August 5, 2013

Best actors in a supporting role

Substitutes who played a significant role while fielding in matches
22

Kevin Innes
It's many a batsman's dream: score a century then put your feet up for the rest of the match. And that's what happened to Innes in 2003: he made 103 not out as Sussex ran up 619 for 7 against Nottinghamshire in Horsham, and then immediately dropped out of the match to accommodate James Kirtley, who had been released from an England squad. Wisden reported: "Kirtley was there in time to see his alter ego reach 100. The situation was so unusual that the ECB computers - and at least one daily paper - credited the runs to Kirtley, who did take over in the field." It was the first century in first-class cricket by the 12th man - and remained Innes' only first-class hundred.

Gary Pratt
The Australians had already been grumbling about what they saw as England's tactical use of frequent sub fielders during the epic 2005 Ashes series, when Ricky Ponting was run out at Trent Bridge by a direct hit from one of them, Durham's Pratt. It was an important moment in the tight fourth Test - and provided one of the images of the series, as a scowling Ponting hurried off, only to spot the England coach Duncan Fletcher grinning broadly in the pavilion. Some choice language ensued. This - and a place on the open-top bus after the Ashes were won - was the highlight of Pratt's otherwise low-key career.

Gursharan Singh
A new Test record was set in Ahmedabad in November 1983 when Gursharan, a young Delhi batsman, took four catches as a substitute, three of them off Kapil Dev in the second innings. Gursharan, who was once marooned on 298 not out in a first-class game, played just one Test match, in New Zealand six years later.

Younis Khan
Gursharan's innings record lasted for almost 18 years, until Younis Khan grabbed four catches, all off the bowling of Danish Kaneria, as Bangladesh followed on in Multan in August 2001. It probably made up - if only slightly - for Younis missing out on a bat as five of Pakistan's top six scored centuries in a total of 546 for 3.

Sydney Copley
The first Test of the 1930 Ashes seemed to be tilting Australia's way when, chasing a distant 429, they reached 267 for 4. But then Stan McCabe hit Maurice Tate uppishly towards mid-on, where a member of the Nottinghamshire groundstaff, Copley, was fielding in place of the unwell Harold Larwood. Wisden informs us that he "made a lot of ground, took the ball at full length and, although rolling over, retained possession". England went on to win by 93 runs. It was Copley's only significant mark on the game: he made his first-class debut a week later, made only 4 and 3, and never played again.

Don Topley
Some 54 years after Copley came Topley. West Indies won their 1984 Lord's Test by cantering to 344 for 1 on the last day, but earlier in the match they had been in a spot of bother, only about halfway to England's first-innings 286 with five wickets down. Then a Malcolm Marshall hook flew towards the boundary, where MCC groundstaff lad Topley took a brilliant one-handed catch. Sadly, though, it didn't count: he had put a foot on the boundary rope, so it turned into a six. Topley had a long county career with Essex, during which he had a spell coaching Zimbabwe. He helped them upset England in the 1992 World Cup, and gleefully informed Graham Gooch, his county captain and England's skipper too, that he'd be mentioning it rather a lot in the upcoming season. "Trouble is," warned Goochie, "I don't get to too many second-team games…"

Billy Murdoch
The first substitute catch in a Test match was taken by a member of the opposing side… and the captain, to boot! When WG Grace injured a finger in the first Test ever played at Lord's, in 1884, the fielder who came out to replace him was the Australian skipper, Billy Murdoch. He was soon in action, when Australia's top scorer, "Tup" Scott, offered a catch off the legspin of AG Steel. Murdoch held on, and his side were all out.

Adam Dobb
The Lord's Test against New Zealand earlier this summer ended in comical fashion: the Kiwis' rapid decline to 68 all out was completed when Neil Wagner sliced high to long leg, where Dobb - one of two MCC ground-staff substitutes - just failed to cling on to a difficult swirler. But the batsmen indulged in a spot of ball-watching, and Wagner was stuck in mid-pitch when Jonny Bairstow's return hurtled in to James Anderson. The other sub was Billy Root, younger brother of England's Joe.

