West Indies were treated to a surprise special guest at their training session on Saturday when legendary all-rounder and former skipper Sir Garry Sobers paid them a courtesy visit.
The 82-year-old icon, rated around the globe as the greatest cricketer the world has ever seen, was on hand at Kensington Oval as the Windies continued their preparations for the Wisden Trophy Test Series against England which bowls off here Wednesday.
He met the team as a group and also had one-on-one discussions with some of the players. Left-hander Darren Bravo, who is making a comeback to the Test side following 27 months on the sidelines, said he was delighted to see Sobers.
“As a little boy growing up in Trinidad my father would always talk about Sir Garfield Sobers and the amazing things he did on the cricket field,” Bravo said.
“I would listen and it was obvious that from the way he spoke I knew he was a fantastic cricketer. Whenever I’m in Barbados I try to see him and speak to him. He was a great player and always has time to offer advice and knowledge.
Bravo’s counterpart, Shai Hope, one of the region’s best young players, said it was an honour to listen to words of wisdom from the country’s National Hero.
During his playing days, Sobers set several records and broke many barriers. He represented the West Indies in 93 Tests, scored 8032 runs with a highest score of 365 not out against Pakistan in 1958 — his maiden Test century.
At the time, it was the record for the highest Test score and stood for over three decades. He also took 235 wickets with his mixture of left-arm fast-medium bowling and left-arm spin.