Since its inception, cricket has been the game of the masses. The British played it, and an Indian movie about cricket went to the Oscars in 2001. The 11th edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup, underway in Australia and New Zealand, has got fans in India enthralled by the quality of the games. Before the quarterfinals beginning on March 18, here are 5 facts about the sport that will surprise you.
1. Girl Power:
After the Gayle storm on Tuesday, double centuries are no longer an oddity in One Day Cricket. But the first double centurion in one day history is an Australian woman, Belinda Clark, against Denmark in 1997. She hit 22 fours at a strike rate of 147.74. She has been inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.
2. Good Luck Charm?
Richard Stokes is a 53-year-old business man. As a 10 year old, Richard saw English off-spinner Jim Laker take 10 wickets at Old Trafford. He then saw Anil Kumble take 10 wickets against Pakistan at the Feroze Shah Kotla in 1999.
P.S.: These were the only two tests Richard saw in his life.
3. God-Given Gift:
Before Corey Anderson broke onto the scene, Afridi held the record for the fastest one day hundred. Sachin’s bat was given to Afridi by former Pakistan fast bowler Waqar Younis in 1996, who then went on to score a 100 off 37 balls.
4. Blurred, Blurre, Blur, Blu:
Malinga, famous for his toe-crushers and hairstyle, was terrorising Kiwi batsmen in Napier in 2005. The New Zealand captain made an unusual request for umpires Steve Bucknor and Darrell Hair to change their black trousers. The reason was that Malinga’s low bowling action and black trousers meant the ball was not seen.
5. The 4-Year Redemption:
Mahendra Singh Dhoni hit the famous six on the night of April 2, 2011 off Kulasekara, which gave India the World Cup. He bowled the first ball of the 2015 World Cup to Martin Guptill which was a dot. Destiny’s child, eh?
P.S.: Sachin Fans, I am migrating.
By Shlomoh Samuel