Treasure Trove of Little Known Cricket Facts

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New Delhi, Feb 12 (UNI) Did you know that England batsman Walter Robbins was the first victim to a 'Chinaman' -- a googly bowled by a left-arm bowler to a right-hand batsman? Robbins was stumped off the bowling of Ellis 'Puss' Achong of the West Indies -- who was of Chinese descent -- at Manchester in 1933. The batsman stormed into the dressing room muttering he had been 'done by a bloody Chinaman'.

The name stuck.

This and other fascinating trivia form part of the The Penguin Book of Cricket Lists compiled by veteran sports journalist Gulu Ezekiel.

The book tells the readers why some cricketers had strange pet names: Australian fast bowler Glenn McGrath was known as ''Pigeon'' for his splay-toed bowling approach to the crease. West Indies captain Clive Lloyd was called as Big Cat, for his size, yet agility on the field and ''Froggy'' was the nick name of another Australian pacer Alan Thompson because of his unusual run-up which resembled a frog-march.

Another intresting facts which Gulu mentions in his book is that Srilankan Tillekaratne Dilshan converted from Islam to Buddhism. Earlier his name was Tuwan Mohammed Dilshan.

Pakistan's prolific run getter Mohammed Yousuf converted to Islam from Christianity. His orginal name was Yousuf Youhana.

India's A G Kripal Singh was a Sikh but converted to Christianity and became Arnold George (AG) Kripal Singh.

According to the book, the Khan clan (Jahangir Khan, Baqa Jilani, Javed Burki, Majid Khan, Imran Khan, Bazid Khan) have the distinction of having played the most number of Tests (by one family) :182 Tests.

It also informs that winner of the first Indian Open Golf held in New Delhi in 1971 was Graham Marsh, elder borther of famed Australian wicket keeper Rod Marsh.

There are 11 brothers-in-law pairs who have played for their countries. Prominent among them are India's own G R Vishwanath and Sunil Gavaskar, West Indian David Murray and Viv Richards and Pakistan's Ijaz Ahmed and Salim Malik.

The book also lets its readers know about unusual professions of some the cricketers, before, during or after their playing careers.

Australia's Rod Hogg was a milkman, Bill Lawry was a plumber, New Zealand's John Bracewell was a grave digger, Pakistan's Abdul Qadir was a vegetable vendor, Mohd Yousuf was a rickshaw driver, West Indian fast bowler Andy Roberts was a fisherman while Kenneth Weekes was a male nurse.

The book also provides a treasure trove of unusal facts, both informative and hilarious such as: Which legendary cricketer appeared in a Raj Kapoor film, or which cricketer fractured his finger when his hand got stuck in a postbox? These and hundred other unknown facts make the book a must-read for cricket buff and author deserves kudos for compiling such tantalising trivia on the game.

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