Pakistan and Australia clash for the first time since February 2005 today, at an unfamiliar cricket location - Dubai. One-day international cricket has been played in two other Emirates, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi, and Dubai will become its 172nd venue. However, for most of Australia's touring party, this is the first time they will be competing in the UAE. In this week's list, we looked at which players have won matches in the most countries, which batsmen have scored centuries in the most countries and so on.
Inzamam-ul-Haq is the only player to have won a Test in all 11 countries - the 11th being Sharjah - that he has played in. Four of his team-mates have also played Tests in as many countries but participated in victories in only 10. Waqar Younis did not win a game in the West Indies (which we've counted as one country), Younis Khan hasn't had success in Australia, Mohammad Yousuf missed out in Australia and West Indies, and Saqlain Mushtaq did not win in South Africa, Sri Lanka and West Indies.
Steve Waugh, Mark Waugh, Glenn McGrath and Justin Langer won a Test in all 10 countries they went to - they never toured Bangladesh. Ricky Ponting and Shane Warne travelled to 11 nations for Test cricket but won in only 10. Warne toured Pakistan only once, in 1994, a series Pakistan won 1-0, while Ponting played only a solitary Test in Pakistan in 1998, which was drawn. Ian Healy, Matthew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist won in nine out of nine countries. Healy didn't go to UAE and Bangladesh, and Hayden and Gilchrist didn't go to Pakistan and Zimbabwe.
Four Indian players - Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and Virender Sehwag - registered their first win in New Zealand after the recent win in Hamilton and now have victories in all 10 countries they've played Test cricket in.
Dravid, though, is the only batsman to have scored a century in all Test-playing nations. He completed the set by scoring 160 against Bangladesh in Chittagong in 2004. Steve Waugh and Sachin Tendulkar have scored hundreds in nine out of 10 countries. Waugh did not manage a century in Sri Lanka, a country in which he scored only 83 runs in five innings at an average of 16.60. Tendulkar scored three hundreds against Zimbabwe but none of them in Zimbabwe, where he had a high score of 74 and an average of 40 in seven innings.
India was Brian Lara's only bogey country among the nine he played Tests in. He didn't score a century there in three Tests, and surprisingly toured India only once for a Test series. However, he did play 31 ODIs in India, though he didn't manage a century in any of them either.
The highest number of countries that a bowler has taken a five-wicket haul in is nine, and only the leading wicket-takers in Test cricket have done it. Muttiah Muralitharan has missed out on a perfect 10 so far because of his performance in Australia, where his best innings figures in seven attempts is only 3 for 55. Shane Warne's taken five in an innings in nine countries but played in 11. The venues that escaped him were the West Indies, where his best figures in seven Tests were 4 for 70, and Zimbabwe, where he took 3 for 69 and 3 for 68 in his only Test in 1999.
Dravid has played one-dayers in 18 countries, the most for any player, and has been part of victories in 17 of them. The only country in which Dravid has not won an ODI is the Netherlands, where he's played two games in 2004: India lost the first, to Pakistan, and the next, against Australia, was washed out. Tendulkar has won in all 16 countries he's played in, and he wasn't part of the series in Netherlands. The only other players to win ODIs in 17 countries are Inzamam, Shahid Afridi and Yousuf.
Most players would part with an arm and a leg to have 12 ODI centuries, but Sanath Jayasuriya and Tendulkar have scored centuries in that many countries. Jayasuriya has played ODIs in 15 countries, and the ones in which he hasn't scored a hundred are Kenya, Morocco and Zimbabwe, where he's played six, five and 11 matches respectively. Tendulkar missed out in Canada, Ireland, Kenya and the West Indies.
Murali, who is the leading wicket-taker in ODIs, has taken four-wicket hauls in the most countries, 11, although he's played in 14. The ones that got away were Bangladesh, Morocco and Singapore. Wasim Akram, who was the record-holder before Murali overtook him, took four-wicket hauls in 10 out of 14 countries. He didn't manage any in India, Kenya, Morocco and Bangladesh.