West Indies XI
ESPNcricinfo picks the best Test teams of all time

Allrounders

Four of a rare breed

West Indies didn't produce many top allrounders for a team that had plenty of undeniably great specialists. Still, the choice is not a difficult one

Tony Becca

June 28, 2010

Comments: 71 | Text size: A | A

Garry Sobers bats for the Rest of the World side against England
Sobers: stellar with bat and ball, and in the field © PA Photos
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Who is an allrounder? The traditional definition says: a cricketer who can bat and bowl with equal, or almost equal, skill. He is the supporting batsman who usually bats behind the specialists, at No. 6, most times ahead of the wicketkeeper; and he is also the support for the specialist bowlers. Sometimes there are allrounders who as batsmen are as good or better than the specialists, or at least one or two of them, and sometimes there are allrounders who as bowlers are as good or better than one or two, and sometimes all, the specialists.

Over the years West Indies have been blessed with many outstanding and exciting batsmen, especially so those who bat in the middle of the order, and they have not been short of fast bowlers of quality - exceptional quality at that. Not so, however, with allrounders, and certainly not quality allrounders. The last real West Indian Test allrounder - the cricketer who can bat almost or as well as he can bowl, and who can bowl almost or as well as he can bat and with a high level of skill - to make his debut was Collie Smith, over 50 years ago.

The contenders

Learie Constantine
Constantine was a household name in the West Indies because of his skills on the cricket field. A stocky right-hander, he was exciting with the bat, with the ball as a fast bowler of electric pace, and also in the field, where he was quick and brilliant. As a batsman he hit the ball hard, with lovely drives on both sides of the wicket and mostly strokes to the leg side. His figures overall failed to match the excitement of his cricket and his value to the West Indies, though he capped his career brilliantly: in his last Test, against England at The Oval in 1939, he hit 79 in an hour and took five wickets for 75 runs in England's first innings.

Garry Sobers
Sobers was simply the original Mr Cricket. Starting as a slow left-arm orthodox spin bowler and developing into a left-arm swing bowler and a slow left-arm back-of-the-hand spin bowler, he became not only a great batsman but arguably the best batsman of his time and one of the best of all time. He was also a brilliant fielder anywhere but more so at short leg. Sobers stood tall and elegant at the crease, his drives, particularly off the back foot, and his hooks were strokes of beauty. In 1968, in a Test match at Sabina Park, after West Indies were forced to follow on, he scored a breathtaking 113 not out, and with Wes Hall and Charlie Griffith in the team, went out and bowled the first over: before it was over, England were 0 for 2 with Geoff Boycott gone, bowled for zero, and Colin Cowdrey gone, leg-before-wicket for zero.

Gerry Gomez
Gomez was a competent batsman and bowler and a brilliant fielder. He scored a century, 101, against India in Delhi in the 1948-49 series. His best series was against Australia in 1951-52, where he scored 324 runs at an average of 36 and took 18 wickets at 14.22. In the fifth and final Test match of that series he took 7 for 55 and 3 for 58 for a match haul of 10 for 113. In 29 Test matches Gomez scored 1243 runs with one century at an average of 30.31. He also took 58 wickets at an average of 27.41 and held 18 catches.

Collie Smith
Smith died too early, at age 26, when he, Sobers and Rohan Kanhai were the three most exciting prospects in West Indies cricket. As a batsman Smith was aggressive, played some delightful strokes, and feared no one, not even the fastest bowlers. He was a tight offspinner and a brilliant fielder. He scored 104 against Australia in his first Test match. In 26 Tests, Smith scored 1331 runs with four centuries at an average of 31.69. He also took 48 wickets at an average of 33.85 and held nine catches.

