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George Binoy and Travis Basevi dig into our stats database

The series that ended it all

Eleven Pakistan players from the 2010 tour of England have not played Tests since. Which series have been the last for the highest number of cricketers?

Travis Basevi and George Binoy

September 21, 2011

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Mohammad Yousuf cuts on his way to a half-century, England v Pakistan, 3rd Test, The Oval, August 19, 2010
Mohammad Yousuf is one of 11 Pakistan players for whom the tour of England in 2010 was the last © Associated Press
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"Having read David Tossell's Grovel about the England v West Indies series in 1976, it occurred to me that this series defeat signalled the end of the Test careers of seven England players - Edrich, Snow, Steele, Balderstone, Hayes, Ward and Close. Has any other post-war series reaped a higher toll on Test careers?" asked John Williams. We decided to find out, looking at series after World War II until the 2010 season.

There are eight other series after which seven players from a team never played another Test. The first of those was MCC's tour of West Indies in 1947-48, when several leading cricketers were absent. The MCC side lost the series 0-2 and it was the first time they had been winless through an entire tour. The captain Gubby Allen, Dennis Brookes, Harold Butler, Dick Howorth, Winston Place, Gerald Smithson - a Bevin Boy who needed special permission to leave the mines for the tour - and Maurice Tremlett, grandfather of Chris Tremlett, did not play again. For West Indies, Andy Ganteaume played his first and only Test in Trinidad, and became one of only two cricketers to score a century on debut and never play again.

The 4-0 thrashing of Australia in 1969-70 was South Africa's last series before they were isolated for Apartheid until 1992. So all 15 South Africans from that series never played Tests again, for South Africa that is. John Traicos played the last three matches of that series and, 22 years later, he played Zimbabwe's first four Tests, taking 5 for 86 in 50 overs on his second debut.

