Sir Garfield Sobers Biography

Sir Garfield Sobers, the former West Indian cricketer, is widely recognized as the greatest all-rounder in the history of cricket. Renowned for his exceptional skills as a left-handed batsman and bowler, Sobers was hailed by none other than Bradman himself as the “five-in-one cricketer”. His versatility extended beyond the traditional sense of an all-rounder, as he showcased his prowess in various bowling styles, from medium pace to left arm spin. Additionally, Sobers was a remarkable fielder, particularly excelling in close-to-the-wicket positions. His journey to international fame began during his school days, where he and his brother Gerald utilized their cricketing talent to secure three consecutive Inter-school Cricket championships. Throughout his illustrious career, Sobers delivered unforgettable innings, astonishing spectators with his extraordinary abilities. With a Test career spanning two decades and 39 captaincies for his country, Sobers’ numerous skills and records have solidified his status as a cricketing genius. Even today, he is revered as one of the greatest cricketers to have graced the game, leaving an indelible mark as the ultimate all-rounder.

Quick Facts

  • Nick Name: Garry Sobers
  • Also Known As: Sir Garfield St Aubrun Sobers, Gary Sobers
  • Age: 87 Years, 87 Year Old Males
  • Family:
    • Spouse/Ex-: Pru Kirby
    • Father: Shamont Sobers
    • Mother: Thelma Sobers
  • Born Country: Barbados
  • Height: 5’11” (180 cm), 5’11” Males

Childhood & Early Life

Sir Garfield Sobers was born on July 28, 1936 in Bridgetown, Barbados to Shamont and Thelma Sobers. He was the fifth of the six children in his family. Unfortunately, in January 1942, his father died at sea when his ship was torpedoed by a German U-boat. At birth, Sobers had two extra fingers, one on each hand, which he removed himself in childhood. He received his early education at Bay St. School in Barbados. Sobers was a talented kid and excelled in many sports such as cricket, football, and basketball. At the age of 13, he was recruited to play for two cricket teams where he gained useful experience by bowling to Wanderers batsmen during net practice and soon developed his great skill as a left arm spin bowler.


In 1953, Sobers made his first-class debut at the age of 16 against the Indian touring team at Kensington Oval, Bridgetown. He did not score much in batting but made an instant impression as a bowler, taking a total of seven wickets in the match. At the age of 17, he made his international test debut against England at Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica. He took four wickets in the match and made a good impression as a pace bowler. From 1954 to 1957, Sobers played in several test series, domestic as well as overseas, against Australia, New Zealand, and England. He was able to register his presence in some of the matches but failed to convert good starts into high scores. One of his earlier mature performances was seen in the 1957 Oval test against England, where his team was bundled out for 89 and 86 in the successive innings of the match but he managed to score 39 and 42. No other West Indian player was able to reach an individual score of 30 in the match. During the period of 1958–1965, Sobers showcased his true talent and made more than a dozen centuries against various teams including India and England. But, his most memorable batting performance was his maiden Test century which he scored against Pakistan in Kingston. He went on to convert his century into an unbeaten 365, breaking the world record Test score of 364 set by England’s Len Hutton in 1938. Sobers captained West Indies for the first time in the 1964–65 home series against Australia and won the series 2-1. West Indies also won test series against England in 1966 and against India in 1966–67 under his captaincy. During his captaincy, he also faced criticism for his controversial declaration against England in 1967–68 home series. Because of his declaration, West Indies lost the test match, which was clearly headed towards a draw. He also captained the ‘Rest of the World XI’ team in the 1970 test series against England and 1972 test series against Australia. Sobers also played in English league cricket, domestic first-class competitions in Australia, and county championships in England. He played his only ODI in 1973 against England, took one wicket in the match. He played his last Test match against England at Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, in 1974. Overall, he took 235 wickets at an average of 34.03 and made 8032 runs, with 26 centuries and 30 half-centuries, in his career of 93 Tests.

Awards & Achievements

Sobers achieved numerous awards and accolades throughout his career. In 1958, he became the youngest player to break the individual scoring record in Tests with his unbeaten 365 against Pakistan and still remains the youngest triple-centurion. He was named the ‘West Indian Cricket Cricketer of the Year’ (1958–59) and was conferred the title of ‘Wisden Cricketer of the Year’ in 1964. In 1968, while playing for Nottinghamshire against Glamorgan at Swansea, he became the first cricketer to hit six sixes in an over in first-class cricket. When he retired from test cricket in 1974, he held the record for the most runs in test cricket. In the 1975 New Year Honours, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to cricket. He was honored as the ‘Wisden Cricketer of the Century’ in 2000. In 2004, the International Cricket Council (ICC) inaugurated the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy which is awarded to the ICICI‘s ‘Player of the Year’ annually.

Personal Life & Legacy

On his 1966-67 tour to India, Sobers met the Indian actress, Anju Mahendru and was engaged to her for a brief period. In September 1969, he married Pru Kirby, an Australian woman. They were blessed with two sons, Matthew and Daniel. They also have an adopted daughter, Genevieve. But the couple got separated in 1984 and eventually divorced each other in 1990.

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