Fifty tons of runs, and no bowling in Tests
Sachin Tendulkar has reached 50,000 runs in all forms of cricket. How many other players have done this? asked Mohammed Wasi via Facebook
Sachin Tendulkar was the 16th player - but the first from India - to reach a grand total of 50,000 runs in all forms of senior cricket (first-class, List A one-day matches and T20 games). The list is headed by Graham Gooch, with 67,057 runs all told (44,846 in first-class cricket, and 22,211 in List A games). Not far behind is Graeme Hick, with 64,372. In third place is Jack Hobbs, the old Surrey and England opener, whose 61,670 runs all came in first-class cricket and constitute the overall record for that. For the full list, click here. For the benefit of newcomers I should probably explain that "List A" is a title given by statisticians to all senior one-day limited-overs games, including ODIs but excluding T20s, which have their own category.
Who has played the most Test matches without ever bowling? asked Keith Spencer from England
Australia's Ian Healy leads this list: he never turned his arm over during the course of 119 Tests between 1988-99 and 1999-2000. Second is the leading non-wicketkeeper, Stephen Fleming of New Zealand, with 111: the only other man to play a century of Tests without ever bowling is Andrew Strauss, who won exactly 100 caps.
Which umpire officiated in the most County Championship matches - is it Dickie Bird? asked Charles Radcliffe from London
Dickie Bird stood in 351 County Championship matches during a long career that stretched from 1970 to 1998. But his international commitments (66 Tests, a record at the time of his last one) and the reduced number of Championship matches in his time, compared to earlier eras, mean that Dickie is actually well down this list, which is headed by the old Kent player Tommy Spencer: he officiated in no fewer than 570 Championship matches in an umpiring career that stretched from 1950 to 1980. Four others stood in more than 500: Frank Chester 531 (1922-55), David Constant 523 (1969-2006), Harry Baldwin 517 (1932-62) and Alan Whitehead 511 (1970-2005). Constant spent a record 38 seasons on the English first-class panel (he was only 27 when he joined it in 1969), and Whitehead 36.
Rohit Sharma has scored 2558 runs in ODIs without ever playing a Test. Is this a record? asked Ahmed Suleiman from Kolkata
The only man to have scored more runs in one-day internationals without playing in a Test is Steve Tikolo, of Kenya, who made 3421 runs in 134 matches. Rohit Sharma, who lies second on the list, recently became the first man from a Test-playing country to appear in 100 ODIs without winning a Test cap (Suresh Raina held the previous record with 98 before his Test debut). Thomas Odoyo (2418) and Kennedy Otieno (2016) of Kenya, and Ireland's William Porterfield (2060) have all reached 2000 runs without winning a five-day cap: next on this list from Test-playing countries are Kieron Pollard of West Indies (1869 runs) and Australia's David Hussey (1763).
I read that Tony Dodemaide of Australia played his first four Tests against four different countries. The word "uniquely" was used to describe this, so is it a record? asked Hemant Kher from the United States
Tony Dodemaide did do it in 1987-88, and what was peculiar was that his first four Tests - against New Zealand, Sri Lanka, England and Pakistan - were successive matches for Australia, so it wasn't a case of him being in and out of the side. But it wasn't unique, even then: the Scottish-born Middlesex and England opener Eric Russell had played his first five Tests against different countries during the 1960s (Pakistan, India, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand). Since then three others have replicated Russell's feat: Robin Peterson, the South African slow left-armer; Trent Boult, the current New Zealand quick bowler; and the Bangladesh fast bowler Hasibul Hossain, who actually only played five Tests, all against different opposition.
Who is the youngest man to play for England in a Test match and in a one-day international? asked Nair Ottappalam from India
England's youngest Test player remains Brian Close, who was 18 years 149 days old when he made his debut against New Zealand at Old Trafford in 1949. Four other Englishmen won their first caps aged 19: Jack Crawford (1905-06), Denis Compton (1937), Ben Hollioake (1997) and Ian Peebles (1927-28). Although Close played only 22 Tests, his international career lasted until 1976 - when, aged 45 years 140 days, and again at Old Trafford - he ended up as the 11th-oldest England Test cricketer. Ben Hollioake, at 19 years 195 days in 1997, was also England's youngest player in a one-day international: Stuart Broad (20 years 67 days in 2006) is the youngest of 11 20-year-olds to have played. Just to complete the set, England's youngest player in a T20 international so far was Broad, again in 2006: Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler were also under 21 when they made their debuts in 2011.
Steven Lynch is the editor of the Wisden Guide to International Cricket 2013. Ask Steven is now on Facebook