10 Astounding Records in Professional Cricket
There are few things more captivating to a cricket fan than some of the records and statistics that were achieved during the history of the game. Some records are topped every couple of years. Some records last a few decades before being beaten. Others are extraordinary and seemingly impossible to achieve. But, they’ve been achieved. Such as, these ten cricket records that ought to stand the test of time.
Don Bradman’s 99.94 Test Career Batting Average
In 80 Test cricket innings, Don Bradman aka ‘The Don’ scored his runs at an average of 99.94. The next guy on the Test Batting Averages List managed a tick over 60.
That Test average of 99.94 is a number you need to know, a kind of shorthand for Bradman’s exceptional talent. Just for good measure, his overall first-class average of 95.14 is unlikely to be beaten either.
Muttiah Muralitharan’s 1347 International Wickets
Murali was only 20 years old when he first bowled for Sri Lanka. He turned a few heads with his unusual style, not to mentioned sparked a few controversies, but it soon proved useful as he baffled batsmen around the world.
Nearly 20 years later, he had 800 Test wickets, 534 one-day international wickets as well as 13 Twenty20 International wickets.
Jack Hobbs’ 61,760 First-Class Runs
The game we call cricket is not the same game that Sir Jack Hobbs dominated in the early part of the 20th Century. The matches were longer. And, international schedules were limited (of Hobbs’ 834 first-class matches, only 61 were Tests).
Hobbs was by all accounts a true gentleman, and his favorite pastime was to score runs. The game has moved on from Hobbs’ era, making his 61,760 first-class runs a relic rather than a realistic target, but he will always be remembered as a legend of the game.
Jim Laker’s Test Match Bowling Figures of 19/90
That shorthand stands for 19 wickets, 90 runs. In other words, out of 20 Australian wickets to fall at Old Trafford in 1956, England off-spinner Jim Laker missed only one. Ten wickets in a Test match is considered an exceptional achievement; 19 victims is absurd. By comparison, Laker’s England colleagues sent down 123 overs between them and only managed one wicket.
Wilfred Rhodes’ 4204 First-Class Wickets
Like Jack Hobbs, Wilfred Rhodes played in a less strenuous era, such that it was possible for him to bowl his slow left-arm spin for England well into his fifties. His 4,204 career wickets is a testament to his longevity in the game, although you don’t set this kind of record without being competitive.
Australia’s 16 Consecutive Test Wins
It isn’t entirely surprising that Australia was capable of this feat during their recent golden years. They managed 16 consecutive Test match wins twice, first between 1999-2001 under Steve Waugh and second between 2005-2008 under Ricky Ponting, and nobody would have doubted that they had the talent and desire to do it.
However, the real problem with beating this record is the weather. Cricket relies on sunny skies more than most other sports, and the conditions in which Test cricket can be played are strict.
Chaminda Vaas’ One Day International Bowling Figures of 8/19
Left-arm pacer Chaminda Vaas had the best one-day international bowling figures of all time in 2001. Vaas is still the only player to take eight wickets in a one-day international.s.
Graham Gooch’s 456 Runs in a Test Match
In 1990, England captain Graham Gooch hit the highest peak of his prolific career by scoring 456 runs in one Test against India. His 333 in the first innings would have given him glory enough, but he then went out and smashed a quick 123 in the second innings as England chased a win, which they duly managed. Super-long innings are becoming rarer and rarer in Test cricket as the influence of Twenty20 extends to the most extended form of the game.
Phil Simmons’ Economy Rate of 0.3 in a One Day International
If you bowl out ten overs in a one-dayer, the yardstick for an excellent performance to finish with an economy rate of fewer than four runs per over (that’s under 40 runs conceded). Against Pakistan in 1992, the West Indies’ Phil Simmons gave away just three runs for an economy rate of 0.3 runs per over.
Chris Gayle’s Twenty20 Hundred Off 30 Balls
In the early days of Twenty20 cricket, back in 2004, Australian Andrew Symonds bludgeoned a hundred for the English county team Kent off just 34 balls. That record stood until IPL 2013, in which Chris Gayle’s 175 not out for Royal Challengers Bangalore came off an incredible 30 balls. It was the fastest hundred in the history of top-level cricket and also beat Brendon McCullum’s seemingly unbeatable Twenty20 high score of 158 not out.