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Ask Steven

Is Ravindra Jadeja the first player to be out obstructing the field in the IPL?

Also: how many sides have won a Test without a single player scoring 50 or more?

Steven Lynch
Steven Lynch
14-May-2024
Sanju Samson got Ravindra Jadeja out obstructing the field, Chennai Super Kings vs Rajasthan Royals, IPL 2024, Chennai, May 12, 2024

Ravindra Jadeja was given out obstructing the field for getting in the way of Sanju Samson's throw at the stumps, the third instance of this dismissal in the IPL  •  BCCI

Was Ravindra Jadeja the first man to be out obstructing the field in the IPL? asked K Ramnarayan from India
Ravindra Jadeja was given out in CSK's chase against Rajasthan Royals in Chennai last weekend, after the umpires decided he changed direction while running to get in the way of Sanju Samson's throw at the stumps. (Some of us are old enough to remember being coached to do this! But it's officially frowned on now.)
Jadeja was actually the third man to be given out obstructing the field in an IPL match. The first was Yusuf Pathan, for Kolkata Knight Riders against Pune Warriors in Ranchi in 2013. He kicked the ball while going for a run, an action judged deliberate obstruction by the umpires. It was a controversial decision which probably cost KKR victory - Pathan was going well at the time, with 72 from 44 balls, and his side eventually fell seven short.
It also happened to Amit Mishra, for Delhi Capitals against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the final eliminator in Visakhapatnam in 2019. With three balls left and two needed to win, Mishra was looking for a single to tie the scores, and was hit by the fielder's return. Like Jadeja, he was deemed to have deliberately changed course to get in the way of the throw. It didn't matter much: Keemo Paul hit the next ball for four to win the match.
Four men have been given out obstructing the field in T20Is: Jason Roy, for England against South Africa in Taunton in 2017; Hassan Rasheed, for Maldives vs Qatar at Al Amarat (Oman) in 2018-19; Razmal Shigiwal for Austria vs Czech Republic in Vinor (Czech Republic) in 2022; and Abass Gbla for Sierra Leone vs Ghana at Benoni (South Africa) in 2023-24.
There are also three instances in women's T20Is, by Anuja Patil for India against Bangladesh in the Asia Cup final in Kuala Lumpur in 2018, Mary-Anne Musonda for Zimbabwe vs Uganda in Windhoek (Namibia) in April 2022, and Shanzeen Shahzad for Hong Kong vs Nepal in Kuala Lumpur in February 2024.
Apparently there are five men who played more than 100 Tests who made their debut for England after Jimmy Anderson, but have already retired. And another (not a 100-Test man) who made his debut after Anderson's 100th Test and has also retired! Who are these people? asked Nick McKenzie from England
There were quite a few such stats being banded around after Jimmy Anderson's announcement last week that the forthcoming Lord's Test against West Indies will be his 188th and last.
Anderson made his Test debut against Zimbabwe at Lord's in May 2003 (and took 5 for 73 in the first innings). The five England 100-Test men who made their debut after Anderson and have now retired are Stuart Broad (167 matches starting in 2007-08), Alastair Cook (161 from 2005-06), Ian Bell (118 from 2004), Kevin Pietersen (104 from 2005), and Andrew Strauss (100 from 2004). Strauss retired in 2012. Joe Root (140 Tests to date), Ben Stokes (102) and Jonny Bairstow (100) also made their debuts after Anderson, but are still playing.
Anderson's 100th Test was in April 2015, against West Indies in Antigua. The man who made his debut for England after that but has since retired is the Surrey allrounder Zafar Ansari, who played three Tests in Bangladesh and India in 2016-17, but retired a few months later, aged only 25. You could make a case for saying Alex Hales belongs on this list too: he won the first of his 11 Test caps in 2015-16. But he has not played a first-class match since 2017, although he is still active in T20 matches around the world.
I noticed that in a Test against Zimbabwe in Trinidad in 2000, West Indies were all out twice without anyone scoring a half-century - but still won. Has this happened anywhere else? asked Deepak Krishnan from India
Zimbabwe needed only 99 to win that match in Port-of-Spain in March 2000, but were bowled out for 63, with Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh taking 5 for 26 between them. It was the 11th time a team had been bowled out twice in a Test without any individual score of 50 or more but gone on to win, the first six of them before the First World War, when pitches generally were less well prepared. Perhaps the most famous of the others was England's win over Australia at Edgbaston during the famous 1981 Ashes series, when their biggest individual contribution was skipper Mike Brearley's 48 in the first innings (the highest score of the match).
There have been two more instances since that one in Trinidad. West Indies repeated the trick against Pakistan in Providence (Guyana) in May 2011, when their highest score was 49 from Lendl Simmons. And India beat South Africa in Nagpur in November 2015, even though their highest score was just 40, by M Vijay.
Who is New Zealand's oldest Test player? asked Jamie Morrison from New Zealand
New Zealand's oldest surviving Test player as I write is Trevor McMahon, a wicketkeeper from Wellington who played five matches in the 1950s. New Zealand currently has four other men over 90 years of age on the list of the oldest living Test players.
If you mean the oldest man to play for New Zealand in a Test, the answer is legspinner Jack Alabaster, who was 41 when he played the last of his 21 matches in 1971-72, in Port-of-Spain, where his final Test wicket was that of Garry Sobers. Alabaster, who died earlier this year aged 93, was the only man to appear in all of New Zealand's first four Test victories. Two other men have played for New Zealand when over 40: Bert Sutcliffe in 1965 and Bevan Congdon in 1978.
I've become aware of cricket in Germany through the doings of our women's cricket team. Have there been any men's Test cricketers who were born here? asked Karl Pieters from Germany
You're right that Germany's women have been making a mark since acquiring T20 international status: for example, Christina Gough lies second on the list of the highest batting averages in women's T20Is with 42.91, behind only Australia's Tahlia McGrath (43.72).
Turning to the men, there have been two Test players who were born in Germany, both while their fathers were serving in the English army there. Derbyshire's Donald Carr, who appeared in two Tests in India in 1951-52, captaining in the second, was born in Wiesbaden in 1926, while Paul Terry of Hampshire, who won two caps in 1984, first saw the light of day in Osnabrück in 1959. Terry's arm was broken by the West Indian fast bowler Winston Davis in his second game, at Old Trafford, and he was never selected again.
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