Currently, the game is strongest in India. Most of the money for the international game is generated in the country and the top players in India are national heroes and are compensated appropriately.
In this post, I compared a couple of New Zealand cricket players as well as a couple of British monarchs.
In today's post I would like to compare a couple of all time greats in the sport of cricket, Sir Garfield Sobers of Barbados who played his cricket for the West Indies and Jacques Kallis of South Africa.
First of all, lets have a look at a couple of videos of the respective players.
Both of these players are what is called an all-rounder which means that they can both bat and bowl to a very, very high level.
Before we go on, lets look at these player's test match statistics. (A test match is played over 5 days and is considered the pinnacle for any cricket player, even though these days most of the money in cricket comes from the shorter forms of the sport)
Sobers: 93 matches, 8032 runs @57.78 average, 235 wickets @34.03 with 109 catches.
Kallis: 166 matches, 13289 runs @55.37 average, 292 wickets @32.65 with 200 catches.
For cricket fans, they will automatically see from the above numbers that we have two seriously good players. They can do everything and they have broken records all over the world.
So, why is Sir Garfield Sobers always regarded as the best player ever when Jacques Kallis' record is comparable if not better than Sobers?
In one word, personality.
From what I can tell, Sobers is an outgoing guy. Judging from interviews that I have heard about him, he had a confident strut which would have endeared him to many people. He hit the ball a long way in a time when the bowlers tended to dominate the bat. (He was the first person to hit 6 sixes in an over) He thrilled fans all over the world because basically they had never seen anyone like him before.
On the other hand, Kallis is a lot quieter character. He has rarely been captain of South Africa so he is just one of the players and he was more comfortable letting his batting, bowling and numbers do all of the talking. He wasn't a flashy player but he was very effective. His bowling wasn't beautiful to watch but he was very effective. He did his job. In fact, he did his job wonderfully well.
Would Kallis be considered the best of all time if he was a little more flashy?
Would Sobers be considered the greatest if he played in the modern age?
All this goes to show is that you need to have a little bit of an outgoing personality to be seen and heard. Modern day society doesn't really like the quieter personality. That is why you need to cultivate that situational extrovert persona from time to time.
In this post I ask the question if Muhammad Ali would be considered "The Greatest" if he was quiet. What do you think?