We'll be publishing an all-time West Indies XI based on readers' votes to go with our jury's XI. To pick your allrounder click here

Former sports editor of the Jamaica Gleaner and the Daily News, Tony Becca has covered West Indies cricket for 30 years

RSS Feeds: Tony Becca

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by argylep on (July 1, 2010, 22:35 GMT)

I don't doubt for one moment that Sir Garry was a GREAT all rounder. Symbolically he will also be regarded as the greatest cricketer ever due in part to his record breaking achievements but also for the sporting man that he was I mean who else would or will in todays test arena with its conservative and negative captains make a generous declaration to chase just over 250 runs in 40/50 overs as he did against England. However and while it is very difficult to compare players across the eras - there are too many variables - the fact of the matter is Jacques Kallis STATISTICALLY (his slightly lower test batting average excepted) is the superior all rounder and he could play for another four or five years putting his stats way beyond what Sobers ever achieved. Granted GS didn't play as much test cricket, had more bowling ability (variations) but overall JKs figures will stand the test of ALL TIME modern greatness.

Posted by seanrocker on (July 1, 2010, 19:38 GMT)

Sobers hands down will be there in the team......he is a gamechanger...both with bat and ball......a true all-rounder.

Posted by santhoshkudva on (July 1, 2010, 0:53 GMT)

where is rawl lewis? he is the greatest ever.

Posted by   on (June 30, 2010, 20:57 GMT)

This selection which we are having is the WI ALL-TIME XI, The question is (1) Do we have to get 3 middle order batsman only.... (2) Next we will have to get three fast bowler, spin bowler also a wicket keeper (yeah right!)

MY VIEW IS WI ALL TIME XI MUST NOT HAVE ANY SPECIALIST SPINNER. WE ALL KNOW IF THERE IS NO SOBERS THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG..... SHIV CHANDERPAUL ( ICC cricketer 2008, NO OTHER WI HAVE DONE IT),JEFFREY DUJON (WKT- keeper) and BRIAN LARA ( most runs for West Indies) MUST ALSO BE INCLUDED......

Posted by Jabari18 on (June 30, 2010, 19:53 GMT)

if gayle can be included in the running for best opener then bravo can be included for best all rounder......they both shouldn't though. no disrespect to constantine, gomez or smith but sir sobers was the greatest cricketer of all time

Posted by Jabari18 on (June 30, 2010, 12:52 GMT)

if gayle can be included in the running for best opener then bravo can be included for best all rounder......they both shouldn't though. no disrespect to constantine, gomez or smith but sir sobers was the greatest cricketer of all time

Posted by farazzubair on (June 30, 2010, 12:03 GMT)

The only no-brainer in the whole selection vigil. This has tobe the most simplest and easiest of any teams. Sobers is an almost sure in a World X1 let alone in an all rounder's category. He is head and shoulders above others!

Posted by sudarsn on (June 30, 2010, 6:32 GMT)

i started 2 know cricket when alexanders windies visited india in the 50s, they had young sobers,butcher,kanhai etc...that was the series sobers became ny hero, iused to add the name of sobers everywhere,as if it was a lucky charm, i read all is books,even today he is my hero of cricket, irespective of richards,tendulkars and laras......those days test series were once in ayear,he played for 10yrs,scored 8000 runs,200 wkts and 100 catches,played on uncovered wickets,no helmets. he was good with any game he played,newer swore even when young lille tested him,his bat does the talking.....he is def crickets all time great and shud walk into any side.

Posted by gujratwalla on (June 29, 2010, 15:10 GMT)

It has to be Sobers!Come to think of it if i had to choose an all-rounder in an all- time World XI it will be Gary; no doubt about that!I had the luck to see him in action in 1970 when i was still at school.The way he went after John Snow and the other English fast bowlers i have never seen a batsmen attacking them ever since.Remember Gary never ever used the helmets,just upturned his shirt collars and butchered the fastest of fast bowlers and on uncovered pitches too!Gary is always no.1 in my book.As to his bowling he was a under-rated class fast bowler good enough to open the bowlingin Tests and his spin bowling was just as good.A remarkable player.Our very own Mohammad Ali of cricket!The greatest!

Posted by   on (June 29, 2010, 13:45 GMT)

Americans would call this choice, a "no-brainer." Sir Garry who hails from my native Barbados was simply the best cricketer who ever played the game. There was nothing on the cricket field that he couldn't do and he did everything with grace, style and elegance. This man was simply a genius as a cricketer, blessed by GOD to play the game naturally.

