The NWR and partition

This includes part of a book which was not published. It may be of interest to some who are interested in the NWR at the time of Partition and later.

It should be noted that (essentially) the present Delhi, Ambala and Firozpur divisions fell in India and the rest of the NWR fell in Pakistan.

This is the official map from the “History of Railways” in 1937.

NWR in 1937 001

I don’t think there was any significant change from this point to 1947, apart from realignment which shifted the junction point at Ruk to nearby Habib Kot.

Apart from this, part of the metre gauge Jodhpur Railway (one time Jodhpur State Railway) beyond Munabao to Hyderabad (Sind) fell in Pakistan.

A similar official map from 1937:

Jodhpur Railway 1937 001

The line from Mirpur Khas to Nawabshah via Khadro was completed later (in 1939).

Note the “frontier” stations at Phulad, Chilo, Sujangarh and Kuchaman Road.

Initially the NWR name continued to be used in Pakistan until 1961 when it became PWR and later PR. The metre gauge lines of the ex JoR were included in the NWR.

In India, the ex-NWR portions initially were a separate system called the East Punjab Railway, which soon became part of the Northern Railway. The EPR had joined the old EIR at Saharanpur and Ghaziabad.

However, the Saharanpur-Shahdara NG line was part of neither but continued to be owned by Martin & Co (later Martin Burn) until it closed in 1970.

The remaining part of the Jodhpur State Railway in India soon became the Jodhpur division of NR, and still later in the new NWR (HQ Jaipur) which has no connection whatsoever with the old NWR.

(Partition in the East was also quite complicated, so we leave that for another day).

Here is the extract of the unpublished book by Ken Staynor who is no more:

Breakup of the North Western Railway and the Anglo-Indian community

Aiden Markram is back

Refresh your memory here:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/southafrica/content/player/600498.html

As readers of this column know, Aiden Markram has the longest palindromic name among international cricketers, with the competition coming from Rangy Nanan and Arun Lal.

https://abn397.wordpress.com/2017/09/30/palindromic-names-for-cricketers/

Apart from that, he had a good run at the start, with 97 on debut and centuries in his second and third Tests. (It helps if you are playing at home in South Africa against Bangladesh for two Tests followed by Zimbabwe).

Anyway, he was a sort of lucky charm for South Africa as they won in each of his first 5 Tests. India broke this spell when they won the 3rd Test of the 2017-18 series.

He had a bad tour of India in 2019, making a second-ball pair (or silver pair) in the second Test before being dropped for the third.

Anyway he holds another peculiar record in all Tests. He has played the most Tests (20) without ever seeing a draw, up to Dec 29, 2019. 12 of these matches were won by South Africa and 8 were lost.

The record was earlier held by George Lohmann (18 Tests) of long ago, who saw 15 wins and 3 losses. Next is a current player KK Jennings with 17 (12 wins and 5 losses). Alok Kapali shares this tally of 17 (0 wins and 17 losses).

I wonder if anyone has told Markram of this record. At least it sounds more impressive than being the 21st batsman to make a silver pair.

Quiz on old station names in India-1

Here we have a list of names of railway stations which were being used in timetables between the 1930s and 1970s.

Do you know the current names?

1. Begamabad

2.  Cambay

3.  Cannanore

4.  Chakki Bank

5.  Chicacole Road

6.  Chutiapara

7.  Contai Road

8.  Daman Road

9.  Ellis Bridge

10. Ellora Road

11. French Rocks

12. Futwah

13 Goya Gate

14 Hyderabad (MG)

15 Kankanadi

16 Kirkee

17 Kothapetta

18 Manipur Road

19 Margao

20 Mhow

The best effort is by Bharat Prashar, 18/20.

Answers are given below:

Old and new names-1

Chutiapara was associated with the Chutia tribe of Assam.

Ellis Bridge is a locality in Ahmedabad near the British-era bridge of that name. There is still a Vidhan Sabha constituency of that name.

