The game of cricket which originated in England in the 18th century has seen many stalwarts hog the limelight at different times. Due to its immense mass appeal the game too has evolved from the sedate and formal Test matches to the 50 over a side One Day Internationals (ODI) to the fast paced 20-20 game where each side goes at the other hammer and tongs in 20 over a side.
What has made cricket very interesting is not merely the matches but the personalities that have played the game. From the Maharajas of India to the flamboyant Sir Gary Sobers to the outrageous Chris Gayle of the West Indies, all have helped lift cricket from being merely a sport to a full scale entertainment.
Here are a few facts from the great game that will surely leave many with raised eyebrows.
Batsman bowled out most number of times in Tests – No; it is not any lower order batsman but the great Rahul Dravid of India whose defence was so strong that he was referred to as “The Wall”. However, this impeccable defence has been breached most number of times in Tests, a record 54 instances when he has been bowled. Of the last 13 innings he played, he was bowled in 9 of them.
Batsman who has hit the most sixes in a Test innings – Another googly here, no it is not a front ranking big hitting batsman but a lower order pace bowler Wasim Akram of Pakistan. In 1996 he hit 257 off 363 balls against Zimbabwe, an innings that was studded with 22 fours and 12 sixes.
More number of wickets than runs – In today’s age of specialisation where most bowlers can bat to a decent score, Chris Martin of New Zealand and B. S Chandrasekhar of India hold a unique record. Both have more Test wickets to their names than runs. Chris Martin has scored 123 runs and taken 233 wickets in 71 Tests while Chandrasekhar has 167 runs to his name against 242 wickets.
England’s losses in ODI finals – England has a dubious record as losing finalists in ODI history in ICC tournaments. They have lost a 60 over ODI final (1979 World Cup), 50 over ODI final (1992 World Cup / 2004 Champion’s Trophy and a 20 over ODI final (2013 Champions Trophy).
Miscellaneous stunners – The great Sir Donald Bradman has hit just 6 sixes in his entire career. Highest scores of Virender Shewag of India in T-20, ODI and Tests are 119, 219 and 319 respectively. Adam Gilchrist of Australia has played the most number of consecutive Test matches after debut. In a career spanning from 1999 to 2008, he played 96 successive Test matches.
There are thousands more nuggets of information on the great game of cricket and these are just some that will surely be of interest to the reader.