Cricket and India go hand in hand with millions of cricket crazy fans. The country’s love and obsession for the sport knows no bound. When it comes to cricket, there is no kidding around. We all have a special section in our brain especially for cricket facts and records of the game.
But there are still a number of little known facts, records and strange incidents which have taken place in the long history of cricket. So, as the rains Gods continue to spoil our 2019 World Cup experience, let us get to know some of the most weird and lesser-known cricket facts:
1. Kohli takes a wicket off 0th ball!
Let us start with King Kohli. The Indian captain is without a doubt, one of the best batsmen of this generation. But what about his bowling?
Kohli rarely bowls right arm medium pace when he is not thrashing the bowlers with the bat. But did you know Kohli had taken a wicket off the 0th ball in T20 cricket. How so?
In the one-off T20 against England in 2011, Kohli was handed the ball for the first time in his T20 career. Then 23-year old, Kohli bowled a wide ball on the leg side. But batsman Kevin Pietersen charged down the track, only to miss the ball as Dhoni stumped him out. Ergo, a wicket off the 0th ball!
2. India forfeits against Pakistan
Bishan Singh Bedi, captain of the Indian side against Pakistan in 1978, became the first captain to concede an international cricket match. India needed just 23 runs from 14 balls with 8 wickets in hand when Bedi decided to forfeit the game in protest of 4 consecutive bouncers bowled by Pakistani fast bowler Sarfraz Nawaz. The umpire had not called a single of them wide and with no regulations about bouncers in an over back then, it wasn’t against the rules.
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3. An Unfortunate Day
In yet another India vs Pakistan game in the 1984-85 season, 2nd ODI at the Sialkot was abandoned due to the news of the Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s assassination. India was in a strong position with 210 runs for the loss of 3 wickets.
4. India or Pakistan: Who is the Boss?
While we are on the topic of India vs Pakistan, how can we forget about the hype around the upcoming clash between the arch-rivals in the World Cup?
We all know that India has so far kept a 100% win record in World Cups with 6-0 in ODIs and 5-0 in T20 World Cup. But the Pakistani side is way ahead in the rest of the head-to-head.
In 59 tests played between two nations, Pakistan is 11-9 ahead while they lead 74-56 in 131 ODIs so far. In the Champions Trophy where Pakistan recently won the final against India, they lead 3-2 against the Men in Blue.
5. 10-Day Test Match
While there are talks of reducing international test cricket to 4 days per match, did you know that test matches were once a timeless affair? Teams used to play until the definitive result was reached.
In one such game in 1939, South Africa vs England game went into the 10th day with England chasing 696. They were 654-5 at one position with just 42 more runs needed.
But the captain of the ship which was supposed to take England back home refused to wait anymore and the game was declared drawn by the agreement. Imagine coming this close to chasing such a record total and not winning the game due to a person who wasn’t even involved in the game. Here is the complete scorecard of the match.
6. Shortest Test Match
60 years later, England played on of the shortest test matches in the history of cricket, winning against West Indies by an inning and 39 runs in just under 2 days.
West Indies were bowled out for 172 in the first innings and England took a lead of 100 runs thanks to Michael Vaughan’s 78. But the Windies side was absolutely destroyed in the second innings by Andy Caddick and Darren Gough. The duo shared 9 wickets as the Carribeans crumbled for 61 in just 26.2 overs. The game lasted for just over 150 overs and two days.
7. Longest Surname
Over to a fun fact. A cricket player with the longest surname? No not any of the Sri Lankan players. This honour goes to Fiji’s IL Bula. His full name – Ilikena Lasarusa Talebulamaineiilikenamainavaleniveivakabulaimainakulalakebalau (Nope, that wasn’t my cat running all over my keyboard!) The translation of this surname is also very unique – “returned alive from Nankula hospital at Lakeba Island in the Lau group”
8. The Only Rule Never to Change
We have seen a number of laws being changed on a regular basis in the last few years. But the only law that has not changed since the inception of the game is the length of the pitch. The most important part of the field has stayed 22 yards ever since we can remember.
