When being too old, or young, didn't matter - Part 2
Have you ever felt too old on a cricket field especially when your team-mates and opponents are younger and sprightlier than you are? Or have you felt out of your depth because everyone else was older, bigger and stronger? In this week's column, though, we've looked at players for whom age didn't matter for they topped the runs and wickets lists in ODI series and tournaments despite being either the oldest or youngest player involved. We did the Test version a few weeks ago.
Geoff Boycott is the oldest player to score the most runs in a series. He was a few weeks away from his 40th birthday when he made 99 and 78 in two ODIs against Australia in August 1980. His aggregate of 177 was the best in the series, ahead of Kim Hughes who scored 171. Boycott carried his good form into the Centenary Test at Lord's later that month and scored 190 runs, though this time he was beaten by Hughes, who made 201 in the match.
The only other 39-year old to top-score in an ODI series is Sanath Jayasuriya, who hammered 378 runs with an average of 75.60 and strike-rate of 126 during the 2008 Asia Cup in Pakistan. He had just turned 39 at the time. Jayasuriya celebrated his 40th birthday yesterday and now has the opportunity to become the only 40-year old to top-score in a series.
Herschelle Gibbs is the most recent player to have the highest series aggregate despite being the oldest. He made 253 runs - seven more than AB de Villiers in second place - at an average of 50.60 in five innings against Australia in April this year.
|JH Edrich (Eng)||2||2||109||90||54.50||0||1||37y 25d||v India||1974|
|G Boycott (Eng)||2||2||177||99||88.50||0||2||39y 306d||v Australia||1980|
|Zaheer Abbas (Pak)||4||4||346||118||86.50||3||0||35y 181d||v India||1982/83|
|Zaheer Abbas (Pak)||4||4||153||73||38.25||0||1||37y 136d||v New Zealand||1984/85|
|IVA Richards (WI)||5||5||260||80*||86.66||0||3||33y 274d||v Pakistan||1985/86|
|SM Gavaskar (India)||3||3||163||92||54.33||0||2||36y 282d||Austral-Asia Cup||1985/86|
|SM Gavaskar (India)||5||5||202||70*||50.50||0||2||37y 191d||v Sri Lanka||1986/87|
|M Amarnath (India)||5||5||262||100*||65.50||1||2||37y 123d||v West Indies||1987/88|
|DL Haynes (WI)||4||4||268||115||67.00||1||2||38y 18d||v England||1993/94|
|Saleem Malik (Pak)||5||4||223||93*||111.50||0||3||31y 130d||v Sri Lanka||1994|
|GA Hick (Eng)||3||3||180||87*||90.00||0||2||33y 273d||v Zimbabwe||1999/00|
|AJ Stewart (Eng)||7||7||408||101||81.59||2||2||37y 105d||NatWest Series||2000|
|SR Waugh (Aus)||3||3||161||114*||80.50||1||0||35y 79d||v South Africa||2000|
|ME Waugh (Aus)||9||7||542||173||108.40||3||2||35y 252d||Carlton Series||2000/01|
|ST Jayasuriya (SL)||1||1||46||46*||-||0||0||34y 141d||v England||2003/04|
|Inzamam-ul-Haq (Pak)||5||5||340||123||68.00||2||0||34y 21d||v India||2003/04|
|NJ Astle (NZ)||5||5||295||118*||73.75||1||2||34y 170d||v West Indies||2005/06|
|Inzamam-ul-Haq (Pak)||2||2||119||79||59.50||0||1||36y 47d||v India||2005/06|
|S Chanderpaul (WI)||3||3||202||116*||202.00||1||1||32y 325d||v England||2007|
|ST Jayasuriya (SL)||5||5||378||130||75.59||2||1||39y 6d||Asia Cup||2008|
|HH Gibbs (SA)||5||5||253||110||50.60||1||1||35y 53d||v Australia||2008/09|
It hasn't been as easy for the youngest player to be the series' highest-scorer because only three batsmen have done it, out of which two were contemporaries for New Zealand. Martin Crowe's effort, though, was in a one-off contest and not in a series. He was 20 years old and had scored only 10 runs in three ODIs before top-scoring with 66 against Australia in a bushfire appeal match in Sydney in March 1983.
A few years later, Ken Rutherford, also 20 but a few days younger than Crowe was in 1983, top-scored against Australia during a four-ODI series in New Zealand. It was only his second series and Rutherford made 178 with two half-centuries while Bruce Edgar, almost nine years his senior, was in second place.
Shivnarine Chanderpaul is the only player to have top-scored while being the oldest and the youngest player in the series. He was only 22 when he made 209 - no one else came close to 200 - in four innings against India in March 1997. Chanderpaul was 10 years older, and the only remaining West Indian player from the squad that travelled to India, when he made 202 in three innings in England in May 2007. Once again no one else made more than 200.
|MD Crowe (NZ)||1||1||66||66||66.00||0||1||20y 176d||v Australia||1982/83|
|KR Rutherford (NZ)||4||4||178||79||44.50||0||2||20y 144d||v Australia||1985/86|
|S Chanderpaul (WI)||4||4||209||109*||69.66||1||1||22y 253d||v India||1996/97|
Not content with merely scoring the most runs while being the oldest, Jayasuriya took his opportunities to top the wickets list too. It probably helped that Muttiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas didn't play the home series against Bangladesh in 2007, but Jayasuriya, a shade over 38 at the time, still beat the likes of Lasith Malinga and Dilhara Fernando to finish first with nine wickets in three matches at 7.55 apiece.
