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Ask Steven

Is Nathan Coulter-Nile's 92 the highest score by a No. 8 in the World Cup?

Also, who's the oldest surviving man to have played in the tournament? And the youngest?

Steven Lynch
Steven Lynch
11-Jun-2019
Nathan Coulter-Nile pulls the ball to the boundary, Australia v West Indies, World Cup 2019, Trent Bridge, June 6, 2019

Nathan Coulter-Nile's 92 beat out Heath Streak's 72 in 2003 as the highest score by a No. 8 in the World Cup  •  Getty Images

Who's the oldest surviving man to have played in a World Cup? asked Derek Collins from England
The oldest living survivor of a World Cup match is the Indian-born slow left-armer Parbhu Nana, who is now 85. Born in August 1933, he played in all three of East Africa's matches in the inaugural World Cup in 1975, going for a fraction above four runs an over but taking just one wicket (New Zealand's John Morrison at Edgbaston).
The 1975 team, which should really have been called East and Central Africa, included players from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Nana was one of three based in Zambia, the others being batsman Yunus Badat and wicketkeeper Hamish McLeod. The profile pages of several of that team are lacking biographical details, so if anyone has any knowledge of the players or their current whereabouts, please let me know.
After Nana come two famous West Indians, who both also appeared in 1975: Lance Gibbs, now 84, and Rohan Kanhai, who's 83. As I write, the only man older than Nana to play in a one-day international (but not a World Cup) was England's Ray Illingworth, who turned 87 on June 8. He appeared in the very first official ODI, in Melbourne in 1970-71.
Was Nathan Coulter-Nile's 92 at Nottingham the highest score in the World Cup by a No. 8 batsman? asked Gosia Bekker from Poland
That fine innings by Australia's Nathan Coulter-Nile in the seesaw World Cup match against West Indies at Trent Bridge the other day was indeed the highest score by a No. 8 in the World Cup. It beat the previous mark by 20: Heath Streak hit 72 not out for Zimbabwe against New Zealand in Bloemfontein in 2003. Coulter-Nile not only obliterated his previous highest one-day best (34), but also went well past his highest first-class score, 64 for Western Australia against Tasmania in October 2014.
The only higher score from No. 8 in all one-day internationals also came at Trent Bridge, in 2016: Chris Woakes made 95 not out as England tied with Sri Lanka.
Who was the youngest man to appear in the World Cup? Was it Sachin Tendulkar? asked Madhav Parekh from India
Although Sachin Tendulkar isn't the answer here - he was a veteran of nearly 19 at the first of his record-equalling six World Cups in 1992 - the man concerned did at least have "Tendulkar" as one of nicknames, presumably on account of his youth. The Canadian right-hander Nitish Kumar was only 16 when he played in three of Canada's matches at the 2011 World Cup. The nickname didn't help much: Kumar managed only ten runs in three innings. He's still playing for Canada, and took part in the recent ICC World Cricket League Division Two tournament in Namibia.
The Australian wickets at Trent Bridge all fell to West Indian fielders. Had this happened before in the World Cup? asked Ricky Dooley from Scotland
All ten Australian wickets at Trent Bridge last week fell to catches, the highlight that astonishing boundary-riding grab-and-juggle by Sheldon Cottrell. This was the seventh time this had happened at the World Cup. Before 2015, there had been only two instances of ten catches in an innings: by West Indies against New Zealand in Southampton in 1999, and by Ireland in their upset St Patrick's Day victory over Pakistan in Kingston in 2007.
But in 2015 there were four cases - two in Adelaide, by India against Pakistan and by Australia in their quarter-final against Pakistan, and two in Christchurch, by West Indies against Pakistan and by England against Scotland two days later. In all ODIs, there have now been 22 instances of ten wickets in an innings falling to catches.
I was intrigued to see that Hashim Amla has taken a first-class wicket. Who was it? asked Sebastian Lewis from South Africa
When on song, South Africa's Hashim Amla is among the most graceful of batsmen - but, from my vague memory of a couple of his nine unsuccessful overs in Tests, you can't really say the same of his bowling. In all first-class cricket, he has taken one wicket for 277 - so his average is 277 - but the man concerned was a Test player himself. It came during a drawn A team Test in Kimberley in 2001-02, when Amla boasted figures of 1-0-10-1 after having the Indian wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel caught for 69.
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Steven Lynch is the editor of the updated edition of Wisden on the Ashes