They never saw victories in Tests-updated

Note: Data as of 15 May 2016.

So far we have taken up the cases of those who saw only victories, only defeats and only draws in careers of 5 or more Tests. We now continue with the converse records, starting with those who never saw victories.

There are as many as 161 Test players in this category. Here we list those who played in 15 or more Tests:

Nowin

The “topper” Bert Sutcliffe is quite unexpected, as he was New Zealand’s leading batsman and was sometimes considered as the best left-handed batsman in international cricket in his time. He had, of course, the disadvantage of being in a weak team. During his career New Zealand won its first 3 Tests but somehow he missed all of them.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/newzealand/content/player/38413.html

Next was Bryan Strang who was one of the leading opening bowlers of Zimbabwe in his time but also unlucky to miss their 5 Test wins during his career.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/zimbabwe/content/player/55756.html

We also meet the luckless Alok Kapali with 17 losses out of 17. But some of the players above had fairly respectable Test careers if not in the same class as Sutcliffe. Of special note would be Bryan Strang, Kunderan, Masood, French and Charlie Davis. Going slightly beyond the 15-Test mark above, we also have Alan Melville (4 centuries in successive innings) and Vijay Merchant.

Current players with no wins include Abdur Razzak (BD) with 12 Tests and Zimbabweans MA Vermuelen (9) and RM Chakabva (8). They may or may not play again.

 

Stations which have a cricket connection

There are a number of cricket stadiums which have nearby stations with the same name, ranging from this one in London:

Oval-tube-station-006

A station by the name of Lord’s existed in the past, but the section was closed in 1939. The nearest Tube station is St. John’s Wood. Details here:

http://www.disused-stations.org.uk/l/lords/index.shtml

In India, we have stations for Chepauk and Eden Gardens among others.

Also. if you travel from Mumbai to Surat, you will pass

Atul station

and then

Sachin station

The second one needs no explanation, while the first relates to the lesser-known international players Atul Wassan and Atul Bedade and possibly a few more.

The route north of Nagpur is more promising, as it has

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

followed by

Amla station

Note that the name Amla is supposed to be derived from “Ammunition Lands” as it has one the largest ammunition depots in the country.

Although Hashim Amla’s ancestors were from Gujarat this does not appear to be a common surname. Amla does mean a fruit (something like a gooseberry) in several Indian languages.

Also see: https://abn397.wordpress.com/2015/01/23/who-or-what-is-amla/

There are also stations such as Pataudi Road and Vizianagaram which are indeed the places where the concerned player’s families were rulers.

 

 

 

 

They only saw draws in Tests-updated

So far we have covered the cases of those who only saw victories and those who only saw defeats in Test careers of at least 5 matches. Today we take on the less interesting cases of those who saw only draws, as on May 15, 2016.

There are only 5 players who meet this criterion, and most would be unknown to the average cricket follower. The top two positions go to CV Gadkari (Ind) and Shafiq Ahmed (Pak).

Alldraw1

There is nothing special about the careers of these players including the chart-toppers:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/28751.html

CV Gadkari had the misfortune of playing 3 Tests of the 1954-55 India tour of Pakistan, a strong contender for the dullest Test series in history. He did score one fifty. The 1960-61 series between these countries also ended in 5 draws, but had some likelihood of results.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/42636.html

Shafiq Ahmed had a totally undistinguished Test career, with a top score of 27* as a specialist batsman.

And PH Punjabi played all his Tests in that same 1954-55 series.

Even if you modify the criteria for at least 85 % draws in a career, we get only 9 players of whom Donnelly is the best known.

Alldraw2

A Kuruvilla played his 10 Tests within 9 months in 1997, at a time when India’s strong batting and weak bowling contributed to many draws. India’s one loss at Bridgetown was quite narrow (38 runs) and has been considered a possible fixed match.

Mills scored a century on debut but started his Test career practically along with New Zealand, which had a rather long learning curve.

Donnelly had scored a double century against England. Like Ajit Agarkar, he made sure that his only Test century came at Lord’s.

The highlight of Goddard’s career was a hat trick against New Zealand.

