Sobers And Other Cricket Legends Charging $100 Per Photograph, $1000 Per Journalist Interview


“The Tour Already Cost Me $15,000, Then I Had To Pay For Sobers’ Autograph”

Well, we have really gone out of our way to make our guests feel welcome, haven’t we?

This type of article is being printed around the world. Such short term thinking. The article could have said “What an honour it was to play cricket with Gary Sobers. It made the trip worthwhile despite everything.”

That’s what the newspaper articles should be saying.

Instead, this is the type of publicity that Barbados is reaping…

“It was a different kind of heartbreak to see the greatest of the greats, Sir Garry Sobers, at 73, and well looked after by life and his achievements, asking for 100 dollars for every picture his fans wanted to click with him,” complained Indian newspaper the Daily Pioneer.

“He should have been thanking his young disciples for having loved him so intensely even 34 years after he retired from a game that has never been slim on heroes.”

Fans said it was not the same on other islands.

“We had photographs with Sir Viv Richards in Antigua and he obliged everyone with autographs. It was only here in Barbados where we have had to pay,” said Kassim Solly.

“We even played beach cricket with some of them in Antigua.”

But Deighton Smith, chief executive of Cricket Legends of Barbados, justified the amounts being charged…

… read the entire article at Super Cricket New Zealand (link here)


Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Celebrities, Cricket

29 responses to “Sobers And Other Cricket Legends Charging $100 Per Photograph, $1000 Per Journalist Interview

  1. Sheesh...

    a gambler has to generate revenue somehow, yuh know…

  2. Squeeeze!

    The Big Squeeze is ON, kids!

    Squeeze that cricket tourist HARD!
    Cancel his flight home: the extra 48 hrs. he spends here will cost him even more (local revenue,duh!)

    We’ll be lucky if we have ANY Tourism Season 2007-2008
    after all the wonderful mercenary, extortionist tourism we’ve shown to the world over the course of this CWC-07,in March and April.

  3. Bajanboy

    Yes, we all know that the Barbados government had to step in to offer Sir Gary a consulting job and a car. They also paid off his mortgage. Otherwise, this national hero and cricket great would have been rendered destitute by his addiction to gambling and women.

  4. Justasking

    We are still waiting to hear if this BBC story is true. ”

    “Prime Minister Owen Arthur, an ardent cricket fan, has personally donated US$150,000, an amount that has been matched by local hoteliers.”

    Any local hoteliers can confirm this personal donation? Was it at some kind of breakfast meeting? In Barbadis or UK?

  5. Bajanboy

    Where is the opposition in all these matters? There is so much fuel they could add to their election engine, but yet they sit idly by and say almost nothing

  6. John

    My first reaction was Sir Garry disappointed me, …. but then I realised it is we who have disappointed Sir Garry.

    I understand the need for money.

    Sir Garry was blessed with gifts which far supercede those with which Brian Lara was blessed.

    Sir Garry not only batted and fielded with the best, he also bowled with the best, and also in many styles.

    He interacted well with people and inspired his team members to play outside of themselves.

    He talked David Holford through the tough situation at Lords, then turned around and almost singlehandedly won the game.

    He showed Wes Hall how to combat the wiles of a particularly wily Indian spinner from the non striker’s end and he made us love him for the inimitable simplicity with which he did things of which we could only dream. Wes Hall always jokes that he was never worried about his ability to counter those wiles, it was the guy at the other end he had to watch out for!!

    Sobers did what he did out of love for the game.

    But love can’t buy a meal or a house!!

    I think we have let down Sir Garry by taking what he has given us out of love and not ensured that he does not have to put himself into such a situation as described in the article. who knows, his financial management skills might be lacking and it is all his fault, but I think not.

    I think there are parallels which exist with Brian Lara. Brian Lara gave us tremendous enjoyment, but he ensured he was paid for doing it.

    I have not yet figured out how compensation for talents in cricket should be given. Until now I have not given it much thought.

    Should an individual be able to use his skills to earn money …. sure, but should an individual be able to earn on his own when his best performances are on a stage put there by others?

    Sobers and Lara, …. earning money is the biggest difference, one wasn’t compensated in money terms for the skills he possessed, one was.

    Wonder which one of the two is happier?

    In the period where Lara was being compensated for his skills, WI cricket sunk to levels never dreamed of by Sobers when he was not being compensated for what were far greater skills.

    There is a lesson in here somewhere.

    Maybe we forgot that West Indies Cricket is far larger than the individual and forgot how to play outside of ourselves.

    ….. and yeah, the WICB inspires no confidence whatsoever. ….. and yeah, we need to look at ourselves alot harder.

