Barbados’ only living national hero, the Right Excellent Sir Garfield Sobers, is the recipient of the 2021 Cricket Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award.
Last evening, Minister of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment, Dwight Sutherland, presented Sir Garfield Sobers with insignia, on behalf of the Connecticut-based organisation, at a ceremony held at the Wildey Gymnasium, Wildey, St. Michael.
In presenting the Cricket Hall of Fame ring and blazer, Minister Sutherland expressed that it was “a great pleasure to bestow” Sir Gary with his insignia, and congratulated him on his latest achievement. He noted that it was heartening to see Sir Gary’s exploits on the cricketing field, from over 40 years ago, inspiring a new generation of players. He said “his playing abilities and athleticism are still revered and this attests to the quality of the man and the cricketer”.
The Sports Minister told those in attendance at the ceremony: “Sir Gary is a beloved son of the soil and a national icon. Barbadians are proud of his achievements in the international cricket arena and how he ably represented his country and the West Indies. The achievements of the life of Sir Gary symbolises the potency of sports and how it can positively influence society.
“Barbados is forever in your debt for your dedication to the sport of cricket. Be assured that the Government will build on the foundation of excellence you created…. And Government is committed to exploiting the full potential of sports as a tool for nation building to create a viable sports industry for social development and economic prosperity.”
Sir Gary, in accepting his ring and blazer stated: “I am very grateful, very very honoured and delighted for the gift they have sent me, … all of my doings, all of my whole life as a cricketer, whatever I was, was always for my country not for me, … and that’s what was always important to me, not what I did for me, but for the country I love.”
A video of the presentation will be viewed at the Hall of Fame’s 40th anniversary celebrations, which will take place this Saturday, August 28, in New York, where Sir Gary will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, Sir Garfield’s physicians have advised him against travelling to New York.
The Cricket Hall of Fame was founded in 1980 to celebrate the sport of cricket, its heroes and supporters. It is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the cost-sharing development and support of cricket heroes (honourees and inductees), who have contributed to the game of cricket over the years, and who in the true spirit of the game, have also been engaged in the quality of live development activities that their local communities view as important and sustainable.