Ranji Trophy: For the record, some intriguing feats

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Why are some records invincible? Often the game develops so abruptly that some skills turn into fossils. Sometimes a once-in-a-generation turntable has such phenomenal performance that it can hardly be improved upon. Cricket’s records are perhaps the most exciting combination of these factors, causing both awe and intrigue. Can Don Bradman’s 99.94 be broken? Or Jim Laker’s 19/90? What about Sachin Tendulkar’s 100 hundred? These numbers seem insurmountable given how cricket has changed over the past decade.

Don’t take anything for granted though. England will tell you why. Twice in six years they have improved their highest overall ODI record after overtaking Sri Lanka with 443/9 (against the Netherlands in 2006) and 444/3 against Pakistan at Nottingham in 2016; The 481/6 against Australia in 2018 and the 498/4 against the Netherlands last Friday went poorly in Amstelveen. It wasn’t until March 2006 that Australia became the first team to break 400 (434/4) before being remade by South Africa in the famous Wanderers chase. That one-day cricket that took just 16 years to go from eight runs per over to almost 10 per over shows how quickly this game is changing.

The mere effort put into setting some unusual records automatically increases their shelf life, especially in home cricket. Like when Bengal posted 773/7 during the Ranji Trophy quarter-final win over Jharkhand earlier this month, it was the first time that nine players had scored over 50 in the same innings in first-class cricket. The only time there have been more than seven such points in a first-class serve – eight touring Australians against Oxford and Cambridge universities – was back in 1893. the previous biggest win in first-class cricket was NSW’s 685 runs in the 1929-30 Sheffield Shield game after Queensland lost 84 while chasing a goal of 770. In both games, the goal was to bury the opponent in runs that Bengal and Mumbai achieved thanks to coordinated team efforts.

Some top notch recordings were more confusing due to the extenuating circumstances under which they were obtained. For example, the shortest completed first-class ball match, which, according to the Association of Cricket Statisticians and Historians (ACS), took place in Faisalabad in 2004-2005, when the Karachi Blues conceded the Quaid-e-Azam trophy (the Pakistani equivalent of the Ranji trophy) . ) play 85 balls on the first day, stating that the pitch was too dangerous after dropping to 33/4. The next two shortest matches also happened in Pakistan with 121 balls between Quetta and Rawalpindi (who won by 9 wickets) in 2008-09 and 162 balls in 1990-91 which Sargodha conceded to Bahawalpur.

Age-related records also usually come with some caveat, as most of them were set on the subcontinent. The ACS website complies with this norm, detailing the methodologies used to determine the age of rider cricket players: “The exact dates of birth of some cricketers have not been or cannot be verified. The details in the following list are based on the best information currently available, but especially, though not exclusively, cricketers from the 18th and earlier 19th centuries, as well as players from Pakistan and Bangladesh – they should be treated with appropriate caution. …” All of the 10 youngest first-class cricketers — a list compiled by Ajmer-born Pakistani cricketer Alimuddin, who made his debut for Rajputana in 1943 at the age of 12 years and 73 days — were born in India before and after partition, seven of them are documented in internal network of Pakistan.

They may be incredible, but you can never guarantee that these records will not be rewritten. But the upper ceiling has already been corrected by the severity of cricket. This means that Wilfred Rhodes’ record for the longest first-class career (1110 matches in 30 years 315 days) will never be broken. The record for the oldest person to ever play cricket has not changed either. SC Nayudu, the mainstay of the modern game in India, played its last first-class match in 1963 at the age of 68 years and four days. However, thirteen years prior to this game, Raja Maharaj Singh became the oldest first-class player in history when he made his debut as captain of the Bombay Governor’s XI at the age of 72 years and 194 days against a traveling Commonwealth XI. Fired by Laker at the count of four, he took no further part in the game.

For decades, Wisden has done an excellent job of chronicling the game in their annual almanacs. His colossal efforts include contributions from all over the world. The most curious of these is probably the Miscellaneous Entries section, which has everything from the biggest attendance to the highest partnerships and 10-wicket-no-run records in minor cricket.

The most bizarre one? It happened in the 19th century when Robert Percival accomplished the feat of “throwing a cricket ball” 140 yards and two feet – approximately 130 m or more than the length of a standard cricket field today – at Durham Sands Racecourse during the annual competition. . Sports meeting on Easter Monday in 1882. South African cricketer Colin Bland reportedly once cleared 150 yards, as did Latvian javelin thrower Janis Lusis and British sprinter Charlie Ransome. Wisden, however, says that “the final recording is still pending.”


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