Category: General

Six bowlers who have taken four wickets in four balls

Picking up a hat-trick in cricket is quite a rare feat in itself,  but there have been few instances where the bowlers have gone a notch ahead and picked up 4 wickets in 4 balls. This is a feat so rare that it has happened only once in international cricket. People often refer to this as a “ double hat-trick” since it consists of two sets of overlapping pairs of hat-tricks.

Balls 1,2,3 consists of one set and balls 2, 3, 4 consists of the other hence the term double hat-trick.

Here we look at 6 such instances where the bowlers have managed to achieve this unthinkable feat and stunned their opponents in the process.

1) Lasith Malinga  – Malinga is the only cricketer to have picked 4 wickets in 4 balls in an international game

Who could forget this heart-stopping thriller from the 2007 World Cup! The Proteas almost choked yet again but managed to somehow scrape through to a one-wicket win in their Super Eight clash against Sri Lanka. The Proteas were cruising at 206/5 while chasing down just 210 to win and were at a striking distance from a comfortable win.

Lasith Malinga though had other plans. In the 45th over Malinga had Shaun Pollock clean bowled off his fifth ball and had Andrew Hall caught at covers of the final ball of that over. Coming back to bowl the 47th over Malinga struck off the first ball  to send Jacques Kallis on his way and completed his hat-trick in the process. Kallis was caught behind for a well made 86 and his dismissal really set the cat amongst the pigeons.

Malinga made it four in a row with the wicket of Makhaya Ntini who was castled by that famous yorker. South Africa huffed and puffed their way to get the remaining three runs and ended up on the winning side.

2) Andre Russell – Andre Russell picked 4 wickets in 4 balls in a List A game against India A

Turning up for West Indies A, Andre Russell, the flamboyant allrounder, managed this feat against India A in September 2013 and became the first bowler in T20 List A history to pick ‘4 in 4’. India A were playing West Indies A at Bangalore in a one-off T20 game when Russell got his act together in the 19th over of the innings dismissing four quality Indian batsmen.

Russell picked the wickets of skipper Yuvraj Singh, Kedar Jadhav, Naman Ojha and Yusuf Pathan to peg India back a wee bit. However, India A ended up scoring a mammoth 214 runs. Russell has since gone on to become a vital cog in the wheel of the West Indian unit and has played a stellar role in their recent success.

3) Al-Amin Hossain – Al-Amin Hossain picked 5 wickets in an over in a domestic T20 game in 2013

Hossain became the second bowler after Andre Russell to pick up 4 wickets in 4 balls in Twenty20s and is the first bowler to take five wickets in an over in a List A T20 match. The talented Bangladeshi who was playing for UCB-BCB Eleven wreaked havoc against Abahani Limited in the Victory Day T20 domestic tournament.

It was the final over of the innings and Al-Amin was entrusted with the responsibility of bowling the crucial over. He responded in style by picking up a wicket off the first ball and then picking 4 consecutive wickets off the last four balls of the over. His four scalps were Nazmul Hossain Milon, Naeem Islam Jr, Suhrawawadi Shuvo and Nabil Samad. UCB-BCB Eleven later clinched the thriller by 2 wickets.

4) Alfonso Thomas – In the 2014 County Championship, Alfonso Thomas picked up 4 in 4 against Sussex at Taunton and helped Somerset to a comfortable win. The South African was all over the Sussex batters as they found it extremely difficult to counter his swing.

Thomas picked up a hat-trick in the last three balls of an over and picked up another one in the first ball of his next. He bowled full and had the nightwatchman Jimmy Anyon bowled off an inside edge. He then caught Rory Hamilton-Brown in front, off his next ball and finished his hat-trick with the wicket of former Irish skipper, Ed Joyce who was caught fishing outside the off stump. His fourth victim was Matt Machan who was bowled in a similar fashion to Anyon.

5) Kevan James – Kevan James not only took 4 in 4 but also scored a century against the visiting Indians in 1996

It was the English summer of 1996 when India unearthed two of their greatest cricketers; Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly. Not many would remember a certain bloke called Kevan James though. James did the unthinkable for Hampshire when he picked up 4 wickets in 4 balls against the Indians and followed it up with a century in the practice game at Southampton leading up to the third test.

James with his left arm medium had Vikram Rathour’s wicket first up. Sachin Tendulkar walked out and was dismissed off an inside edge that carried to short leg. James then completed his hat-trick with the wicket of the then-young Rahul Dravid who was trapped in front.

Sanjay Manjrekar was the next victim when he was caught behind off a widish delivery. James later top-scored with 103 to propel Hampshire to 458 and the game ended in a draw.

6) Gary Butcher – Gary Butcher picked up 4 consecutive wickets for Surrey in the year 2000

Gary Butcher, the younger brother of former English opener Mark Butcher, created history by picking up 4 consecutive wickets for Surrey and dismantled the Derbyshire tail with his gentle seamers. Adam Hollioake who was the captain of Surrey those days decided to drop his brother Ben Hollioake and accommodated Gary into his side.

The decision yielded great results as Butcher picked the wicket of Paul Aldred off the last ball of an over followed by a hat-trick in the first three balls of his next over. He picked up the wickets Tim Munton, Kavin Dean, and Lian Wharton. With the ball seaming around, all three were caught at slips and Derbyshire were folded up for a paltry 118.

 Article penned by Sourav Choudhury – Information Source – Internet

HR Gopala Krishna is all set to officiate his 100th International match as a Scorer-cum-Statistician

The ensuing test match between India and Afghanistan slated to be played at Bangalore  on June, 14, 2018 will be his 100th International Match. Furnished below is his updated CV of his cricketing career

Born on August, 12, 1946 at Channaraya Patna, Hassan District. Nativity – Hirisave {Initial H stands for Hirisave}. Took keen interest in the game of Cricket right from early teens

Passed the Cricket Umpiring Examination conducted by the then Mysore State Cricket Association in 1972 with distinction. Was the only one to get through the examination amongst the sixty candidates who appeared for the examination from Bangalore Centre in the first attempt.

Played Cricket as a decent left arm spinner for RV College of Engineering, Bangalore Cricketers and National United Cricket Club and represented in the league tournaments conducted by Karnataka State Cricket Association. National United Cricket Club is one of the oldest club in Mysore/Karnataka and is the only club which celebrated its Diamond Jubilee in 2004

Has officiated in the capacity of a scorer in many matches conducted by the Karnataka State Cricket Association and also the Board of Control for Cricket in India such as Ranji Trophy, Duleep Trophy, Irani Trophy, Pepsi One day games and also Subbaiah Pillay Trophy numbering over hundred {at Bangalore, Madras and Mumbai}.

Was the first outstation Scorer-cum-Statistician appointed by All India Radio, Mumbai for the Finals of Duleep Trophy Match in 1977-78

Was selected by Directorate of All India Radio, New Delhi to tour Sri Lanka in 1985 to assist the Radio Commentary Team in the capacity of a Scorer-cum-Statistician for the Test Match played between Sri Lanka and India at Kandy and the two subsequent One Day internationals between the two countries at Colombo.

Was one of the Statisticians on Doordarshan’s panel for the Reliance World Cup Matches held in India during October-November 1987

No Team-1 Team-2 Venue Date
01 New Zealand Zimbabwe Hyderabad 10.10.87
02 West Indies Sri Lanka Kanpur 21.10.87
03 India Zimbabwe Ahmedabad      26.10.87
04 Australia Zimbabwe Cuttack 30.10.87
05 India England Bombay 05.11.87

Was a member of the Statistical Committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in India for four consecutive terms from 1976-77 to 1980-81

Reviewed the Pakistan Test Cricket from its inception to 1979-80 for a book entitled “Twenty six years of Pakistan Test Cricket” published in Pakistan by Mr.Aziz Rehmatullah.

Was a regular contributor of statistical articles to “Sportstar” {during the period 1979 to 1986 for about seven years} – one of the leading Sports Magazines in India published by the “The Hindu Group of Publications” from Madras, now Chennai

Many statistical articles were published in David Lord’s World of Cricket Monthly {Australia} and Cricket World Quarterly {Pakistan}

Has the credit of being the first Indian Cricket Statistician to have an article published in the Wisden Cricket Monthly {England}

Assisted in compiling Statistics on Duleep Trophy and Irani Cup Matches for the book entitled “Duleep Trophy and Irani Cup Matches – one of the Golden Jubilee Publications of the Board of Control for Cricket in India

Compiled the statistical career of Sunil Gavaskar for the biography  “Sunil Gavaskar” written by Late Dom Moraes. The biography was released during the Jaipur test match between India and Pakistan in 1986-87. First recipient of the book – Former President of Pakistan – Late Zia-ul-Huq

Also contributed statistical articles to the Saturday Supplement “The Saturday Sports Special” of The Hindu

Was awarded Dasara Kreeda Prashasthi by Government of Karnataka in the year 1989 for contribution to the game of Cricket in Sports Promotor’s category

Remains the only Cricket Statistician in the entire country to be honoured by the State Government for the contribution to the game of Cricket through Cricket Statistics

Compiled and updated various sections of Indian Cricket such as Duleep Trophy, Ranji Trophy, Deodhar Trophy and India in One day Games for the Annual editions of the Indian Cricket” published by the Hindu Group of Publications

Was assigned five matches in Pakistan by during the Wills World Cup games {held jointly by India-Pakistan-Sri Lanka in February-March 1996} by Directorate of All India Radio, New Delhi. The assignment was cancelled at the last moment by Union Government due to political unrest in Karachi

Contributed statistical articles to the Web site “” hosted by Shri Dinesh Kumble, elder brother of Anil Kumble, the Indian leg spinner.

Contributed statistical articles to the website “” hosted by Shri Y Ananathnarayan of “Wisden fame”. Contributed statistical articles to an Australian website “”

Very actively involved with Cricket Scoring/Statistics from the last 49 years {from 1968 to till date} and is one of the senior cricket statisticians of the country. Shall be  completing my 50th  year of cricketing career in December 2018

Interviewed live in the programme “Belagu” telecast by Chandana Channel of Bangalore. Also interviewed in “Parichaya” Programmetelecast by Udaya TV

Interviewed by “Chandana” by Smt Meera, with all my collections of autographs for the news item which was telecast in the Kannada News of Bangalore Station of Doordarshan and also in the National News in English from Delhi

Was interviewed for a Programme entitled “Samvedana” in which people from various walks of life were interviewed by Sri Ishwar Daithota, a renowned journalist. The interview was telecast by Udaya TV Channel

Was interviewed live in Suvarna Channel in their “Maidana” programme on the eve of the test match between India and Australia at Bangalore in 2008-09

The Kannada Vernacular weekly “Tharanga” carried a six-page article on my statistical achievements on the eve of the World cup 2007-08 held in West Indies

Has officiated as a Statistician in 99 International Fixtures – 37 Test matches, 57 One day Games and five T20 Internationals. The Bangalore Test between India and South Africa held during Nov 2015 was the 37th test match; the one-day game between India and South Africa at Durban on 01.02.18 was the 57th one-day game and the T20I between India and Bangladesh at Bangalore on 23 Mar 2016 was the fifth T20I {one of the WT20 fixture|

Remains the only Cricket Statistician from South India to have officiated in 99 international fixtures – 37 Test Matches, 57 One day Internationals, and five T20Is

Has got a rare collection of photos of the cricketers and also matches of the past. Some of them can be seen at the museum of Karnataka State Cricket Association. A rare article on the Late Shri Y S Ramaswamy, the only bowler in the world to capture all the twenty wickets in any grade of cricket, an article on Bangalore Jayaram, who happens to be the first cricketer from Bangalore selected to tour England with the All India Eleven in 1911, a rare collection of Don Bradman’s photo card brought out by Australian Cricket Board in 2002 on the demise of the great batsman, the spin quartet – “Chandra-Bedi-Prasanna-Venkat”’ during their playing days with their autographs, the picture of Lord’s when India won the World Cup in 1983, are the few which have found place in the museum.