My favorite memory of Sir Garry playing live was when he caressed four 4s in one over bowled by the big red headed Welshman, the left-arm pacer Jeff Jones during the third Test against England at Kensington Oval in 1968. I will never forget it for as a schoolboy then, felt blessed to be be present for such an awesome display of top- shelf batsmanship. He went on to make 68 in that innings.

The legendary Sir Garry was not only the greatest cricketer ever to grace the playing fields but was an avid and talented all-round sportsman. He kept goal for B'dos in football, played basket-ball for a local club and still plays a mean golf game.

Posted by eddy501 on (June 29, 2010, 13:42 GMT)

1972, in the Third (unofficial) Test between Australia and the Rest of the World XI at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Sobers played an innings of 254 which was described by Don Bradman as "probably the greatest exhibition of batting ever seen in Australia". nuff said.

Posted by S.N.Singh on (June 29, 2010, 10:39 GMT)

SOBERS IS THE WORLDS BEST ALL ROUNDER, NOT ONLY FOR THE WEST INDIES. HE CAN OPEN THE BOWLING AND SPIN THE BALL ALSO. IF GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY, HE WILL KEEP ALSO. THIS IS WHAT YOU CALL AND ALL ROUNDER. S.N. SINGH

Posted by Maui3 on (June 29, 2010, 3:21 GMT)

This is a slam dunk! Gerry Gomez I say :-) I was a toddler when Sobers was breaking all the records. But I do clearly remember (I was 6 then), when Sobers was deemed as a lousy captain during the 1971 series loss against India. Apparently (so the stroy goes!) Solker and Serdesai had a few match saving partnership in that series, and they would intentionally get beaten against the Windies spinners once in a while. sobers was so fooled by these antics that he never really attacked these two enough (although, when I now look back, there were no good Windies pace bowlers then!).

Only other memory I have of Sobers was the ODI he played when he scored a zero. But, for someone to average 56+ in tests and play attacking cricket he did and bowl spin, pace and be an excellent fielder - he has to be rated the greatest allrounder.

Posted by ksmani on (June 29, 2010, 3:10 GMT)

After 13 problems, this one is easy. Thanks cricinfo.

Posted by Venkatb on (June 29, 2010, 0:51 GMT)

I had the rare honor of meeting Gary Sobers on Jan 1, 1967 at Eden Gardens, thanks to the riots at the stadium and cancellation of play. My father and I were anxiously waiting by our car so that my older brother could join us - running towards us, and followed by eager youngsters, was Sobers, frantically asking for a ride back to the Great Eastern Hotel. My father had to politely say no! Anyway, getting back to the discussion at hand, Sobers would get my nod, Constantine would be a wild card depending upon the composition of rest of the team. Interestingly, despite all these heavyweights, WI teams were consistently losing to the Aussies, including all the great WI teams of the 50s, 60s and 70s. Except the 60-61 team and one post-Packer series, rarely were they the Aussies equal. The Aussies of the mid-80s were the weakest and everyone defeated them - that period is excluded. Key issue is lack of cohesiveness and grit among WI players - it is their bowling that made them equals

Posted by bcl4ever on (June 28, 2010, 23:13 GMT)

Sobers is Greatest AR of ALL time. Gap between him and the gap between him and other greats (Imran, Botham, Dev, Miller, Kallis, etc) is as wide the gap between Bradman and all other batsmen. Chris Gayle would certainly come into consideration especially in One-Day format

Posted by azaro on (June 28, 2010, 23:11 GMT)

Divinetouch - I am with you all the way!

Posted by azaro on (June 28, 2010, 23:08 GMT)

It is obvious that Kallis will, as an all rounder, have the best statistics of anyone by the time he has finished and a wonderful cricket career filled with great performances. But, and I feel sorry for cricket lovers too young not to have watched Garry Sobers, he was head and shoulders above anyone in this category. My goodness, not only could he bat with panache and verve and let's not forget this was on uncovered wickets the likes of which would make the best bob and weave, but he could also bowl three variations of left arm! Did I mention his catching ability?!! Sorry young guys you have to trust us - he was the greatest all rounder that ever played and no one will come close in the modern game , if only because batting on flat tracks prepared today would have yielded more runs to a Garry Sobers than even Tendulkar could dream of!

