The column where we answer your questions November 1, 2004

The busiest umpire, and Geoff Boycott's near-miss

Steven Lynch answers your questions

The regular Monday column in which our editor answers your questions about (almost) any aspect of cricket:



Closing in on a unique milestone: Steve Bucknor © Getty Images

Has anyone umpired in 100 Test matches? asked Gautham Chawla from Kathmandu, Nepal

No-one has yet, but the leader on the list is closing in fast on the landmark - Steve Bucknor, the West Indian, is on his 94th Test as an umpire in the match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka at Karachi. For a rundown of the other leading Test umpires, click here.

Did Geoff Boycott ever score a century in each innings of a Test? asked John Hartwell from Kidderminster

No, he didn't - but he came as close as anyone possibly could do without actually managing it. Against West Indies at Port-of-Spain in 1973-74, he was out for 99 in the first innings and scored 112 in the second. For a complete list of batsmen who went one run better and did achieve the feat, click here.

Who were the key players the last time Australia won a Test series in India? asked Ramesh Partabh from Guwahati

A lot of the coverage of the current tour has mentioned the fact that Australia last won a series in India 35 years ago, in 1969-70. The captain back then was Bill Lawry, who is now a noted commentator, and his leading batsman was Ian Chappell, who's now a colleague in the TV commentary box. Chappell scored 324 runs in that series, prompting Lawry to dub him "the best batsman in the world" - a claim that drew hollow laughter during the tour of South Africa that followed, when Chappell did badly and was outperformed by the great South Africans Graeme Pollock and Barry Richards. Also in India in 1969-70 Keith Stackpole made a century in the first Test at Bombay, where Australia won by eight wickets, Paul Sheahan made one in the drawn second Test, Chappell hit 138 in the third (which India won) and added 99 in the fourth, where Australia emerged victorious. The Aussies clinched the series at Madras, where Doug Walters scored 102. Their leading bowlers were the pacemen Graham McKenzie (21 wickets) and Alan Connolly (17), and the offspinner Ashley Mallett, with 28.

Who was the 100th Pakistan Test player? And who was the 200th? asked Mehmood Hussain from London

The second part is quite easy, as they haven't yet had 200 - Riaz Afridi and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, who made their debuts in the second Test against Sri Lanka at Karachi last week, were the 181st and 182nd players to represent Pakistan in Tests. No. 100 was Mohsin Kamal, the fast bowler, against England at Lahore in 1983-84.

Was Stephen Fleming's 202 the highest Test score at the Chittagong ground? asked Murray Johnson from Wellington

Last week's match was only the sixth Test to be played at Chittagong, but Fleming's 202 was the third double-century to be scored there - all of them against Bangladesh. The highest so far is 222 not out, by Jacques Rudolph - on his Test debut too - for South Africa in 2003. The first Test double-century there was Yousuf Youhana's 204 not out for Pakistan in 2001-02.

With the sad passing of Keith Miller, how many of Don Bradman's 1948 "Invincibles" are still alive? asked Bryce Johnson from Melbourne

I hope I'm not tempting fate with this one, but at the time of writing six members of that touring team - rated by many as the best Test side of all - are still with us. Bill Brown, the stylish opener who is currently Australia's oldest surviving Test cricketer, is 92. Ron Hamence, the South Australian batsman, is 89 in November. Sam Loxton, the combative Victorian allrounder, is 83. Arthur Morris, another opener, is 82, as is Bill Johnston, the versatile left-arm bowler. And Neil Harvey, the prolific left-hander and the "baby" of that touring party, is now 76.

Steven Lynch is editor of Wisden Cricinfo. If you want to Ask Steven a question, e-mail him at asksteven@cricinfo.com. The most interesting questions will be answered each week in this column. Unfortunately, we can't usually enter into correspondence about individual queries.

The Wisden Cricket Quiz Book, compiled by Steven Lynch, is published today by John Wisden & Co., priced £7.99. To order a copy through Cricshop, click here.