Most players playing their last Test for a team in a series (qualification: post-war only, until season 2010)
Team Series Season Result Last Total Mat List of players to not play again
SA v Aus 1969/70 SA 4-0 15 15 198 A Bacher (12), EJ Barlow (30), GA Chevalier (1), D Gamsy (2), TL Goddard (41), BL Irvine (4), HR Lance (13), DT Lindsay (19), PM Pollock (28), RG Pollock (23), MJ Procter (7), BA Richards (4), MA Seymour (7), AJ Traicos (3), PHJ Trimborn (4)
Pak v Eng 2010 Eng 3-1 11 16 375 Danish Kaneria (61), Imran Farhat (39), Kamran Akmal (53), Mohammad Amir (14), Mohammad Asif (23), Mohammad Yousuf (90), Salman Butt (33), Shoaib Malik (32), Umar Amin (4), Yasir Hameed (25), Zulqarnain Haider (1)
India v Pak 1952/53 India 2-1 10 26 70 L Amarnath (24), HT Dani (1), RV Divecha (5), HG Gaekwad (1), Gul Mohammad (8), G Kishenchand (5), RS Modi (10), S Nyalchand (1), Rajindernath (1), PK Sen (14)
Pak v Eng 1962 Eng 4-0 10 17 167 Alimuddin (25), A D'Souza (6), Fazal Mahmood (34), Ijaz Butt (8), Imtiaz Ahmed (41), Javed Akhtar (1), Mahmood Hussain (27), W Mathias (21), Munir Malik (3), Shahid Mahmood (1)
NZ v WI 1955/56 WI 3-1 9 20 37 RT Barber (1), DD Beard (4), JEF Beck (8), SC Guillen (3), JG Leggat (9), AF Lissette (2), TG McMahon (5), IM Sinclair (2), DD Taylor (3)
Eng v Aus 1989 Aus 4-0 9 29 161 KJ Barnett (4), BC Broad (25), NGB Cook (15), TS Curtis (5), GR Dilley (41), MD Moxon (10), RT Robinson (29), JP Stephenson (1), CJ Tavare (31)
Zim v India 2005 India 2-0 9 12 134 AM Blignaut (19), CK Coventry (2), KM Dabengwa (3), T Duffin (2), DD Ebrahim (29), GM Ewing (3), NB Mahwire (10), W Mwayenga (1), HH Streak (65)
SA v Eng 1948/49 Eng 2-0 8 17 103 OC Dawson (9), MA Hanley (1), TA Harris (3), LA Markham (1), A Melville (11), B Mitchell (42), L Tuckett (9), KG Viljoen (27)
SA v Aus 1957/58 Aus 3-0 8 16 94 CGD Burger (2), WR Endean (28), ERH Fuller (7), KJ Funston (18), JD Nel (6), VI Smith (9), CB van Ryneveld (19), RJ Westcott (5)
SA v Eng 1964/65 Eng 1-0 8 18 125 SF Burke (2), GG Hall (1), MJ Macaulay (1), RA McLean (40), JT Partridge (11), AJ Pithey (17), GD Varnals (3), JHB Waite (50)
WI v Ban 2009 Ban 2-0 8 12 45 RA Austin (2), DE Bernard (3), TL Best (14), RO Hinds (15), NO Miller (1), OJ Phillips (2), FL Reifer (6), CAK Walton (2)
Eng v WI 1947/48 WI 2-0 7 16 41 GOB Allen (25), D Brookes (1), HJ Butler (2), R Howorth (5), W Place (3), GA Smithson (2), MF Tremlett (3)
SA v Eng 1951 Eng 3-1 7 15 121 GWA Chubb (5), GM Fullerton (7), CN McCarthy (15), NBF Mann (19), AD Nourse (34), AMB Rowan (15), EAB Rowan (26)
Eng v India 1951/52 drawn 1-1 7 15 31 DB Carr (2), MJ Hilton (4), ND Howard (4), E Leadbeater (2), CJ Poole (3), F Ridgway (5), JDB Robertson (11)
NZ v Eng 1958 Eng 4-0 7 15 88 HB Cave (19), JW D'Arcy (5), NS Harford (8), JA Hayes (15), AR MacGibbon (26), T Meale (2), LSM Miller (13)
SA v NZ 1961/62 drawn 2-2 7 17 91 NAT Adcock (26), MK Elgie (3), PS Heine (14), GB Lawrence (5), DJ McGlew (34), S O'Linn (7), KA Walter (2)
Aus v Eng 1965/66 drawn 1-1 7 18 142 PJ Allan (1), BC Booth (29), PJP Burge (42), ATW Grout (51), PI Philpott (8), DJ Sincock (3), G Thomas (8)
Eng v WI 1976 WI 3-0 7 21 172 JC Balderstone (2), DB Close (22), JH Edrich (77), FC Hayes (9), JA Snow (49), DS Steele (8), A Ward (5)
WI v India 1978/79 India 1-0 7 14 83 HS Chang (1), AE Greenidge (6), VA Holder (40), RR Jumadeen (12), N Phillip (9), S Shivnarine (8), AB Williams (7)
Eng v Aus 2002/03 Aus 4-1 7 17 159 AR Caddick (62), JP Crawley (37), RKJ Dawson (7), JS Foster (7), CEW Silverwood (6), AJ Tudor (10), C White (30)

England used 29 players in the 1989 Ashes, which is the second most after the 1921 Ashes, when they used 30. Nine of those 29 did not play another Test after a 4-0 defeat.

In 2005, nine of the 12 Zimbabweans who played against India never played another Test because Zimbabwe suspended themselves from the format. They're back in the game, though, so Charles Coventry, who made his debut in that 2005 series, could play again if he can return to the Test side.

When Bangladesh toured West Indies in 2009, the home side was without most of its regular players because of a dispute with the WICB over contracts. As a result West Indies had a severely weakened team and lost the series 2-0. Of the 12 players they fielded, eight - Ryan Austin, David Bernard, Tino Best, Ryan Hinds, Nikita Miller, Omar Phillips, Floyd Reifer and Chadwick Walton - have not represented West Indies since.

Eleven Pakistan players have not played a Test since their participation in the ill-fated series against England in 2010 that was wrecked by the spot-fixing scandal; twelve if you count Shahid Afridi, who retired after the first Test against Australia at Lord's. Of the lot, Shoaib Malik might be closest to making a comeback, giving he was part of the recent series in Zimbabwe, although he did not play the Test in Bulawayo.

In one-day internationals, seven of the Sri Lankan players who were part of the 1979 World Cup squad did not represent their country again in the format: Stanley de Silva, Ranjan Gunatilleke, Sunil Jayasinghe, Tony Opatha, Sudath Pasqual, Anura Tennekoon and Sunil Wettimuny. It remains the highest number of players to end their careers in a particular one-day series.