Posted by Rajin_27 on (June 28, 2010, 22:06 GMT)

definitely sobers no doubt about it....

Posted by   on (June 28, 2010, 21:58 GMT)

I have never seen Garfield Sobers play but to score 365 runs at that time. He must be good. Although, I read somewhere that he was plumb in front at 364 but the umpire did not give out because he was scared that the crowd will kill him. I dont know whether this is true. But I will still go with G Sobers and Mr Becca knows more than me.

Posted by Nampally on (June 28, 2010, 18:15 GMT)

I have seen Gary Sobers as a young boy when he first came to India. He is the finest cricketer as well as the greatest all rounder of the modern times in the world. He excelled in batting, bowling & fielding and is one of the most graceful cricketers with unique style & rythm in what ever he does. I remember when WI toured Australia under Worrel, he played the greatest innings of all times in one of the tests with something like 168. He hit the second new ball taken by Mckiff off the back foot straight over the sight screen. One other shot he hit to deep extra cover off the back foot with such ferocity that Burge fielding at deep extra cover wrung his hands in pain after the ball went thru his hands for 4. He broke Hutton's world record of 365 in Tests, hit 6 Sixers in an over, bowled brilliant bowling spells and brought off phenomenal catches. Nobody in present or past cricket comes even close to him as a cricketer in any department.He was simply the Greatest.

Posted by argylep on (June 28, 2010, 17:09 GMT)

I realise this is a thread about West Indian all rounders so perhaps my comments are not really for this particular era - I never saw Sir Garry play - but as far as this category of cricketer is concerned then the greatest all rounder of MODERN times is and will remain unquestionably Jacques Kallis of South Africa. I'm a huge admirer of his and for good reason because statistically (his slightly inferior test match battig average apart) he is simply the best. By the time he retires he will I predict have scored 15,000 test runs AND will have taken over 300 test wickets. His one day stats are also mightily impressive. His combined career achievements are unlikely ever to be surpassed. True cricketing greatness - is justifiably - a rare accolade and while Sir Garry certainly fell within that criteria while he was at his peak Kallis also qualifies even tho' he will have to finish playing before he gets the plaudits he deserves.

Posted by crikkfan on (June 28, 2010, 16:33 GMT)

Definition in Oxford: Allrounder: a cricketer who can bat and bowl with equal, or almost equal, skill i.e. Sir Garfield Sobers

Posted by vish1036 on (June 28, 2010, 16:18 GMT)

i think we can add bravo in another 10 years...and why not have frank worrell as an allrounder instead of as a batsman

Posted by   on (June 28, 2010, 16:13 GMT)

With all due respect to the other gentlemen especially Learie, the panel is asking answers. Anoint Sobers and move along swiftly.

Posted by   on (June 28, 2010, 16:09 GMT)

Sobers no doubt. After Imran Khan best AR ever.

Posted by manasvi_lingam on (June 28, 2010, 15:59 GMT)

Those who advocate Hooper should remember his bowling average in Tests (slightly less than 50) and his really poor S.Rate(1 wkt every 20 overs) and his no. of wickets per match. (slightly more than 1). When it comes to batting all-rounders, Gayle is a better choice than Hooper.

Posted by WindiesWillow on (June 28, 2010, 15:54 GMT)

Sobers is the obvious choice here, simple as that. My eleven would be: Greenidge, Haynes, Lara, Richards, Chanderpaul, Sobers, Dujon, Marshall, Ambrose, Holding, Roberts.

Posted by riskrao on (June 28, 2010, 15:39 GMT)

it has to be sir garfield sobers man. hooper was an good batsman and an decent bowler. he is better than gayle. atleast he should've been in the list of eventhough he is not going to be selected.