Peter Cantrell
If the Queensland batsman Cantrell had known he was going to be asked to be Australia's emergency fielder during the first Ashes Test of 1990-91 in Brisbane, he probably wouldn't have gone to a nightclub at all, let alone stayed there till 3am. Somewhat bleary-eyed, he was sent out onto the Gabba - and hung on to two catches, one a blinder to account for Alec Stewart. Five years later Cantrell played for the Netherlands (where he'd coached and played for some time) in the 1996 World Cup.

Matt Boyce
Josh Cobb was the Man of the Match when Leicestershire won the Twenty20 Cup final at Edgbaston in 2011. But the award could easily have gone to Leicester's 12th man, Boyce, who took four catches, all off Cobb's bowling, as Somerset fell short. The previous year Boyce had won the match award in a T20 game at Edgbaston, against Warwickshire, after running three people out… again while on as a sub.

Mike Denness
The South African allrounder Eddie Barlow's hat-trick for the Rest of the World in an unofficial Test against England at Headingley in 1970 was completed in unusual fashion. The World XI only had one substitute of their own, so when Barry Richards (back) joined Rohan Kanhai (hand) on the injured list, it was England's 12th man, Denness, who trotted out. Come Barlow's hat-trick ball, and Don Wilson popped up a bat-pad catch to short leg - where a rather embarrassed Denness clasped it.

Steven Lynch is the editor of the Wisden Guide to International Cricket 2013

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on August 5, 2013, 13:57 GMT

    In 80s, India regularly used Ghulam Parkar as 12th man. Ghulam Parkar was India's Colin Bland, truly magnificent cover fielder. In fact he was best anywhere in the field. In 1983, Mumbai test, India v WI, Clive Lloyd was trying to extend innings as far as possible with the help of tail enders like Daniel & Davis was in sublime form. It was looking like there was only one way to get him out & thats what happned. Lloyd swept Shivalal Yadav delivery towards deep backward square leg . Ghulam Parkar sprinted from deep mid wicket and threw the ball back to kirmani with a flat one bounce throw so accurate that it nearly knocked off the bail (that too off one bounce). Too much for Kiri to miss it. Lloyd who otherwise was good runner with his long strides, was stunned. Parkar who played only one test for India (at The Lord's) was India's favorite 12th man for some time at home at least. being a Bombay player, I got to witness many such vintage Parkar moments in 1st class as well as club cricket

  • kirands on August 8, 2013, 3:11 GMT

    One instance of a substitute figuring prominently in a Test match, almost as sensational as the Gary Pratt one, was Madan Lal in an India-Australia Test match in Sdney in 1977-78. Peter Toohey who was on 85 swung Karsan Ghavri hard to deep squareleg but Madan Lal, the substitute fielder sprinted a good distance and came up with an extraordinary catch, and within a few minutes of this, India went on to win the Test by an innings and two runs.

  • brisCricFan on August 6, 2013, 5:38 GMT

    @FieryFerg - funny you mention that Peter Cantrell was a specialist gully fieldsman and replaced Carl Rackemann on that occasion.

    Qld's first ever Sheffield Shield victory was sealed when a screaming cut shot was taken in the gully region... by none other than Carl Rackemann.

    But notwithstanding - the recent English teams have substitutes in a line in the dressing room... it almost appears that each player keeps a spare in case they need a bit of a freshen up in between overs...

    Substitutions should only be permitted for injury/illness

  • neel219 on August 6, 2013, 5:01 GMT

    @alicheema - very true, that was the Test when Shoaib announced himself on the world stage. Also, i always felt that the Pak captain should have called Sachin back. he got out after his bat was grounded but was in the air after the collision

  • on August 5, 2013, 23:09 GMT

    James Marshall was used as a substitute fielder by England, before he had played for New Zealand. He was on a scholarship to Lords, and the English team decided to use him. It was a good choice as he took a sensational catch that turned the match in England's favour.

