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Tuesday, 28 May, 2002, 10:14 GMT 11:14 UK
Sobers' sporting tales
Sir Garry Sobers
Sir Garry Sobers: 65 not out and still on the attack
Legendary West Indies batsman Sir Garry Sobers is widely regarded as the greatest all-rounder ever to play cricket.

On the launch of his autobiography he told BBC World Service about his dedication to his sport.

"I speak my mind wherever I go," he told the Outlook programme.

"I worked hard to achieve what I achieved."

Undaunted

By the time he retired from cricket he had scored 8,032 runs and taken 235 wickets and 109 catches in 93 Tests.

He is generally regarded as the finest all-rounder who ever played the game, and was one of Wisden's five cricketers of the century.

Knighted for his services to the game in 1975, Garfield St Aubrun Sobers' sporting career spanned more than 20 years.

Sir Garry Sobers
Garfield St Aubrun Sobers in his heyday
He started to play for Barbados at the tender age of 15 and went on to play for the West Indies before his 18th birthday.

Despite playing alongside his cricketing heroes, he modestly explained how he remained undaunted.

"I always played with people who were much older than I was. I was probably better than the average boy my age and so I had to play with boys who were older than me."

The greatest

Playing with the big boys served as a good grounding for what was to come, as Sir Garry went on to help the West Indies to become the most feared cricketing nation in the world.

However in 1959, it was a tragic accident which provided the extra drive behind his playing.

When friend and fellow player, Collie Smith was killed in a car accident, Sir Garry explained how he felt that, "I had to play for two because he could have been one of the greatest."

"I realised that the West Indies had lost a great player and I had to substitute," he added.

Authority

Although the man who held the highest Test cricket score of 365 not out for 37 years has not picked up a cricket bat in more than 10 years, his autobiography speaks with authority.

Speaking on the stresses facing today's players he proves that he is 65 not out and still on the attack.

"I look through my life as a cricketer and see how I and others are being treated when they are coming out of the game," he explained.

"After all of the years of the good work the press and the people don't even give you a little bit of leverage.

They don't even wait until you've played five games and you fail - if you fail just one or two they say, "drop him, he's an old man".

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Sir Garry Sobers talks to Outlook
"I worked hard to achieve what I achieved."
See also:

04 Oct 00 | Cricket
05 Jun 01 | Cricket
13 Nov 01 | Forum
14 Nov 01 | Cricket
25 Mar 02 | West Indies v India
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