Posted by gudolerhum on (June 28, 2010, 14:22 GMT)

some jokes are just classics - Hooper listed as an rounder ranks among them. Hoops cannot be listed among the batsmen and could not make it among the bowlers- nice try though. The 'list' is just Sir Garry! nuff said. The others gain honorable mention alongside him.

Posted by moaz1984 on (June 28, 2010, 14:20 GMT)

This is a no brainer! Sir Gary Sobers would take the allrounder spot not only in the all-time WI XI but in the all-time world XI as well. Arguably the greatest cricketer to ever play the game!

Posted by ElectronSmoke on (June 28, 2010, 14:13 GMT)

Drew2 - that absolutely mirrors my thoughts on the man! .. Indeed .. Garfield Sobers was a supreme specimen ... an alpha male even among the elite band of all-rounders who have ever been on the cricket field.

Posted by   on (June 28, 2010, 14:10 GMT)

Perhaps the most one sided of all the teams and positions posted so far. GS is the ultimate allrounder, and would win easily in a world XI never mind just a WI XI Fantastic player - great man - good choice

Posted by   on (June 28, 2010, 14:09 GMT)

I could see people talking about skipping this section and moving to Keepers. I feel we can even skip that section for except Dujon, none can even think of other names. It would just be the only choice!!! Names like Marlon Samuels, Bravo popping up?!?!?! People are insane to think and talk that way when we are speaking about "Sobers". We can remove the definition of Allrounder in the traditional definition part and substitute simply with "Sobers". Best way for generations ahead to know what is an allrounder about!!

Posted by   on (June 28, 2010, 14:04 GMT)

Unlike all other spots in the team. This one has no competition. Sobers all the way

Posted by Divinetouch on (June 28, 2010, 13:33 GMT)

My West Indian eleven would read in batting order:

Gordon Grenidge, Lawrence Rowe, Rohan Kanhai, Viv Richards, Brian Lara, Gary Sobers, Clyde Walcott (WK), Malcom Marshall, Andy Roberts, Michael Holding and Lance Gibbs.

Posted by   on (June 28, 2010, 13:11 GMT)

What nonesence is this, why wasn't Hooper included on this list.

Posted by eddy501 on (June 28, 2010, 13:00 GMT)

Over the past 3 weeks or so we have seen plenty of discussion about selection. Some aruged for Hunte instead of Haynes, some for Weekes instead of Lara and even Richards missed out in some peoples selection. Gordon Greenidge appeared to make most if not all people's teams. I believe there are two more players that need no debate on making the final cut. MM and the mighty Sir Gary.

Sir Gary would be the all-rounder in the world XI. Hobbs, Gavaskar, Bradman, (two from, Lara, Tendulkar, Richards) Sobers, Knott, Marshall, Warne, Barnes and (one from, Akram, Murli, Lillee).

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (June 28, 2010, 12:36 GMT)

What happens to anyone who answers this one wrong? Do they just disappear? Or are they taken into psychiatric care?

Posted by manasvi_lingam on (June 28, 2010, 12:11 GMT)

While the choice is obviously Sir Garry, a special mention should go to Baron Constantine who was a brilliant bowler, an entertaining bat, a great symbol and statesman and probably the first great West Indian cricketer to earn renown. The other two choices can be readily questioned. Both of them averaged in the low 30s (which is inconsistent by even the standards of those times) and had poor Strike Rates. I'd rather promote the following choices in descending order 1) Keith Boyce: The Stingray was definitely a capable bowler and also a useful hard hitting lower order batsman. 2) Bernard Julien: One of West Indies' very few left arm pacers, also possessed superb fielding and lively batting. 3) Dwayne Bravo: Though too inconsistent with both bat and ball, he possesses quite a bit of talent, especially with the former. 4) Denis Atkinson: Played during the weaker days of West Indian cricket, and bowled both medium pace and off-spin while also being a decent batsman.

