The independent London newspaper

Howzat for a sobering thought? Jezza goes in to bat

Labour leader reveals test match dream - and the day he met cricket legend Sir Garfield Sobers

18 August, 2017 — By Koos Couvée

Jeremy Corbyn, who has revealed his love of cricket

JEREMY Corbyn’s big dream? Opening the batting for England.

The Labour leader, known for his love of the Arsenal, has opened up to the Tribune about his passion for cricket.

Mr Corbyn quipped it was his “big dream” to be England’s opening batsman.

But he revealed he was particularly passionate about West Indian cricket.

“I love West Indian cricket. This started when I lived in Jamaica,” Mr Corbyn said, as he revealed that he once met West Indies cricket legend Sir Garfield Sobers in Jamaica the night before the West Indies beat England in a test match in the late 1960s.

The Labour leader spent two years volunteering in Jamaica in his late teens.

“I first got to really love cricket, first at school, but later living in Jamaica and I remember the great test captain for the West Indies, Garry Sobers,” Mr Corbyn added.

“The West Indies bowled England out for a very low total and then they won on the same innings. And I said: ‘I thought Garry Sobers was absolutely fantastic’ – and I met him the night before the great victory [over England].”

Mr Corbyn, who was due to attend England’s test match against the West Indies yesterday (Thursday), recalled telling this story to a cab driver in Pakistan who was so excited that he had met Sobers the car almost ended up in a ditch.

“I was in a car in Pakistan. And you know over there they only ever talk about cricket, football is like a non-subject,” Mr Corbyn said. “And this guy picks me up from the hotel at three o’clock in the morning to go to the airport, so we’re driving along towards the airport in Karachi, and we’re starting to talk about cricket.

“And he said: ‘So you met Garry Sobers?’ and I said: ‘Yeah, I was talking to him quite a long time, what a lovely guy’.

“And suddenly, this guy jams on the brakes and the car skids to a halt just next to a ditch by the side of the road. I said: ‘What are you doing?’

“He said: ‘I want to shake the hand that shook the hand of Garry Sobers!’ He was so made up with it.”

Arguably the greatest all-rounder of all time, Sir Garfield turned 81 last month.


Share this story

Post a comment