  • FieryFerg on August 5, 2013, 21:04 GMT

    Glad to see mention of Peter Cantrell - just highlights Aussie hypocrisy about the use of Gary Pratt in 2005. Cantrell was picked as sub because he was a specialist in the gully and that was exactly where he took the screamer to get Stewart. Think he was replacing Carl Rackemann who was a plodder, so not exactly a straight swap!

  • on August 5, 2013, 19:06 GMT

    Peter Cantrell still lives in the Netherlands and has a Dutch wife. He still played club cricket for Kampong Cricket Club up to about four years ago.

  • kalyanbk on August 5, 2013, 17:33 GMT

    I remember that WV Raman was used as a close in catcher in the 1992/93 England Series of India. Someone would always mysteriously find a way to leave the field and WV Raman would end up in a close in catching position and took some stunners off Kumble and Raju.

  • alwai on August 5, 2013, 16:16 GMT

    During England's tour of India during 1961 some of the English players were sick and they were unable to field with 11 players.India's reserve player A.G.Kirpal Singh of the then Madras team fielded for England as substitute if my memory is right he took a catch also.India won the series.

  • on August 5, 2013, 15:10 GMT

    In 2nd T20 between Pak Vs Aus in UAE 2012, Yasir Arafat played an excellent role as a substitute. When he came into field it immediately change the complexion of the game, by taking a brilliant catch of top scorer G. Bailey and a direct hit run out from a throw near to boundary.

  • on August 5, 2013, 13:57 GMT

    In 80s, India regularly used Ghulam Parkar as 12th man. Ghulam Parkar was India's Colin Bland, truly magnificent cover fielder. In fact he was best anywhere in the field. In 1983, Mumbai test, India v WI, Clive Lloyd was trying to extend innings as far as possible with the help of tail enders like Daniel & Davis was in sublime form. It was looking like there was only one way to get him out & thats what happned. Lloyd swept Shivalal Yadav delivery towards deep backward square leg . Ghulam Parkar sprinted from deep mid wicket and threw the ball back to kirmani with a flat one bounce throw so accurate that it nearly knocked off the bail (that too off one bounce). Too much for Kiri to miss it. Lloyd who otherwise was good runner with his long strides, was stunned. Parkar who played only one test for India (at The Lord's) was India's favorite 12th man for some time at home at least. being a Bombay player, I got to witness many such vintage Parkar moments in 1st class as well as club cricket

  • kirands on August 8, 2013, 3:11 GMT

    One instance of a substitute figuring prominently in a Test match, almost as sensational as the Gary Pratt one, was Madan Lal in an India-Australia Test match in Sdney in 1977-78. Peter Toohey who was on 85 swung Karsan Ghavri hard to deep squareleg but Madan Lal, the substitute fielder sprinted a good distance and came up with an extraordinary catch, and within a few minutes of this, India went on to win the Test by an innings and two runs.

  • brisCricFan on August 6, 2013, 5:38 GMT

    @FieryFerg - funny you mention that Peter Cantrell was a specialist gully fieldsman and replaced Carl Rackemann on that occasion.

    Qld's first ever Sheffield Shield victory was sealed when a screaming cut shot was taken in the gully region... by none other than Carl Rackemann.

    But notwithstanding - the recent English teams have substitutes in a line in the dressing room... it almost appears that each player keeps a spare in case they need a bit of a freshen up in between overs...

    Substitutions should only be permitted for injury/illness

  • neel219 on August 6, 2013, 5:01 GMT

    @alicheema - very true, that was the Test when Shoaib announced himself on the world stage. Also, i always felt that the Pak captain should have called Sachin back. he got out after his bat was grounded but was in the air after the collision

  • on August 5, 2013, 23:09 GMT

    James Marshall was used as a substitute fielder by England, before he had played for New Zealand. He was on a scholarship to Lords, and the English team decided to use him. It was a good choice as he took a sensational catch that turned the match in England's favour.

