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Last Updated: Friday, 16 March 2007, 21:14 GMT
Gibbs makes the headlines again

By Paresh Soni
BBC Sport at the World Cup

A 147 snooker break, a nine-dart checkout, or a world record in track and field all have a sense of magic about them.

However, they all occur far more often than what South Africa's Herschelle Gibbs did at Warner Park in St Kitts.

HH Gibbs
Gibbs hitting out on the way to his set of six in St Kitts

The opposition bowling could hardly be described as challenging and the ground by no means the biggest.

But his six sixes in an over against the Netherlands in the World Cup - the first such occurrence in a one-day international - means the 33-year-old will now join Sir Garfield Sobers and Ravi Shastri in quiz questions around the world.

Sobers was the first to achieve the feat in first-class cricket for Nottinghamshire against Glamorgan in Swansea in 1968, while Bombay's Shastri emulated him in a home match against Baroda in 1985.

Like Gibbs, both were bon viveurs and yarns surrounding their efforts have been plentiful.

West Indian legend Sir Garfield, who has grown tired of being asked, says he was purely motivated by a desire to win the game and secure fourth spot in the County Championship for Notts.

Former India star Shastri, a man with an eye for the ladies in his youth, is rumoured to have been trying to get out so he could chat to a group of girls sitting at the boundary edge.

Tales will undoubtedly emerge explaining Gibbs' assault on Dutchman Daan van Bunge, who joins Malcolm Nash and Tilak Raj as the unfortunate recipients of six of the best.

They will have to be pretty sensational to match his tales of woe off the field.

The Cape Town enigma possesses neither the intelligence nor the eloquence of his predecessors. But, like the other two there has been enough colour in his life to satisfy even the most insatiable of gossipmongers.

A renowned sledger and joker, his penchant for speaking first and thinking later landed him in his biggest controversy in 2000.


He was banned for six months from international cricket amid the Hansie Cronje match-fixing scandal after accepting an offer of money to score fewer than 20 runs in a one-day game in India, before changing his mind and not being paid.

No sooner had he returned than he was in trouble again, fined after admitting he smoked marijuana during the team's tour of the West Indies.

He was banned for partying before a one-dayer against Australia in 2000 and fined for repeating the offence during a Test, also in his home town, against England in 2005.

Gibbs continues to make the headlines - returning to India last October six years after his last appearance there and banned for making racist comments against Pakistan earlier in 2007.

There is no shortage of talent, however, as evidenced by more than 12,000 runs in Tests and ODIs, few of which have been garnered with anything but panache and ferocity.

Never was that better illustrated than the most recent of his 16 ODI centuries, a 111-ball 175 which helped South Africa overhaul Australia's world-record 434 in Johannesburg last year.

Any number of players were considered likelier winners of Sir Viv Richards' Six Sixes competition, in which Gibbs has now earned US$1m for charity.

But all those who plumped for Shahid Afridi, Adam Gilchrist or Kevin Pietersen forgot that Herschelle Herman Gibbs is also a unique talent capable of producing the very special.

Gibbs matches Sobers in easy win
16 Mar 07 |  Cricket
Gibbs basking in six sixes glory
16 Mar 07 |  Cricket
World Cup photos
16 Mar 07 |  Cricket


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