30 November 2009

Nervous noughties

Over on TMSB Exiles, groovyshortlegs noted

[Doug] Bollinger faces his first ball in ODIs, in his 5th match, and [he's] run out without facing another. He has one test, one innings 0*. 6 internationals, no runs, what's the longest streak I wonder?

Turns out the answer to groovy's question is Venkatesh Prasad. He had played in 12 internationals (all ODIs) before he registered his first international run. That run consisted of 2 ducks and 10 DNBs. Nathan Bracken played 11 ODIs before he even got a bat, but got off the mark at the first time of asking. Roger Harper played in 9 matches (3 ducks) before he scored his first run.

The players who actually got to the crease most times without scoring at the beginning of their careers were Brendon Bracewell (who started out with 5 0s - 4 in tests, 1 in an ODI) and Commandur Rangachari (who had 5 ducks before finally scoring in his fourth test).

At least Bollinger's matches have all come in 2009. Some players have taken up to a dozen years to get off the mark in international cricket. Top of the lot is Barbadian George Carew, who made his test debut for the West Indies v. England in Bridgetown on 8th January 1935. He was dismissed for nought in the first innings, and did not get the chance to bat in the second (due to what looks, from this distance, like a rather generous declaration). It was 1948 before he got another chance to break his duck, but it was an opportunity he seized, scoring 107 v. England in Trinidad. History has paid rather more attention to his opening partner, Andy Ganteaume (whose century remains the only one scored in a batsman's only test innings), but Carew set a record of his own by taking so long between his international bow and his first run.

Altogether, 65 players have seen at least a year go by between their international debut and the match in which they finally broke their duck:

Name InternationalDebut FirstRun Days 1. GM Carew 08/01/1935 11/02/1948 4,782 2. WH Copson 24/06/1939 16/08/1947 2,975 3. GP Swann 23/01/2000 01/10/2007 2,808 4. CM Bandara 27/05/1998 10/12/2005 2,754 5. TWJ Goddard 25/07/1930 24/07/1937 2,556 6. A Mishra 13/04/2003 06/11/2008 2,034 7. WCA Ganegama 08/04/2001 26/01/2006 1,754 8. Saiful Islam 31/12/1990 05/04/1995 1,556 9. G Duckworth 26/07/1924 11/08/1928 1,477 10. GRA de Silva 14/06/1975 09/06/1979 1,456 11. Sarfraz Nawaz 06/03/1969 29/12/1972 1,394 12. Shabbir Ahmed 19/09/1999 18/05/2003 1,337 13. RA Gaunt 24/01/1958 17/08/1961 1,301 14. GJ Hopkins 29/06/2004 20/12/2007 1,269 15. RJ Bright 30/03/1974 04/06/1977 1,162 16. PR Downton 23/12/1977 13/02/1981 1,148 17. MG Webb 05/03/1971 01/03/1974 1,092 18. DJG Sammy 08/07/2004 07/06/2007 1,064 19. AS Luseno 06/04/2003 01/03/2006 1,060 20. HT Davis 18/04/1994 14/02/1997 1,033 21. JP Yadav 06/11/2002 26/08/2005 1,024 22. NW Bracken 11/01/2001 26/10/2003 1,018 23. Munir Malik 04/12/1959 05/07/1962 944 24. TG Shaw 10/11/1991 08/04/1994 880 25. GB Troup 16/10/1976 16/02/1979 853 26. A Nehra 24/02/1999 07/06/2001 834 27. Arshad Khan 01/02/1993 11/04/1995 799 28. RD Jackman 13/07/1974 28/08/1976 777 29. HAPW Jayawardene 28/06/2000 21/07/2002 753 30. GB Legge 24/12/1927 10/01/1930 748 31. Tauseef Ahmed 27/02/1980 05/03/1982 737 32. BW Hilfenhaus 14/01/2007 16/01/2009 733 33. G Geary 26/07/1924 10/07/1926 714 34. ML Patel 14/09/2004 15/08/2006 700 35. PJ Ongondo 30/09/1999 18/08/2001 688 36. CPH Ramanayake 08/03/1986 02/01/1988 665 37. G Noblet 03/03/1950 22/12/1951 659 38. Shakeel Ahmed 01/05/1993 07/02/1995 647 39. PE McIntyre 26/01/1995 10/10/1996 623 =39. GN de Silva 30/04/1983 12/01/1985 623 41. JM Patel 26/02/1955 19/10/1956 601 42. W Mwayenga 24/11/2002 29/05/2004 552 =42. ML Nkala 27/09/1998 01/04/2000 552 44. Abdur Rauf 02/02/2008 04/07/2009 518 45. DB Close 23/07/1949 22/12/1950 517 46. H Verity 29/07/1931 02/12/1932 492 47. TB Mitchell 10/02/1933 08/06/1934 483 48. M Hayward 18/08/1998 09/12/1999 478 49. CL White 09/10/2005 14/01/2007 462 50. PK Lee 18/12/1931 23/02/1933 433 51. AL Logie 19/12/1981 23/02/1983 431 52. RS Ghai 05/12/1984 26/01/1986 417 53. PS Vaidya 22/02/1995 12/04/1996 415 54. KS More 05/12/1984 18/01/1986 409 55. Alamgir Kabir 21/07/2002 27/08/2003 402 56. GI Allott 13/01/1996 06/02/1997 390 57. Sarandeep Singh 25/11/2000 19/12/2001 389 58. SP Gupte 30/12/1951 21/01/1953 388 59. WB Phillips 22/10/1982 11/11/1983 385 60. E Otieno 18/10/2007 31/10/2008 379 61. MG Hughes 13/12/1985 26/12/1986 378 62. DI Joyce 13/06/2006 23/06/2007 375 63. VM Muddiah 12/12/1959 16/12/1960 370 64. GP Wickramasinghe 31/12/1990 02/01/1992 367 65. AP Grayson 10/10/2000 10/10/2001 365

By the way, the player who had most FC games under his belt without scoring had the misfortune never to record that elusive first run. John Howarth played 13 matches for Nottinghamshire in 1966 & 1967; in that time he registered 7 ducks (3 not-out) and 16 DNBs, but he never saw the scoreboard tick over next to his number. A similar fate was met by Somerset's Seymour Clark, who may have only played 5 FC games but, in that time, he managed 2 more innings than Howarth without ever scoring a run. It's probably not surprising that he got dropped after that.


UPDATE: Doug Bollinger finally got off the mark in the second innings of Australia's third test v. West Indies at Perth. That was his fourth visit to the crease in his tenth international game, meaning he's ended up in equal-third place with Roger Harper and RL Sanghvi.

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