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Cricket World - Makers and Breakers of 2019

Pakistan's Abid Ali
©Reuters
 

‘Records’ are meant to be made and ‘Records’ are meant to be broken. Since the advent of sports, a record set, is destined to be broken.

As athletes are becoming increasingly faster, stronger and fitter, the bar being set is getting higher. 2019 has been no exception. This year the cricketing world has witnessed some of the most outstanding batting performances and fiery, exhilarating bowling spells leading to a record number of records being made and broken. Following are some who made headlines and understandably so.

The Hitman: Rohit Sharma possibly broke every major batting record in the history of the game. He scored seven 100’s in the running year, second only to Sachin Tendulkar’s previous record of nine in 1998. He was the leading run scorer of the ICC 2019 World Cup, with a momentous total of 648 runs comprising of five 100’s surpassing any previous individual score for any major limited overs event. He also tops the run scorer’s table with 1490 runs in 28 ODI innings and with 2342 runs in 46 matches across all formats making him the highest ever run scorer for any given calendar year.

Is Rohit Sharma the “Boom Boom” of India? A Chris Gayle? Figures suggest so. He is the first Indian to reach 400 international sixes, reaching the landmark in only his 354th international appearance. His last 200 sixes have come in only 118 innings! He beat Martin Guptill in the race for most sixes in T20, topping the list with a mammoth tally of 120. If these achievements were not jaw dropping enough, “Hitman” hit 76 sixes in 2019, the most for a calendar year, beating his own previous record of 74. So, if you’re in the stands with Rohit on strike, expect a few coming your way.

The Captain Victorious: World Cup Winning Skipper-Eoin Morgan took England’s group match against Afghanistan as an opportunity to demonstrate his power hitting ability to the fullest, destroying the relatively weaker opponent’s bowlers, Rashid Khan in particular. Morgan lit Old Trafford, brutally depositing literally every second ball coming at him over the rope. He smashed 17 sixes in the inning breaking Rohit Sharma’s record of 16. Hence, he brought a swash buckling 57 ball century; from which Afghanistan could never recover and plummeted to a 150-run defeat.

The History Man: 32-year-old Abid Ali, who has not yet played a full year for the national side made a place for himself in the history books by becoming the first male batsman ever to score a hundred on both Test and ODI debut earning him the rather comical title amongst his team mates. His ODI hundred on debut against Australia, in March 2019, made him only the 3rd Pakistani batsman to do so. 

Abid Ali in his 2nd test made yet another century becoming the first Pakistani to score consecutive hundreds in their first two test matches. Let’s just hope he keeps breaking records at the same rate in 2020.

The Teenager: People are already calling him the powerhouse of Pakistan’s pace attack. Shaheen Shah Afridi broke onto the cricketing circuit with his cracking spell of 5 wickets for only 4 runs for Lahore Qalandars in PSL in 2018. In the short time since, his stunning bowling performances have left many cricketing experts in awe and disbelief.

He made the biggest mark at the biggest stage of them all and became the youngest bowler and the first teenager to take a five-wicket haul in a Cricket World Cup. His 6-35 at Lords made him the youngest man to get his name on the Lord’s Honour Board for ODI’s. His 16 wickets are also the most for any teenager in a World Cup. All in all, this bowling giant definitely has a lot up his sleeves in times to come.

The All Rounder: Shakib al Hassan roared louder and scaled more heights than most in ICC CWC 2019. He made 50 in seven out of his eight innings with the highest average for any batsmen (86.57). Shakib also became the first man to reach 500 runs and take more than 10 wickets in a World Cup. He became the fastest man to reach both 6000 runs and 250 wickets in ODI’s in just 202 matches crushing the previous record held by Shahid Afridi (294) by a whopping 92 matches.

Shakib has established his ground as one of the best all-rounders that this year and decade had to offer. However, his remarkable achievement will forever be marred by the two-year ban handed to him by the BCB.

The Newcomer: A prodigy for the Indian bowling attack, Deepak Chahar made his debut only last year and has delivered a record-breaking spell already in October 2019 against Bangladesh at Nagpur. He now has to his name the best T20 figures of 6-7, that steered his team to a thrilling 30 runs victory. He has also become the first Indian man to bag a hat-trick in the shorter format of the game. Deepak later himself went on to say, “I never thought of this even in my dreams”.

The Wonder Woman: Ellyse Perry is no stranger to records. She is the only player to make an appearance in both Women’s Cricket and Football World Cups. She is the only cricketing athlete (male or female) to score more than a 1000 runs and take 100 wickets in T20’s. She became the youngest ever Australian (male or female) to represent the country in any sport back in 2007. Perry’s 7-22, a national record for any bowler (female), has also given her the 4th spot for best overall figures in Women’s ODI history. For all her impressive achievements; Perry has been named ICC Female Cricketer for the Year 2019 making it her second time, she first achieved the feat in 2017.

Although there are many other impressive records, these are the ones that stood tall above all. The sun setting on 2019 will also bring with it an end to the current decade, one that has brought much excitement and flavour to the game and has revolutionised cricket to its modern-day form. ICC could not have asked for a better build up to its next major event, the 2020 T20 World Cup.

 

This article has been written by Fasih Taqvi, who is currently an O-Levels student at Froebel’s International School, Islamabad, Pakistan.

©Cricket World 2020

 

 


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