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Ask Steven

How many overseas players have made their IPL debut before their first-class debuts?

Who has scored the most first-class hundreds without ever making a double-century?

Steven Lynch
Steven Lynch
Krishmar Santokie was the first overseas player to debut in the IPL, in 2014, without having played a single first-class match  •  BCCI

Krishmar Santokie was the first overseas player to debut in the IPL, in 2014, without having played a single first-class match  •  BCCI

Dewald Brevis made his IPL debut before playing a single first-class match. I know some Indians have done this, but is it unique for an overseas player? asked Shekhar Mehra from India
Mumbai Indians' 18-year-old South African signing Dewald Brevis - one of the stars of the recent Under-19 World Cup - is actually the sixth overseas player to appear in the IPL before making his first-class debut. The first was the Jamaican seamer Krishmar Santokie, for Mumbai Indians in 2014, and he's been followed by the Afghan spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Nepal legspinner Sandeep Lamichhane in 2018, Australian allrounder Chris Green in 2020, and the hard-hitting Singapore-born batter Tim David in 2021.
Santokie played a dozen T20Is for West Indies, and 119 T20 matches in all, but never did appear in a first-class match; Green (137 T20 games) and David (91, including 14 internationals) have not yet played first-class cricket. Mujeeb has played just one first-class match to date, and it was a Test - Afghanistan's first one, against India in Bengaluru in 2018.
No fewer than 63 Indians have played in the IPL before making their first-class debuts.
I notice that Shan Masood has a List A average of 57.46. Is he top of the list? asked Tom McGuirk from Canada
The Pakistan left-hander Shan Masood, who has made such a good start to his county career with Derbyshire, is actually third on this list at the moment (given a qualification of 50 innings). His current List A average of 57.46 puts him just behind Michael Bevan (57.86), but ahead of Virat Kohli (56.83) and Babar Azam (56.07).
The identity of the top man is rather a surprise: it's Warwickshire's Sam Hain, who's yet to play for England despite a List A average of 59.78.
Keshav Maharaj took seven wickets in the second innings of both recent Tests against Bangladesh. How many people have done this? asked Richie Knight from South Africa
South Africa's slow left-armer Keshav Maharaj, who took 7 for 32 in Durban and 7 for 40 in Gqeberha, was only the tenth man to take seven-fors in successive Test matches, a list headed by the old England bowler George Lohmann, who actually did it in three consecutive matches, against South Africa in 1895-96.
The others to manage two were England's Tich Freeman (1929), Clarrie Grimmett (in what turned out to be his final two Tests for Australia in 1935-36), England's Alec Bedser (in his first two, in 1946), South Africa's Hugh Tayfield (1956-57; he took 8 for 69 and 9 for 113), Tony Lock of England (1958), the distinguished Pakistan trio of Imran Khan (in the year 1982), Abdul Qadir (in the year 1987) and Waqar Younis (1990-91), and India's Harbhajan Singh (in two matches against Australia in 2000-01 in which he took 28 wickets in all). Of these, only Tayfield, Lock and Maharaj took both their seven-fors in the second innings.
Who has scored the most first-class hundreds without ever making a double-century? asked Gokul Mohan from the UAE
The leader here is the New Zealand opener John Wright, who made 59 first-class centuries with a highest score of 192, for Canterbury against Central Districts in New Plymouth in 1986-87. Next come the former England batter Arthur Milton, whose 56 first-class centuries included a highest score of 170, and Bill Athey (55, highest score 184). The most first-class runs without a double-century is 34,994, by Brian Close, whose 52 tons included a highest of 198 for Yorkshire against Surrey at The Oval in 1960.
In Tests, both Mohammad Azharuddin (highest score 199) and Colin Cowdrey (182) made 22 centuries without a double, while Alec Stewart scored 8463 runs with 15 centuries, the highest being 190.
Further to last week's question about one-cap wonders, how many people have played just the one Test for Australia? asked Kraig Tyrrell from Australia
To date, 72 men have been lucky enough - or unfortunate enough, depending on your point of view - to win just one Test cap for Australia. That includes a few who might yet play again, notably opener Will Pucovski and seamer Michael Neser, who both made their debuts during 2021. The stories of the other 70 have been collected together in a beautifully produced book, Fifteen Minutes of Fame, by the industrious Melbourne writer Ken Piesse (for details, see his website
There are also 40 women (again including some current players), who have played one Test for Australia.
Shiva Jayaraman of ESPNcricinfo's stats team helped with some of the above answers.
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Steven Lynch is the editor of the updated edition of Wisden on the Ashes