Sri Sharad Pawar, the then President, BCCI, appreciated the Photograph entitled “This is how the Lord’s looked like after India’s triumph in World Cup 1983” when he visited Bangalore to honour the “Karnataka Legends” on 10.03.07 and requested for an enlarged picture of the photograph to enable him for display at the newly constructed BCCI Office in Mumbai. The photograph has been displayed prominently in the KSCA Secretary’s cabin in KSCA Stadium premises

The photograph of the spin quartet was presented personally to the famed Spin Quartet “Chandra-Prasanna-Bedi-Venkat” at a function organized by JK Mahendra to honour the quartet at Cochin on the eve of the one day match between India and Pakistan on 02.04.05

Was invited by the World’s numero Cricket Portal – to assist them during the World Cup Games 2007 which was held in West Indies. Assistied the Website for its statistical needs. Assisted the website in the first ever Twenty20 World Cup held in South Africa during September 2007. One can see the articles containing high quality with researched statistical inputs are posted on the site

Presented a paper during the first ever seminar of Cricket Statisticians held at Nagpur in September 2006 under the aegis of Associations of Scorers and Cricket Statisticians in India

Appointed as the Official Statistician for the BCCI’s website and and also for the website from July 2008 to May 2009

Was awarded the Rajyotsava Prashasthi 2010 on 01.11.10 by Government of Karnataka for contribution to the game of Cricket in the Sports category

Remain the only Cricket Statistician in the country to be conferred with two state awards – Dasara Kreeda Prashashti in 1989 and Rajyotsava Award in 2010

Participated in the Panel discussion on the finals of the World Cup 2011 organized by Kannada TV Channel “Janasree”. Was interviewed by Akasahvani, Vishakapatnam on the ”Role of statisticians during broadcast of cricket commentary’

Was with the numero uno Cricket website – during the World Cup 2007 held in West Indies and also worked for portal from Feb 2010 to Feb 2012

Has been assigned two World Cup 2015 games by All India Radio to officiate as a Statistician for the off tube commentary on 06.03.15 and 07.03.15

Was nominated by Karnataka State Cricket Association to attend the first ever BCCI’s Statistician’s Seminar at Nagpur on 17th and 18th of June 2015. Presented a paper on “Historical Evolution of the game of Cricket vis-à-vis Statistics

Has officiated in the capacity of a Scorer-cum-Statistician in the following 37 test matches assisting the All India Radio Commentary Team/and Press Box

1 India Vs West Indies at Bangalore 1974-75
2 India Vs England at Bangalore 1976-77
3 India Vs West Indies at Bombay 1978-79
4 India Vs West Indies at Bangalore 1978-79
5 India Vs Australia at Bangalore 1979-80
6 India Vs Pakistan at Bangalore 1979-80
7 India Vs Sri Lanka at Madras 1982-83
8 India Vs England at Bangalore 1982-83
9 India Vs Pakistan at Bangalore 1983-84
10 India Vs West Indies at Madras 1983-84
12 India Vs Pakistan at Bangalore 1986-87
13 India Vs New Zealand at Bangalore 1987-88
14 India Vs West Indies at Bombay 1994-95
15 India Vs New Zealand at Bangalore 1995-96
16 India Vs South Africa at Ahmedabad 1996-97
17 India Vs Sri Lanka at Nagpur 1997-98
18 India “A” Vs West Indies “A” at Bangalore 1998-99
19 India Vs South Africa at Bangalore 1999-00
20 India Vs Australia at Madras 2000-01
21 India Vs West Indies at Madras 2002-03
22 India Vs Australia At Bangalore 2004-05
23 India Vs Australia at Madras 2004-05
24 India Vs Pakistan At Bangalore 2004-05
25 India Vs Sri Lanka At Madras 2005-06
26 India Vs Pakistan At Bangalore 2007-08
27 India Vs Australia At Bangalore 2008-09
28 India Vs England At Madras 2008-09
29 India Vs Sri Lanka At Kanpur 2009-10
30 India Vs New Zealand At Ahmedabad 2010-11
31 India Vs South Africa At Cape Town {of tube} 2010-11
32 India Vs West Indies At Bridgetown {of tube} 2011
33 Indis Vs. Australia At Perth {of tube} 2012
34 India Vs. New Zealand At Bangalore 2012
35 India Vs Australia At Mohali 2012-13
36 India Vs, England At The Oval {of tube} 2014
37 India Vs, South Africa At Bangalore {Press Box} 2015

Has officiated in 57 One day Internationals so far assisting either Radio Commentary Team and also Doordarshan on some occasions, the list of which is furnished below

1 India vs Sri Lanka at Bangalore 26.09.82
2 India vs Pakistan at Hyderabad 10.09.83
3 India vs Australia at Trivandrum 01.10.84
4 India vs England at Bangalore 20.01.85
5 Sri Lanka vs India at Colombo-Sara 21.09.85
6 Sri Lanka vs India at Colombo-Sara 22.09.85
7 India vs Australia at Hyderabad 24.09.86
8 New Zealand vs Zimbabwe at Hyderabad 10.10.87
9 India vs New Zealand at Bangalore 13.10.87
10 Sri Lanka vs West Indies at Kanpur 21.10.87
11 India vs Zimbabwe at Ahmedabad 26.10.87
12 Australia vs Zimbabwe at Cuttack 30.10.87
13 India vs England at Bombay 05.11.87
14 India vs New Zealand at Cuttack 12.12.88
15 India vs Australia at Bangalore 27.10.89
16 India vs England at Bangalore 26.02.93
17 India vs Sri Lanka at Rajkot 15.02.94
18 India vs West Indies at Bombay 27.10.94
19 India vs West Indies at Vizag 07.11.94
20 Australia vs West Indies at Mohali 13.03.96
21 India vs Pakistan at Bangalore 04.04.99
22 India vs New Zealand at Hyderabad 08.11.99
23 India vs Australia at Gwalior 26.10.03
24 India Vs Pakistan At Cochin 02.04.05
25 India Vs South Africa At Bangalore 19.11.05
26 India Vs England At Jamshedpur 12.04.06
27 Australia Vs New  Zealand At Chandigarh 01.11.06
28 Australia Vs West Indies At Bombay-BS 05.11.06
29 India Vs West Indies At Madras 27.01.07
30 India Vs Australia At Bangalore 29.09.07
31 India Vs Australia At Kochi 02.10.07
32 India Vs England At Bangalore 23.11.08
33 India Vs Australia At Hyderabad 05.11.09
34 India Vs South Africa At Gwalior 24.02.10
35 India Vs Sri Lanka at Dambulla {off tube} 22.08.10
36 India Vs New Zealand At Bangalore 07.12.10
37 India Vs New Zealand At Chennai {Press Box} 10.12.10
38 India Vs England At Bangalore 27.02.10
39 England Vs Ireland At Bangalore 02.03.11
40 India Vs Ireland At Bangalore 06.03.11
41 Australia Vs Kenya At Bangalore 13.03.11
42 Australia Vs Canada At Bangalore 16.03.11
43 India Vs. West Indies At Vizag 02.12.11
44 India Vs. Australia At Sydney {off tube} 26.02.12
45 India Vs. Sri Lanka At Hobart {off tube} 28.02.12
46 India Vs Pakistan At Chennai 30.12.12
47 India Vs Australia At Pune 13.10.13
48 India Vs Australia At Bangalore 02.11.13
49 India Vs West Indies At Kochi 26.11.13
50 Australia Vs England At Perth {off tube} 01.02.15
51 India Vs Australia At Perth {off tube} 06.03.15
52 South Africa Vs Pakistan At Auckland {off tube} 07.03.15
53 India Vs Zimbabwe At Harare {off tube] 14.07.15
54 India Vs Australia At Canberra {off tube] 20.01.16
55 India Vs West Indies At North Sound {Off tube} 02.07.17
56 India Vs Australia At Bangalore {Press Box} 28.09.17
57 India Vs South Africa At Durban {Off tube} 01.02.18

Has officiated in five T20 International assisting either Radio Commentary Team the list of which is furnished below

1 India vs New Zealand At Madras 11.09.12
2 India Vs Pakistan At Bangalore 25.12.12
3 India Vs Pakistan At Kolkata {Off tube} 19.03.16
4 South Africa Vs Afghanistan At Mumbai {Off tube} 20.03.16
5 India Vs Bangladesh At Bangalore {Press Box} 23.03.16

Has compiled a compendium on 50 years of Duleep Trophy which was dedicated to my Guru Sri Anandji Dossa, Doyen of Cricket Statisticians of India. Also updated Irani Cup records at Late Anandji Dossa’s instance.

Has compiled a book containing the first class matches of 268 cricketers from 1934-35 to 2011-12  on Mysore/Karnataka Cricketers who have represented Ranji Trophy. This compilation has a forward written by Sri BK Chandrasekhar, Former Professor at IIM Bangalore


Unearthed the following world records in tests as well as one day games the details of which are furnished below

In Australia-India test series of 2007, in Australia’s innings there were two three figure partnerships for the seventh and eight wickets in the same test innings. A Symonds-B Hogg added 173 runs for the seventh wicket and A Symonds-B Lee added 114 runs for the eighth wicket at Sydney. This is the first occasion in the annals of test cricket that a team has posted three figure stands for the seventh and eighth wickets in the same innings.

Five batsmen registering fifties in a team’s innings and eight batsmen registering fifties in a match. This feat is credited to Pakistan as five batsmen scored fifties against Zimbabwe at Karachi and with three Zimbabwe batsmen registering fifties this match had eight fifties – a world record for most fifties in a team’s innings and also in a match

In India’s innings against South Africa at Chennai in Mar 08, for the first wicket there was a 213 runs partnership between Wasim Jaffer and V Sehwag. For the second wicket there was another 200 plus run partnership – 268 runs stand between V Sehwag and R Dravid. For the first time in the annals of test cricket 200 plus runs for the first two wickets were registered in the same test innings

This feat was repeated again by Indian batsmen at Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai against Sri Lanka in the third test of 2009-10 test series. M Vijay and V Sehwag added 221 runs for the first wicket which was followed by 237 runs stand for the second wicket between V Sehwag and R Dravid for the second wicket at the end of second day’s play

Mathew Hayden of Australia became the first opening batsman in the world to score 1000 plus boundary fours.

Mahela Jayewardene set up a new record for most runs on a single ground, during the course of his three knock of 167 not out against England in the second test of the ongoing series at Colombo-SSC.  He took his run aggregate at Col-SSC to 2062 at the end of the third day of the test.  With this he not only became the second batsman in the world to aggregate 2000 runs at a single ground, but also earned the distinction of becoming the batsman with most aggregate runs at a single ground. The previous record was with GA Gooch who had an aggregate of 2015 runs at Lord’s. Gooch’s 2015 runs had come in 21 tests, while Mahela’s 2062 runs came in 19 tests. Gooch took 39 innings for his 2015, while Mahela’s 2034 runs came in 28 innings – 11 innings fewer than Gooch.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni became the only wicket keeper captain in the world to register twin fifties coupled with six catches in an innings of the same test. He scored 52 and 56 not out and pouched six catches in the first innings. He earned this distinction against New Zealand at Wellington in Apr 2009

SR Tendulkar became the first batsman in the world to aggregate 5000 runs on home soil while batting at number. Prior to the start of the Ahmedabad test against Sri Lanka, he had an aggregate of 4999 runs. With a boundary four, he reached the land mark and at the end of his first innings, his aggregate stood at 5003.

