Andy Ganteaume died recently, 68 years after his Test appearance. Has anyone lasted longer after their final Test? asked Jerome Stewart from Trinidad
The unfortunate Andy Ganteaume – who scored 112 on debut for West Indies, against England in Port-of-Spain in 1947-48, yet never played again – died in February, 68 years (and one day) after his one and only Test concluded. Five men have lasted longer after their final Test appearances: top of the list, unsurprisingly, is the only Test cricketer known to have made it to the age of 100, the South African fast bowler Norman Gordon. The last of his five international appearances was the famous Timeless Test in Durban in 1938-39, but he lived on until 2014, when he was 103. The oldest living Test player – another South African fast bowler, 97-year-old Lindsay Tuckett – has survived 67 years so far since his final Test appearance in 1948-49.
What was Shahid Afridi’s slowest innings? Has he ever scored more than 30 with no boundaries? asked Pari Gandhi from Australia
Shahid Afridi has had 507 innings so far in international cricket, and has reached 30 in 131 of them. In none of those innings has he failed to score a boundary: he did make 34 in an ODI against England in Rawalpindi in December 2005 without any fours… but he hit two sixes to make up for it. Similarly, his 32 in a T20I against Bangladesh in Nairobi in September 2007 contained no fours – but three sixes. In fact, Afridi has never even reached 20 without reaching the ropes: his highest score in internationals without any boundaries at all is 15, in an ODI against New Zealand in Wellington in January 2011. His most sedate strike rate for a score of 30-plus is 57.62, in his 34 from 59 balls in a Test against Sri Lanka in Karachi in March 2000; the slowest in an ODI is 68.18 (30 from 44 balls) against England at Lord’s in 2001. Only 13 of his 98 scores of 30 or more in ODIs have come at less than a run a ball.
At the recent World Twenty20, Afghanistan beat the eventual champions but lost all their other matches. Has any country done this before? asked Bill Dunmore from England
Afghanistan’s only win in the main part of the recent World T20 in India was over West Indies in Nagpur, although they did win all three of their pre-qualifying matches just beforehand, to get in to the tournament proper. The only previous instance of this in a global competition came during the last World T20, in Bangladesh early in 2014, when England lost three of their four group games (including the one against the Netherlands in Chittagong). England’s only win, also in Chittagong, was against Sri Lanka – who went on to beat India in the final in Mirpur.Jasprit Bumrah has played 16 Twenty20 internationals now and hasn’t scored a run. Has anyone played more? asked Rekhan Ali from India
Jasprit Bumrah is top of this particular list – he has batted only twice in his 16 T20Is, and hasn’t scored a run yet. The first time he went in, he was run out without facing – but did manage to survive two balls against New Zealand in Nagpur in this year’s World T20. Two other players who appeared at this year’s World T20 have played ten matches without scoring a run – Ish Sodhi of New Zealand and Ireland’s Craig Young – but the West Indian left-armer Krishmar Santokie played 12 T20I between 2011 and 2014, without troubling the scorers. The ODI record is shared by the West Indian spinner Dave Mohammed and India’s left-arm paceman Jaydev Unadkat, who both played seven matches without scoring a run (Unadkat never even got to the crease).
Who has faced the most balls in ODIs without scoring a run? asked Kamran Bakskh from India
A little-known name tops this list: Harunur Rashid, a legspinner, played two one-day internationals for Bangladesh in the Asia Cup late in 1988. He received 17 balls … and didn’t score from any of them. Next comes Naseer Malik, a seamer who played in three of Pakistan’s matches at the inaugural World Cup in 1975: in his only innings, against Australia in Headingley, he faced 13 deliveries but finished with 0 not out. (There are some early ODIs for which we don’t have full balls-faced details, but I’d be surprised if anyone else was ahead.) The leader in T20Is featured at the recent World T20 in India: the Trinidadian left-hander Evin Lewis made his debut for West Indies against Afghanistan in Nagpur, and faced seven balls before he was out for a duck.
Who called his biography Under the Southern Cross? asked Kevin McNally from Australia
I thought I knew this one straight away, as it wasn’t very long since I added Michael Hussey’s retirement autobiography to the bulging bookshelves – but actually that one was called UnderNEATH the Southern Cross (my capitals). So there was a bit more burrowing to do before I found David Boon’s 1996 life story – Under the Southern Cross. That means the Southern Cross accounts for 25,784 international runs in all, 13,657 of them in Tests!
2015 Kashmir Despatch