Garry Sobers' autobiography reminds us just how wide-ranging were the achievements of this cricketing legend. At the age of 21 he scored 365 not out playing for the West Indies against Pakistan, which remains one of the great totems of sporting achievement--despite finally being surpassed in 1994, after 36 years, and he went on to establish himself as one of the most entertaining and successful all-rounders of all time--a phenomenal left-handed batsman who racked up a Test average approaching 60, in a career that spanned 20 years, and a multi-styled bowler who took over a thousand first-class wickets. Fortunately for British cricket fans, Sir Garry toured extensively as West Indies captain and played a substantial portion of his county-level cricket at Nottinghamshire, where he set another celebrated record--first man to hit six sixes in an over.
The ghost-writer, journalist Bob Harris, has collaborated on several decent sports biographies, and while it's impossible to be confident about how far the "voice" we are hearing captures the flavour of Sobers', this is a well-constructed, polished effort--backed up by Bill Frindall's statistical analysis of the Sobers record.
It's a book which is very strong on chronicling an extraordinary career and adding a degree of personal insight to the well-documented core material--though not quite in the bare-all category. Those looking for the dirt on Sobers' fairly well-documented boozing and gambling will be largely disappointed--something of a straight bat here, from the usually flamboyant player--but as well as inside reflections on the big games and great players, there are some revealing passages on the importance in his life of tragic friend and colleague Collie Smith, and a word or two on why this all-round sportsman, who represented Barbados internationally at cricket, football, table tennis and dominoes, would have swapped it all for the career of a pro golfer. --Alex Hankin
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The book is as entertaining as this great player was in his heyday (David Llewellyn, Independent
Cricket fans will be reminded not only how irresistible he was as a cricketer, but also how his uninhibited and generous-spirited personality made him so easy to like and so difficult to forget (Edward Smith, Sunday Telegraph