The game of cricket is full of a horde of peculiarities and eerie occurrences. Take a look at some of the most quirky facts relating to the sport that often sound too strange to be true!
1. Virat Kohli has batted in Peshawar, Sheikhupura, Rawalpindi and Lahore. He did that on an U19 tour to Pakistan in 2006.
2. Adam Gilchrist never missed an international match because of fitness or injury. He played 96 Tests, 287 ODIs and 13 T20Is for Australia.
3. ICC Academy Ground 1 and 2 in Dubai are technically the closest international grounds (about 25 meters apart). Ground 2 made its debut in October 2019.
4. Pakistan issued 11,000 visas to India in the 2004 cricket series. It was the heaviest cross-border traffic since the partition in 1947.
5. When asked to tell something interesting, Zimbabwe cricketer Murray Goodwin revealed in an interview that he has three 'balls'. According to Wikipedia, there are only 201 reported cases of humans with three testicles.
6. Kenya’s Hitesh Modi once got out LBW against Bangladesh in 2006. The umpire who made the decision was his father Subhash Modi.
Kenya's Hitesh Modi was adjudged LBW by his own father ©AFP
7. The first to 200 wickets in Men’s & Women’s ODIs both are from India – Kapil Dev and Jhulan Goswami. Both reached the milestone in 166 matches.
8. Bob Woolmer is an eye-witness to the two highest scores in first-class cricket. He was the county director when Brian Lara scored 501 not out for Warwickshire in Birmingham in 1994 and also watched Hanif Mohammad’s 499 as a kid in Karachi, where his father used to work, in 1959.
9. Sanath Jayasuriya and Muttiah Muralitharan played in 408 international matches together but never had a batting partnership.
10. Before playing for India, Sachin Tendulkar played for Pakistan. He fielded for Pakistan in a festival match against India in Mumbai in 1987.
11. Sunil Gavaskar was exchanged with a fisherman’s baby at birth. It was his uncle who spotted that the child was not Sunny as he had a birthmark near his ear. “Perhaps, I would have grown up to be an obscure fisherman, toiling somewhere along the west coast,” Sunny G later wrote.
A twist of fate for Sunil Gavaskar, who could have become an obscure fisherman ©Getty Images
12. There are only two batsmen who reached triple-century with a six in Test cricket. Virender Sehwag against Pakistan in Multan in 2004 and Kumar Sangakkara against Bangladesh in Chittagong in 2014.
13. There is an anecdote that Virender Sehwag was once batting close to 200 when he sledged Shoaib Akhtar and challenged him to bowl bouncers to Sachin Tendulkar, who then hit a six off him. FACT: Tendulkar never hit a six in Tests against Pakistan.
14. There is an anecdote that Adolf Hitler once killed his cricket team after a match involving Germany was drawn. FACT: It’s a myth. It never happened.
15. There is a myth that Imran Khan never bowled a no-ball in his career. FACT: He bowled many no-balls, including one in the World Cup Final.
Did Imran Khan never bowl a no-ball in his international career? ©PA Photos
16. Virat Kohli once had stitches on his hand and with only 15 overs to play in an IPL match, he still scored a century.
17. Kohli scored 160 against South Africa in 2018 with just 12 fours and 2 sixes. He is the only Indian batsman to score 100 runs by running in an ODI match.
18. The start of the Test match between Pakistan and New Zealand in Rawalpindi in 1996 was delayed by 20 minutes because PCB forgot to supply balls.
19. Leslie Hylton is the only cricketer to be hanged. He played six Tests for West Indies and was hanged for the murder of his wife in 1955.
20. There are two cricket stadiums named after hockey players. Captain Roop Singh Stadium in Gwalior and KD Singh Babu Stadium in Lucknow.
21. Andre Nel got married on the second day of the Test and then dismissed Brian Lara twice the following day in Centurion in 2004.
Marriage proved to be a lucky charm for Proteas pacer Andre Nel ©Peter J Heeger
22. Alec Stewart finished his Test career with 8463 runs. He was born on 8.4.63.
23. Makhaya Ntini had a very bizarre way of energising himself during games. "Not many people know this, but if I struggled during a session, I would sometimes go and pee on my hands and splash it on my face. It would revitalise me and get me going for the next spell."
24. South Africa needed 111 runs to win at 11:11 on 11-11-11 in the Cape Town Test against Australia in 2011.
25. Mahela Jayawardene was run out while going for his 10,000th run in Test cricket.
26. Kapil Dev was never run out in his 131-Test career in which he played 184 innings.
27. Between 2017 and 2018, England bowled 10,000-plus consecutive balls in ODIs without a line no-ball.
28. Mohammad Hafeez has bowled 2152.5 overs in international cricket without a no-ball. That is 12,917 balls without overstepping!
Mohammad Hafeez bowled over 10,000 deliveries without overstepping! ©Associated Press
29. Jaffery Sports Club Ground (1776 meters altitude) in Nairobi is the highest located international cricket ground whereas Hazelaarweg (6 meters below sea level) in Rotterdam is the lowest cricket ground.
30. In the first-ever Test match played in 1877, Australia’s Charles Bannerman scored 165 out of 245 runs. It’s been more than 140 years but it is still the highest proportion (67.35%) of a completed innings in a Test match.
31. Sir Frank Worrell, who played 51 Tests for West Indies, has his picture on the 5 dollars currency note of his country (Barbados).
32. New Zealand’s Mark Craig is the only player in Test history to hit the first ball of his career for six. He did that against West Indies in Jamaica in 2014.
33. Australia’s Merv Hughes is the only bowler to take a hat-trick in Tests spread over three different overs.
34. Wasim Akram and Mohammad Sami are the only two bowlers who have taken a hat-trick in both Tests and ODIs.
35. Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene hold the world record for the highest partnership (624 runs) in Test cricket. Sangakkara was bowled off a no-ball by Dale Steyn when the partnership was 20 and dropped in the same over when the stand was 15.