Mahela Jayawardene’s 79 at Col-SSC against Pakistan in 2009 series gave him another world record for most fifties at a specific venue. It was his 14th fifty at Col-SSC {09 centuries and 05 half centuries}. While creating this world record he went past three batsmen – AR Border, GS Chappell and JH Kallis who had registered 13 fifties at specific venues. AR Border of Australia had registered four centuries and nine half centuries at Adelaide Oval, GS Chappell of Australia  had registered  four centuries and nine half centuries at Melbourne and JH Kallis of South Afirca had registered five centuries and eight half centuries at Cape Town.

During the third one day game between Sri Lanka and Pakistan at Dambulla on 03.08.09, Muthaiah Muralitharan of Sri Lanka with his two wickets created a world record for most wickets against a specific opposition. At the end of this game he has an aggregate of 94 wickets against Pakistan.  Prior to this game – in this category of statistics – he was on par with Wasim Arkram who had captured 92 wickets against Sri Lanka. M Muralitharan and Wasim Akram are the only two bowlers in the history of one day internationals to capture 90 plus wickets against a specific opposition.

Sri Lanka’s Sanath Jayasuriya has a world record to his credit – he now has most runs against a specific opposition in the history of one day games. He had an aggregate of 2714 runs prior to the start of the third game between Sri Lanka and India in the ongoing Compaq series. At the end of this game his run aggregate against India stood at an impregnable 2812

At the end of India-Sri Lanka one day game at Col-RPS on 12.09.09, SR Tendulkar and R Dravid have an aggregate of 4000 plus partnership runs in one day games. They reached the land mark when they added 13 runs during the course of their 35 run stand for the second wicket in this game. At the end of this game, their partnership runs stood at 4022 runs. Prior to the start of this game they had an aggregate of 3987 runs. SR Tendulkar, SC Ganguly and R Dravid are the only three batsmen in the history of one day games to have partnership runs 4000 plus runs 

No Partner-1 Partner-2 Team Runs
1 SC Ganguly SR Tendulkar Ind 8227
2 R Dravid SC Ganguly Ind/Asia 4363
3 R Dravid SR Tendulkar Ind 4022

SR Tendulkar with his 2026 runs as an opening batsman against Sri Lanka now holds the world record for aggregating 2000 plus runs against three specific countries in one day games. He has an aggregate of 2000 plus runs against Australia {2489} and Pakistan {2165} while opening the innings. Other opening batsmen to have an aggregate of 2000 plus runs against two specific countries are DL Haynes of West Indies{2390 vs Pakistan and 2262 vs Australia} and ST Jayasuriya of Sri Lanka {2690 vs India and 2334 vs Pakistan}

No Batsmen Team Vs Opp Runs
1 SR Tendulkar Ind Vs Aus 2489
2 SR Tendulkar Ind Vs Pak 2165
3 SR Tendulkar Ind Vs Srl 2026
1 DL Haynes Win Vs Pak 2390
2 DL Haynes Win Vs Aus 2262
1 ST Jayasuriya Srl Vs Ind 2690
2 ST Jayasuriya Srl Vs Pak 2334

SR Tendulkar’s 175 in the one day game against Australia at Hyderabad on 05.11.09 was his ninth hundred against Australia. He remains the only batsman in the history of one day games to score eight o more centuries against two specific oppositions. He has also scored eight hundreds against Sri Lanka

Hundreds against Australia   Hundreds against Sri Lanka
No Runs Opposition Ground Date   No Runs Opposition Ground Date
1 110 v Australia Col-RPS 09.09.94   1 112* v Sri Lanka Sharjah 09.04.95
2 100 v Australia Kanpur 07.04.09   2 137 v Sri Lanka Delhi 02.03.96
3 143 v Australia Sharjah 22.04.98   3 110 v Sri Lanka Col-RPS 28.08.96
4 134 v Australia Sharjah 24.04.98   4 128 v Sri Lanka Col-RPS 07.07.98
5 141 v Australia Dhaka 28.10.98   5 120 v Sri Lanka Col-SSC 29.08.99
6 139 v Australia Indore 31.03.01   6 101 v Sri Lanka Sharjah 20.10.00
7 100 v Australia Gwalior 26.10.03   7 113 v Sri Lanka Bristol 11.07.02
8 117* v Australia Sydney 02.03.08   8 138 v Sri Lanka Col-RPS 14.09.09
9 175 v Australia Hyd-RGS 05.11.09            

MS Dhoni became the first wicket keeper-cum-captain in the world to pouch 100 catches and also 100 dismissals in tests

R Dravid and ST Tendulkar own the record for the most partnership runs added by a pair in tests. At the end of the series against England they have added 6520 runs. They went past the previous record of 6482 runs held by CG Greenidge and DL Haynes of West Indies

RG Sharma became the first batsman in the annals of one day game to be dismissed retired hurt not out after facing just one delivery. He was retired hurt not out after facing one delivery against England at Chester-le-Street on 03.09.11

V Kohli became the first batsman in the annals of one day gamed to be dismissed hit wicket after scoring a hundred. He was dismissed for 107 against England at Cardiff on 16.09.11

R Ashwin’s feat of 6 for 47 in the Delhi test against West Indies in the ongoing test gave him the distinction of bagging the best figures when a debutant spin bowler shared the new ball. He became the fifth bowler to perform the feat.

What is more important here is that R Ashwin feat has come after 102 years, the previous feat coming in Aug 1909 when DW Carr captured five for 146 at The Oval.

R Ashwin became the first bowler to capture six wickets under this category of statistics and has the best figures. The previous best was by R Peel who had captured five for 51 for England against Australia at Adelaide in Dec 1884. The following table lists out the performances of the five bowlers

No Player O M R W Team Oppn Ground Mon/Year
1 R Peel 40.1 15 51 5 Eng Aus Adelaide Dec 1884
2 GA Rowe 49.0 9 115 5 SAF Eng Johannesburg Mar 1896
3 LC Braund 28.4 8 61 5 Eng Aus Sydney Dec 1901
4 DW Carr 34.0 2 146 5 Eng Aus The Oval Aug 1909
5 R Ashwin 21.3 5 47 6 Ind Win Delhi Nov 2011

SR Tendulkar became the only batsman in one day games to aggregate 3000 plus runs against two specific oppositions – Australia and Sri Lanka. He achieved the feat when he completed 3000 runs against Sri Lanka in Commonwealth Bank Tri Series 2012 involving Australia, India and Sri Lanka

When JEC Franklyn of New Zealand was dismissed stumped of the bowling of R Ashwin in the New Zealand second innings at Bangalore, MS Dhoni effected his 16th stumping dismissal in the dual role of captain cum wicket keeper

MS Dhoni equaled the world record for most stumping dismissals in the role of captain wicket keeper batsman held by PA Sherwell of South Africa who has also effected 16 stumping dismissals as captain cum wicket keeper.

It is interesting to note that MS Dhoni equaled a 101 year old record established by PA Sherwell. PA Sherwell’s 16th stumping was at Sydney against Australia in March 1911 and 101 years later MS Dhoni equaled it by effecting his 16th stumping dismissal against New Zealand at Bangalore in Aug 2012

At the  end of his test career – MS Dhoni has effected 24 stumping dismissals as captain wicket keeper and is the only captain wicket keeper to effect 20 plus stumping dismissals in the annals of test cricket

AJ Strauss career’s 100th test – at Lord’s against South Africa in August 2012 – coincided with his 50th test as captain of England. His first captaincy assignment was also at Lord’s against Pakistan in Jul 2006, He is the only captain in the annals of test cricket to have his first and last assignment as captain at Lord’s

Another world record – Rival captains scoring hundreds in a one day game was unearthed by me in the Ireland and England one day game at Dublin on 03.09.13. WTS Porterfield of Ireland scored 112 and EJG Morgan of England scored 124 not out. Interestingly enough, EJG Morgan had made his one day representing Ireland and England was his second one day team

SR Tendulkar is the only batsman in the annals of one day games to score 150 plus runs on five occasions. He went past ST Jayasuriya who has to his credit four 150 plus scores with his 200 not out against South Africa at Gwalior on 24.02.10

No Runs Inns Opposition Ground Start Date
1 186* 1 v New Zealand Hyd-LBS 08 Nov 1999
2 152 1 v Namibia Pietermaritzburg 23 Feb 2003
3 163* 1 v New Zealand Christchurch 08 Mar 2009
4 175 2 v Australia Hyd-RGS 05 Nov 2009
5 200* 1 v South Africa Gwalior 24 Feb 2010

Three World records for V Kohli and SPD Smith

V Kohli and SPD Smith notched four hundreds each in this series to provide the first ever occasion of rival batsmen scoring four hundreds in a series constituting a world record

V Kohli and SPD Smith notched four hundreds each coupled with 600 plus runs aggregate in this series to provide the first ever occasion of rival batsmen scoring four hundreds coupled with 600 plus runs in a series constituting a world record. V Kohli totalled 646 runs while SPD Smith aggregated 769 runs and both scored four hundreds in the series

V Kohli and SPD Smith scored three hundreds each in this series while leading their respective sides to provide the very first occasion of rival captains scoring three hundreds in a test series which is a world record.

Two World records in the same one-day international

New Zealand scripted a world record when then won the second game against Zimbabwe by ten wickets at Harare on 04.08.15. They chased a record 235 runs to win the game without losing a wicket. The previous highest chase was Sri Lanka’s win by ten wickets chasing a score of 229 against England at Col-RPS on 26.03.11. The following table lists the teams which have won by scoring 200 plus run s without losing a wicket in the history of one day games.

No Team Score Result margin Opposition Ground Start Date
1 New Zealand 236/0 Won Ten wkts v Zimbabwe Harare 04 Aug 2015
2 Sri Lanka 231/0 Won Ten wkts v England Colombo (RPS) 26 Mar 2011
3 Pakistan 228/0 Won Ten wkts v Zimbabwe Harare 11 Sep 2011
4 West Indies 221/0 Won Ten wkts v Pakistan Melbourne 23 Feb 1992
5 India 201/0 Won Ten wkts v New Zealand Hamilton 11 Mar 2009
6 West Indies 200/0 Won Ten wkts v India Bridgetown 03 May 1997

Sikander Raza  {Zim} scored 100 not out, MJ Guptill {NZl] scored 116 not out and TWM Latham {NZl} scored 110 not out in the game between Zimbabwe and New Zealand at Harare on 04.08.15 to provide the first occasion of three batsmen scoring unbeaten hundreds in a one day game in the history of one day internationals.

No No Player Runs Inns Team Oppn Ground Start Date
1 1 Sikandar Raza 100* 1 Zim NZl Harare 04 Aug 2015
  2 MJ Guptill 116* 2 NZl Zim Harare 04 Aug 2015
  3 TWM Latham 110* 2 NZl Zim Harare 04 Aug 2015

Indore witnesses a unique incident in test cricket

Indian batsmen batting at number four and five scored 150 plus runs in the first innings of the test {In India’s first innings}, while New Zealand batsman batting at number four and five scored ducks in the second innings of the test {New Zealand’s first innings} to provide the first such instance in the annals of test cricket

V Kohli batting at number four scored 211 and AM Rahane batting at number five scored 188 in India’s first innings {first innings of the test}, while LRPL Taylor batting at number four scored a duck and L Ronchi batting at number five scored a duck in New Zealand’s first innings {second innings of the test}

It is interesting to note that Victory margin, RS Gayakwad’s bowling figures, two century partnerships posted by Indian women, the century partnership for the fifth wicket and M Raj’s knock of 109 against New Zealand at Derby on 15 Jul 17 constitute records in their respective parameters for  Indian Women in Women’s World Cup

India posted a victory by 186 runs in this game. It represents India’s fourth win by 100 plus runs margin in the  Women’s World Cup and also represents its largest victory by runs margin in the World Cup. The previous best was its 154 runs win against Netherlands at Lincon on 02 Dec 2000

RS Gayakwad became the fourth Indian bowler to capture five wickets in an innings in the World Cup. Her figures of 5 for 15 represent the best bowling figures by an Indian bowler in the World Cup. Previous best was E Bisht’s 5 for 18 against Pakistan at Derby on 02 Jul 17

H Kaur-M Raj added 132 runs for the third wicket and M Raj-V Krishnamurthy added 108 runs for the fifth wicket in this game to provide the 11th and 12th occasion of Indian Women posting three figure partnerships in the World Cup. All such occasions are tabulated below

H Kaur-M Raj added 132 runs for the third wicket and M Raj-V Krishnamurthy added 108 runs for the fifth wicket in this game to provide the eighth occasion of a team posting two three figure partnerships in s World Cup game. It also provides the first such occasion by Indian Women in a World Cup game.