Most players playing their last ODI for a team in a series (qualification: excluding non-Test teams, until season 2010)
Team Series Season Result Last Total Mat List of players to not play again
SL Prudential World Cup 1979 WI 7 13 19 DLS de Silva (2), FRMD Gunatilleke (1), SA Jayasinghe (2), ARM Opatha (5), SP Pasqual (2), APB Tennekoon (4), SRD Wettimuny (3)
Eng Prudential World Cup 1975 WI 6 13 54 GG Arnold (14), MH Denness (12), FC Hayes (6), JA Jameson (3), P Lever (10), JA Snow (9)
WI v Aus 1977/78 drawn 1-1 6 19 18 RA Austin (1), AE Greenidge (1), VA Holder (12), N Phillip (1), IT Shillingford (2), S Shivnarine (1)
Pak Pepsi Asia Cup 1994/95 India 6 15 18 Aamer Nazir (9), Ghulam Ali (3), Javed Qadeer (1), Mahmood Hamid (1), Nadeem Khan (2), Naeem Ashraf (2)
India Asia Cup 2000 Pak 6 15 751 M Azharuddin (334), N Chopra (39), A Jadeja (196), SS Karim (34), T Kumaran (8), NR Mongia (140)
Eng ICC World Cup 2002/03 Aus 6 13 494 AR Caddick (54), N Hussain (88), RC Irani (31), NV Knight (100), AJ Stewart (170), C White (51)
WI ICC Champions Trophy 2009/10 Aus 6 14 30 TL Best (12), RT Crandon (1), KOA Powell (2), FL Reifer (8), GC Tonge (5), CAK Walton (2)
WI v SA 2010 SA 5-0 6 16 210 DE Bernard (20), N Deonarine (20), ADS Fletcher (15), D Ramdin (81), DM Richards (8), JE Taylor (66)
Aus v Eng 1972 Eng 2-1 5 13 10 DJ Colley (1), JR Hammond (1), RAL Massie (3), AP Sheahan (3), GD Watson (2)
India v NZ 1975/76 NZ 2-0 5 14 12 BS Chandrasekhar (1), P Krishnamurthy (1), PH Sharma (2), ED Solkar (7), R Sudhakar Rao (1)
Aus Prudential World Cup 1979 WI 5 13 25 GJ Cosier (9), AG Hurst (8), JK Moss (1), GD Porter (2), KJ Wright (5)
Ban John Player Gold Leaf Trophy (Asia Cup) 1985/86 SL 5 11 10 Hafizur Rahman (2), Rafiqul Alam (2), Raqibul Hasan (2), Samiur Rahman (2), Shaheedur Rahman (2)
Zim Reliance World Cup 1987/88 Aus 5 14 39 RD Brown (7), KM Curran (11), MA Meman (1), GA Paterson (10), PWE Rawson (10)
Eng v WI 1988 Eng 3-0 5 12 107 BC Broad (34), GR Dilley (36), PR Downton (28), MA Lynch (3), NV Radford (6)
Ban Asia Cup 1990/91 India 5 12 29 Azhar Hossain (7), Gholam Nousher (9), Jahangir Alam Talukdar (2), Nasir Ahmed (7), Nurul Abedin (4)
Aus v Eng 1997 Eng 3-0 5 14 332 MTG Elliott (1), IA Healy (168), JL Langer (8), MJ Slater (42), MA Taylor (113)
Zim ICC World Cup 2002/03 Aus 5 17 629 ADR Campbell (188), A Flower (213), BA Murphy (31), HK Olonga (50), GJ Whittall (147)
WI Indian Oil Cup 2005 SL 5 14 141 OAC Banks (5), SC Joseph (13), JJC Lawson (13), RL Powell (109), RR Ramdass (1)
Aus v Eng 1970/71 Aus 1-0 4 11 4 AN Connolly (1), WM Lawry (1), GD McKenzie (1), AL Thomson (1)
India v Eng 1974 Eng 2-0 4 13 6 GK Bose (1), AV Mankad (1), SS Naik (2), AL Wadekar (2)

Travis Basevi is a cricket statistician and UK Senior Programmer for Cricinfo and other ESPN sports websites. George Binoy is an Assistant Editor at ESPNcricinfo

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George Binoy Assistant Editor After a major in Economics and nine months in a financial research firm, George realised that equity, capital and the like were not for him. He decided that he wanted to be one of those lucky few who did what they love at work. Alas, his prodigious talent was never spotted and he had to reconcile himself to the fact that he would never earn his money playing cricket for his country, state or even district. He jumped at the opportunity to work for ESPNcricinfo and is now confident of mastering the art of office cricket

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