The Lord’s delight
Lord’s to cricket ground is commonly referred to as “The Home of Cricket” because it is one of the most iconic venues in the world. This is because of its rich history and tradition. The venue itself is named after Thomas Lords – the founder of the ground in 1814. There are many unique features that make Lords one of the most admired venues in the world. Some of its eye-catching sights include the Pavillion, the slope and the media centre.
One such tradition is the Lord’s Honours board. Whenever a batsman scores a hundred, a bowler takes a five-wicket haul in an innings or ten-wicket haul in a match, the respective player will have his or her name on the prestigious honours board. This tradition has been followed since Lords was established in 1814.
Over 500 players have achieved such a landmark until date. However, there are some players who have had remarkable playing careers but failed to establish their name on the Lord’s honours board. Which greats have missed out?
Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar is widely regarded as the greatest batsmen in the history of the game. He carried the expectations of millions of Indian fans each time he batted in his illustrious career. He has arguably had the greatest impact of any Indian cricketer until date.
Sachin made his debut at the age of 16 and retired at the age of 40. The one aspect that separates Sachin from the rest is longevity. During his 24 years long career, he played 200 test matches – a record which is unlikely to be beaten.
He amassed 15921 runs at an average close to 54 in the longest format of the game. Sachin has 51 test centuries to his name. But he failed to score a century at Lords. Tendulkar played five tests at Lords and he amassed 195 runs at 21.66, with a highest score of 37. But, as Harsha Bhogle once asked “If Sachin is not on the honours board, then who is at a bigger loss? Sachin or the honours board?”
Also read: Most test wickets in Asia by overseas fast bowlers, Varun Desai
Captaincy is an art that can be mastered only by a few. Critics often mention that “Every great player can not be a good captain”. However, Ricky Ponting was one of the most successful captains in cricketing history and undoubtedly a great player.
Ricky Ponting often referred to as “Punter” made his test and ODI debut in the year 1995. Ponting was appointed as ODI captain in the year 2002. Two years later he was appointed as test captain. He has captained Australia in 324 matches – out of which Australia won 220 matches.
Ponting is the second-highest run-scorer in test match cricket. He amassed 13378 runs in just 168 matches at an average of 51.85. He scored 41 test centuries but could not manage one at Lords. Ponting scored only 135 runs at Lords in four games -with a highest score of 42.
Jacques Kallis is often dubbed as the greatest all-rounder in the history of cricket. Kallis made his debut in 1995. Jacques Kallis is the only player to have achieved the combination of 10,000 runs, 250 wickets and 100 catches in both Tests and ODIs.
Kallis has scored 45 centuries in test cricket – only second to Tendulkar. However, like Tendulkar Kallis did not manage to feature on the Honours board. He played 3 tests at Lords and only scored 54 runs – with a highest score of 31. He did pick up 4/24 however in a single innings with the ball.
Statistically, Muralitharan is the greatest bowler in the history of the game. He took 800 test wickets between 1992 and 2010. His bowling average in tests was a remarkably low 22.72.
In ODI cricket he picked up 534 wickets from 341 innings with an average of 23.08. Often batsmen around the world would struggle to pick his doosra, which made him unplayable at times.
Despite all his achievements, Muralitharan did not manage to feature on the Lord’s Honours Board. Unlike the others mentioned above, he only played one test at Lords. In that test he picked up 3/158.
Shane Warne’s greatest attribute was perhaps his ability to bowl an immaculate line and length. His variations were difficult to pick – especially his slider and flipper.
Shane Warne picked up 708 wickets during his test career in just 145 matches. Warne did not manage to feature on the honours board despite playing 22 matches. The Australian spin wizard played four matches at Lord’s and took 19 wickets at an average of less than 20.
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