M Raj-V Krishnamurthy added 108 runs for the fifth wicket in this game to provide the record partnership for the fifth wicket in a world cup game. The previous best was 87 runs unfinished partnership between R Malhotra and M Raj against Pakistan at Cuttack on 07 Feb 2013

M Raj’s 109 in this game provide the sixth occasion of an Indian woman scoring a century in the World Cup. M Raj’s 109 in this game represent the highest individual score by an Indian batswoman in the World Cup. The previous best was H Kaur’s 107 not out against England women at Mum-BS on 03 Feb 2012

M Raj became the first Indian batswoman to score two centuries in the World Cup. Prior to this, she had scored 103 not out against Pakistan at Cuttack on 07 Feb 2013. 

Harmanpreet Kaur of India scored 171 not out with 20 boundary fours and seven boundary sixes in the  World Cup Semifinal against Australia at Derby on 20 Jul 17. Her score, boundary fours and boundary sixes are all records in their respective parameters for a batswoman in a Women’s World Cup Semi final

Harmanpreet Kaur of India became the first batswoman to score a hundred in a World Cup Semi final when he scored 171 not out against Australia at Derby on 20 Jul 2017. The previous best was 91 not out scored by two women batsmen – LM Keighty of Australia and M Raj of India. The details are furnished below

Player Runs 4s 6s Inns Team Oppn Ground Start Date
H Kaur 171* 20 7 1 Ind Aus Derby 20 Jul 2017
LM Keightley 91* 13 0 2 Aus RSA Lincoln 18 Dec 2000
M Raj 91* 9 0 1 Ind NZl Potchefstroom 07 Apr 2005

Harmanpreet Kaur scored 20 boundary fours in her knock of 171 not out which is a record for most boundary fours by a batswoman in semi finals of Women’s World Cup. The previous best was 13 boundary fours scored by LM Keightly of Australia against South Africa at Lincoln on 18 Dec 2000. EJ Vilani also scored 13 boundary fours in her knock of 75 in today’s game. AJ Blackwell who scored 10 boundary fours in this game is the fourth batswoman to score ten or more boundary fours in the Women’s World Cup Semi finals

No Player Runs 4s 6s Inn Team Oppn Ground Start Date
1 H Kaur 171* 20 7 1 Ind Aus Derby 20 Jul 2017
2 LM Keightley 91* 13 0 2 Aus RSA Lincoln 18 Dec 2000
3 EJ Villani 75 13 0 2 Aus Ind Derby 20 Jul 2017
4 AJ Blackwell 90 10 3 2 Aus Ind Derby 20 Jul 2017

Harmanpreet Kaur scored seven boundary sixes in her knock of 171 not out which is a record for most boundary sixes by a batswoman in semi finals of Women’s World Cup. The next best is three boundary sixes scored by AJ Blackwell in this game.

No Player Runs 4s 6s Inns Team Oppn Ground Start Date
1 H Kaur 171* 20 7 1 Ind Aus Derby 20 Jul 2017
2 AJ Blackwell 90 10 3 2 Aus Ind Derby 20 Jul 2017


M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore, became the only ground in  the history of T20 games to have three batsmen scoring 100 plus sixes – CH Gayle {150}, AB de Villiers {101} and V Kohli {100} 

Yet another unique record associated with M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore. The record is it has three batsmen scoring 1500 plus runs in T20 games. The batsmen are – V Kohli {2435}, CH Gayle {1790}  and AB de Villiers {1654}

It is just a coincidence that the batsmen who have scored 1500 runs  at M Chinnaswamy Stadium have also scored 100 plus boundary sixes. Thus M Chinnaswamy Stadium owns two unique records in the history of T20 games with a rare coincidence

No Player Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave C HC 0 6s
1 V Kohli 79 76 10 2435 113 36.89 3 17 5 100
2 CH Gayle 50 48 6 1790 175* 42.61 3 10 3 150
3 AB de Villiers 54 51 11 1654 129* 41.35 1 11 2 101



MS Dhoni of India and DC Thomas of West Indies were dismissed stumped in this game providing the first occasion of rival wicket keepers dismissed stumped by a wicket keeper in the world cup and also in the annals of one day games constituting a world record


WU Tharanga and TM Dilshan added 231 runs in an unfinished partnership for the first wicket in this game with which he wrote himself into record books with six two hundred runs plus partnerships for the first wicket to his credit in the annals of one day games which constitutes a world record.

WU Tharanga’s six two hundred runs partnerships read thus – 282 runs with TM Dilshan for the first wicket vs Zimbabwe at Pallekele on 10.03.11  –  231* runs with TM Dilshan for the first wicket vs England at Col-RPS on 26.03.11  –  286 runs with ST Jayasuriya for the first wicket vs England at Leeds on 01.07.06  –  201 runs with ST Jayasuriya for the first wicket vs New Zealand at Napier on 28.12.06  –  202 runs with DPMD Jayewardene for the first wicket vs Pakistan at Dambulla on 03.08.09 and 215 with DPMD Jayawardene for the first wicket vs Bangladesh at Dhaka on 08.01.10

It is interesting to note that WU Tharanga’s six partnerships of 200 plus runs are for the first wicket – a unique record unparalleled in the annals of one day games


MS Dhoni earned a unique distinction in this game. He became the first captain-cum-wicket keeper to appear in 100 one day games. This game was his 100th appearance in the dual role


Shahid Afridi became the first captain to capture four or more wickets in three consecutive games in the annals of one day games. His performance read thus – 5-16 vs Kenya at Hambantota on 23.02.11: 4 for 34 vs Sri Lanka at Col-RPS on 26.02.11 and 5-23 vs Canada at Col-RPS on 03.03.11


Sri Lanka’s victory without losing a wicket in this game chasing 229 runs provides the third such occasion of a team chasing 200 plus runs in the annals of one day games. The other two occasions are – West Indies won by ten wickets against India at chasing a target of 200 runs {India – 199 for 7 : West Indies – 200 for no loss} and West Indies won by ten wickets against Pakistan at Melbourne on 23.02.92 chasing a target of 220 runs {Pakistan – 220 for 2 : West Indies – 221 for no loss}

Thus Sri Lanka’s win without losing a wicket in this game chasing 229 runs represented the highest run chase by a team in the annals of one day games.  It was the then world record


JM Anderson returned with figures of 1 for 91 in this game providing the tenth occasion o of his conceding seventy plus runs in an innings. He now holds the record for a bowler who has conceded seventy plus runs in an innings on most occasions in the annals of one day games. He went past A Nehra of India who has conceded seventy plus runs on nine occasions.


MP Vaughan’s hundred – 124 at The Oval in May 2007 against India was 100th hundred by an England captain in a test innings.

Wasim Jaffer’s double hundred – 202 – against Pakistan at Calcutta in November 2007 was the 100th hundred by an Indian opening batsman in a test innings.

Australia became the first country to have posted 50 plus three figure partnerships for the first four wickets in the history of one day internationals.  First Wicket – 61: Second wicket – 71: third wicket – 50: Fourth wicket – 53. This record was achieved by Australia when AC Gilchrist and MJ Clarke added 105 runs for the third wicket against Sri Lanka at Perth on 15.02.08

Kevin Petersen’s 152 at Lord’s against South Africa in July 2008 was the 200th hundred scored by a batsman at Lord’s – Mecca of Cricket






India vs South Africa: Virat Kohli a fantastic batsman, but as captain has work to do, says West Indian legend Michael Holding
Michael Holding is never known to mince words and when Mirror approached the West Indian great for his thoughts on the India-South Africa series, he spoke his mind out candidly. Excerpts from an interview…

Pitches have been the talking point of the series, not cricket. What do you have to say?
I was not comfortable with the Centurion pitch at all. South Africa would be happy that they won the Test. My problem with Centurion was that cricket was entertaining there. The bowlers were struggling, the batsmen were struggling. It was not a spectacle that people would want to go back and watch again. The first Test match (Cape Town) pitch was very bowler friendly but I am sure people will want to see the first Test match again rather than the second.

Twenty wickets were difficult to come overseas for India but when they are coming, they are coming at a cost. You agree? I won’t say that. The bowlers have done a good job. Batting is what has failed India. I said on the first morning of the series that it was all about India’s batting line-up. I don’t think India have too much to worry about their bowling. They need to get some runs on the board. The South Africa’s is an outstanding attack, not an average attack. India have to find ways to get the runs.

So how do you analyse the Indian bowlers and the team?
Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled beautifully at Newlands. I was not sure why he did not play in the second Test. Bumrah (Jasprit) bowled better in the second Test than in the first. Mohammed Shami bowled differently in the Tests but he was not impressive in the first. I was disappointed with Ravi Ashwin in the second Test. I thought he bowled a wrong line. If he had bowled more off-stump line with flight, he would have been successful. Having said that, the bowlers did a good enough job.

Personally I think Bhuvneshwar Kumar is the best of the seamers. Ishant Sharma is good but I think he is a fourth bowler than an attacking frontline new ball bowler. He has done well still. He does not give runs away. People say he is young but has played 80 Test matches which take their toll on the body. There is a difference between 29 years old after 80 Tests and 29 years old after 40 Tests. Fast bowling is hard work. There are of course issues with the team. I am not sure why Rahane (Ajinkya) is not playing. I know he did not do well against Sri Lanka but you need to play who did well overseas. India do not have too many players who have done well overseas.

What about Bumrah?
I don’t know enough about Bumrah because I have seen him bowl for the first time here. I was not very impressed in the first Test. At Centurion, he bowled better. I think he was successful in the second match because of the nature of the pitch. The two wickets that he got in the second innings would not come on a good pitch. The balls would have bounced to the normal heights and the batsmen would have cleared them normally. At his pace, he became successful because the ball was keeping low.

So, who is the best bowler in the world and why do you say so?
It is hard to decide who is or are the best. Because a lot of times I don’t see them. I don’t watch cricket when I am in the US. I follow the games only when I am in England or South Africa. I follow the scores but I don’t actually watch it. But I did say before the Ashes started that Australia will win the se-ries because England cannot take 20 wickets away from home.

You must be unhappy with the way the Indians have fielded?
When people talk of about the four-pronged West Indies pace attack, they forget the quality of fielding we had. Once the ball goes past the bat, we had ensured that the catch was going to be taken. There would be odd dropped- catches but only the hard ones. As I said, fast bowling is hard work and you don’t want to run hard when you don’t have the confidence on the wicketkeeper or the slip fielder. Once you have that confidence, you can concentrate on your bowling. Some runs go away here and there but they are not detrimental, the dropped catches are detrimental.

Do you really think India are worthy of being No 1 side in the world?
No, I don’t think so. I don’t pay much attention to these ICC rankings. When India went to England, they were the No 1 ranked team and I said they are not the best in the world. England beat them 4-0. David Gower and Ian Botham asked me if England are the best and I said South Africa were the best. They said ‘we will see next year’. South Africa went to England and beat them.