Potul is between Manmad and Aurangabad.

Kothapetta became Sirpur Kagaznagar when a paper factory came up there. The station to the south was Sirpur which became Sirpur Town.

Manipur Road was listed as Dimapur Manipur Road in the 1960s before it became Dimapur.

 

Test captaincy updates-1

It is easy enough to get updated tables like this:

(All these tables are updated to May 15, 2021):

Most Tests (120 and above)

Current players with the most Tests are Anderson (160) and Broad (146).

Another table which is easy to create:

Most Tests as Captain (40 and above):

Kohli is the only current player here. He has captained in 60 Tests and has equalled Dhoni (60). He overtook Ganguly (49), Gavaskar and Azharuddin (47) not long ago. Root is on 50.

But this one needs a little more work with Excel:

Most Tests NOT as Captain (90 and above):

Tendulkar and Kallis lead. The most by current players are 161 by Anderson and 146 by his team-mate Broad.

Now what about those who played the most Tests without ever captaining their sides (90 and above)?

Led by Anderson and Broad, who recently surpassed the long-standing record of Warne.

VVS Laxman (134) has the highest for India which will probably stand for a long time..

Other current players are Ishant Sharma (101) and NM Lyon (100).

Finally, those who played all their Tests as captains (all cases):

Most of them are from the olden days, except LK Germon (12). Perhaps there was an acute shortage of captaincy talent in New Zealand in the mid-90s. And there is Porterfield who captained Ireland in the only 3 Tests which they have played.

Note the 5 at the bottom who played only one Test, in which they were captain.

There are a fair number of the glorious amateurs and their counterparts like Vizianagaram.

India-West Indies T20I review-Dec 2019

The 3-match series in India was won by India with  2-1 margin. Earlier this year India had won 3-0 in a series spread over the USA and West Indies.

Here is a summary of the 17 T20I matches between these teams:

Ind v WI T20I results

These can be summarized as:

Results summary

India still has a healthy 10-6 lead.

Individual records: Batting

Most runs (100 and above):

Batting-100 total

The trio of RG Sharma, Kohli and Rahul have the most runs. While E Lewis is the only one with 2 centuries, Sharma and Kohli each have five 50+ scores.

Highest innings (75 and above):

Innings-75

Kohli and Rahul scored 90s in this series.

Most wickets (5 and above):

Bowling-most wickets

Jadeja leads now, with K Yadav and B Kumar from the current series.

Best innings bowling (3wi and above):

Innings bowling

None of these performances are from the current series. But note DL Chahar’s 3-4 from earlier this year.

Fielding: Most dismissals (4 and more):

Fielding-most dismissals

RG Sharma has the most catches followed by Pollard. Dhoni, Pant and Ramdin have the most dismissals as a keeper.

Most innings dismissals (3 and above):

innings dismissals

KD Karthik has the most dismissals by a keeper.

Best all-round match performances (20 runs and 2 wickets):

AR-match.JPG

Bravo’s performance in the 2009 World Championship is one of the best in all T20Is.

Why Ecuador?

Swami Nithyananda seems to have captured the imagination of a section of the population, who are anxious to migrate to the Nation of Kailasa:

https://newstodaynet.com/index.php/2019/12/10/12-lakh-applied-for-kailasa-citizenship-nithyananda/

But where is it? The above report (as well as the official website)  https://kailaasa.org/

do not make it clear. Some newspaper reports say that he made his way to Ecuador via Nepal, and that he purchased an island from that country. Some news websites with muddled geography stated that this island was near Trinidad & Tobago, which is a few thousand km away from Ecuador.

But why Ecuador, anyway? In recent years it had hosted the fugitive Julian Assange at its embassy in London until they got tired of him. To refresh your memory see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julian_Assange  and the climax at https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-47907600

However, Ecuador is supposed to have a long association with people who have a problem with India. This goes back to the Khalistan movement. From the Wikipedia article on the Khalistan movement, we see:

“Embassies in Britain and other European countries were opened by Chohan. It is reported that with the assistance of a wealthy Californian supporter, a peach magnate, he opened an Ecuadorian bank account to support his operation.”

