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Full name Mervyn Gregory Hughes
Born November 23, 1961, Euroa, Victoria
Current age 53 years 125 days
Major teams Australia, Australian Capital Territory, Essex, Victoria
Nickname Fruitfly (the biggest Australian pest!)
Playing role Bowler
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm fast
|Test debut||Australia v India at Adelaide, Dec 13-17, 1985 scorecard|
|Last Test||South Africa v Australia at Cape Town, Mar 17-21, 1994 scorecard|
|ODI debut||Australia v Pakistan at Adelaide, Dec 11, 1988 scorecard|
|Last ODI||England v Australia at Lord's, May 23, 1993 scorecard|
|First-class span||1981/82 - 1994/95|
|List A span||1981/82 - 1998/99|
Merv Hughes was a big-hearted fast bowler who ultimately made a major contribution to Australia's fortunes. A crowd favourite, he was a lively character armed with an imposing run-up and delivery action, a classic fast bowlers' glare down the pitch, a mischievous sense of humour and a moustache of incredible proportions. And while his antics sometimes overshadowed his bowling, Hughes gave every ounce of effort to his country, and helped it to re-climb the ranks of Test cricket. Hughes made a comparatively modest entrance in the mid-1980s, but his value came to the fore against West Indies in 1988-89, when he lost pace partner Geoff Lawson to a broken jaw in the second Test. Hughes gained a hat-trick in that match, but his performance - 13 for 217 off 73.1 overs - illustrated his ability to combine the roles of spearhead and stock bowler.
By the mid-point of his international career, Hughes had improved his accuracy and variation and was using his bouncer, which remained a favourite throughout his career, with greater discretion. After ducks in his first three Test innings, he also become a handy batsman - albeit one who favoured a powerful, tail-enders' hoick over midwicket - and had a top score of 72 against the mighty West Indians of 1988-89. Hughes saved his greatest series performance for the 1993 Ashes tour, when bowling partner Craig McDermott was ruled out with a twisted bowel. Over the six Tests, Hughes took 31 wickets from almost 300 overs, helping Australia to a 4-1 victory.
Hughes sustained a serious knee injury during the series and made only a fleeting Test comeback the following summer, finishing with 212 career wickets. However, his enthusiasm for the game continued long after his international days. He appeared for the Canberra Comets during their experiment against the states in domestic one-day cricket, and became a veteran of his local club Footscray in Melbourne. A host of supporters' tours, he made the surprise step into high-level administration when he replaced Allan Border as an Australian selector in 2005. Dressed in a suit and with contemporary glasses he looks anything but the man who mixed jest with aggression as one of the country's most recognisable players.
Wisden Cricketer of the Year 1994
For 30 minutes, everything else took a backseat, as the world watched in awe and fear, a fired-up Pakistan fast bowler mercilessly bullying an Australian batsman
As a six-year-old, he watched Wasim Akram at the 1992 World Cup and decided that he would be a left-arm fast bowler. As a man, he put on a show very nearly as memorable as Wasim's 23 years before
The SCG might be India's preferred semi-final venue at this World Cup, but persistent rain in the lead-up has left them worried their spinners may not get the help they are widely expected to
This contest brings together a belligerent bunch of brats and braggers from two countries that are so different, yet share rampant egotism and a high opinion of themselves
Over the last few months, he has slowly moved from a flashy finisher, to a more measured risk manager
India's Plan A in this World Cup had worked flawlessly over seven matches. When they came up against the toughest opponents in the World Cup, however, they were left scrambling for a back-up plan
It was Grant Elliott and New Zealand's time in Auckland. Not South Africa's. But the Proteas will leave this tournament wondering when that will ever change. Maybe next time.