Posted by Metman on (June 28, 2010, 12:10 GMT)

FOUR OF A RARE BREED?cricket info ,WHAT ARE YOU TELLING ME?That headline should have been three of a REAR breed,Constantine,Gomez and Smith.You are insulting GARFIELD SOBERS and thousands and perhaps millions in Bdos and around the world.Look! Sobers is numbers 1,2,3,and 4,all other pretenders should take the rear,a far FARRRR rear!Can you imagine people in the year 2010, asking why pretenders like ,Hooper,Bravo,Sammy and MARLON SAMUELS are not being considered?Lord have mercy ,send down percy!CRICKET INFO!The contenders should have been ,GARFIELD SOBERS ,GARFIELD SOBERS,GARFIELD SOBERS AND GARFIELD SOBERS full stop.and next the wicketkeepers position.

Posted by NALINWIJ on (June 28, 2010, 12:06 GMT)

SOBERS obviously and he would be an automatic choice in a WORLD AT XI. CONSTANTINE is a genius whose career was cut short by the war and would be an inspired choice as the twelfthman in the dream team. I met an old Sri Lankan who attended a coaching clinic given by constantine and as a promising pace bowler he was inpired when Sir Leary dropped 6 coins and over 6 bowls he stuck each of the coins and commented that when you can do that you can call yourself a bowler.The hapless Sri Lankans realised they would never match this.

Posted by Drew2 on (June 28, 2010, 11:40 GMT)

How good a was Sir Garfield? Kallis isn't even close to him, and Kallis is a great allrounder. Ian Botham and Imran Khan were both bigger matchwinners than Kallis and they are still a level below Sobers. Enough said.

Posted by alonsoe on (June 28, 2010, 10:50 GMT)

For those who thought Viv Richard's average was not high enough for him to be included in the last category_ bar humbug. When you see the empty cricket stadiums esp. when test matches are being played we know those who know cricket recognize the genius of Viv. Imagine that in the current test match at Kensington Barbados there was less than 500 watching on Sunday. At the same venue last year thousands watched Viv at age 55.

Posted by Punter_28 on (June 28, 2010, 9:42 GMT)

Sir Gary is the greatest ever Cricketer. Why only all time great WI team? He would have just walked into even the all time great World XI.... He was sent by GOD to the earth to just play Cricket. As Sunny rightly said there was nothing in the Cricket field that Gary could not do...the only thing he did not do was to don the Wicket Keeper's Gloves which also he would have done with aplomb!!! In Ian Chappell's words, he rates him as the best batsman he had seen or played with ahead of Viv Richards or Barry Richards or Graeme Pollock. As somebody rightly said this Cricinfo should have skipped this and gone straight to Wicket Keepr's section as there is only one choice.

Posted by   on (June 28, 2010, 9:17 GMT)

My own all-time West Indies XI includes Sobers and Constantine - shame that choice isn't available....

Posted by Rydham on (June 28, 2010, 8:59 GMT)

Although Sobers is an automatic choice, Carl Hooper could have been included in the list. Hooper has a good record as an all rounder.

Posted by mcheckley on (June 28, 2010, 8:38 GMT)

Sobers is so far and away the greatest allrounder the ganme has ever seen that there isn't an issue here. One of the three or four finest batsmen the game has ever known, and the best swing bowler of his own generation, as well as a test-class spinner in two contrasting styles; there is no conversation to be had. However, if one was picking the greatest WI TEAM to play a theoretical all-time team from another nation, one would pick TWO allrounders. You'd pick Sobers at 6, and Collie Smith, whom Sobers (wrongly) considered to be a finer allrounder than himself when his life was so tragically cut short, at 7, edging ahead of Lance Gibbs as the spinner on account of his excellent batting. With any one of several top-class wicketkepper batsmen at 8, and Malcolm Marshall, whose competent and intelligent batsmanship we tend to forget, coming in at 9, such an X1 would be mightly beyond measure in the batting department, without in any way compromising the excellence of its bowling attack.

Posted by   on (June 28, 2010, 8:36 GMT)

Garry Sobers no shadow of a doubt, but a bit harsh leaving Dwayne Bravo out of the list

Posted by Mels04 on (June 28, 2010, 8:18 GMT)

Where is dwayne bravo, Darren Sammy and Marlon samuels i guess not good enough as allrunder?