So which is the side that is capable of winning home and away?
I think it is South Africa. They lost to India and lost badly too. But when they lost to India, the bowling was not what it is now. When Australia come here next month, that series will tell us alot. Because both sides will be playing under conditions that are familiar to them – hard dry pitches and bright sunshine.

What about Virat Kohli the batsman and the captain?
Virat Kohli is a fantastic batsman. I was asked to name three top cricketers and I included Kohli in that list. He is a very very good player. When I see him score runs in England, I would call him a great player. I like people who score runs everywhere. He is an extremely good player.

But as a captain, he has some work to do. I don’t want to condemn him too much because I like to have my own way as a captain. I like to be given the team I want all the time. But it is still not the right way to go. There got to be discussions with the wiser heads from time to time, come to conclusions and flesh out different arguments. I get an impression that he is getting what he wants.

He is very emotional about his cricket. He means everything he wants to do. In time he will learn. Because he has been so successful since he took over, it is hard for him to change. He has to see other view points and arrive at consensus.

So, who is the best batsman in the world?
The three cricketers I think are the best now are Joe Root, Virat Kohli and Steve Smith. AB de Villiers has just come back into Test cricket and let’s see how he does. I don’t want to include him yet in that list.

You have always been critical of Twenty20. Do you think it is killing the game?
Everybody knows I have not changed my opinion. I have not seen any good that has come out of Twenty20. A lot of players are benefiting but I don’t think the game is benefiting.

Are you comfortable with the way ICC is functioning?
No. I am tiered of the ICC now. I don’t want to go deep into that.

By Vijay Tagore, Mumbai Mirror

I am entering my 50th year of cricket romance

Dear All

It gives me great pleasure to inform you all that I would be entering 50th year of my career in Cricket today, the 20th of December 2017. I was appointed as a Scorer in the Press Box for the Cricket match played between South Zone and Australians at Central College Grounds, Bangalore. This game was played on dates, 20, 21 and 22nd of December 1969

I recall a few memorable moments of this game. South Zone commanded the game all through. Australia conceded the first innings lead in this game. Australia was in verge of losing this game and drew the game. Australian captain Bill Lawry padded up to EAS Prasanna who reduced Australians with a haul of six wickets conceding mere eleven runs. Bill Lawry the first innings centurion for Australia remained not out with 10 runs in the second innings. Chandra bowled his hearts out and Lawry padded all through. ML Jaisimha captain of South Zone rang many bowling changes in order to clinch a win but Bill Lawry was in defiance. Old Timers who watched this game remember Bill Lawry’s padding.

I am very much indebted to my class mate Sri Sundar Raja Rao Cavale more affectionately/popularly known as “Cavale” in Cricketing Circles of the then Mysore/now Karnataka. He had already established himself as a scorer at Mysore State Cricket Association.  At his instance, I was appointed as a scorer. We were classmates in Pre University Course at Vijaya College, Bengaluru. A day prior to the match, he taught me the nuiances of scoring which helped me a lot when I became a scorer for Mysore State Cricket Association{later on KSCA} on a regular basis

The taste of scoring was meted out to me by AV Venkatanaryana who breathed his last two months back. I vividly remember the occasion. It was in the year 1959 and when I was in High School Second year.  It was a Saturday and the inter school match between my school – Acharya Pata Shala High School and National High School at National High School Grounds. The regular score did not turn up at the venue. The toss was over and APS had elected to bat. I was standing nearby the Scorer’s table and suddenly AV Venkatanarayana called me “Gopala, Come here and be a scorer for the match”. It was my first experience as a Scorer for the School game.

I took upto statistics in one of the most interesting situation. A Ranji Trophy match between Karnataka and Hyderabad was slated to be played at M Chinnaswamy Stadium.  I was already employed with Dena Bank, Sarjapura Branch. I got down at Richmond Circle and was walking towards Lavelle Road to collect the badge for the scorer from KSCA.   B Raghnath and Prasanna Simha Rao were heading towards their homes and Raghu was riding a motor bike. On seeing me he stopped the bike and called me to him. I went to him and he asked “how many runs I have scored in Ranji Trophy?. I told him that I do not know and as of now I have been just a scorer. To this reply of mine, he urged me to become a statistician as it would go a long way for your future. How true is urging words have become.

After this match, I got in touch with the legend BS Chandrashekhar’s father – Late BS Subramanya – who was residing in fourth block, Jayanagar. I was residing in Seventh Block, Jayanagar – a walking distance.

Chandra’s father had the collections of “Indian Cricket” – a journal published by the Hindu Group of Publications right from 1964 – Chandra’s test debut. I borrowed three to four books at a time and built up the statistical careers of Karnatka Cricketers in Ranji Trophy. I still have this register intact.

I have no regrets whatsoever for pesuing the career of a statistician. It has given me name and also fame. This career gave me a tour to Sri Lanka in September 1985, when All India Radio selected me as one of the two scorer-cum-statistician for the tour.

As on date, I have officiated 98 International Cricket matches – 37 tests. 56 one day internationals and 05 Twenty20 internationals.

Apart from this I have officiated domestic games such as Ranji Trophy, Duleep Trophy, Irani Cup, One day games such as Wills Trophy, Deodhar Triphy matches numbering over 100

Karnataka Government has bestowed me two prestigious awards – Dasara Kreeda Prashasthi in 1989  and Rajyotsava Award in 2010 and I remain the only Cricket Statistician in the  country to be bestowed with two state awards


Dav Whatmore: ‘Ravi Shastri knows how to manage people”

The India connection: Dav Whatmore had just set a cricket centre in Chennai when the offer to coach Kerala materialised.  

Dav Whatmore talks about what it takes to be a good coach, how his Sri Lanka side went the distance in the 1996 World Cup, and why he decided to steer Kerala’s fortunes in the Ranji Trophy this season

Dav Whatmore finds Kerala similar to Sri Lanka in many ways. The weather, the landscape, and the people remind him of the wonderful time he had in the island nation with its cricket team.

He guided Sri Lanka to its greatest sporting achievement – the World Cup victory in 1996. That triumph came against heavy odds.

The Kerala Cricket Association (KCA) was hoping he would do something similar with the Ranji Trophy team when it appointed him coach in April. The Sri Lanka-born Australian hasn’t disappointed.

Kerala has won four of its first five matches this season, and has a shot at making the knockouts. Not bad at all for a team that has underperformed with remarkable consistency for more than a decade and a half.

In an interview to The Hindu, he spoke at length about coaching and his playing days, including a memorable tour of India in 1979. Excerpts:

Why did you accept the offer to coach Kerala, which is not, by any stretch of imagination, among the glamorous teams in India’s domestic cricket?

I had decided to stop coaching international teams. That was something I had decided after discussing with my wife. I had already come to Chennai to set up the Whatmore Centre for Cricket. Then this offer from the KCA came, which I found interesting. I like the place and see this as another challenge.

You have had successes with underdogs before. You must be pleased with some of the astonishing results Bangladesh has had of late. You had faith in the team when many others wrote it off.

I had gone there after their previous coach Gordon Greenidge said the team wasn’t ready for Test cricket. At that time, they didn’t have too many opportunities to play Tests. They developed an A team and an academy. There were good competitions for the youth teams too. As the head coach, I supported all these initiatives. They have continued on that path. I spent four years of my life there. I am happy that I could contribute to the evolution of Bangladesh as a team. They have managed to produce good, strong, athletic cricketers.

Sri Lanka was already a good side when you took over, but not many expected it to win the World Cup in 1996. Did you?

Not before the tournament began. But when we beat India at New Delhi in the league phase, I felt we could be playing till the end of the tournament. It was a great team. Batting was the main strength; all the top seven could get hundreds. And we had quality spinners in Muttiah Muralitharan, Upul Chandana, and Kumar Dharmasena, besides Aravinda de Silva.

Sri Lanka was your first international assignment as a coach.

It was my first ever First Class team, in fact. I had worked at the Victorian Institute of Sport for four years when I got the offer from Sri Lanka; if it had been delayed by another day, I would have been appointed as the coach of Hampshire, as I had almost finalised an agreement with Mark Nicholas.

What makes a good coach?

A good coach needs to play a wide range of roles: a caring parent, a disciplinarian and a friend. He needs to have knowledge of a cross section of areas like psychology, physiology, nutrition. And he needs to have empathy. He has to understand people. You are working with individuals though they are a group of people. I think that is why Ravi Shastri is successful. He knows how to manage people. He has impressed me as a coach.

How do you view the Indian side?

The current Indian team under Virat Kohli is a very good one, as the results show. I find it a balanced side, too.

You are going to spend a lot of time in India. How do you look back to the tour of this country with the Australian team in 1979?

It was a tough, long tour, which lasted three months. I was a good player of spin bowling until I came here. The Indian spinners were so different

What about the Australian spinners?

They didn’t spin [it], those days. But it wasn’t easy for them on the hard wickets there.

And yet you had some success against the Indian spinners on that tour. You made 77 and 54 in the Delhi Test and helped Australia save the match, after following on.

Yes. And I got a bad decision in that match! Another strong memory from that tour is coming on to bowl, as the fifth change, within the first hour, in the Mumbai Test!

Article courtesy – The Hindu dated 25 Nov 2017 – Article penned  by PK Ajith Kumar



BCCI scorer and veteran journalist Sanghi is no more

Rakesh Sanghi

A veteran scorer with 350 first class, 50 Test matches and over 100 ODI’s under his belt, Sanghi was the North Zone statistician for BCCI.


Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) chief scorer and veteran journalist Rakesh Sanghi, 59, breathed his last after brief illness in PGIMER on Friday. He is survived by his wife Madhu Sanghi. A veteran scorer with 350 first class, 50 Test matches and over 100 ODI’s under his belt, Sanghi was the North Zone statistician for BCCI.


A hard core cricket follower, Sanghi wrote books on statistics and was known to all the big cricketers. Sanghi started scoring at the young age of 16 years and slowly graduated to Ranji matches covering matches for Haryana. A journalist with over three decades of experience, Sanghi’s wife Madhu is also a qualified scorer. He will be cremated at Sector 25 cremation ground at 2pm on Saturday.


Haryana CM Manohar Lal and Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh also mourned the demises and expressed condolences to the family.


In his condolence message, Punjab CM described Sanghi as a “professional par excellence, who always upheld the ethics of journalism”.


Unfair to target MS Dhoni – Virat Kohli

India captain Virat Kohli has spoken out in support of MS Dhoni, pointing to his importance in the team and emphasising on Dhoni’s fitness despite his age. Questions were raised about Dhoni’s strike rate and his inability to being able to clear the boundary the way he used to, after a 37-ball 49 in the second T20 in Rajkot where India were unable to chase down 197 on a flat track. Kohli himself scored a fighting 65 off 42 balls but Dhoni could not strike at a similar rate.

“First, I don’t understand why are people only pointing him out, I’m not able to understand this,” Kohli said on Tuesday after the third T20I against New Zealand in Thiruvananthapuram. “If I fail three times, no one is going to point fingers at me because I’m not over 35. The guy is fit, he is passing all the fitness tests, he is contributing to the team in every way possible, tactically on the field, with the bat. If you look at the series against Sri Lanka and Australia, he did really well and in this series he hasn’t got much time to bat.”

Questions have also been raised about Dhoni’s batting position. He usually bats at Nos 5 or 6, giving him less time to build a knock in the latter half of an innings. In the second T20I in Rajkot, Dhoni walked out at No. 6 when India were 67 for 4 and needed 130 runs in just under 11 overs. Kohli believed the criticism against Dhoni for that innings was unfair as the asking rate had already shot up past 11 an over when he came out to bat.