  • FieryFerg on August 5, 2013, 21:04 GMT

    Glad to see mention of Peter Cantrell - just highlights Aussie hypocrisy about the use of Gary Pratt in 2005. Cantrell was picked as sub because he was a specialist in the gully and that was exactly where he took the screamer to get Stewart. Think he was replacing Carl Rackemann who was a plodder, so not exactly a straight swap!

  • on August 5, 2013, 19:06 GMT

    Peter Cantrell still lives in the Netherlands and has a Dutch wife. He still played club cricket for Kampong Cricket Club up to about four years ago.

  • kalyanbk on August 5, 2013, 17:33 GMT

    I remember that WV Raman was used as a close in catcher in the 1992/93 England Series of India. Someone would always mysteriously find a way to leave the field and WV Raman would end up in a close in catching position and took some stunners off Kumble and Raju.

  • alwai on August 5, 2013, 16:16 GMT

    During England's tour of India during 1961 some of the English players were sick and they were unable to field with 11 players.India's reserve player A.G.Kirpal Singh of the then Madras team fielded for England as substitute if my memory is right he took a catch also.India won the series.

  • on August 5, 2013, 15:10 GMT

    In 2nd T20 between Pak Vs Aus in UAE 2012, Yasir Arafat played an excellent role as a substitute. When he came into field it immediately change the complexion of the game, by taking a brilliant catch of top scorer G. Bailey and a direct hit run out from a throw near to boundary.

  • on August 5, 2013, 15:03 GMT

    @balajik1968, it was Yajurvindra Singh's debut. He was not 12th man. & in his debut test he equalled Vic Richardson'e record in the 1st innings & after 2nd innings equalled Richardson's grandson's record for test matches. Incredible for someone who played only 4 matches & finds himself in record books.

  • balajik1968 on August 5, 2013, 14:27 GMT

    I may be wrong, but Yajuvendra Singh created a record with 7 catches in Bangalore in the 1976-77 India England series. What I don't remember is if he was in the India XI.

  • MENDIS_Forever on August 5, 2013, 14:13 GMT

    How can you ignore "Rhett Lockyear" of Australia? He got a chance to be a substitute in a Test match against Sri Lanka in 2007.And he took a catch and 2 run-outs!

  • vk18rox on August 5, 2013, 14:06 GMT

    WHat abt rahane :-) he played an imp role in the test side heheh

  • alicheema on August 5, 2013, 13:54 GMT

    @neel219 You are right, He was Nadeem Khan brother of Moin Khan, who thew the ball from mid wicket boundary, and it was Direct hit while Sachin was busy with colliding with Shoaib Akhter. Sachin was given out by 3rd umpire and crowd interrupted the play, eventually play started and Pakistan won the Test match. But that test match was more famous due to Shoaib's dismissing Rahaul Dravid and Sachin on consecutive balls.

  • neel219 on August 5, 2013, 12:42 GMT

    @Bilal - Thanks for the input. What a freakish dismissal that was!

  • on August 5, 2013, 10:53 GMT

    One of the classics would have to be Michael Maranta. Maranta, as twelfth man, batted in the second innings of a 1982/83 Sheffield Shield match between Queensland and New South Wales when John Maguire, who batted and bowled in the first innings, was called up to the Australian ODI side mid-match. Maranta batted with the permission of the NSW side, however his 11 runs at number 11 was not sufficient to prevent Queensland losing by more than an innings. Maranta was on debut at the time - does this mean that as twelfth man, he had 11 runs from 0 matches?

  • 4test90 on August 5, 2013, 10:36 GMT

    I would like to nominate T.P.Doropoulos who fielded for Aust vs WI in Dec 2009 at the WACA. With WI set 359 in 4th inns the ball seemed to follow him in the 4th evening twilight. He misfielded and dropped catches but at 7/279 miraculously caught Benn and Aust won by 35 runs.

