Windies honour fallen hero Muhammad Ali

BASSETERRE, St Kitts,  CMC – West Indies followed the lead of Sir Garfield Sobers on Friday in paying a special tribute to the late legendary boxer and social activist, Muhammad Ali.

Jason Holder sends down a delivery during a practice session, with a pair of gloves placed on the stumps in honour of the legendary late boxer Muhammad Ali. (Photo courtesy WICB Media)
Jason Holder sends down a delivery during a practice session, with a pair of gloves placed on the stumps in honour of the legendary late boxer Muhammad Ali. (Photo courtesy WICB Media)

Sir Garry was asked to ring the bell at Lord’s on day two of the third Test match between Sri Lanka and England on Friday, in memory of the sporting icon and former world heavyweight champion who was laid to rest the same day in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky in the United States.

During their training sessions on Friday and yesterday at the Conaree Ground here, the West Indies gave a special tribute by placing a pair of boxing gloves in the stumps.

“It’s just a simple way to pay tribute to an amazing icon … a man who was admired all over the world,” captain Jason Holder said.

“He was a hero for many of us. We have all heard of the exploits of Muhammad Ali, and as a team we just wanted to pay our respects.

“We have seen photos of him with some of the legends of West Indies cricket and also playing a few shots, so we know that he was fully aware of the game and of cricket in the West Indies.” Sir Garry and Ali both enjoyed success in London in 1966. While Ali defeated Henry Cooper to retain his world heavyweight title, Sobers made an epic 163 not out that helped save West Indies from defeat as in the drawn second Test against England at Lord’s.

During that match, Ali joined the West Indies players in their dressing room and was photographed with Sir Garry and fast bowler Wes Hall.

Ali also met other legends of West Indies cricket, including Desmond Haynes, Jeff Dujon Richie Richardson and manager Clyde Walcott, on the 1986-87 tour to Pakistan.

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