9. 999 Dismissals
Mark Boucher, one of the finest wicketkeepers of all time, holds the record for the overall most number of dismissals as a wicketkeeper in all formats of the game.
With 532 catches and 23 stumpings in tests, 403 catches and 22 stumpings in ODIs and 18 catches and 1 stumping in T20s, the South African finished his career with a unique figure of 999 in all three formats. If only that bail had not hit his eye!
But the wicketkeeper-batsman has reached the 1000 mark in the total number of dismissals with a sole wicket off his bowling against West Indies.
10. Gilly the Bowler
Wicketkeepers taking a wicket is a rare but not Halley’s Comet rare. But in the case of Adam Gilchrist, it is something special. The Australian had never bowled a single delivery in his international career. But in his last professional game as a cricketer, Gilly decided to give it a go against Mumbai Indians in IPL. And what turned out to be his first and last delivery ever, Gilchrist took the wicket of Harbhajan Singh to end his career on a sweet note.
11. Don of Double Centuries
Sachin Tendulkar holds almost all the records in batting. But one list in which he is nowhere near the top is the number of double centuries in test cricket.
Don Bradman leads the pack with 12 double centuries while Kumar Sangakkara has 11. The Little Master is way down the list with 6 double centuries.
12. 0% 300s, 100% Legends
While we are talking about big innings, none of the top five run scorers in the history of test cricket has ever scored a triple hundred. Tendulkar’s highest score is 248, Pointing 257, Kallis 224, Dravid 270 and Cook 294. Hence proved – You need class and consistency to reach the top!
13. First Indian Century in ODI
Kapil Dev was the first Indian to score a century for India in ODI. Indians had to wait for a really long time for the first ton but it was a memorable one, to say the least. Dev’s 100 came against Zimbabwe during the 1983 World Cup. India was reduced to 17-5 when Kapil Dev played the captain’s knock of 175 runs in just 138 balls and took his team to a total of 266. India eventually won the game by 31 runs.
14. 30.3 Overs in a Row
Kapil Dev has pulled off another near miraculous performance for India in a test match against West Indians. His 9/83 is famous amongst Indian fans but very few know that he bowled 30.3 over on trot in that innings. A spell of 30.3 overs by a pace bowler – can’t imagine anyone doing it today.
15. 131 Straight Dot Balls
India’s Bapu Nadkarni, a left-arm orthodox bowler, once bowled 131 consecutive dot balls against England back in 1963-64. That is a record 21 maiden overs in a row. He finished with figures of 32-27-5-0.
16. Ishant the Dropper
Alistair Cook – 294 Runs in 2011, Michael Clarke – 329 Runs in 2012 and Brendon McCullum – 302 Runs in 2014 are the three top scorers against India in the 21st century. And they have just one thing in common. They were all dropped by Ishant Sharma early in their innings before going on to score a big. A lucky charm for some, unlucky for 121 million.
17. The Unlucky Laxman
VVS Laxman is the only Indian player to have played more than 100 test matches but not a single World cup match!
18. 77 Runs in One Over!
Most runs scored in a single over? 36? 40-45 in case of no-balls or something like that? No. The highest number of runs scored in a single over is 77. Yes, you read that right!
In a game between Canterbury and Wellington in New Zealand’s first class cricket, Wellington’s Bert Vance went for 77 runs in the only over he bowled.
This is how the over progressed – 0 4 4 4 6 6 4 6 1 4 1 0 6 6 6 6 6 0 0 4 0 1
19. 19 Wickets in One Test Match
We all know that Anil Kumble has taken 10 wickets in an inning in test cricket. But the only other bowler to take 10 wickets in a single inning was Jim Laker, who did it years before Kumble.
In the England vs Australia match at the Old Trafford, Laker first took 9-37 in the first inning and followed it with 10-53 in the second inning to finish with 19 wickets in a test match. Who was the bowler to take the other wicket you ask? Tony Lock!
