As much as the bat and ball do the talking in the beautiful sports of Cricket, the talks from the bat and ball give life to some bland numbers. The batsmen and the bowlers have literally owned some numbers, based on their stupendous knocks from overall career. The numbers are special when they give the identity to some great players, aren’t they?
Here we present five numbers which give the clear-cut portrayal of five of the finest and most remembered cricketers of all time:
•Nine Hundred & Ninety-Nine (999)
•Sixty-Three not out (63*)
•Four Hundred not out (400*)
•Ninety-Nine point Nine Four (99.94)
I’m quite sure that you have identified the specialty of these numbers by now. However, if you haven’t figured out the cricketers through these numbers, don’t worry; we’ll do it for you.
●Nine Hundred & Ninety-Nine
Who else could it be, if not the legendary Proteas Mark Boucher? Boucher holds the record of most dismissals by a wicket-keeper in Int’l Cricket, who is followed by one of the greatest wicket-keeper batsmen, Adam Gilchrist, who has 905 dismissals. In the 147 tests, 295 ODIs and 25 T20Is he played, he has 555 test dismissals in the longest formats of the game, 425 dismissals in the One-Dayers and 19 dismissals in the shortest format of the game. Unfortunately, Boucher was unable to complete the milestone of 1000 dismissals, as he was forced to announce his retirement after he was struck by the ball in his eyes during a warm-up match, at the age of 36. The number ‘999’ will be forever close to the hearts of all the cricket fans from around the globe.
●Sixty-Three not out (63*)
Emotions flow from the bottom of the heart and tears do roll out of the eyes when we remember or hear the number 63*. Phillip Hughes suffered a tragic death after a bouncer was hit by Sean Abbott in a match between New South Wales and South Australia, while Hughes was batting at 63*. Since then, 63* has been adjacent to the feelings of cricket fans around the globe. Phillip Hughes, you’ll be remembered forever; so will 63*. Phillip will forever remain 63 not out.
●Four Hundred not out (400*)
The 400* has been made special by the charismatic and influential left-hander Brian Lara. The utter determination and discipline made it possible for Lara to score that many runs, and hardly will anyone come close to this total ever. Although the innings didn’t come in a winning cause, the innings will be forever remembered as one of the most memorable innings. The mammoth 400 runs were scored in a dead-rubber match against England, specifically in the series where Lara was finding it difficult to collect runs. 400-run innings as a more-or-less comeback innings would be beyond any imagination, beyond any explanation. Lara’s 400* is widely regarded as the cricket record which would take ages to be broken.
Whether you call it ‘The hundred of hundreds’ or ‘The ton of tons’, it all comes down to one number, i.e. 100. Leaving all the records aside, who’d not recognize Sachin Tendulkar when the number ‘100’ is the hint? With 51 test centuries and 49 ODI centuries, Sachin Tendulkar is the lone name in the list of cricketers with 100 Centuries in Int’l Cricket. At the present scenario, Virat Kohli seems to be the only batsman who can challenge the 100 centuries record by Sachin Tendulkar, and even if the record is broken, Sachin Tendulkar would still continue to tag himself with the number ‘100’, being the first one to make it to the 100-Centuries Elite Gang. The legacy created by the God is never going to be forgotten and the number ‘100’ fairly proves his worth, talent, longevity and completeness.
●Ninety-Nine point Nine Four (99.94)
99.94 would forever remain as the legacy of the Don of Cricket. The career average of 99.94 in test cricket sums up Don Bradman as a batsman. Surely, this record would be unbreakable for ages and ages, it’s practically impossible in the present generation and it was practically impossible before as well. What Don Bradman did was messing up the practicality by having such a monstrous average, and can’t expect such extraordinary things from anyone except him. Don’t tell me you’re a cricket fan if you don’t know the cricketer behind 99.94.