    Both the WICB, and ourselves need to come up with the formula so that we all can deserve and expect another Sobers and enjoy the thrill of watching the impossible made possible when a man performs out of pure love of the game.

    Right now I have reached the position where I believe one man may be entitled to benefit to a greater extent than all the others in a team, but the differential should not be unreasonable.

  7. Hants

    Prehaps the $100 was charged to keep the fans to a manageable number.
    This will all be soon forgotten.

  8. cat eyes

    I tend to agree with Squeeze on this one. This World Cup Cricket experience may do more harm than good to Barbados’ tourism. The international stories are not at all flattering to us. But they are showing up the real Barabdos. Meanwhile the dailies here print all flattering and glowing stories and paint an unreal picture. Lets see the good, bad and ugly . Not the airbag trash we are purchasing as newspapers. That is why reality sometimes hits citizens like a ton of bricks when the facade is torn away and one cannot help print the bad. The newspapers are not carrying any of these stories. One wonders how BFP with one sixteenth of the staff of a daily paper can keep us and the rest of the world so up to date, give or take a few minor mistakes occassionally. Advice to newspapers: Keep feeding Bajans crap and watch the circulation, advertising and credibility dwindle incrementally until it is all gone. Probably the time is right for a new paper of high standards, chock full of real news without being libelous and headed by credible persons.

  9. reality check

    When politicians are honest and put there full efforts to create a buoyant and positive economy, then there is lots of money in the system for people to be employed.

    When the focus of political and economic efforts are such that the people at the top and of influence use their efforts to fill their pockets before they depart then the whole nation suffers and people like Mr Sobers is left with having to sell his autograph.

    Its all about leadership at the top and Barbados simply doesn’t have it. We have elected people with no integrity
    and competence.

    If we throw our hands up and do not become active in the political system then we get what we deserve.

  10. Jerome Hinds


    April 22nd, 2007 at 4:55 pm

    Where is the opposition in all these matters? There is so much fuel they could add to their election engine, but yet they sit idly by and say almost nothing

    No politicking during CWC 2007.

    The DLP allowing all fish to gather !

    There will be more than enough time come 29 th April & beyond !

  11. fed up

    “When politicians are honest and put there full efforts to create a buoyant and positive economy, then there is lots of money in the system for people to be employed”

    reality check,

    show me a politician anywhere in the world who is honest!

  12. Maria

    It is impossible for David Thompson and his pixies to say anything negative about Cricket World Cup and tourist arrivals. Am I to conclude that is why they have have been so silent on Cricket World Cup – because they (DEMs) ate humble pie and were among the 22,453 at Kensington yesterday?

    The DEMs would have to be from Mars to even imply furthermore state that Barbados hosting such a prestigious event will not leave a legacy.
    On my way to Kensington yesterday, I felt proud as a Barbadian when I saw the developments along Fontabelle – road repairs, housing repairs, etc.

    The DLP candiates have been misleading Barbados that “the small black man” will not benefit from the hosting of CWC. I am report that the vendors across the road from the Nation Newspaper all the way to the Oval were ALL doing a brick trade. Patrick Todd would not be aware of such because he was in Clico’s Corporate Box.

  13. True Native

    Good Lord, you mean the vendors “all the way to the Oval” were making BRICKS? To pelt at whom – BLP crooks?

  14. Pogo

    Remember when people played sports for the love of the game and then went to their job on Monday morning? They were called amateurs.

    Then we sports fans started rewarding them with bigger and bigger dollars – even the mediocre ones.

    So now people are complaining that they want money for us to be allowed to worship them? I say to these people “Get a life”.

    I am happy that someone is gifted to play cricket, soccer, or even poker these days. I play each of these games- badly- but I surely am not gonna pay to get in line to fawn over someone more talented than me so I can pay money for his signature.

  15. Dear Maria
    The members and supporters of the Democratic Labour Party are just as nationalistic as you and would not choose a time like this to wash Barbados’ dirty linen before the International public.

    We are cognizant of the many issues arising out of cricket world cup and hope that the Government would be decent enough to Account to the Barbados Public for the over 400 million spent to date on various activities associated with CWC. At a time like this a lot of piggies gather at the well to drink. It would take a rabidly partisan individual to shut his/her eyes to all that went on, because of the enjoyment of a sport.

    By the way, DLP supporters like cricket as well as you or any one else, but will not renege on its responsibility for accountability and transparency.

    It is individuals such as yourself who promote corruption and bad governance because of your diabolical partisanship.

