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.

Palindromic names for cricketers

Aiden Markram started his Test career with 97 against Bangladesh in 2017-18. His surname appears to be the longest example of a palindromic name among Test players.

The previous record (if one may call it that) was by Rangy Nanan who played one Test for the West Indies in 1980-81. There are 3-letters palindromic surnames like that of Arun Lal. The player generally known as S. Madan Lal actually had the surname Sharma.

More about another odd record by Markram:  https://abn397.wordpress.com/2019/12/14/aiden-markram-is-back/

Moving away from cricket, there was the Cambodian leader Lon Nol (who was overthrown by the non-palindromic Pol Pot) and Malayalam, the language spoken in Kerala state. This state has produced relatively few international cricketers, examples being S. Sreesanth and Sanju Samson. There is also Karun Nair, though he has not spent much time in that state.

More about palindromes and palindromic surnames here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palindrome .

The longest palindrome generally known is “Able was I ere I saw Elba”, allegedly declared by Napoleon. Another well-known one is “A man, a plan, a canal-Panama!”

A Canadian specialty is “He peed deep, eh?”, allegedly said by one Mountie to another while examining a yellow stain in the snow.

Tail piece: Along the way I discovered the Quetta-born cricketer Arun Lal, who was one of Baluchistan’s leading first class players in his time: http://www.espncricinfo.com/pakistan/content/player/39834.html