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Ask Steven

Turning the tables - Steven asks you

Steven Lynch sets you some questions for a change

Steven Lynch
Steven Lynch
Our editor Steven Lynch is away this week, so in a cunning attempt to turn the tables, we're presenting a selection of questions from the forthcoming Wisden Cricket Quiz Book, which was compiled by Steven himself. Each question has four possible answers, one of which is the correct one. The answers are at the bottom of the page:

© John Wisden & Co. Ltd
1 - What did Ashley Harvey-Walker hand to Dickie Bird, the umpire, for safe keeping during Derbyshire's match against Lancashire at Buxton in 1975?
A His wallet
B His last will and testament
C His false teeth
D A lighted cigarette
2 - What unusual double did Leicestershire's Chris Balderstone manage on September 15, 1975?
A He played Championship cricket and league football on the same day
B He completed two centuries on the same day
C He scored a century and passed his umpiring exam
D He took a hat-trick and later hit the winning six
3 - What did Tony Pigott put off to make his England Test debut in New Zealand in 1983-84?
A An operation on his back
B His university exams
C His wedding
D Flying home to attend the birth of his first child
4 - What happened to Richard Hadlee before the 1990 Lord's Test against England?
A He was knighted
B He was rushed to hospital with heart palpitations
C His taxi-driver took him to The Oval by mistake
D His team-mates elected him captain to mark his last Test
5 - What was unusual about Merv Hughes's hat-trick for Australia against West Indies at Perth in 1988-89?
A All the victims were left-handers
B It was spread over three different overs
C All the victims were Antiguans
D It was the first Test hat-trick by someone with a moustache
6 - What was unusual about the Australian fast bowler Bruce Reid's first Test wicket against New Zealand, at Wellington in 1985-86?
A It was a stumping
B The batsman was his cousin
C It was the first dismissal to be confirmed by a TV replay
D It came from his first ball of the match, and he bowled 51 more overs without taking another one
7 - Whose middle names are Alexei McNamara, after Soviet and American politicians (he also has a sister called Golda)?
A Milton Small
B Balfour Patterson
C Frank Worrell
D Nixon McLean
8 - The 1996 Wisden records that "fried calamari stopped play" during a South African domestic match at Paarl in February 1995. What happened?
A The fumes from a barbecue made the players feel ill
B The smoke restricted the batsmen's vision
C The ball landed in the frying pan and was unusable
D The fielding team left the field for a snack
9 - Which country other than Australia did both Mark and Steve Waugh both represent?
A Abu Dhabi
B Fiji
C Ireland
D Scotland
10 - What happened to David Steele when he went out to bat on his Test debut in 1975, the first time he had used the home dressing-room at Lord's rather than the visitors' one?
A He got lost and had to climb over the pavilion railings
B He ended up in the road behind the pavilion
C When he was out he absent-mindedly returned to the wrong room, and was jeered by the Aussies
D He went down too many stairs and ended up in the basement toilets
11 - Who played against Brian Lara when he scored his 501 not out, and was West Indies' 12th man when he scored his 375?
A Winston Benjamin
B Gareth Breese
C Anderson Cummins
D Phil Simmons
12 - Ken Burn from Tasmania was selected for Australia's 1890 tour of England as a wicketkeeper. What did he tell the management once the team was safely embarked on their voyage?
A He'd broken his fingers so often his doctor had ordered him to stop keeping wicket
B He was a wanted man in England
C He'd never kept wicket before
D He wasn't eligible for Australia as he was born in New Zealand
13 - During the Test at Christchurch in 1967-68 the Indian allrounder Abid Ali was infuriated that New Zealand's Gary Bartlett, who he felt was a blatant chucker, had not been no-balled. What happened next?
A He squared up to Bartlett and had to be hauled back by the umpires
B He was banned for arguing with the umpires
C He walked off the field and his innings was recorded as "retired out"
D He impersonated Bartlett's bowling action - and was no-balled for throwing himself
14 - What happened to Florence Morphy, one of the "ladies of Melbourne" who presented the original Ashes urn to the Honourable Ivo Bligh, the England captain?
A She perished in the Titanic disaster
B She married Bligh
C She became the Governor of Queensland
D She became the first lady president of the Melbourne Cricket Club
15 - Who averaged over 50 with the bat in his 93-Test career, but played only one-day international, in which he was out for 0?
A Geoff Boycott
B Bill Lawry
C Colin Cowdrey
D Garry Sobers

The Wisden Cricket Quiz Book is published by John Wisden & Co. on November 1, price £7.99. To order a copy through Cricshop, click here.

Steven Lynch is editor of Wisden Cricinfo. If you want to Ask Steven a question, e-mail him at The most interesting questions will be answered each week in this column. Unfortunately, we can't usually enter into correspondence about individual queries. The usual Ask Steven column will resume on November 1.

The Answers
1 C - His false teeth ("wrapped in a hanky", according to his obituary in Wisden 1988), as it was a spiteful pitch: the match, although in June, had been interrupted by snow. 2 A - He played county cricket (for Leicestershire v Derbyshire, scoring 51 not out and completing his century the next day; they clinched the Championship title during his innings) then nipped up the road to play for Doncaster Rovers against Brentford (they drew 1-1). 3 C - His wedding. He needn't have bothered: the ceremony was set for the fourth scheduled day of the match, at Wellington, and New Zealand won inside three days. 4 A - He was knighted (and appeared on the new electronic scoreboard as "Sir R. Hadlee", as there wasn't room for his full name). 5 B - It was spread over three different overs (last ball of one over, first ball of next to end the first innings, first ball of second innings). 6 B - The batsman was his cousin (New Zealand's John F. Reid). 7 D - Nixon McLean. 8 C - The ball landed in the frying pan and was unusable (Wisden says: "Daryll Cullinan hit a six into a frying pan ... it was about ten minutes before the ball was cool enough for the umpires to remove the grease. Even then, [the bowler] was unable to grip the ball and it had to be replaced"). 9 C - Ireland (Steve against Australia A in 1998, Mark two one-day games against Zimbabwe in 2000). 10 D - He went down too many stairs and ended up in the basement toilets. 11 C - Anderson Cummins. 12 C - He'd never kept wicket before (Wisden reported that "only when he had accepted the terms offered and joined the ship at Adelaide was the discovery made that he had never kept wicket in his life"). 13 D - He impersonated Bartlett's bowling action - and was no-balled for throwing himself. 14 B - She married Bligh (and, on his death, bequeathed the Ashes urn to MCC). 15 D - Garry Sobers.