Who holds the record for the most runs conceded in a Test?
Have England ever fielded a Test side with players from 11 different counties?asked Malcolm Price from England
This is a difficult one to check - especially given the amount of player movement in recent years - but I think it has only happened twice. The first time was in the third Test against South Africa in Durban in 1930-31, when the England team included players from Glamorgan (Maurice Turnbull), Gloucestershire (Wally Hammond), Kent (captain Percy Chapman), Lancashire (George Duckworth), Middlesex (Patsy Hendren), Nottinghamshire (Bill Voce), Somerset (Jack White), Surrey (Maurice Allom), Sussex (Maurice Tate), Warwickshire (Bob Wyatt) and Yorkshire (Maurice Leyland).
It happened again at Trent Bridge in 1950, when the team for the third Test against West Indies featured representatives from Essex (Doug Insole), Glamorgan (Gilbert Parkhouse), Hampshire (Derek Shackleton), Kent (Godfrey Evans), Lancashire (Cyril Washbrook), Middlesex (John Dewes), Nottinghamshire (Reg Simpson), Surrey (Alec Bedser), Warwickshire (Eric Hollies), Worcestershire (Roley Jenkins) and Yorkshire (captain Norman Yardley).
Keshav Maharaj conceded 318 runs in the Test in Vizag. Was this a record?asked Kishore Mehta from India
Only two bowlers have conceded more runs in a Test than South Africa's Keshav Maharaj against India in Visakhapatnam recently, when he took 3 for 189 in the first innings and 2 for 129 in the second. Offspinner Jason Krejza, making his Test debut for Australia against India in Nagpur in 2008-09, had match figures of 12 for 358 (8 for 215 and 4 for 143). But this unwanted Test record belongs to a legspinner - the Jamaican "Tommy" Scott, who gave away 374 runs (5 for 266 and 4 for 108) for West Indies against England in Kingston in 1929-30.
In Vizag, Maharaj broke his own South African record, having conceded 283 runs in taking 12 wickets against Sri Lanka in Colombo in 2018 (9 for 129 and 3 for 154).
The only other bowler to concede more than 300 runs in a Test is Arthur Mailey of Australia, who did it twice.
Which Australian Test cricketer was born near Harrods department store in Knightsbridge?asked Nigel Jenkins from Australia
The answer here is someone from the very first Test match, in Melbourne in March 1877. After Australia batted, the first man to bowl a ball for Australia was the Knightsbridge-born left-arm medium-pacer John Hodges, who soon claimed their first wicket, when John Selby was caught by Bransby Cooper for 7.
Hodges owed his place to the late withdrawal of another local left-armer, Frank Allan. Very little is known about Hodges: this Test was also his first-class debut, and apart from the second Test of the series he played only two other first-class games the following season, taking 3 for 11 against New South Wales. He played for the Richmond club in Melbourne.
There is some confusion about his death: some claim he passed away early in 1933, aged 77, but cricket historians do not yet have confirmation. We do know that Hodges was born in 1855, in London - and although I was confident Harrods was established by then, I wasn't sure if it was on the current site. However, it seems that the shop (founded by Charles Harrod in 1824) moved to the site of the current huge store in Knightsbridge in 1849, although the original shop there was only a small one. So Hodges must have started life close by.
What's the highest score by someone who played only one one-day international?asked Chris Robinson from England
This peculiar record belongs to England's Kim Barnett, who made 84 in his first one-day international, against Sri Lanka at The Oval in 1988 - and won the match award - but never played another. England's tour of India that winter was cancelled, and Barnett was out of favour by the time the next season rolled around.
How did the American president come to be watching a Test match in Pakistan in 1959?asked Jalil Ahmed from Pakistan
The match in question was the third Test of Pakistan's home series against Australia, in Karachi in December 1959. Dwight Eisenhower, the American president, was making an informal visit to Pakistan, and was taken to the fourth day's play.
The Pakistan writer Qamaruddin Butt described the event in his tour book: "Luster was added to the scene when President Eisenhower graced the occasion with his presence at ten to twelve. His Pakistani counterpart, Field Marshal Mohammad Ayub Khan, had preceded the venerable guest to receive him. The two teams were introduced to the American president. National anthems of both America and Pakistan were played and everyone on the ground stood on his seat as a mark of respect to the distinguished visitor."
Unfortunately Eisenhower was forced to witness one of the more boring days of Test cricket: Pakistan were battling to avoid defeat, and managed only 104 runs all day, the second fewest in history (the lowest, 95, came during the same two sides' previous meeting in Karachi, in 1956-57).
Richie Benaud, Australia's captain, gifted the president his cap after he saw that he had already been given a Pakistan blazer. Fast bowler Ian Meckiff, one of the tourists, also recalled Eisenhower's arrival: "We had slugged away all morning without taking a wicket, but as soon as the president arrived three fell quickly. He was only scheduled to stay a couple of hours, but when Richie met him he asked him if he could stay a bit longer, given the difference his appearance had made to our wicket haul."
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