Posted by Percy_Fender on (June 28, 2010, 8:08 GMT)

I was fortunate to have seen Gary Sobers and even Collie Smith when they played in the Delhi test against India. Smith sadly, died in a car crash later. He scored a 100 in that match.I thought he would have been a great even if bowled only spin.Sobers of course I saw more times later and never had any doubt about him being the greatest cricketer of all time, not just an all rounder. I have not seen either Constantine or Gomez but I have learnt that they were truly great as well.One of the things I have heard about Learie is that he was so athletic that quite often he used to bowl and rush to field the ball even near the slips. But I have no doubt that only Sir Gary can be considered for the sole all rounder's spot. He was more than just a human being who was destined to enjoy his birth as a man in every sense of the word. He was the kind who could enjoy jazz as much as bowling on a flat track.There can be no debate. He was simply the greatest.

Posted by ashishkumar36 on (June 28, 2010, 7:55 GMT)

I think Cricinfo should publish for wicket keepers Section instead of this all rounder section, because there is only one person for this slot - Sir Gary.

Posted by John-Price on (June 28, 2010, 7:36 GMT)

Has anyone got any sound information as to how good a spinner Sobers was. My hazy recollection of him (towards the end of his career) is that he would only occasionally bowl spin, and then it would be orthodox SLA as back-up to Gibbs. Did he get and 5 wicket hauls as a spinner ? How much SLC did he actually bowl (I think back injury meant he had to pack it in)? I would be most interested.

Posted by Stony_Grangey on (June 28, 2010, 6:05 GMT)

What about Carl Hooper? He could 'bat and bowl with equal, or almost equal, skill.' Just because it wasn't a high level of skill shouldn't rule him out!

Posted by T.Yousuf on (June 28, 2010, 6:01 GMT)

No doubt....Sir Garfield Sobers.

Posted by   on (June 28, 2010, 5:53 GMT)

So who is going to be brave enough and not vote for Sir Gary? Not me.

Posted by   on (June 28, 2010, 5:51 GMT)

Very few r equally good at both (batting n bowling) n hardly any hav been outstanding at both...One of dem is Gary Sobers a great batsman n a very good bowler too...so Gary Sobers is my choice !!!

Posted by Vivek.Bhandari on (June 28, 2010, 5:50 GMT)

Sir Gary leads the pack...the rest are plain lucky either having played in the similar era as Sobers or got a raw deal with destiny (Collie Smith)...:-/

Posted by Rajesh. on (June 28, 2010, 5:37 GMT)

I think no competition here......... Got to be Garfield Sobers !

Posted by realredbaron on (June 28, 2010, 5:36 GMT)

should be a no brainer. Sir Garfield Sobers-the best allrounder that ever lived.

Posted by darkness on (June 28, 2010, 5:17 GMT)

i dont even have to read the profiles of the other three,because SOBERS is an automatic pick.

Posted by sushantsingh on (June 28, 2010, 5:04 GMT)

Definitely Sir Gary but Constantine & Smith were also wonderful player of their time. Gomez was also useful as allrounder.

Posted by BillyCC on (June 28, 2010, 5:04 GMT)

Probably the easiest selection out of a group next to Bradman in an Australian all-time batting lineup.

Posted by   on (June 28, 2010, 5:03 GMT)

I don't see any arguement in this at all! :)

Posted by   on (June 28, 2010, 4:57 GMT)

Sir Garry Sobers ... the greatest all-rounder of all time ... enough said.

Posted by   on (June 28, 2010, 4:43 GMT)

Seriously, is there really a decision to be made here?

Posted by   on (June 28, 2010, 4:40 GMT)

Only place where you can have a easy pick for the slot:D

Posted by alonsoe on (June 28, 2010, 4:28 GMT)

This discussion starts and ends with Sobers, but the history lesson is good.

