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Friday, 18 October, 2002, 10:11 GMT 11:11 UK
Stump The Bearded Wonder No 37
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 winter.


Mayank Jain, India

I have read somewhere that Cameron Cuffy of West Indies won the Man of the Match award in a limited-overs international without scoring a run, taking a wicket or holding a catch. Is it true?

If so, which match was that and why was he given the award?

Yes, quite true, Mayank. Playing against Zimbabwe at Harare in the opening fixture of a Coca Cola Cup tournament on 23 June 2001 he won the match award for his analysis of 10-2-20-0.

As the hosts managed only 239 for 9 in reply to 266 for 5 by West Indies, Cuffy's economy was crucial. No other bowler in the match conceded fewer than 35 runs from his full 10-over entitlement.

Steve, New Zealand

Bill, when did the authorities decide that the 1877 game between James Lilywhite Jnr's professional side and the players from Melbourne and Sydney would be deemed to be the first Test between England and Australia?

It was Clarence Moody, Australia's leading cricket chronicler of that period, who compiled the first list of 'Test' matches in his Australian Cricket and Cricketers, published circa 1890.

That list, which gained the approval of many leading Australian cricketers and administrators of the time, began with the match you mention.

It was accepted by the leading English authority, C.W. Alcock, Secretary of Surrey (and the Football Association) whose brainchild the inaugural Test in England had been in 1880.

Alcock gave Moody's list the formal seal of approval by quoting it in Cricket.

Jon Smith, England

In such tournaments as the ICC Champions Trophy, how are the player's shirt numbers chosen? It appears totally random to me!

I am not sure if it is the case with every country, but most allow the players to choose their own numbers. Players then retain their selected number for all their limited-overs internationals.

The numbers they used in the recent ICC tournament in Colombo were those they have used in all their other international one-day games.

Wesley, United States

Did the great Rohan Kanhai start out as a wicketkeeper?

Yes, Kanhai made his Test debut for West Indies in England in 1957 and kept wicket in the first three Tests in addition to opening the batting in the first two. 'Gerry' Alexander took over the gloves for the last two Tests.

Steve Sheekey, England

When are England next due to tour the West Indies and will they play a Test match in Guyana?

England are scheduled to begin their next tour of the Caribbean in February 2004. The Test match venues will not be revealed until the itinerary is finalised - probably in the first half of next year.

Ian, Canada

We all remember the exploits of Ian Botham on the field, but was there ever a Test match where his name did not feature on the scorecard for either taking a wicket, a catch or scoring a fifty?

Yes, there were four such occasions: second Test v New Zealand at Headingley in 1983; second and third Tests v Pakistan at Lord's and Headingley in 1987, and first Test v Pakistan at Edgbaston in 1992.

Vic Vadi, USA

Can two batsmen ever be out on the same ball (eg. a catch followed by a run out)?

No, because the ball becomes 'dead' as soon as one batsman is dismissed - Law 23.1 (a)(i).

Alan, England

In the 1956 Old Trafford Test against Australia, who was the only batsman that Jim Laker did not dismiss?

Interesting trick question, Alan! Laker, who took a record 19 wickets in that match, dismissed all eleven Australians at least once. The THREE he failed to dismiss twice were Jim Burke (c Cowdrey b Lock in first innings), Ray Lindwall (not out in first innings) and Ian Johnson (not out in second).

Surodeep, Norway/India

This is a follow up to the question about Sanjay Bangar opening both the bowling and batting in the same Test for India. I believe Sunil Gavaskar also opened the Indian bowling on a couple of occasions. Is this correct?

An interesting address, Surodeep. Do you own an aircraft? In fact Gavaskar opened both the bowling and the batting on six occasions in Test matches: v England (Madras and Bombay) 1972-73; v England (Bangalore and Bombay) 1976-77; v Australia (Melbourne) 1977-78; and v Pakistan (Lahore) 1978-79.

John, UK

Apart from the inaugural Test matches for each country, has a player ever joined the Test team to play as a captain without playing a Test before?

Yes, there have been several instances. The most recent involving England was in 1972-73 when A.R. 'Tony' Lewis made his debut and led the team to victory in Delhi on Christmas Day 1972.

Another Englishman, C.A. (Aubrey) Smith, uniquely led England in his ONLY Test, against South Africa at Port Elizabeth in 1888-89.

Mark Smith, Germany

In the light of recent performances by England, what is the record number of successive 500+ Test innings?

The record unbroken sequence of 500 totals is three by India in 1992-93 - 560-6d v England (Madras), 591 v England (Bombay) and 536-7d v Zimbabwe (Delhi), and three by England v Sri Lanka in 2002 - 529-5d (Lord's), 545 (Edgbaston) and 512 (Old Trafford).

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