The world’s oldest (and oldest living) Test cricketers

First we look at the longest-lived Test cricketers:

From Wikipedia:

Longest lived Test players

Only one Test cricketer crossed a century here, South Africa’s Norman Gordon (1911-2014). He played in 5 Tests against England in 1938-39. He is also 4th on the list of the longest-lived first-class cricketers.

Then there is this list from Cricinfo’s records section (not Statsguru):

https://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/records/283740.html

Screenshot of this on 24 Mar 2020:

Longest lived Test players-2

If you consider “famous” players who played in 25 or more Tests, the oldest would be Wilfred Rhodes (95/252) followed by Syd Barnes (94/251) and Bob Wyatt (93/353).

The oldest Test player from India is MJ Gopalan (94/198) followed by (the strange case of) C Ramaswami  (93?) and MK Mantri.

Next we look at the oldest living Test cricketers today:

From Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lists_of_oldest_cricketers#Oldest_living_Test_cricketers

As on 24 March 2020:

Oldest living Test crickters

Again, this includes some lesser-known players. For a better idea we go to Cricinfo again:

https://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/records/283742.html

Screenshot of this  on 24 Mar 2020:

Oldest living Test cricketers-2

Taking a minimum of 25 Tests, the oldest well-known player is the last of the 3 Ws (Everton Weekes) at 95+ followed by John Reid at 91+, Neil Harvey at 91+ and Colin Macdonald also 91+ . The last two played in Laker’s Test in 1956.

The oldest from India are Datta Gaekwad (91+), CD Gopinath (90+) and CT Patankar (89+).

However, I know that there are errors in Cricinfo as there are at least two players who are shown as still living whereas their deaths have been reported. These are CK Singh (WI) and Rajinder Pal (Ind).

 

The world’s oldest living first class cricketer

See this updated list of the longest lived first-class cricketers:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lists_of_oldest_cricketers#Longest-lived_first-class_cricketers

Snapshot of this on 19 Mar 2020:

Oldest f-c cricketers

For several years John Manners was the oldest living first-class cricketer. He died on 7 March in England. After this the only living first class cricketer aged over 100 is Vasant Raiji of Mumbai, who turned 100 on 26 Jan this year.

And John Manners remains the oldest ever MALE first class cricketer.

There is an older FEMALE Test player still living in England:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eileen_Ash

Eileen Ash is going strong at 108+, being born on 30 Oct 1911 (a few months after Ronald Reagan). Links to various articles about her can be seen from her Wikipedia page given above.

The longest-living Indian first-class cricketer was Professor DB Deodhar (1892-1993) who lived to be 101/222. Mr Raiji could theoretically surpass this in September 2021.

Only one Test cricketer has crossed 100, South Africa’s Norman Gordon (1911-2014). Will take up long-lived Test cricketers shortly.

A related post:

https://abn397.wordpress.com/2020/01/26/indias-oldest-living-first-class-cricketer/

 

Most sixes, fours and boundary runs in Test innings and matches

We have looked at the highest Test scores without sixes and fours. Now we look at the counterpart-scores with the most sixes, fours and boundary runs in Tests.

A basic reference would be the highest Test innings scores:

Highest innings scores

which most fans are generally aware of, including Sehwag’s 319 in 2008 which is the highest for India

We also look at the lesser-known

Highest Test match scores (adding scores of both innings):

Highest match scores

While everyone knows about Lara’s record of 400* and earlier record-holders such as Hayden, Sobers and Hutton the record scores in a match are not so well known. The record is held by Gooch (456) followed by Mark Taylor (426) and Sangakkara (424). Gooch and Sangakkara are the only ones to score a triple century and century in the same Test. The highest for India is the relatively old 344 (124 and 220) by Gavaskar in 1971.

We now look more closely at fours and sixes:

For Test innings:

Most sixes:

Most sixes in innings

Akram’s 12 6s has been the record since 1996. He took the record from Hammond (10) made back in 1933.

Sidhu and Agarwal also appear from India.

Holder, Stokes and Agarwal all scored 8 6s in an innings in 2019.

It is interesting to compare the record for most sixes in a Test match:

Most sixes in match

The record recently passed to Rohit Sharma with 13 6s in his two centuries against South Africa. Before that , Akram’s 12 (in one innings!) was the match record standing since 1996.

Now we look at the most fours in a Test innings:

Most fours in innings

This record was made over a half-century ago with Edrich’s 52 (plus 5 sixes) against New Zealand in 1965. Next are Sehwag (47 in a score of 293) and Bradman (46 in 334)

The most fours in a Test match:

Most fours in match56

Edrich is in third place with 52, after Gooch and VVS Laxman (56 in two innings).

The next question one may ask is regarding the most runs in boundaries in an innings and match. This requires putting the Statsguru results into a spreadsheet for further work. This is what we get:

Most runs in an innings in boundaries:

Most runs in boundaries-innings

Here we see that the most is 238 (out of 310) by Edrich, being (52*4)+(5*6) = 238. Next come Hayden (218/380) and Inzamam (206/329) before two by Sehwag (202/293 and 198/319). Sehwag indeed has 4 of the top 10 entries here!