“You have to understand, the position in which he comes out to bat, even Hardik [Pandya] could not score in that game,” Kohli said. “Then why are we only pointing out one man? Hardik also got out in the last T20 that we played in Rajkot. We are conveniently targeting only one man which is not fair. We also have to look at the fact that by the time he comes in, either the run rate is already eight-and-a-half or nine-and-a-half and the wicket is also not the same when the new ball is bowled.

“Also, the batsmen who are set from the top, they find it easier to strike the ball straightaway compared to the guys who come lower down the order. And the kind of wicket that we have played on, the wear and tear has been much more in the latter half. You have to assess everything.

“As team management and players, we understand the situations in which he goes out to bat. We don’t get emotional and excited by the opinions of people who are looking at things from a different point of view. If you are playing, you know how the wicket is and what the situation is like. So, I think he is doing absolutely fine. He understands his game, he understands his role, but it doesn’t come off every time. He hit a six in Delhi and it was shown five times in the post-match show. Everyone got really happy. And suddenly he doesn’t score in one game and we are after his life. I think people need to be a bit more patient. He’s a guy who understands various cricketers. He’s a very smart guy. He understands where he stands with his body, with his game. So I don’t think anyone else has the right to decide that for him.”

by Vishal Dikshit – Article Courtesy –

Coffee with Chandra by Suresh Menon

Coffee With Chandra

Chandra’s directions are a commentary on the state of the roads in Bangalore. “Turn left at the coffee shop,” he tells me, and then, “drive on till you come to a huge pothole. Try not to fall in as you turn right. I’ll be waiting for you.” A few minutes later, he was waving me down outside the house he has lived in for 50 years. Chandra wears orthopaedic shoes, the legacy of a motor accident a quarter century ago that rendered him virtually immobile for months. He didn’t need to come out; I am touched. As we enter the house, I remember the many interesting places I have met Bhagwath Chandrasekhar over the decades. At a tailor’s in Jayanagar, then a suburb (now definitely urb) in the late ’60s. At a showing of the movie Jungle Book in Rex Theatre. At a civic reception following his triumphant return from the England tour of 1971 (I played the trombone in the welcoming brass band from my school). At the place I shared with a friend where he had dropped in to talk about his benefit match (he sat on a bed; my friend preserved a portion of the bed sheet!). And most startling of all, in a showcase at a Francis Bacon retrospective at Tate Britain in London. This last was a photograph of Chandra bowling to England’s Roger Tolchard in a Kolkata Test. Chandra gets balletic, seemingly on the toes of his left foot as the ball is edged. Wicketkeeper Syed Kirmani’s leap to his right, again with just the toes of his foot touching the ground, is no less balletic. It is a beautifully composed shot, by Patrick Eagar, and was under the “images that inspired Bacon” section of the show. The painter who has “Baconised” Ian Botham, and possibly David Gower (there is some confusion over this) may or may not have done the same to Chandra. I asked a Bacon biographer once, but he wasn’t sure. There is restlessness in the air. Chandra is awaiting the arrival of his passport stamped with a Schengen visa, but it hasn’t come yet. He is off to Europe on a holiday, and telephone calls interrupt our conversation. No, it hasn’t come. Yes, I am expecting it any moment. There is still time, no need to panic. He seems to be trying to convince himself rather than the callers. He is really looking forward to Vienna.

Chandra’s passion for Mukesh’s music converted many of his friends. Gavaskar sometimes hummed a Mukesh tune on the field to inspire Chandra

“Can I get you a coffee?” he asks and disappears inside when I tell him in some embarrassment that it would be a lifesaver after over two hours on the road. I am left to admire some of the cricket photographs on the walls. Greeting the Queen in England, receiving the congratulations of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in New Delhi. And just where the stairs begin to turn, the picture that inspired Bacon. The coffee arrives, and I sense the Chandra smile before I see it, “It was a great effort by Kirmani,” he says, “but the catch wasn’t taken.” I narrate the Tate story, but Chandra is unimpressed. He is more excited when I tell him later how, years ago, I enjoyed a programme on TV where he sang songs from Bollywood films. His partner on that occasion too was Kirmani, and I had marvelled at the manner in which he could the hit high notes so effortlessly while seated. “That was recorded before a live audience,” he says, “We had two sessions, and it was thoroughly enjoyable.” “Do you keep in touch with your mates?” I ask. “Yes, I was at a function at the KSCA last week,” he says, “Bishan [Bedi] calls up often.” Bedi once famously said that he “saw God in Chandra”, explaining there was something pure and innocent about the man who destroyed batting line-ups, the only bowler the great Viv Richards says “gave him nightmares”. Chandra, 72, is in a good place. His son, named Nitin, like the son of his greatest hero, the singer Mukesh, is in San Jose, California, and Chandra is a grandfather twice over. His wife, Sandhya, has reconnected with a passion for playing the veena and gives public performances

“I am her chauffeur,” explains Chandra proudly, “I drive her to practice sessions, and to performances.” As if on cue, the lady herself walks in from outside. She has taken public transport today. “Hello,” she says, “Did Chandra get you coffee?” Coffee for the guest before anything else – it is traditional south Indian hospitality. “Yes, he makes a good cup,” I reply, as Chandra smiles modestly, and the conversation glides towards movie songs. “I love Malayalam songs,” says Sandhya, and we talk of an old love song where the beau asks his lover, “Can you tune a veena?” Sandhya likes that – the question is not whether the girl can cook or converse or make love, but whether she can tune a musical instrument. Presumably if she couldn’t, she’d be disqualified. Music has been Chandra’s passion too. Very specific music, very specific musician. The singer Mukesh was over 20 years older and died in 1976, just a decade after meeting Chandra. But for Chandra he continues to be a living presence. “Thanks to modern technology,” he says, “I have been able to dig out obscure songs he sang, private recitals he gave. I spend hours tracking and recording his music.” He has no favourites, he says, he loves them all. “I often sang from ‘Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hain’ on the cricket field, or ‘Yeh Mera Deewanapan Hai’, or anything that came to my mind.”

Chandra told Kumble, “Coaches will tell you, flight the ball more, turn more, bowl more slowly, because they cannot understand you. Have the strength to ignore such advice”

There is a famous story of Chandra once beating Sunil Gavaskar in a match with a legbreak, and following on through to the batsman. Not to sledge him but to ask, “Suna kya?” (Did you hear that?), as a Mukesh song wafted to the pitch from a spectator’s transistor. Indians of an earlier generation took transistor radios to first-class matches – and listened to the running commentary. Often they tuned in to popular stations playing Bollywood songs. The volume was turned up when a Mukesh song came on during a match involving Chandra, or a song involving Sharmila Tagore when her husband, Tiger Pataudi, was in action. When players acknowledged the tribute, the crowd roared. It was a way of connecting with the stars in the pre-television and pre-selfie days. Chandra’s passion for Mukesh’s music converted many of his friends. Kirmani, Gundappa Viswanath, and even some journalists. You didn’t have to be a Mukesh fan to be in Chandra’s inner circle, but it certainly helped. Gavaskar has written about how he sometimes hummed a Mukesh tune on the field to inspire Chandra. Gavaskar had also told me about Chandra’s backlift as a batsman. “He might have scored all those zeroes,” he said, “but watch his backlift. The bat always came down straight.” I ask Chandra about this; he laughs. “This is true. Sunny and I got into this discussion during some games in the US. Usually I never stayed at the crease long enough for anybody to notice my backlift.” I joined in the laughter this time, knowing he had more wickets than runs in Tests, 242 to 167. “Hey, I nearly hit a six at Edgbaston,” he suddenly recalls. This was in the course of his highest score, 22, in the only Test featuring all four spinners of the great quartet – Bedi, Erapalli Prasanna, Srinivas Venkatraghavan and Chandra. No bowler, not even Chandra, wants to be seen as a poor batsman. After all, he played as an opener in school, kept wicket, and later bowled medium pace too.

Perhaps the weak right hand helped this one aspect, the backlift, of Chandra’s cricket more than any other. Perhaps this is just another one of those convenient theories. “I have heard all kinds of theories about my hand,” says Chandra, “That I have no bones, that my wrist can turn around 360 degrees, and so on.” Chandra always wore his sleeves buttoned down on and off the field; his right hand was so weak that he often had to support it with his left when he wasn’t bowling. He threw with his left hand, and as an adolescent, contemplated becoming a left-arm spinner. “I could not have bowled left-arm spin because my non-bowling arm would have been of no help,” he says. Once, many years ago, I stayed over at Chandra’s house after a late-night outing. We were both bachelors for the evening, as Chandra’s wife was out of town. I saw him without a shirt on. Let alone bowling legbreaks and googlies and topspinners. It is amazing that he can actually hold a ball in his right hand, or a pen even, so emaciated does it look. It took extraordinary courage to step onto a sports field – he had the attack of polio that left his arm withered when he was five or six. In his teens, he went from club cricket to first-class cricket to Test cricket in the space of six months. He was 18, and had to evaluate what worked best for him. Success came from self-awareness. Soon after Chandra’s Test debut, Pataudi told him that he would be India’s main strike bowler. Chandra smiles at the memory of a team led by a player with one eye, and a lead bowler with one arm. Yet nobody noticed these drawbacks or were even conscious of them when these two high-class performers were in action.

After he saw Chandra in action, Yagnanarayan invited him to join City Cricketers. It didn’t happen immediately because, says Chandra, “I found the joining fee of two rupees too high”

Chandra was lucky to have captains who understood him both as player and person. He describes it evocatively: “You know the four stages of the butterfly? It was like that with me. At the egg stage, I had my parents and Yagnanarayan, who led me to my club, City Cricketers; at the larva stage, there was V Subramanyam, captain of Karnataka. Then came the pupa stage where ML Jaisimha led my South Zone team, and finally as an adult, I had the fortune of playing under Tiger Pataudi.” Chandra as a butterfly is an apt image; delicate, gentle, inspiring. He was probably the only player who nursed no ambitions of leading India. “I did lead Karnataka once or twice,” he recalls, “to this day some of my team-mates remind me of how I finished an over, then went and stood at third man as usual, till someone reminded me I was captain and needed to decide who would bowl from the other end!” I always thought Chandra would have made a good coach. Time spent in his company talking cricket is always rewarding, and I have usually found his insights on players spot on. “X will play for India,” I would say watching a young player in action, and he would come back with why that might not happen, and events would prove him right. “Coaching is a different game today,” he says. Yet it was Chandra who gave Anil Kumble, India’s most successful bowler, the advice that made the difference. “I asked him to lengthen his run-up.” More importantly, he told Kumble, “Coaches will tell you, as they told me, flight the ball more, turn more, bowl more slowly, and a whole lot of things, because they cannot understand you. Have the strength to ignore such advice.” “You know,” he says, “I held the ball like a medium-pacer, on the smooth side along the seam, not across it like spinners. It felt natural, and may have accounted for the bounce off the wicket.” No coach would have allowed a spinner to grip the ball like that. Luckily no coach tried to force Chandra to change anything

Yagnanarayan, a patron of cricket in Bangalore, sometimes gathered a team to play local tournaments. After he saw Chandra in action, he invited him to join City Cricketers. It didn’t happen immediately because, says Chandra, “I found the joining fee of two rupees too high.” Chandra was a mystery both on and off the field. “I needed just two fielders,” he says, “a slip and a short leg. If I was bowling well, I didn’t need anybody else. If I was bowling badly, 22 fielders would not be enough.” It has never been easy for Chandra. India played 84 Tests in the 15 years that his career lasted, but Chandra played in only 58 of them. One-time chairman of selectors Vijay Merchant thought he was “a freak” and didn’t pick him for India’s first triumphant tour of West Indies in 1971. His selection for the England tour that followed was “a risk” in Merchant’s words. Yet it was his 6 for 38 at the Oval that won the Test and series for India, a first. Seven years later, his 12 for 104 (6 for 52 in each innings) in Melbourne led to India’s first Test win in Australia. What excites him today about the Oval Test? “I bowled a faster one to John Edrich and hit his stumps,” he recalls. “The newspapers got it wrong calling that a googly.” In fact, it was the famous “Mill Reef” ball. Mill Reef was a champion horse in England, tracked by Chandra and Dilip Sardesai. It was Sardesai who named Chandra’s faster delivery Mill Reef. Chandra tells the story of how he had planned to bowl a googly to Edrich when Sardesai came up to him and said, “Mill Reef dalo” (Bowl a Mill Reef). “I changed my mind and bowled the faster one. Edrich could not bring his bat down in time. In my mind’s eye I saw the stump cartwheeling and reaching the pavilion ahead of Edrich, but of course that cannot have happened!” For such a successful international bowler, Chandra had to live down the impression of being someone who “didn’t know what he bowled”. Even today, short biographies of the man insist that he was a great bowler because of this: if the bowler didn’t know what he was bowling, how would the batsman know? I think the canard originated with the great Australian bowler (and a prototype of Chandra) Bill O’Reilly, who first said something like it. It was cute, romantic, Cardusian. And like some of Cardus’ comments, it was fanciful. It is unfair, and makes no sense either. You don’t pick up over 200 Test wickets without knowing what you are doing.

