Sri Lanka welcomes Sobers ..

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One of the world’s legendary cricketers, Sir Garfield (Gary) Sobers, arrived in Sri Lanka yesterday to a warm welcome.

Sobers’ visit coinincides with the ongoing Sri Lanka-West Indies Test series where a trophy to honour him along with the island’s ex-captain Michael Tissera will be awarded to the winners.

Sri Lanka won the first Test in Galle by an innings and eight runs and Sobers’ appearance may be just what his team would need in the second and deciding match which commences at the P. Sara Oval in Colombo on Thursday.

Sobers became a household name in Sri Lanka after he made Test cricket’s then highest individual score of 365 not out in 1957/58 in Bridgetown, Barbados against Pakistan. He also became the first player to hit six sixes in one over when playing for Nottinghamshire in an English county cricket match when he smashed Glamorgan’s spinner Malcolm Nash for six sixes in one over in 1968. He is also remembered for his epic knock of 254 for the Rest of the World team against Australia, led by Ian Chappell at Melbourne in 1971.

When he toured Sri Lanka in 1967, he scored a brilliant century(115) in a Windies total of 549 for 8 declared in the Unofficial test at the Colombo Oval along with Basil Butcher(152) and Clive Lloyd (138).

Soon after Sri Lanka gained test status in 1981, he was invited to coach the Sri Lanka National team and one of his products, Arjuna Ranatunga went on to represent the country as an 18 year old in the inaugural test against England at the P. Sara Oval in February 1982 in which he scored 54 runs.

Sri Lanka Cricket Chairman Sidat Wettimuny was at hand along with several officials to welcome Sobers yesterday.

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