would have enjoyed playing one-day cricket and I don’t think I would have changed my game. After all, I played in the same way whether it was league, county or Test cricket. I have always tried to play in an attractive manner,” he aptly writes in Garry Sobers: My autobiography.

Watching Sobers rip apart bowling attacks in coloured clothing would have been a sight to savour. Sadly, for the man who amassed 8,032 Test runs, hit six sixes in one over for Nottinghamshire against Glamorgan, registered an unbeaten 365 — the highest score at the time in international cricket, one-day cricket’s development was a tad bit late. All the more unfortunate was his dismissal for a duck in the only match of that type. While the English were certainly pleased to see his back, many fans that travelled thousands of miles to watch the maestro bat were, understandably, dejected. The fact that he chose to skip the second ODI only rubbed salt to their wounds.
Brief scores:

West Indies 181 in 54 overs (Rohan Kanhai 55; Derek Underwood 3 for 30, Chris Old 3 for 43) lost to England 182 for 9 in 54.3 overs (Mike Denness 66; Vanburn Holder 2 for 34) by 1 wicket.

(Karthik Parimal, a Correspondent with CricketCountry, is a cricket aficionado and a worshipper of the game. He idolises Steve Waugh and can give up anything, absolutely anything, just to watch a Kumar Sangakkara cover drive. He can be followed on Twitter at https://twitter.com/karthik_parimal)

World T20 League 2014

Sep 22, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Bengaluru

World T20 League 2014

Sep 23, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Raipur

World T20 League 2014

Sep 24, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Sep 25, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Bengaluru

World T20 League 2014

Sep 26, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Mohali

More

World T20 League 2014

Sep 21, 2014  at Hyderabad

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 4 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 21, 2014  at Hyderabad

Hobart Hurricanes won by 6 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014  at Mohali

Kings XI Punjab won by 4 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014  at Mohali

Perth Scorchers won by 6 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 19, 2014  at Raipur

NK won by 33 runs (D/L method)

Photos

KXIP vs Hobart Hurricanes, Match 2 CLT20 2014

Videos

Kane, Devcich praise each others knock

Live Cricket Score Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Lahore Lions CLT20 2014: KKR labour to 4 wicket win

CLT20 2014: Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Lahore Lions (LL), Match 7: 5 key battles

Before Mitchell Marsh, Surinder Amarnath had hit sixes off last two balls to win a match in England

Kings XI Punjab vs Barbados Tridents, Match 5, CLT20 2014: Highlights

CLT20 2014: Mitchell Marsh stakes his claim for a spot in Australia’s ICC World Cup 2015 squad with late blitz for Perth Scorchers against Dolphins

Asian Games Asian Games 2014 Cape Cobras Champions League T20 2014 CLT20 CLT20 2014 Dolphins Hobart Hurricanes Incheon Asian Games India at Asian Games 2014 Kings XI Punjab Lahore Lions

Gautam Gambhir is a very good captain: Ryan ten Doeschate

Former England, South Africa cricketers part of team to play world’s highest game

CLT20 2014: In-form Northern Knights face upbeat Hobart Hurricanes

CLT20 2014: KKR look to do well in atleast two departments, says Suryakumar Yadav

Michael Clarke dismisses suggestions of quitting one-day cricket

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) vs Dolphins, Match 8, CLT20 2014: Key Battles

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) vs Dolphins, Match 8, CLT20 2014: CSK’s likely XI

Jalaluddin takes first ODI hat-trick

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) vs Dolphins, Match 8, CLT20 2014: Dolphins’ likely XI

Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014: Kuldeep Yadav’s dramatic debut for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) shows he is one for the future

Fan of the Day

Cyrus Irani

Cyrus Irani

770 Posts | 24 Fans

Italy 0 Costa Rica 1 Full Match Highlights and Goals Video: FIFA World Cup 2014 Match 24

Bigg Boss 8 style stalking: Salman Khan’s love for sequinned jackets continues!

संयुक्त राष्ट्र के द्वारा इबोला अभियान की घोषणा

Health benefits of apple cider vinegar

Huma Qureshi: Ayushmann Khurrana’s Mitti di khushboo song is sweet!

Indian spacecraft enters Martian sphere of influence

Telecom merger and acquisition guidelines need to be reworked: TRAI Chairman

Isro’s Mangalyaan enters Mars’ sphere of influence

Seat-sharing row: Why is Shiv Sena not compromising with BJP in Maharashtra?

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here