Ask Steven February 22, 2007

Highest score to lose, and all in white

The regular Monday column in which Steven Lynch answers your questions about (almost) any aspect of cricket

Was Matthew Hayden's 181 against New Zealand the highest by someone who ended up losing? asked Muzammil from Pakistan (and many others)



Matthew Hayden: Australia's highest ODI scorer, and on the losing side © Getty Images

Matthew Hayden's 181 not out for Australia against New Zealand at Hamilton last week was indeed a new record score in a one-day international by a player who ended up losing. The previous record was 167 not out, by Robin Smith for England against Australia at Edgbaston in 1993 - a match in which Hayden played (it was his second one-day international). For a full list of the highest scores in one-day internationals, click here

I've noticed that in photos from the early World Cups, the players were all wearing white clothing. When did coloured one-day outfits first appear and when did they become universal practice? asked Perry Brown from Australia

The first World Cup in which the players wore coloured clothing was the fifth one, played in Australia and New Zealand in 1991-92 - it was also the first one to feature floodlit games and a white ball, so the coloured clothing was necessary really. The outfits were all in different colours, but the overall design was similar - and hasn't, in my opinion, been bettered in all the various incarnations of one-day kit since. As far as I can see, the last one-day internationals anywhere that were played in whites were the three Texaco Trophy matches played at the start of South Africa's tour of England in 1998.

Which Test player was nicknamed "Napper"? asked Jeremy McLeod from Sydney

This was the Australian Stan McCabe, who won 39 Test caps in the 1930s, scoring 2748 runs at 48.21. Probably his most famous innings was a magnificent 187 not out in the first Test of the 1932-33 Bodyline series at Sydney. McCabe apparently acquired his unusual nickname because he was once spotted by his team-mates standing next to a portrait of Napoleon Bonaparte, and they thought there was a similarity in their appearance.

Who were the five Wisden Cricketers of the Century, and who chose them? asked Richard Bartlett from Southampton

Wisden's Five Cricketers of the (20th) Century were named in the Millennium edition of the Almanack, in 2000. They were Don Bradman, Jack Hobbs, Viv Richards, Garry Sobers and Shane Warne. They were chosen by a 100-strong worldwide panel of prominent ex-players and journalists. All 100 of those asked included Bradman in their five, while 90 voted for Sobers. For more details of the voting, click here.

Who was the man who never played for India during the 1999 World Cup in England? asked Ananthasubramaniam from India



Amay Khurasia: a good look-see of the English countryside, but no action © Getty Images

The only member of India's World Cup squad in 1999 who didn't actually play in a match in the tournament was the Madhya Pradesh left-hander Amay Khurasiya: all the other 14 squad members got at least one game. Khurasiya did play 12 ODIs for India, the last one in July 2001. There were quite a few squad members in 1999 who never made it onto the field, including some rather surprising names: Nick Knight and Vince Wells of England, Simon Doull and Daniel Vettori of New Zealand, Mushtaq Ahmed of Pakistan, Keith Sheridan and Peter Steindl of Scotland, Chaminda Hathurusingha and Ruwan Kalpage of Sri Lanka, Nehemiah Perry of West Indies, and Dale Benkenstein, Derek Crookes and Alan Dawson of South Africa.

I saw on Cricinfo's player pages that Scott Coyte of New South Wales is listed as being 165cm tall. Is this a misprint, or is he the smallest paceman since John Wisden himself? asked Scott Andrawartha from Australia

I asked Cricinfo's Australasian editor Peter English whether he knew the answer, and he said that the NSW media guide gives Scott Hoyte's height as 1.65m. But he added, "Unfortunately I've never stood next to him." So then I asked Sudesh Arudpragasam of the New South Wales Cricket Association, and he admits: "Alas, it is a typo in the media guide. Scott is 175cm." John Wisden, who founded the famous Almanack in 1864, was known to have been smaller than 5 feet 6 inches (167.6cm).

And there's an afterthought on last week's question about "jaffas", from James Edward from New Zealand, among others:

"A Jaffa is a round chocolate sweet coated in an orange-flavoured red sugar shell. I've heard Richard Hadlee use the term, and this delicacy is certainly sold in Australia and New Zealand. Given the resemblance to a cricket ball, I submit that this is the origin of the word."

Steven Lynch is the deputy editor of The Wisden Group. If you want to Ask Steven a question, use our feedback form. The most interesting questions will be answered here each week. Unfortunately, we can't usually enter into correspondence about individual queries.