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Ask Steven

Has anyone gone past Dwayne Bravo as the IPL's top wicket-taker?

And how many Mumbai Indians players have taken IPL hat-tricks?

Steven Lynch
Steven Lynch
Yuzvendra Chahal could go past Bravo's 183 career wickets in the IPL this season; Chahal currently has 177  •  AFP/Getty Images

Yuzvendra Chahal could go past Bravo's 183 career wickets in the IPL this season; Chahal currently has 177  •  AFP/Getty Images

Is Dwayne Bravo still the IPL's top wicket-taker? asked Anderson Kentish from Trinidad & Tobago
As I write, Dwayne Bravo is still leading the IPL wicket-takers list, with 183 - but he will probably lose that top spot soon. Legspinner Yuzvendra Chahal went past Lasith Malinga (170 wickets) in his second match of this year's IPL for Rajasthan Royals. His 2 for 27 last week against CSK - where Bravo is now a bowling coach - and one more against Gujarat Titans on Sunday took him to 177, just six behind Bravo's tally.
Ireland's Ben White made his first-class debut in a Test match in Bangladesh recently. How rare is this? asked Michael O'Riordan from Ireland
The Dublin-born legspinner Ben White became the 35th man to make his first-class debut in a Test match, when he took the field against Bangladesh in Mirpur earlier this month. Most of those debuts came in the 19th century: there have been only six previous instances since 1900, the most recent being by the Afghanistan spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman Zadran in 2018 (Mujeeb has now played 280 white-ball matches in his career, but still only that one first-class game).
White was one of seven Ireland debutants in that Mirpur match, including Peter Moor, who had previously played for Zimbabwe (his last Test for them, in November 2018, was also against Bangladesh in Mirpur) . One of the other newcomers, Curtis Campher, had played just one first-class game previously - and joined an even more select list, as only 24 men had previously made their Test debut in their second first-class match, the most recent being the West Indies fast bowler Jayden Seales in June 2021.
In the latest Wisden there's mention of a player called "JEBBPQC Dwyer". Did he really have so many initials? asked Martin Palmer from England
This one rang a faint bell, and it seems I answered a similar query a while ago - but it was back in 2006, so there's probably no harm in repeating it here. John Elicius Benedict Bernard Placid Quirk Carrington Dwyer played for Sussex - usually appearing on scorecards (presumably for reasons of space!) as "EB Dwyer" - in the early 1900s, despite having been born in Australia. Christopher Lee's 1989 Sussex history From the Sea End reveals:
He inevitably had a somewhat exotic background. JEBBPQC Dwyer was a great-grandson of Michael Dwyer, a Wicklow chieftain who was described as one of the boldest leaders of the 1798 [Irish] insurrection and who was eventually captured and transported to Australia. It was there, in Sydney, that EB Dwyer was born in 1876. He was a tall, dark and handsome fellow with a ready humour, who bowled with a high right-arm action that produced lift and not a little turn. He was encouraged to come to England by Pelham Warner, and persuaded by CB Fry to play for Sussex. In 1906 his registration was approved, and he immediately proved his worth with 9 for 35 against Derbyshire and 9 for 44 against Middlesex.
Sadly, Dwyer died in 1912, aged only 36. He seems to have admitted to more initials than anyone else who played first-class cricket in England - although he has some rivals in Sri Lanka, where I suspect Rajitha Amunugama might be the record-holder.
Dwyer gets a mention in the new Wisden Cricketers' Almanack in a table accompanying the obituary of Robin Marlar, showing the best bowling figures in a match for Sussex - he took 16 for 100 against Middlesex in Hove in 1906.
Is it right that no Mumbai Indians player has yet taken a hat-trick in the IPL? I thought Rohit Sharma had one? asked Krishna Karthik from India
Rashid Khan's hat-trick for Gujarat Titans against Kolkata Knight Riders in Ahmedabad last week was the 22nd in an IPL match (Amit Mishra has taken three, and Yuvraj Singh two, both in 2009).
None of these hat-tricks has been for Mumbai. You're right that Rohit Sharma took one, but he was playing for Deccan Chargers that year (2009), and his hat-trick came against Mumbai Indians, in Centurion. Rohit joined MI in 2011, and has been there ever since, although he doesn't bowl much these days (his last wicket in the IPL came in 2014).
Which Test cricketer was nicknamed "Horseshoe"? asked Martin Kindsman from England
This was the 1920s Australia batter and captain Herbie Collins. He was not particularly stylish but was very effective: in 19 Tests he averaged 45, with the highest of his four centuries being 203 against South Africa in Johannesburg in 1921-22.
Collins was a keen gambler, who in later life became a bookmaker; he was also known as "Lucky". He captained Australia in 11 Tests, including the 1926 tour of England. He won the toss in seven of those; Wisden recalled that "he was widely known as 'Horseshoe' Collins by reason of his good fortune in connection with racing and in winning the toss at cricket". An excellent book on Collins's unusual life, written by the Australian historian Max Bonnell, was published in 2015.
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Steven Lynch is the editor of the updated edition of Wisden on the Ashes