|Intikhab Alam (Pak)||1||56||36||2||2/36||18.00||0||34y 293d||v New Zealand||1976/77|
|JE Emburey (Eng)||1||60||53||2||2/53||26.50||0||35y 168d||v Australia||1987/88|
|JE Emburey (Eng)||3||198||139||6||3/31||23.16||0||36y 282d||v Australia||1989|
|Imran Khan (Pak)||3||54||28||5||3/18||5.59||0||37y 27d||v India||1989/90|
|N Kapil Dev (India)||3||158||96||9||4/31||10.66||0||31y 363d||Asia Cup||1990/91|
|Wasim Akram (Pak)||4||192||116||6||4/22||19.33||0||36y 181d||v Zimbabwe||2002/03|
|J Srinath (India)||7||398||201||18||4/23||11.16||0||33y 136d||v New Zealand||2002/03|
|D Gough (Eng)||3||162||120||7||4/50||17.14||0||33y 353d||v India||2004|
|D Gough (Eng)||3||141||92||7||4/34||13.14||0||34y 78d||v Zimbabwe||2004/05|
|Mohammad Rafique (Ban)||4||240||166||10||5/47||16.60||1||35y 201d||v Kenya||2005/06|
|PJC Hoffmann (Scot)||1||60||22||3||3/22||7.33||0||36y 164d||v Pakistan||2006|
|GD McGrath (Aus)||7||408||305||13||3/24||23.46||0||37y 2d||Commonwealth Bank Series||2006/07|
|ST Jayasuriya (SL)||3||107||68||9||4/14||7.55||0||38y 25d||v Bangladesh||2007|
|S Dhaniram (Can)||3||168||86||8||5/32||10.75||1||39y 258d||v Bermuda||2008|
Unlike instances of the youngest batsmen top-scoring in a series, which are rare, there have been plenty of series in which the youngest bowler finished on top of the wickets list. In fact there have been three such instances in the last year. Stuart Broad tied with Daniel Vettori with eight wickets during England's five-ODI series in New Zealand in 2007-08. Tim Southee, 19 at the time, returned the favour when New Zealand toured England in the summer of 2008, taking 13 wickets in five matches at 18.23 each.
The most recent bowler to take the most wickets despite being the youngest player is Keiron Pollard. He took nine wickets at 17.66 apiece - James Anderson also took nine but at 21.11 - in five matches when England toured West Indies earlier this year.
|Javed Miandad (Pak)||1||48||31||2||2/31||15.50||0||19y 126d||v New Zealand||1976/77|
|Sikander Bakht (Pak)||2||132||109||4||3/56||27.25||0||20y 272d||v England||1978|
|GF Lawson (Aus)||3||186||127||5||3/42||25.39||0||23y 179d||v England||1981|
|CJ McDermott (Aus)||3||192||153||7||3/46||21.85||0||20y 46d||v England||1985|
|C Sharma (India)||3||116||110||5||3/50||22.00||0||19y 234d||v Sri Lanka||1985|
|PAJ DeFreitas (Eng)||10||557||292||17||4/35||17.17||0||20y 333d||World Series Cup||1986/87|
|ND Hirwani (India)||3||180||129||10||4/43||12.90||0||19y 159d||Sharjah Cup||1987/88|
|CC Lewis (Eng)||2||132||105||4||3/54||26.25||0||22y 98d||v New Zealand||1990|
|DG Cork (Eng)||2||132||95||4||3/49||23.75||0||23y 18d||v South Africa||1994|
|DG Cork (Eng)||3||186||131||6||3/27||21.83||0||23y 290d||v West Indies||1995|
|HH Streak (Zim)||1||53||32||5||5/32||6.40||1||22y 336d||v India||1996/97|
|DS Mohanty (India)||2||114||89||6||3/31||14.83||0||21y 155d||v Sri Lanka||1997/98|
|AB Agarkar (India)||5||249||232||10||4/46||23.19||0||20y 118d||Pepsi Triangular Series||1997/98|
|DL Vettori (NZ)||5||216||170||6||2/37||28.33||0||20y 282d||v India||1999/00|
|DL Vettori (NZ)||5||288||165||9||4/24||18.33||0||20y 340d||v West Indies||1999/00|
|PP Chawla (India)||1||60||29||3||3/29||9.66||0||18y 181d||v Ireland||2007|
|VD Philander (SA)||1||35||12||4||4/12||3.00||0||22y 0d||v Ireland||2007|
|PP Chawla (India)||1||60||42||2||2/42||21.00||0||18y 235d||v Scotland||2007|
|SCJ Broad (Eng)||5||228||206||8||3/26||25.75||0||21y 230d||v New Zealand||2007/08|
|TG Southee (NZ)||5||264||237||13||4/38||18.23||0||19y 187d||v England||2008|
|KA Pollard (WI)||5||182||159||9||2/16||17.66||0||21y 312d||v England||2008/09|
If there's a particular List that you would like to see, email us with your comments and suggestions.
George Binoy is a senior sub-editor at Cricinfo