Posted by asefali on (June 28, 2010, 4:22 GMT)

Sir Gary Sobers without any doubt. Even if you are picking all time world XI there will be these 3 contenders for sure: Sobers, Imran and Keith Miller

Posted by CricFan78 on (June 28, 2010, 4:09 GMT)

This wont be a contest even if we were chosing World XI forget WI XI. Off course Gary Sobers all the way, greatest cricketer ever.

Posted by lsd123 on (June 28, 2010, 3:49 GMT)

Not only for WI. Sobers was the best all rounder ever.

Comments have now been closed for this article

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West Indies Jury

Jimmy Adams
Jimmy Adams
Played 54 Tests for West Indies between 1992 and 2001, and captained them in 15. Has served as manager of the Under-19 side, as president of the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations, and technical director of Jamaica's cricket development programme.
XI: Greenidge, Hunte, Headley, Richards, Weekes, Sobers, Hendriks (wk), Marshall, Garner, Ambrose, Gibbs
Tony Becca
Tony Becca
Former sports editor of the Jamaica Gleaner and the Daily News. Former president of the Caribbean and Jamaican sportswriters associations. Award-winning writer who covered West Indies cricket around the world for 30 years.
XI: Greenidge, Hunte, Headley, Lara, Richards, Sobers, Hendriks, Marshall, Holding, Roberts, Gibbs
Hilary Beckles
Hilary Beckles
Professor of History at the University of West Indies, and Director of the Centre for Cricket Research. Author of The Development of West Indies Cricket and Liberation Cricket; West Indies Cricket Culture among other books.
XI: Worrell, Greenidge, Headley, Weekes, Richards, Sobers, Walcott, Marshall, Hall, Holding, Gibbs
Frank Birbalsingh
Frank Birbalsingh
Cricket writer and author and editor of several books, among them The Rise of West Indian Cricket: From Colony to Nation. Professor of English at York University in Toronto.
XI: Greenidge, Haynes, Headley, Richards, Worrell, Walcott, Sobers, Dujon, Holding, Roberts, Gibbs
Imran Khan
Imran Khan
West Indies team sponsor Digicel's media manager. Former West Indies team media manager and communications manager of the Stanford 20/20. Has been writing on West Indies cricket for 10 years.
XI: Kanhai, Hunte, Headley, Richards, Lara, Sobers, Murray, Marshall, Holding, Ambrose, Gibbs
Ian McDonald
Ian McDonald
Novelist, poet and cricket writer in Guyana. Delivered the inaugural Sir Frank Worrell lecture in 2005. Sat on a panel set up by the WICB in 2007 to make recommendations on the governance of West Indies cricket.
XI: Greenidge, Kanhai, Headley, Lara, Richards, Sobers, Worrell, Dujon, Holding, Ambrose, Gibbs
Fazeer Mohammed
Fazeer Mohammed
Journalist and broadcaster from Trinidad and Tobago who has been covering West Indies cricket, at home and abroad, for over 20 years.
XI: Greenidge, Hunte, Headley, Lara, Richards, Sobers, Walcott, Marshall, Holding, Ambrose, Gibbs
Joseph Perreira
Joseph Perreira
Veteran radio commentator; has covered 145 Test matches over 30 years for the Caribbean Broadcasting Union, and all the World Cups save for one.
XI: Greenidge, Fredericks, Richards, Lara, Headley, Sobers, Walcott, Marshall, Holding, Ambrose, Gibbs
Garth Wattley
Garth Wattley
Chief cricket writer and assistant sports editor at the Trinidad Express. Has been writing on sport in general and West Indies cricket in particular for the last 17 years.
XI: Hunte, Greenidge, Richards, Headley, Lara, Sobers, Worrell, Hendriks, Marshall, Roberts, Ambrose
Rudi Webster
Rudi Webster
Played first-class cricket for Warwickshire, Otago and Scotland in the sixties. A scholar, medical doctor and a pioneer in performance enhancement in sport, he has worked with many of Australia's best athletes and sports teams.
XI: Greenidge, Haynes, Headley, Richards, Weekes, Sobers, Worrell, Hendriks, Marshall, Roberts, Gibbs

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