  16. Anonymous

    Maria was impressed by paved roads.
    Where you from girl? – Nevis?
    Paved roads are a 21st. Century norm,lady, particularly in ‘First World Barbados’.

    Mind you, without CWC, we’d still be waiting on an election to get our roads anywhere near a civilized state.
    Thank God for Christmas, Elections and CWC, because without them the standards would slip and slip and slip until we’re right back at Africa’s door, infrastructural-conditions-wise.
    Such is the general malaise in post-Colonial Wes Indeeez.

    Incidentally, the Lower Estate Road is getting BAD. Don’t wait for the old white man to come along and paint-up the whole thing pretty pretty so y’all can SEE the holes, before fixing them, okay?

  17. reality check

    fed up

    while I agree by definition that it is difficult to find a completely honest politician anywhere in the world, you can google many areas of the world where there are jobs that can’t be filled
    and the economies are booming.

    In most cases the politicians have to work with all groups to balance various interests. What keeps them in check are definable accountability and transparency laws and most importantly an independent and free press.

  18. fed up

    reality check,
    i guess i am just sick and tired of politics and the politicians who ruin our countries. politicians and religious people. the world can do without them. they are just interested in money, power and war.

  19. Brabsoda

    It always amazes me how every topic becomes political.
    Anyhow, Sir Gary, please tell me it ain’t so.

  20. cat eyes

    Maria has to understand that not all of us are that intellectually stymied as not to realise that had it not been for the for cup cock ups, the Oval would not have been packed. Originally your government’s representatives ensured that they negotiated prices that were beyond the reach of the average Barbadians. Most of us could not afford to enjoy what our tax dollars will pay for in perpetuity! The cockups opened the floodgates with cheap tickets, free tickets, scam tickets and gift tickets. So this is one time we were grateful for the incompetence of your government and its representatives.
    You deprive us of paved roads, to which we are entitled, and then make out that we should be grateful when we get them. Those of us who went to seventh standard have the smarts to see through it all darling.
    And whose box was Owing in? First Caribbean? The West Coast Friends of Barbados? Rodney Wilkinson’s? BS&T? St. Peter Development Fund’s box or Cricket Legends of BDS$300,000.
    Barbados? Maria, you really have no moral authority, as a supporter of the biggest bunch of political grafters this country has ever seen, to point fingers at a soul.

  21. Bajanboy

    I think the money for the autographs is going to be used to fund the ledgends of cricket program and will not go directly to Sir Gary. But, I could be wrong.

  22. Marcus2

    So what is wrong with that?

  23. Yardbroom

    This is an issue that is so personal that it is best to reflect first before giving an opinion, often circumstances are different to what they appear on the surface.

    With some famous sportsmen you are unable to get near enough to them, even if yo wanted to pay for an autograph.

  24. itsjustme

    I think perhaps this whole matter could have been avioded if perhaps Sir Gary was paid for his time regarding offical autograph services.The problem is that since we are a “third world nation” the foreign journalists would see paying for such services as milking the cash cow and regarding Sor Gary they would see it as a fall from grace… reality many stars charge for their autographs

  25. cat eyes

    Today’s Nation story, 99% lifted from this site, explained the autograph and pix charges. They are raising funds for Cricket Legends of Barbados.
    As far as lifting the BFP story, those lazy louts in the mainstream media should be ashamed of themselves. Here we have a small team of persons who do not make a living from the BFP yet you have a newsroom full of paid jokers who are getting leads from this site. Stop buying the papers and log on!!!

  26. Justice

    This story reflects the problems that might arise if you have a living national hero. To what standard should he be held?

  27. Yardbroom

    I believe that it is unfair to have personal attacks on Sir Gary, he is a private citizen- despite being a national hero- and as such should be allowed some space to live his personal life in peace, as he sees it.

    Should we be over concerned because an Indian cricket lover paid for an autograph – or did not-
    there is choice here, no compulsion to buy the said autograph, it is as simple as that.

    You are right there is always a problem with living heroes, but it does allow us to let them know how we feel about their talents.

  28. anon

    can anyone tell me where i can go and have my copy of gary sobers book autographed

  29. Jerome Hinds


    April 26th, 2007 at 10:41 pm · Edit

    can anyone tell me where i can go and have my copy of gary sobers book autographed


    Sir Gary can be found in the hospitality suite at Kensington Oval on 28th Saturday April, 2007.

    To get there you will need the following :

    Park & Ride fee US $ 2.50

    Entrance fee US $ 300.00

    Autograph fee US $ 100.00

    Food & drink for the day US $ 100.00

    TOTAL : US $ 502.50

    anon… much did the book cost again……?