Some years later, a Sikh writer tried to find out what the Khalistan supporters had achieved in Ecuador. His report:

https://www.sikhglobalvillage.com/stories_sikhecuador1.htm

So there is some history of the Ecuadorean government getting involved with dubious activities connected with India.

Meanwhile, humorists on Facebook and elsewhere have to generate material about the Swami and his country. It is known that Ecuador has an island province including the Galapagos islands and its famed flora and fauna, including this fellow:

Galapagos tortoise 2

One could imagine him being cuddled by the Swami.

 

 

Test cricket returns to Pakistan

The last Test in Pakistan was scheduled to be played from March 1 to 5, 2009.

There was no play after the second day. A contemporary report:

https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/_/id/22788732/sl-cricketers-injured-terror-attack

And the scorecard, for what it is worth:

https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/13778/scorecard/388994/pakistan-vs-sri-lanka-2nd-test-sri-lanka-tour-of-pakistan-2008-09

Since then, Pakistan has played Tests only away or at neutral venues (mainly in UAE, also 2 in England). There have been a small number of T20Is and ODIs played in Pakistan in the past few years:

T20Is in Pakistan since March 2009:

T20Is in Pak since 2009

ODIs in Pakistan since March 2009:

ODIs in Pak since 2009

It is also apparent that any Pakistani player who made his Test debut since 3 March 2009 would never have played at home until now. They are:

Pakistani Test debutants after Mar 2009

It can be seen that these 46 players include the present captain (Azhar Ali) and the previous captain (Sarfaraz Ahmed) who made their debuts in 2010, besides key players such as Asad Shafiq and Shan Masood. There is also Fawad Alam who made his debut in Sri Lanka in 2009 but has not played any Test since that series, but may well play in the forthcoming series.

And there are others such as Saeed Ajmal and Mohammad Amir who came and went without ever playing in a home Test.

You can see a review of past Tests between Pakistan and Sri Lanka here:

https://abn397.wordpress.com/2017/10/13/review-of-pakistan-sri-lanka-tests/

Note that their last meeting was in the UAE in late 2017, when Sri Lanka won 2-0. They were among the very few teams to beat Pakistan in a series in the UAE.

 

Low scores in international cricket

Opening the gates of T20Is to virtually all countries who play a bit of cricket has had predictable results, particularly in women’s cricket:

These lists of lowest totals are correct on Dec 8, 2019:

Women’s T20Is:

Womens T20I low scores

Note the single-digit and near single-digit scores by Mali and the Maldives in the past few months. The men’s T20I teams have fared slightly better:

Men’s T20Is:

Mens T20I low scores

Note that these sub-50 scores include entries from major teams such as the West Indies.

Are things any better with ODIs and Tests, which still have considerable entry barriers? :

Women’s ODIs:

Womens ODI low scores

Well-established women’s teams have had their share of low scores.

There are even some sub-50 scores in men’s ODIs, mainly from minnow teams who were out of their depths in World Cup matches:

Men’s ODIs:

Low scores in mens ODIs

Take the cases of Canada (twice) and Namibia above in World Cup matches.

For comparison, we look at Test matches. There have been very limited Tests in women’s cricket:

Women’s Tests:

Low scores in womens Tests

Mainly from the earlier days. Both England and Australia recorded their lowest scores in the same Test in 1958.

Men’s Tests:

Low scores in men's Tests

While the majority of these low scores are from the times when South Africa were the whipping boys, there are some from the past few years (Ireland’s 38 in 2019, Bangladesh’s 43 in 2018). Not to forget Australia’s 47 in 2011, which needed Siddle and Lyon to reach this total from 21/9. It had a chance of lowering the mark of 26 set in 1955.

