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Tuesday, 23 July, 2002, 13:59 GMT 14:59 UK
Stump The Bearded Wonder No 31
Pose your cricket questions to Bearders
Bill Frindall, aka the Bearded Wonder, is poised to solve your cricket queries and teasers.

The Test Match Special statistician will be busy answering your questions throughout the English summer.


Akshaya Bhatt, UK

The recent retirement of Colin Miller got me thinking: The gap between his First-Class and Test debuts was 14 years. I wondered who has had to wait the longest?

James Southerton, who made his First-Class debut for Surrey, had to wait nearly 23 years before playing in the inaugural Test at Melbourne in March 1877. At 49 years and 119 days he remains the oldest Test match debutant. Three years later, when landlord of The Cricketer in Mitcham, he became the first Test cricketer to die.

Philip Martin, London, UK

In 1991 England won three consecutive Tests against three different countries (West Indies - sixth Test, Sri Lanka - only Test, New Zealand first Test). Has this feat ever been equalled or excelled?

South Africa hold the record with four, a sequence they have achieved twice: New Zealand (third), Pakistan (only) and New Zealand (only) in 1994-95, followed by Zimbabwe in 1995-96; and then New Zealand (third) in 1998-99, followed by Zimbabwe (only - home), Zimbabwe (only - away) and England (first) in 1999-2000. Pakistan had a sequence of three in 1995-96 and 1996: Australia (third), New Zealand (only) and England (first).

Anthony Wick, UK

Did Michael Holding captain the West Indies?

Not in Test matches but he led them in two limited-overs internationals against Australia - at Melbourne and at Castries, St Lucia, in 1983-84. West Indies won both games.

J.A.Woodfield, England

How many grounds in Britain have staged Test matches and how many have been played on each ground?

Seven English grounds have staged Test cricket; total matches in brackets (as at 20 July 2002): Bramall Lane (Sheffield) (1); Edgbaston (38); Headingley (62); Kennington Oval (84); Lord's (103); Old Trafford (68) and Trent Bridge (48). Chester-le-Street's Riverside ground is set to join them, probably next June when it stages the second Test against Zimbabwe.

Ian Piggott, England

On Friday 31 May I attended a County Championship match between Northamptonshire and Essex. Northamptonshire batted first and scored 120 runs before the first extra went on the board. I wonder if this was a record?

The record extra-free total in Test cricket is 328 in Pakistan's first innings against India at the Bagh-i-Jinnah ground, Lahore, in 1954-55. The Test record in England is 247 in South Africa's second innings at Trent Bridge, Nottingham, in 1960.

Chris Hill, UK

I am referring to the question by Chand Patel, London (No. 26). You say JEBBPQC Dwyer has the longest name in cricket.

From what I can gather, the record may be held by the Sri Lankan ARRAPWRRKBB Amunugama who has played for Kurunegala Youth and Tamil Union.

He is a left hand bat and right arm medium pace bowler. He has played 85 First-Class matches and nine List A limited overs matches.

Dwyer holds the record for the western world. Your Sri Lankan is listed in the 2001 ACS International Cricket Year Book merely as Rajith Krishnantha Bandura Amunugama - he didn't qualify for the 2002 edition.

In some regions of Sri Lanka it is customary to add to one's own given names those of several generations of forebears. It looks, Chris, as though you have unearthed a version in which our friend has discovered no fewer than eight ancestors!

Daniel Baines, England

Which bowler has taken the most wickets in a single day in First-Class cricket?

Three bowlers, all spinners, share that record with 17: Colin Blythe for Kent v Northamptonshire at Northamton in 1911, Hedley Verity for Yorkshire v Essex at Leyton in 1933, and Tom (T.W.J.) Goddard for Gloucestershire v Kent at Bristol in 1939.

Jayanth Chimote, India

What are the specifications for the dimensions and weight of a cricket bat? Can players use a bat of any weight?

Law 6 specifies the dimensions of a bat - not more than 38 inches (96.5 cm) in overall length, with a blade made solely of wood not in excess of 4 1/4 inches (10.8 cm) at its widest part. There is no restriction (other than the above dimensions) regarding weight.

Mal Walker, Australia

Don Bradman's Test match records are a 'stand out', but at which ground did 'The Don' find scoring most difficult? I'm going for Old Trafford in Lancashire.

You are absolutely right, Mal. Sir Donald played his 52 Test matches on ten grounds, five apiece in Australia and England. He averaged over 58 on each of them bar Old Trafford where, in four innings, he amassed 81 runs at 27.00 with a top score of 30 not out. When I asked him about this he replied: 'It was always so dark I couldn't see the ball!'

Earl W. Robinson, St. Vincent & the Grenadines W.I

Who was the first player to appear in 50 away Test matches? Also, which player has appeared in most overseas Tests?

An intriguing question, Earl. As the first to win 100 caps, the obvious contender for the first to play in 50 overseas Tests would be Colin Cowdrey. He played 59 of his 114 matches outside England, gaining his 50th overseas cap in the riot-abandoned Karachi Test of March 1969. Most away Tests (total caps in brackets): Courtney Walsh 74 (132); Viv Richards 73 (121); Steve Waugh 72 (148); Allan Border 70 (156).

Paul Norman, UK

The batsman hits the ball into the deep and they take two runs before the fielder reaches the ball. As the fielder throws the ball it slips from his hand and goes over the boundary. Do the batsmen get four overthrows added to their two runs or are they awarded a four and just that?

I have checked with a Test match umpire and in your scenario, if the batsmen had completed the two runs before the overthrow crossed the boundary, a total of six runs would be scored.

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