Andrew James Hall
July 31, 1975, Johannesburg, Transvaal
Right hand bat
Right arm fast medium
Andrew Hall is probably the only cricketer in the world to have been shot at point-blank range during a mugging and lived to tell the tale. Which is all the more remarkable considering that Hall took a bullet in his left hand as a mugger let fly six shots at him at an ATM machine late one night in 1998. Miraculously, the bullet lodged in his hand without causing serious damage and Hall recovered sufficiently to win a place in South Africa's one-day side against the West Indies in Durban in 1999. He was initially thought of solely as a limited-overs specialist and was a regular in the ODI side until 2007, taking part in South Africa's 2003 Cricket World Cup squad and the 2007 Cricket World Cup where he took a maiden five-wicket haul against England in Bridgetown.
For a while, he appeared to have slipped out of the selectors' minds until Australia arrived in April 2003 for three ODIs. With Herschelle Gibbs struggling for form, Hall was given a match as Gary Kirsten's opening partner. Against the world's fastest bowler, Brett Lee, Hall looked the part, scoring a composed 46 and it was enough to win him a place in the South African squad for Sri Lanka. When Gibbs was then out of the picture because of his involvement in the match-fixing scandal, Hall resumed his partnership with Kirsten and against a Sri Lankan attack which included Muttiah Muralitharan on a turning wicket, he made a most impressive 81.
An allrounder who also played indoor cricket for South Africa before breaking into the first-class game, he was not the only talented cricketer in the Hall family, as his father, sister and brother all played for South African representative teams. He was initially seen as a bowler - the livelier side of medium - and batted down the order, but his batting always carried a threat. During the 2003 England tour, he cemented his place with 16 wickets in the series, and ensured South Africa won at Headingley with a buccaneering 99 not out.
Hall was banned for two Tests in 2003 after he was found guilty of breaching two of the ICC's conduct codes during an ODI in Pakistan. He lost out on a place for South Africa's tour to Sri Lanka in 2004, but fought his way back into the side for a series against India. Given the task of opening the innings in a Test in Kanpur in November 2004, he made the most of the opportunity with 163, his maiden hundred. Kent and Worcestershire were the first English counties to show interest in signing him as an overseas player
He was a part of South Africa's nerve-wracking, unforgettable world record win over Australia at Johannesburg in March 2006. During a Test series against Pakistan in 2007, Hall was a constant source of drive for his team-mates, picked up the vital wickets of Inzamam-ul-Haq and Mohammad Yousuf at Newlands, and looked almost like Test cricket's version of the Supersub - a player who could come in to do many jobs. He earned a spot in South Africa's 15-man World Cup squad, where he took 14 wickets, but was excluded for the ICC World Twenty20 - a decision which prompted him to retire from international cricket in disgust with 21 Tests and 90 limited-overs matches to his name.
Northamptonshire swooped a couple of weeks later to secure his services as a Kolpak on a three-year deal, and it turned out to be a length and productive association, not ending until his release after a 2014 season which had brought Northants relegation but with Hall one of only two ever-presents in the Championship side, despite finishing the season at the ripe old age of 39.
He took over the Northants captaincy from his fellow South African Nicky Boje midway through the 2010 campaign and narrowly missed out on leading them to promotion to Division One the following summer before standing down after three years in the role.
Zimbabwe was another cricketing destination since his international retirement and he led the Mashonaland Eagles to victory in the inaugural Zimbabwean T20 competition.
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