 

 

 

 

RIP Bob Willis-some notes on his career

Basic details can be seen here: http://www.espncricinfo.com/england/content/player/22462.html

He captained England in 18 Tests in 1982-84, when the team won 7, lost 5 and drew 6.

There are relatively few “pure” bowlers who had extended runs as captains. This is an attempt to list them:

Bowler captain (Willis)

Botham did not do well as a batsman or bowler (or indeed as a captain) during his tenure.

Willis also holds a record of taking the most wickets (325) without ever taking a 10-for. These are the bowlers with this distinction with 200 or more wickets:

Most wkts with out 10WM

While Siddle may play a few more Tests, he is unlikely to come close to 325 wickets. Morne Morkel and Brett Lee may have surpassed this after a few more Tests if they had not retired.

For comparison, we see who has taken the most wickets without ever taking a five-for:

Most wickets without 5wi

While Hendrick was certainly a specialist bowler, most of the others here were considered all-rounders. Some were batsmen who bowled occasionally. We can see that NJ Astle has the most wickets without a 4-for.

And finally, he may be one of the few cricketers who legally changed their name to that of someone whom he admired. However, Bob Dylan outlived him. (He is only 8 years older than Willis).

Willis was not much of a batsman, with a top score of 28* and  career Test average of less than 12. He normally batted at No 10 or 11. However, he normally did stay long enough to help other batsmen to add more runs. The best such instance was in this Test in 1980:

https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/17053/scorecard/63269/england-vs-west-indies-4th-test-west-indies-tour-of-england-1980

England made 370 and the West Indies 265 in reply. In the 3rd innings, England collapsed to 92/9 when Willis came in to join Willey (who was not considered to be an established batsman at that time; he had two fifties with a top score of 62* at that time). So England led by 197 with 3:30 hours left, and surely the West Indies would make light work of a target of around 200. But this did not happen. Wisden 1981 had this to say:

“At The Oval, July 24, 25, 26, 28, 29. Drawn. Considering a complete day was lost to the weather, that only 29 wickets fell, and that West Indies averaged 12.3 overs an hour, the fourth Test was a much better match than it might have been. Its main features were Gooch’s tremendous attacking 83 which inspired England’s best batting of the summer, a West Indian collapse that put them in momentary danger of a follow-on, and an unbroken last-wicket stand of 117 between Willey and Willis that saved England from defeat.

How England came to be 92 for nine in their second innings after making 370 in the first is something that requires no explanation to anyone familiar with the brittleness of their batting, or with the potency of Holding, Croft and Garner. When Willey and Willis came together a West Indian victory looked likely with England only 197 ahead and with three and a half hours left. Yet they played with exemplary coolness and courage, and after a surprisingly short time showed no sign of being parted.

West Indies were badly handicapped by injuries to Croft and Garner, but Holding and Marshall were still relatively fresh when the ninth wicket fell twenty-five minutes after lunch. Willis’s 24 not out equalled his highest score in 80 innings for England and followed a sequence of ten innings in which he had only once reached double figures. Sadly, because of his lost bowling form, it proved to be his last Test innings of the season.

For all that was owed to the ungainly effectiveness of Willis’s lunging forward stroke, it was to Willey that England were mainly indebted for survival. Ironically, he would not even have been playing had Greenidge caught him at 13 in the Old Trafford Test a fortnight earlier – an escape which enabled him to add 62 not out to an aggregate of 90 in his ten previous innings for England. It was to his reputation as a fighter that Willey owed his continued presence in the side, and at The Oval he justified the selectors’ faith in him. Arriving at 67 for six, thirty-five minutes before lunch, he showed the full face of the bat to the West Indian fast bowlers from the moment he came in. He held concentration and resolve as Botham, Knott and Dilley were briskly swept aside, resourcefully protected Willis from the strike and, when the West Indian effort faded, availed himself of a well-deserved first hundred.”