Chandra was a mystery both on and off the field. “I needed just two fielders,” he says, “a slip and a short leg. If I was bowling well, I didn’t need anybody else”

My first boss, Rajan Bala, would wish all kinds of curses upon the head of anyone who thought Chandra didn’t know what he was bowling. The bowler himself alternated between amusement and irritation in the days when the three of us would spend an evening going yo-ho-ho with a bottle of rum. Chandra’s wife returns to the room. “Stay for lunch,” she says, and Chandra nods in agreement. But I am meeting someone for lunch – the same friend who had cut out a portion of the bed sheet Chandra had sat on all those years ago. “That’s not all,” my friend tells his wife when I tell her the Chandra story. “I didn’t wash my hands for days after shaking hands with Chandra.” In Chandra’s final Test, Kapil Dev claimed his first five-wicket haul. There is a neat symmetry about the passing of the baton from one strike bowler to the next. “We must meet more often,” Chandra says, as he sees me to the door, and then to the car. “You don’t need to,” I tell him about his accompanying me out, but he only smiles. Some passers-by walk on, then stop abruptly to turn back and look. There is a sign of recognition on their faces, but they don’t rush to take selfies, merely allow the great man to walk back slowly into his home of half a century.

Suresh Menon is the editor of the Wisden India Almanack – Article courtesy – ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Sri Lanka drop Mendis for India tour, Former skipper Angelo returns

The Sri Lankan selectors today dropped batsman Kusal Mendis from their 15-member squad while Angelo Mathews returned to lead the side in the upcoming tour of India.

Right-handed opener Kaushal Silva was also omitted from the team that emerged victorious against Pakistan in the recent Test series held in the UAE.

Mathews was ruled out of the Test series against Pakistan due to a calf muscle injury.

Since making his Test debut in 2015, the 22-year-old Mendis was being seen as the best batting prospect for Sri Lanka after the retirement of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene.

Mendis will miss out on a Test match after 22 consecutive appearances since his debut.

Former skipper Angelo Mathews returns to the side which features middle-order batsman Roshen Silva as the only uncapped player.

Sri Lanka are slated to play three Tests, three ODIs and as many T20 Internationals in India.

The squad will leave for India on Wednesday.

Squad: Dinesh Chandimal (captain), Dimuth Karunaratne, Dhananjaya de Silva, Sadeera Samarawickrema, Angelo Mathews, Lahiru Thirimnne, Rangana Herath, Suranga Lakmal, Dilruwan Perera, Lahiru Gamage, Lakshan Sandakan, Vishwa Fernanado, Dasun Shanaka, Niroshan Dickwella and Roshen Silva.


Are T20 leagues making money?

The big two are, but otherwise the model, heavily dependent on international stars and an Indian audience, is threatening to collapse under its own bloated weight

“All of us are unashamed T20 mercenaries, now.” – Brendon McCullum The date: June 19, a day after the Champions Trophy final.

The setting: a swanky London hotel. The occasion: the launch of South Africa’s new Twenty20 competition.

Yes, yet another T20 league. South Africa’s professed to be different by being a “global” league – although exactly what this means, no one is quite sure. The four overseas cricketers permitted in each XI would feature, like McCullum, the same players recycled from other leagues around the world. Many would represent teams with the same nicknames as others throughout the world, even owned by exactly the same people. Four months later, the first season of the Global T20 League (GLT20) was cancelled. The league failed to secure a stable broadcasting deal and sponsorship; the problems had already cost Haroon Lorgat, Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) chief executive who devised the tournament, his job. “According to informed observers, the debacle could end up costing CSA somewhere in the region of $10 million. The fiasco shattered the myth that T20 tournaments guarantee profit. The significant majority of T20 domestic teams throughout the world are still loss-making enterprises. The GLT20 had been slated to begin on November 3, the day after the start of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL). The clash shows how these leagues are not merely in competition with international cricket; they are also increasingly in competition with each other, for viewers’ eyeballs and broadcasters’ cash. This year, only June and October lack major T20 competitions. As the calendar becomes more crowded, clashes will become harder to manage: the Big Bash League (BBL) in Australia is expanding this year; the Indian Premier League (IPL) could well gain more teams and games in the coming years; and, from 2020, England will have a second T20 competition, co-existing with the T20 Blast.

The IPL, with its combination of the nation’s love for cricket, first-mover advantage and India’s huge economic heft, has long proved itself to be commercially viable, even though many teams did not consistently generate annual profits before the new broadcasting deal

In September, broadcasting and digital rights for the next five years of the IPL were sold for $2.55 billion, making it one of the world’s most lucrative sports league per match. The remarkable contract, an annual increase of over 2.5 times on the previous IPL deal, added to the perception that, in a volatile world, owning a T20 league or team is as secure an investment as owning gold. That sense is backed up by players like McCullum who can now earn considerably more on the T20 circuit than playing for their national teams. Yet, the IPL aside, very few T20 teams or leagues are generating a profit. Even the BBL, widely acclaimed as the best-run T20 league, made a A$33 million loss over its first five years. So the impression of a T20 franchise team as a licence to print money jars with the reality. The existence of so many leagues – at least seven around the world can justifiably claim to attract international stars – is “absolutely a bubble”, according to one of the most senior figures in cricket broadcasting. “Someone has to pull back and say what does this ecosystem look like, and what it will look like five years from now, and what are the steps that we need to take to ensure that it doesn’t turn into a complete madhouse?” Whatever the future of T20 leagues, it will not look like the present. **** To understand the fragmented T20 ecosystem today, consider how we got here. Since the T20 Blast launched in 2003, leagues have popped up on the whims of national administrators, opportunistically slotted in whenever there is a brief gap in the calendar. Without broad agreement among administrators worldwide about what the calendar – both for T20 and across all forms – should look like, there has been a mad scramble, not unlike the Wild West of 19th-century USA. “It’s a bit of a land grab from these leagues,” says Pete Russell, the Caribbean Premier League’s (CPL) chief operating officer. “Everyone is trying to set them up and run them at 100 miles an hour.” The IPL, with its combination of the nation’s love for cricket, first-mover advantage and India’s huge economic heft, has long proved itself to be commercially viable, even though many teams did not consistently generate annual profits before the new broadcasting deal. And in Australia, the BBL’s popularity – it has regularly attracted TV audiences of 1 million a night, 4% of the population – means that its new broadcasting deal, which begins in 2018-19, seems certain to push the league into a healthy profit.

© ESPNcricinfo Ltd Elsewhere the picture is less certain. In South Africa’s new league, an investor pulled out of a franchise before the league was supposed to start, sceptical about the competition’s claims that teams would become profit-making from the third season. The CPL has lost money in each of its five years; Russell still considers it a few years away from turning a profit. The BPL makes a modest profit for the Bangladesh board, but the actual teams lose $1-1.5 million a year. Similarly, the Pakistan Super League (PSL) makes about $2.5 million a year for the Pakistan board, but the six teams lose at least $1 million a year each. All these leagues have a very clear problem – one even greater than the unfathomable worldwide schedule. “Most sporting events raise the vast majority of their revenue from their home TV market,” explains Paul Smith, a sports media expert from De Montfort University. This bodes ill for leagues in nations that are poor, small or both. And it suggests that, while leagues are focused on growing in India – “it’s something you should factor in when developing your league,” Lorgat said before leaving CSA – the country’s appetite for watching foreign T20 leagues is limited. Even football’s English Premier League, the world’s most successful league beyond its borders, only raises one-third of its total broadcasting rights from outside the UK. The same has proved true among T20 cricket leagues: the CPL, a league with a small domestic economy, raises only 35% of its broadcasting and commercial income from beyond the Caribbean. And so the fear is that the abundance of T20 leagues today isn’t borne of fans’ demand for T20. It is also borne of unjustified optimism about the global appetite for T20. After five years, successful competitions should be in profit, believes Simon Chadwick, a sports business expert. “In situations where this does not happen, investors and other stakeholders are entitled to question whether an organisation is being appropriately managed and led, when profit may ultimately be achieved, if an organisation should retrench from its existing position, and perhaps even look towards withdrawal or termination.” **** Given its uniquely favourable circumstances, the wider lessons from the IPL’s success are limited. Altogether more relevant is the BBL’s development.

“We treat our county matches as internationals matches, both in terms of the way we sell them and deliver the operation on a match day. A good customer experience is very important”  RICHARD GOULD, SURREY CHIEF EXECUTIVE

“The overall objective of the BBL was to appeal to non-traditional cricket audience,” recalls Anthony Everard, the league’s head. It sent “a very strong message: this is not cricket as you’ve known it in the past”. What has happened since points to how T20 leagues can grow interest in the sport, and hence the overall demand for watching cricket – and ultimately its commercial worth. The BBL’s success in growing an audience has been underpinned by its long-term planning. In its first broadcasting contract, it emphatically prioritised visibility and exposure – ensuring that every game was on free-to-air – over the short-term revenue maximising that would have come from a pay TV deal. “We don’t see it as a loss so much as an investment,” Everard says. “It’s no surprise any start-up will go through an investment phase, then you move into profitability.” The league’s ownership structure has reinforced this big-picture outlook. After flirting with private investment, the BBL instead opted to own the entire competition – everything from the league itself to the teams. Such a structure has given the league stability and the ability to absorb financial losses. Other leagues have followed the IPL’s model of private ownership. And while there can be benefits – owners’ entrepreneurialism, importing lessons from other sports, and developing brands in teams in different countries – the result is that leagues, and teams, are less patient about getting a return on their initial investment. In the stillborn GLT20, teams playing at tier one grounds agreed to pay CSA $5 million a year (those at tier two grounds agreed to pay $3 million) before their operational expenses and salaries, which together approach another $2 million a year. Such outlays encourage short-termism. “The business fundamentals of leagues are flawed because the operating expenses are so high,” believes the senior broadcasting source. “Everyone loses money so there’s no incentive to stay in the game.” So it proved in South Africa. The obvious way to make bankrolling teams cheaper is to lower costs. But this would reduce player salaries, making it harder to attract the stars that they need to attract interest in the league abroad. There is no easy way out of the quandary. Yet some clubs have found innovative ways to generate more revenue, which could provide a template for other teams. The BBL has been underpinned by vibrant local rivalries, with both Melbourne and Sydney teams playing each other twice a season. The league deliberately gave “every opportunity for rivalries to flourish,” Everard explains. “You can’t manufacture it. Fans are smart enough to know when something is authentic, or when it’s manufactured.”

