Since cricket came to existence in the 16th century, the sport has undergone a constant evolution over the centuries. Cricket has produced some great players who have set some astonishing milestones, and sensational, breathtaking moments which have captured the imagination of the global audience. Let’s dig into the history books and look at Cricket’s Top Seven greatest stories.
1. Sir Don Bradman’s 52nd and last test match
Donald Bradman made 29 centuries in 52 test matches and 117 centuries in 234 first class matches and finished his career with an impeccable average of 99.94. In his final test innings, he needed just four runs to end with an average of 100, but he was dismissed for a duck and failed to complete what would’ve been the most amazing feat in cricket history. Sir Don was voted the greatest Australian of the 20th century.
2. Sachin Tendulkar’s 100 centuries and 200 test matches
India’s “Little Master” statistically holds 64 world records in the game, most by any cricketer. Sachin began his career at the tender age of 16 againt Pakistan and has since gone on to score 100 international centuries and complete 34,000 runs. He scored his 100th international century in an ODI against Bangladesh in 2012 and retired on the occasion of his 200th test match at Mumbai in November 2013.
3. Muttiah Muralitharan’s 1334 International
There is no bowler who comes remotely close to Muttiah Muralitharan in terms of deceiving the batsmen with his mystery. An unique off-spin action backed by a short run-up and wristy release made him one of the most difficult bowlers to face in the last quarter of a century. Muralithan has taken more than 1300 wickets in international cricket, and finished as the highest wicket taker in both forms of cricket. (With 800 Wickets in Test Matches and 517 in One Dayers).
4. Brian Lara’s 400 not out
Brian Lara, popularly nicknamed as “The Prince of Port of Spain” is, in many people’s opinion, the greatest modern batsman to have graced the game. Lara was one of the most technically gifted batsmen of his era and holds the record for the highest individual score in first-class cricket, with 501 not out. Lara also holds the record for the highest individual score in a test innings when he smashed 400 against England in Antigua to reclaim his record from Matthew Hayden.
5. Virender Sehwag’s 219 in an ODI
Virender Sehwag holds the record for the highest individual score in an ODI – 219 off just 149 balls on his way to becoming the second batsman after Tendulkar to achieve that landmark. Viru holds the record for the highest score made by an Indian in Test cricket (319), which was also the fastest triple century in the history of international cricket (reached 300 off only 278 balls) as well as the fastest 250 by any batsman, against Sri Lanka at Brabourne Stadium.
6. Jack Hobbs’s 61,237 runs and 197 centuries
Jack Hobbs‘s cricketing story is one of dedication, commitment and unmatched longevity. The sheer amount of runs he has scored and his 197 first class centuries are unparalled in the history of cricket. Jack Hobbs was also named in Cricket’s Greatest XI alongside the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Don Bradman.
7. Jim Laker’s 19 wickets in a test match
The record that will undoubtedly stand the test of time is Jim Laker‘s stunning 19-90 in a test match against Australia in 1956. Laker took 10 wickets in first innings and 9 wickets in the 2nd innings. Ten wickets in a Test innings has been repeated by Anil Kumble against Pakistan in 1999, but 19 in a test match will take some doing!