While this was not noticed at the time, it was the first time that a 10th-wicket pair succeeded in doubling the score (from 92/9 to 209/9). This happened after over a hundred years of Tests, and has indeed happened only on 6 occasions from 1980 to 2019 as detailed here:

https://abn397.wordpress.com/2019/11/13/batting-recoveries-1-doubling-the-score-by-the-10th-wicket-partners/

So the West Indies held on to their 1-0 lead going into the final Test which was also drawn. Later that decade they beat England 5-0 in England in 1984, 5-0 in the West Indies in 1985-86 and 4-0 again in England in 1988. Hence the wisecracks about the “blackwash” being followed by a “dark grey wash” in 1988.

 

Review of Eng-NZ Tests-Dec 2019-2

Hope you have read Part 1

Continuing with individual performances-Fielding:

Most dismissals (20 and above):

Eng v NZ dismissals

Parore is just ahead of RW Taylor overall. Watling and R Taylor have the most dismissals among current players. Fleming has the most among non-keepers.

Most innings dismissals (5 and above):

Eng v NZ innings fielding

Only Bairstow from recent series. Headed by the lesser-known CMW Read.

Most match dismissals (6 and above):

Eng v NZ match fielding

Again, hardly anything from recent series. Note that Lamb and Cook have the best among non-keepers.

Best dismissal rate (Min 20 innings, 0.600):

Eng v NZ dismissal rate

Taylor and Cook from recent years, with Fleming having the best figures among non-keepers.

All-round overall (see criteria below):

Eng v NZ AR overall

Not much debate here for the top two. Vettori’s figures are lower than what one would expect. Even CL Cairns did better.

All-round match performance (50 and 5wi):

Eng v NZ AR match

A long list here, with Southee with two instances from recent years. This list has three instances of the comparatively rare 50/10wm (Greig, Hadlee and Nash) besides the more usual 100/5wi (Botham twice).

 

Review of Eng-NZ Tests-Dec 2019-1

New Zealand won the 2-Test series 1-0. as they had in 2017-2018. This series was not part of the World Test Championship.

The overall summary of Tests between these countries:

Overall summary

New Zealand is slowly beginning to show better performances at home.

Looking at individual performances:

Batting

Most Runs (1000 and above):

Eng v NZ runs-1000

MD Crowe has the most centuries (5) while several others have 4. The most scores of 50+ are 11 by JG Wright while several other have 10. R Taylor (1145) has the most runs among current players.

Highest innings (150 and above):

Eng v NZ innings-150

Root and Watling scored double centuries in this series.

Best batting average (Min 20 innings, all instances):

Eng v NZ bat avg

Cowdrey has the highest average here. Root and Taylor have the highest averages among current players. Williamson has not played enough against England.

Best strike rate (Min 1000 balls faced, 45.00):

Eng v NZ bat SR

McCullum leads by a large margin. Taylor, Root and Watling represent current players.

Bowling

Most wickets (25 and more):

Eng v NZ wkts

Sir Richard leads by a large margin, although current player Broad is next. Southee, Boult and Wagner are also moving up.

Best innings bowling (includes all instances of 7wi):

Eng V NZ innings bowl

No instances from the last few years.

Best match bowling (includes all instances of 10wm):

Eng v NZ match bowl

Note the duopoly at the top from Underwood and Lock who have the 5 best performances. Nothing from recent years.

Best bowling average (Min 2000 balls bowled, all instances):

Eng v NZ bowl avg

Underwood and Willis have the best bowling averages, Underwood and Illingworth the best economy while Underwood and Anderson have the best strike rates. Boult and Wagner have the best averages among current players.

To be continued.

World War 2 snippets-Hitler’s personal train

A relatively unknown story from World War 2.

The basic information is here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F%C3%BChrersonderzug\

More details here, including a 50-minute documentary:

https://www.wearethemighty.com/history/hitler-train-amerika-ww2?rebelltitem=1#rebelltitem1