Garry Sobers knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1975

“The finest all-round player in the history of cricket [...] Everything he did was marked by a natural grace, apparent at first sight.”

That’s how legendary cricket commentator and journalist John Arlott described Sir Garfield Sobers on his retirement.

 

Sobers was the first cricketer to hit six sixes in an over in First-Class. He did it in 1968 against Glamorgan, and their captain Tony Lewis had said, “It was not sheer slogging through strength, but scientific hitting with every movement working in harmony.”

 

Such was Sobers’s class. He is widely considered the best all-arounder in history. From 93 Tests, the Barbados legend scored 8,032 runs at an average close to 58 and picked up 235 wickets. Sobers was such a versatile cricketer that he could bowl left-arm medium pace, orthodox as well as chinaman.

 

It’s a pity that a player of his calibre could just play one One-Day International (ODI), as he belonged to an era prior to the rise of ODI cricket. His brilliant numbers (average of 38.3 with bat and almost 22 with the ball) in List A casts little doubt that he would have excelled in the shorter format as well.

 

Sobers retired in 1974 and the following year, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of his outstanding contribution to international cricket.

 

In the above photograph, we see the West Indian cricketer receiving the knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II during her visit to Barbados in February 1975.