Ravi Shastri hails Garry Sobers as the “greatest”

Cricket has seen several greats grace the game, but has anyone been as impactful as Garry Sobers? Bat, spin, pace, fielding or leading, name any discipline and the Barbadian could win you games on his own. The debate on who is the greatest ever cricketer can be unending but Sobers certainly makes a strong claim. Former Indian all-rounder Ravi Shastri has given his verdict.

Shastri will always be linked to the great West Indian, who turns 80 on Thursday. Sobers was the first man in First-Class cricket history to smash six sixes in an over. Playing for Nottinghamshire, Sobers launched himself on Glamorgan spinner Tilak Raj in 1968. Less than 20 years later, Shastri repeated the feat and the victim was Baroda player Tilak Raj in 1985. Also Read: 10 anecdotes about the greatest all-rounder the world has seen Garry Sobers

Shastri, who was also India’s Team Director until ICC World T20 2016, was invited to be part of a festival match between the Carl Hooper-led Sir Garry Sobers XI and the Brian Lara XI, led by the man himself, in a match organised by Barbados Cricket Association and the 50th Anniversary of Independence Celebrations Secretariat. Shastri had other engagements and could not fly down.

Speaking to mid-day, Shastri put an end to the debate, “In 139 years of Test cricket, Sobers is the greatest cricketer ever. It is as simple as that. In a 93-Test package, he averaged 57.78. Now that is something. Then you have his 235 wickets and 100-plus catches. It is quite incredible. Along the way, during these 139 years, you had the Tendulkars, Bradmans and other greats. But Sobers was the greatest a true match-winner. He must have influenced 60 out of his 93 Tests.”