More oddities follow where we look into those who never saw victories in their career. As we will see, these include some leading players.

They only saw defeats in Tests-updated

After covering those Test players who only saw victories in their careers of over 5 Tests, we move to the other extreme of those who only saw defeats. There are 16 such players who are listed below as on May 15, 2016. The record is held by Alok Kapali of Bangladesh.

Allloss1

As you may guess, Bangladesh has the most representatives here but there are some from other major cricketing countries (but not India). An interesting case is that of JG Dewes who scored 1 and 10 on his debut which was a heavy loss for England. But this match is remembered more for a duck by another player in his last Test:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/62689.html

Coming back to Alok Kapali and runner-up Mohammad Sharif, they were unlucky to miss Bangladesh’s first Test victory against Zimbabwe in 2004-05. The former was a batting all-rounder who was the first Bangladeshi (and only Hindu, if that matters) to take a Test hat-trick. That hat-trick (with innings figures of 3 for 3) accounted for half of his Test wickets. http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/56251.html

The only one who may play Tests again is RW Chakabva.

If we list all those who witnessed defeat in more than 90 percent of their Tests, we get this list of 22:

Allloss2

The 6 players added are all from Bangladesh. It looks as if Kapali’s record will stand for a long time, even though he was probably a better player than most of his teammates (or even players from other countries) who appear in these lists. Contrast this with Eldine Baptiste and his friends from the earlier post.

 

 

For railfans-the Fergusson papers

This is primarily for railfans interested in lists of stations on railway systems across the world. Some explanation is necessary.

The Fergusson papers on the link given below are compiled by an Englishman named Jim Fergusson, who has been collecting timetables from all over the world since around 1950. He has got hold of timetables from different time periods ranging from the 19th to the 21st century.

Most of those reading this will be interested in the Indian railway system. That is not covered, but the systems of all our neighbours (Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and even Myanmar) are covered. He seems to have drawn largely from the Indian Bradshaw which has been published since the 19th century but seems to have vanished a few years ago.

Have a look at it here:

http://www.railwaystationlists.co.uk/

They only saw victories in Tests-updated

As mentioned earlier, there are only a handful of Test players who played 5 or more Tests in which their team won all of them. As on May 15, 2016 they are:

Allwin1

None of them had particularly distinguished Test careers; for instance, Lord Hawke was a specialist batsman whose Test batting average was under 10. They were fortunate in being in the right team at the right time-which was particularly true of Eldine Baptiste: http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/player/51211.html

Not long ago Imran Khan (the present one, not the politician) also was on this list with 5 straight wins from his debut. But his 6th Test was drawn. He now has 6 wins and a draw in his 7 Tests.

Adam Gilchrist had 15 straight wins from his debut in Nov 1999 to Feb 2001 (before the Australian juggernaut was halted by VVS, Dravid and Harbhajan). He finished with 72 wins, 11 losses and 12 draws in his 95 Tests (not counting the one against the ICC XI).

The runner-up is England’s Tim Bresnan who had 13 straight wins from his debut in May 2009 to May 2012 followed by a draw against the West Indies. He probably will not play in Tests again, and has 15 wins, 4 losses and 4 draws in his career of 23 Tests.

Here is a list of those whose Test careers had over 80 percent wins as on May 15, 2016:

Allwin2

The only current players are Imran Khan and Jackson Bird. Again, there are relatively few well-known players here (though it does include Loxton and Saggers from the 1948 Australians) besides Hodge and Lehmann from more recent times.

 

An old Indo-Somalian connection

With all these PJs about Kerala, Somalia and Po Mone, it is interesting to find something from the 1930s showing Gandhi’s connection with a Somali warder in his jail. Somalia was also a British colony then.

I vaguely remember reading this as one of the stories in 6th or 7th  standard. Typically for those times, English and Hindi textbooks in CBSE schools had numerous stories involving Gandhi and others who may not be so popular now.

Anyway, the story was something like this:

http://www.mkgandhi.org/gandhikatha/chap38.htm

Apart from that, there are some ladies from eastern India with the name Somali.