And finally, the most runs in a match in boundaries:

Most runs in boundaries-match

Edrich’s 238 in one innings is surpassed only by Gooch’s 266 (56*4 + 7*6) in his two centuries . Sangakkara is third with 232 (from 319+105) and VVS Laxman fourth with 224 (from 59+281).

To sum up:

Highest innings: 400* by Lara in 2004

Highest total runs in a match: 456 by Gooch in 1990

Most sixes in an innings (12 in 257*) by Wasim Akram vs Zimbabwe in 1996

Most fours in an innings (52 in 310*) by JH Edrich vs New Zealand in 1965

Most sixes in a match (13 in 176+127) by RG Sharma vs South Africa in 2019

Most fours in a match (56 in 333+123, 56 in 59+281) by GA Gooch (1990) and VVS Laxman (2001) respectively

Most runs in boundaries in an innings (238 = 52*4 +5*6) by JH Edrich in 1965.

Most runs in boundaries in a match (266 = 56*4+7*6) by GA Gooch in 1990

Remember that Gooch’s 456 runs in this match is the most in any Test or indeed any first-class match.

 

 

 

Highest Test scores without fours and sixes

The highest Test scores without any six:

Highest innings without 6

This includes some of the record scores of the past, such as 375, 365*, 364.

The highest for India is 281 by VVS Laxman.

But it is clear that it is not difficult to score 300+ without hitting any sixes.

Now for the highest scores without any four:

Highest innings without 4

The highest is 67 by EAB Rowan, who was a fairly prominent SA batsman of his time.

Next there is 59 by FM Engineer, normally a fast scorer. This was in the first innings of India’s victory at the Oval in 1971.

Others from India include 52 by CPS Chauhan, 42 by Kapil Dev and 40 by Tendulkar.

And finally, the highest scores without any fours or sixes:

Highest innings without 4 or 6

The first three entries are the same as the “no-four” category. After Engineer, others from India include Chauhan (52) and Kapil (42). It is difficult to explain how Kapil restrained himself, as the West Indies bowling in that series was quite poor. Chauhan’s 52 was also in the same Test.

 

 

Most sixes (but no fours) in an innings

While following WI batting against SL in a T20I on Mar 6, one wondered if Russell’s 6 sixes and no fours was a record. It isn’t, but we can see the records here:

T20I most sixes

The devaluation of T20I match records is well under way. However, among “serious” matches the record would be Morgan’s 7 against SA. The next among serious matches would be Russell’s 6.

Let us look at the corresponding records for ODIs:

ODIs-most sixes

Here the record is 6 (less than the T20I record!) by Collingwood and Neesham. Raina is one with 5 sixes. Another  was AD Mascarenhas, who scored 30 of his runs in 5 6s off an over from Yuvraj Singh.

And in Tests, the record is held by one of the rising tailend sloggers from India:

Test-most sixes

Umesh Yadav took over the record jointly held by Nixon Mclean, Flintoff and de Grandhomme. Further down, Keith Miller hit 3 sixes and no fours against India back in 1948. More recently, Southee and Bairstow also did this against India.

From India, others such as Kuruvilla, Shami and Sir Ravindra Jadeja have also tried their hand at this.

Footnote: NAM McLean was better known for his illustrious names (Nixon Alexei McNamara) than for his relatively modest performances.

India had a similar player named Napoleon Einstein: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napoleon_Einstein

 

 

Cricketer-politicians at various levels

We are generally aware of international cricketers who have been in Parliament. In recent years, there have been Kirti Azad, M Azharuddin, CPS Chauhan and now Gautam Gambhir. For non-international cricketers there are:

Ashwini Minna (FC player for Punjab), who was a potential Test player in the mid-70s and was tried out against various touring teams.

Ultimately he became a journalist, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather who had fallen to assassin’s bullets:

https://www.espncricinfo.com/india/content/player/31556.html

He did play some role in the struggle against terrorism in Punjab. And later became a BJP MP from  Karnal (Haryana) in 2014-19. He died earlier this year.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashwini_Kumar_Chopra

Then there is the slightly better-known Laxmi Rattan Shukla, who played in a handful of ODIs in the late 1990s:

https://www.espncricinfo.com/india/content/player/34019.html

He became a TMC MLA in 2016 and is currently West Bengal’s Minister of state  for youth services and sports: http://wbcmo.gov.in/ministers.aspx

(Look around the middle of the list of Ministers of State.)

The last example may be somewhat unexpected. See this clipping from a Hyderabad paper of around 1990:

Asad Owaisi final

Asad Owaisi took 6-79 against Bangalore U.

Look more closely at this clipping:

Asad Owaisi and Prasad

You can see that Venkatesh Prasad, opening bowler of the opposing team, did not do well in this match. Anyway he was to play for India later in the 90s.

Further details of Asad Owaisi’s cricket career are not readily available as he did not play in first-class and List A matches. Some details are mentioned here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asaduddin_Owaisi

(Thanks to Abhijit Sen Gupta for the Hyderabad material).