20. 199 centuries!?
Most hundreds scored in first-class cricket – Jack Hobbs scored 199 FC centuries playing for Surrey in the early 19th century. And don’t worry he crossed the 200 mark with 15 centuries for England.
21. 4204 Wickets!?
If 200+ centuries is remarkable, I don’t know what the word for 4000+ First Class wickets is. Wilfred Rhodes played for Yorkshire and the left arm orthodox took 4204 wickets in 1110 matches. Ain’t nobody touching that record!
22. Declaration at 0-0, Twice!
The only time two innings were declared for 0-0 in the test cricket was in 1999-2000 during a game between England and South Africa.
South Africa scored 248/8 in the first innings and declared it as the second, third and the fourth day of the test were washed off due to rain. Captains Hansie Cronje and Nasser Hussain decided to play for the result in the spirit of the game and England declared their first inning on 0-0. South Africa did the same and England chased down the target of 249 in the fourth inning.
The only sad thing about this unique test – Cronje later admitted that he was bribed to ensure a result in that game.
23. The Wall
Rahul Dravid is called ‘The Wall’ for a reason. But Karnataka State Cricket Association decided to build an actual wall in the M Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru just to make sure everyone was aware of the nickname. The wall is built with 10,000 bricks after Dravid crossed the 10000-mark in tests. The wall has a metal statue of Dravid playing a classic cover drive with words “Commitment, Consistency, Class”.
24. The Sweet End
Glenn McGrath finished his career in all three formats in the best way possible. The fast bowler took the wicket off the last ball off his test and T20 career and a wicket off the second last ball of his career in ODIs.
25. Father-Son Duo
Life is strange and Modi father-son know all about it! No, the other Modi. Hitesh Modi, the Kenyan player and Subhash Modi, umpire of the game became the first father-son duo to feature in an official ODI match back in 2001. They played two more matches together and the father even adjudged his son LBW in one of the games.
26. Who deprived Bradman off Average 100?
We all know the story of Sir Don Bradman missing out on an average of 100 due to his duck in the last test match of his career. But do you know the name of the bowler who kept Bradman away from the mind boggling record? England’s right arm leg spinner – Eric Hollies!
27. Stumped – By an Indian!
Another Don Bradman fact –Indian Probin Sen is the only wicketkeeper to stump Bradman. The wicket came off Vinoo Mankad’s bowling in 1948.
28. 200 by a Night Watchman
Jason Gillespie was a part of Australia’s most destructive pace bowling attacking in the early 21st century. But the pace bowler holds a unique record in batting – highest individual score by a night watchman. Gillespie scored 201 not out against Bangladesh and that too on his 31st birthday.
29. An Unlucky Wicket off the first Ball
Nilesh Kulkarni is the only Indian bowler to take the wicket off his first career delivery in test cricket. He achieved this feat against Sri Lanka in 1997 where the Lankans went on to score 952 runs. Bad time to achieve such a feat, eh Nilesh?
30. Bowled Out twice in a Day
India was nowhere near the best test playing nation back in the 1950s. And they were humiliated by England in 1952. The Indian team became the first team to be bowled out twice on the same day at the Old Trafford. Indians scored 58 and 82 in two innings.
31. The Best Cricket Fact Ever
We saved the best for the last!
This is not a record or stat, this is just one of the most bizarre and scary stories you will ever read.
In July 1949, a baby was born in one of the hospitals in Bombay. The baby’s uncle noticed a small hole near the top of the baby’s left ear lobe. On the next day, uncle visited the hospital again, only to find a baby without such hole. Uncle asked the hospital authorities about the situation and the baby was found sleeping peacefully beside a fisherwoman in the next bed. Somehow the babies were SWITCHED!
Who was the baby with the hole in the left ear lobe? Sunil Manohar Gavaskar! Yes, if it wasn’t for the watchful uncle, the World may have never seen the legendary Indian opener take to the field!