Knight Riders Inc: outlets in Kolkata, Trinidad and coming soon to Cape Town Knight Riders Inc: outlets in Kolkata, Trinidad and coming soon to Cape Town © AFP/Getty Images Surrey provides an instructive case study in how T20 teams can develop brands. In a country where the T20 competition has been a source of ceaseless debate, Surrey have been uniquely successful in attracting home crowds. Over eight home games, Surrey’s total gate receipts more than doubled, to £2.1 million between 2013 and 2017, success that cannot be explained away merely by the advantages of being in London. “We started working on delivering one sell-out match – Surrey versus Middlesex – five years ago,” explains chief executive Richard Gould. “Once that became a regular sell-out game the demand and excitement has grown to other games. “We treat our county matches as internationals matches, both in terms of the way we sell them and deliver the operation on a match day. A good customer experience is very important.” The club has tailored its schedule, focusing on night games from Wednesday to Friday, which are best suited to the local market – especially post-work revellers – while developing bespoke corporate packages to generate extra cash. Similar traits can be seen in the BBL, especially its invented traditions – the New Year’s Eve game in Adelaide, New Year’s Day match in Perth and Melbourne derbies on the first two Saturdays in January. The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) have adopted a more pioneering approach – perhaps a glimpse of T20’s future. The Rajasthan Royals were the first IPL team to attempt to become an international brand, acquiring a stake in teams in foreign leagues and changing their nicknames to Royals. But so far no side has adopted the approach as rigorously as KKR, who have bought teams in the Caribbean – the Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR), the 2017 CPL champions – and South Africa – the Cape Town Knight Riders. “The question always was how do you keep your brand alive for the rest of the year, how do you grow your business and increase your revenues, grow your fan base and grow your brand?” says Venky Mysore, KKR’s chief executive. “What we landed on was to figure out a way to potentially own multiple franchises – or assets, as we call them – and in an ideal world we said that if we have three or four or five assets then it becomes a year-round activity.” The idea has several strands. One, to develop synergies in coaching and support staff – Simon Katich works across all three franchises, Jacques Kallis is head coach in India and South Africa, and the analyst and other staff work for all three teams – to develop competitive advantages on the field. Two, to collaborate between franchises off the field and share best practice in everything, from finance to contracts, marketing, digital content and merchandising. Sharing staff is, as Mysore explains, also financially efficient. And finally, to keep fans and sponsors engaged throughout the year.

So, alongside a booming IPL, a portrait of the future might be cross-nation leagues – an Asian league; teams from New Zealand, and perhaps even the Far East, in the BBL; and the CPL becoming an Americas League, gaining teams in Canada and the US.

“The two pillars on which you build a sports franchise are your brand and fan base,” says Mysore. Owning franchises outside India means “we are able to provide a lot more value for brand and opportunities for them to activate throughout the year as opposed to going to sleep for nine months a year before the next season happens.” Even so, getting KKR fans to follow Knight Riders teams in other leagues has proved challenging. Most of TKR’s matches in 2017 took place at 9pm local time – thereby best suited to the Indian market watching in the morning – yet Indian viewing figures remained significantly less than those for state Indian T20 leagues, like the Tamil Nadu Premier League. For KKR’s venture to move to the next stage – to become a tool for generating more revenue, rather than merely reducing costs – on-field synergies must increase. This year, Sunil Narine excelled for KKR in the IPL and then for TKR in the CPL, but rather than join Cape Town Knight Riders in South Africa, he signed for Dhaka Dynamites in the BPL instead. If the Knight Riders had, say, four players representing all three teams, it would be easier for them to develop a coherent identity. In the future, as already happens for coaches, players might sign contracts to represent a franchise across multiple leagues. Most importantly, some of those players should be Indian, giving Indian fans more reason to watch; instead, Indian players remain barred from overseas T20 leagues. Perhaps there are broader lessons about commercial viability from other sports. The socialist traits of US sports leagues – the draft system, and equitable sharing of revenue between teams, both of which are designed to ensure competitive balance and unpredictability – has influenced how T20 leagues are structured. Both the BBL and PSL have studied Major League Soccer in the USA, and how it established itself in a saturated sports market. To Everard, there are two transferable lessons: “Don’t try and be something that you’re not – they tried to Americanise soccer,” and to focus on playing games in suitably sized stadiums. Major League Soccer previously had terrible experiences playing in barren NFL stadiums. Sales of merchandise and licensing (allowing companies to use KKR’s name on their products) remain small – only about $1 million a year for KKR, under 5% of total revenue – although Mysore believes these can eventually be worth one third of KKR’s total revenue. The world over, franchises are experimenting endlessly in their attempts to raise more cash. Teams are gathering data on fans to sell to sponsors. Leagues are innovating in their use of digital media – the CPL started live-streaming games over Facebook this season – to engage new fans, and focusing on delivering bite-sized videos on social media. One hope is that the growth of satellite and live streaming through on-demand websites will increase competition for rights and drive up prices, just as happened with the IPL, when Facebook bid $610 million for the rights to stream five years of games.

Surrey fans pick up free merchandise outside the Oval during a T20 Blast game Surrey fans pick up free merchandise outside the Oval during a T20 Blast game © Getty Images Shoaib Naveed, the chief operating officer of the PSL’s Islamabad United, explains that trying to make a profit is “a learning curve. But slowly we are also starting to develop annual calendars carrying out activities – talent hunts, tournaments, matches – in the off season to keep consumer interest alive.” It will, he predicts, “take a few years for that to properly develop and gain a foothold in the sponsors’ mind.” **** Does making money actually matter? In 2017, even to broach the question seems sacrilegious. And yet, Premier League football owners routinely lost cash for most of the league’s history, with owners treating their teams as if playing a sports management computer game rather than running an actual business. There are psychic rewards – benefits that can’t be measured financially – to owning a sport team: associating with superstars, free publicity and public goodwill. Almost everyone who buys a team is passionate about sport, diluting their interest in making money from the side they own. Owning a sports team is also a symbol of wealth and brings visibility; George W Bush invested in Texas Rangers to increase his public profile and credibility before running to become US president. In Bangladesh, rich industrialists bankroll teams. They view running a franchise as “part of our CSR [corporate social responsibility],” explains Obeid Nizam, the chief executive of Dhaka Dynamites. Yet even there, owners are not content to suffer financial losses indefinitely. “The current BPL model is not a money-making model. We’re working on it and discussing with the BPL,” Nizam says. “We’ve written to them a number of times. They said they would sit down and think about it, but nothing happened.” He hopes that the BPL will consider a form of revenue sharing – like passing some of the league’s central sponsorship onto the franchises themselves – to militate teams’ financial losses. The world over, sports owners are increasingly demanding a return on their investment, in the way that has long been the case in US sports. Even in football’s Premier League, owners are learning how to make cash. While many football owners (like Jack Walker, a local steel magnate who led Blackburn Rovers to their only league title in 1995) once made a loss because of their support for the club, T20 leagues have been around for such a short period that there are no lifelong fans among today’s owners. They are naturally more driven by commercial imperatives, especially in nations where cricket is not the dominant sport and the reflected glory of owning teams is less.

As the chief executive of Brimstone Investment Corporation Limited said when the company withdrew from running the new Stellenbosch franchise in South Africa: “This venture had to undergo the same process and be tested against our standard investment criteria as all other investment proposals.” That it failed to do so was not merely a red flag for South Africa’s competition, but for leagues the world over. **** The global T20 calendar is only going to become more disjointed. Existing competitions are expanding – the CPL might extend by a week next year, and has designs on adding teams from Canada and the USA; Everard predicts that after its expansion this coming season, the BBL in five years’ time “will certainly have more games and I think it would be reasonable to assume that we will have more teams as well.” New leagues are launching. Minor ones, like Afghanistan’s T20 league (Shpageeza Cricket League), are making a renewed push for global attention. If the World T20 reverts to being every two years, as expected from 2020, that will further compress the space for leagues. And the IPL’s sheer economic might, with the BBL and perhaps the new English competition formidable too, could also undermine less lucrative leagues, because the extra money players could earn might seem insignificant set against the financial risk of being injured and missing the bigger leagues. It all adds up to the sense of a centre that cannot hold. “Personally as a cricket watcher and supporter of the game, I don’t think there is enough space for so many leagues,” says Naveed. “The ICC and governing boards, along with the various stakeholders, will have to come up with a more regulated and systematic structure that makes commercial T20 leagues more viable in the long run so that there is a balance between domestic T20s and international cricket.” More collaboration between T20 leagues is inevitable. The PSL has already been in communication with leagues in the Caribbean and Bangladesh about potential champion v champion matches. One solution is an old one: the Champions League, which was scrapped after its sixth edition in 2014. The competition was “ahead of its time,” says Everard. Franchises believe that the tournament could help them generate more cash and so make their T20 leagues more viable.

For most overseas leagues, it doesn’t make sense to bank on an Indian audience without having Indian stars for them to support For most overseas leagues, it doesn’t make sense to bank on an Indian audience without having Indian stars for them to support  notably the players eligible to represent multiple teams – there is broad support, including from KKR, for the tournament’s return. As the number of prestigious competitors has burgeoned, so the concept of a Champions League has become more relevant. But the league would need to acquire sporting equity it never possessed before, when it was jarringly skewed in favour of Indian representatives. Its nadir came in 2011, when, after injuries to Indian players, Mumbai Indians were allowed to field a fifth overseas player “to ensure the integrity of the tournament”. Yet even if the Champions League were revived, there remains a sense that the coming years will witness a reckoning for T20 competitions. “Market forces will determine how these leagues end up – which ones are successful and which ones are not. But I’m not convinced there is a market for all eight leagues or however many there are,” Russell says. And so after a certain point the tussle between T20 leagues threatens to become a zero-sum game – for one to grow, another will need to weaken. The supply of elite cricketers, and amount that fans will watch, is limited. Most importantly, for broadcasters, “the cash is finite,” according to the broadcasting official. “It’s not possible for the pool to just keep expanding.” Russell envisages “a culling of the leagues and further discussion of how do we all work this out together?” He believes they are also played over too many months of the year. “I don’t think anyone wants to see these T20 leagues going on all year. I just don’t think that’s sustainable. At the moment there’s no stopping the juggernaut.” Perhaps the most likely outcome is for a rationalisation – with the biggest leagues expanding, and others merging, across nations. Cross-nation leagues are common in other sports – rugby union now has South African domestic teams playing in European domestic competition – and might soon do so in T20 too. So, alongside a booming IPL, a portrait of the future might be cross-nation leagues – an Asian league, with teams from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan; teams from New Zealand, and perhaps even the Far East, in the BBL; and the CPL becoming an Americas League, gaining teams in Canada and the US. Leagues will also increasingly play games beyond their borders: the CPL, which already plays in Florida, is considering playing in Singapore and the UAE. The upshot could be a sanitised schedule. There would be fewer high-profile leagues, but these would grow in number of teams, fixtures and prestige. With fewer leagues, and a rationalised international calendar, scheduling clashes could be mitigated, ensuring that the best players were available more often. The availability of stars matters: one of the biggest determinants of overseas viewing for the CPL is whether Chris Gayle is batting. Eventually, the helter-skelter of T20 will give way to some sense of order and normalcy, and a schedule that becomes easier to comprehend. “I see it as the evolution of the sport,” Everard says. “Over a period of time things will settle down and a natural order will emerge. Ultimately it will come down to what the fan preference is.” The process of getting there will be Darwinian. For some leagues to surge to new heights, others may have to flounder – or cease to exist altogether.

By Tim Wigmore is a freelance journalist and author of Second XI: Article Courtesy –

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