Worlingworth: Cricket icon Sir Garfield Sobers to open pavilion

A VILLAGE cricket club has pulled off a major coup by securing the services of West Indies legend Sir Garfield Sobers to open its new pavilion next month.

The unique opportunity came about following a chance meeting between Worlingworth Cricket Club captain Chris Watson and the iconic all-rounder at a match in Barbados earlier this year.

Mr Watson, who founded the club when he moved to Worlingworth 30 years ago, said it promised to be an exciting summer for the village.

He said: “It’s a real coup and a real boost and its just lucky circumstances.

“For most of the youngsters the name doesn’t ring a bell but for their dads and grandads it’s very exciting.

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“It will be a chance for them to get their children and grandchildren to understand who one of their heroes was.

“To cricket fans aged about 30 and above, he is an icon. We would like other people to enjoy our good fortune as well.”

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Sir Garfield, known as Gary, is regarded by fans around the world as one of the finest all-rounders to play the game.

The Bridgetown-born star played 93 tests for the West Indies between 1954 and 1974 and spent 10 years leading the side as captain.

His highest test score was a then-record 365 not out, achieved in 1958 in a match against Pakistan.

He became the first player in first class cricket to hit sixes from every ball of an over during a county game between Nottinghamshire and Glamorgan in 1968.

After his retirement from playing he was soon knighted in 1975 for his services to cricket.

He was made a National Hero of Barbados in 1998 and then in 2000 was named one of the five Wisden Cricketers of the Century by a panel of 100 experts.

The opening of the new pavilion at the Greenlands ground takes place on Friday, June 24 from 5.30pm.

There will be a hog roast and entertainment from a live steel band and people will have the opportunity to have photos with Sir Garfield and get autographs.

Entry is �12 for club members and �20 for non-members, while under 12s must pay just �5.

Ticket numbers are limited and must be purchased in advance from Val Swallow on 01728 628068.

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