  • Bilal_Choudry on August 5, 2013, 10:03 GMT

    @neel219 excellent point .. that guy was Nadeem Khan .. elder brother of ex Pak Captain Moin Khan

  • Jonathan_E on August 5, 2013, 9:24 GMT

    The irony with Gary Pratt was, although England seemed to be far too regularly using subs to give a bowler a few overs' rest after a long spell, Pratt was in fact on for the genuinely injured Simon Jones, who had only bowled four overs with the new ball before breaking down, could not bowl again in the innings, missed the last Test of the series with the same injury, and in fact never played Test cricket again thanks to a never-ending series of other injuries...

    And since England's "official" 12th man was Paul Collingwood, the best fielder in England (though he had been sent home, I assume to play for his county), the result would likely have been the same had it been Collingwood fielding in place of Jones.

  • on August 5, 2013, 6:44 GMT

    Robin Sims catching Allan Border at fine leg in 1989 - priceless. Top guy too.

  • neel219 on August 5, 2013, 6:10 GMT

    In the India-Pak test at Eden Gardens, when Sachin got run out after colliding with Akhtar, the throw from deep was by a Sub-Fielder too.

  • neel219 on August 5, 2013, 6:10 GMT

    In the India-Pak test at Eden Gardens, when Sachin got run out after colliding with Akhtar, the throw from deep was by a Sub-Fielder too.

  • on August 5, 2013, 6:44 GMT

    Robin Sims catching Allan Border at fine leg in 1989 - priceless. Top guy too.

  • Jonathan_E on August 5, 2013, 9:24 GMT

    The irony with Gary Pratt was, although England seemed to be far too regularly using subs to give a bowler a few overs' rest after a long spell, Pratt was in fact on for the genuinely injured Simon Jones, who had only bowled four overs with the new ball before breaking down, could not bowl again in the innings, missed the last Test of the series with the same injury, and in fact never played Test cricket again thanks to a never-ending series of other injuries...

    And since England's "official" 12th man was Paul Collingwood, the best fielder in England (though he had been sent home, I assume to play for his county), the result would likely have been the same had it been Collingwood fielding in place of Jones.

  • Bilal_Choudry on August 5, 2013, 10:03 GMT

    @neel219 excellent point .. that guy was Nadeem Khan .. elder brother of ex Pak Captain Moin Khan

  • 4test90 on August 5, 2013, 10:36 GMT

    I would like to nominate T.P.Doropoulos who fielded for Aust vs WI in Dec 2009 at the WACA. With WI set 359 in 4th inns the ball seemed to follow him in the 4th evening twilight. He misfielded and dropped catches but at 7/279 miraculously caught Benn and Aust won by 35 runs.

  • on August 5, 2013, 10:53 GMT

    One of the classics would have to be Michael Maranta. Maranta, as twelfth man, batted in the second innings of a 1982/83 Sheffield Shield match between Queensland and New South Wales when John Maguire, who batted and bowled in the first innings, was called up to the Australian ODI side mid-match. Maranta batted with the permission of the NSW side, however his 11 runs at number 11 was not sufficient to prevent Queensland losing by more than an innings. Maranta was on debut at the time - does this mean that as twelfth man, he had 11 runs from 0 matches?

  • neel219 on August 5, 2013, 12:42 GMT

    @Bilal - Thanks for the input. What a freakish dismissal that was!

  • alicheema on August 5, 2013, 13:54 GMT

    @neel219 You are right, He was Nadeem Khan brother of Moin Khan, who thew the ball from mid wicket boundary, and it was Direct hit while Sachin was busy with colliding with Shoaib Akhter. Sachin was given out by 3rd umpire and crowd interrupted the play, eventually play started and Pakistan won the Test match. But that test match was more famous due to Shoaib's dismissing Rahaul Dravid and Sachin on consecutive balls.

  • vk18rox on August 5, 2013, 14:06 GMT

    WHat abt rahane :-) he played an imp role in the test side heheh

  • MENDIS_Forever on August 5, 2013, 14:13 GMT

    How can you ignore "Rhett Lockyear" of Australia? He got a chance to be a substitute in a Test match against Sri Lanka in 2007.And he took a catch and 2 run-outs!