Voted India's Cricketer of the Century in 2002, ahead of Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar, Kapil Dev is arguably India’s best bowling all-rounder.

Leading India to the 1983 World Cup and wresting the world-record aggregate of Test wickets from Richard Hadlee were his two greatest accomplishments.

Few, who saw it, will forget his incredible knock of 175 against Zimbabwe during the 1983 World Cup as he single-handedly dragged India from a precarious 17 for 5 to a hard-fought 31-run win.

Kapil Dev was also the first bowler to take 200 ODI wickets eventually ending his career with 253 wickets at a decent average of 27.45.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Kapildev Ramlal Nikhanj

Born: January 6, 1959, Chandigarh

Major teams: India, Haryana, Northamptonshire, Worcestershire

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm fast-medium

 

ODI Career (Batting): India (1978-1994)

Mat        Inns        NO       Runs      HS        Ave        BF         SR          100s        50s          

225          198        39        3783      175*      23.79     3979      95.07           1           14                         

 

ODI Career (Bowling): India (1978-1994)

Mat        Inns        Balls       Runs     Wkts      BBI       BBM      Ave       Econ      SR      4w     5w     10w

225          221        11202     6945       253       5/43      5/43      27.45     3.71       44.2     3        1         0

 

Career Highlights

  • Captained India’s 1983 World Cup-winning team
  • 1st player to take 200 ODI wickets
  • Peak ICC rating of 631 is the highest ever by an all-rounder in ODIs

The Ultimate Test XI is done and the fans have made their votes count, overruling a panel of experts and the SportsMax Zone to pick two spinners in their line-up.

From jump street, the fans looked as if they would not be swayed by the opinions of the Zone and the panel, who had to get their ducks in a row if they wanted the final say on who makes SportsMax’s Ultimate XI.

Whereas all were agreed that India’s Sunil Gavaskar was probably the greatest opener the world has ever seen as was a shoo-in for the first opening spot on offer, the fans disagreed with the panel and the Zone on the other opener. Hands down, Fanalysts believed Gordon Greenidge, despite boasting a lower average than most in the Ultimate XI Test shortlist, was the man for the job.

The Fanalysts were outvoted as the Zone, who had 30% of all votes and the panel, who had another 30, believed Australia’s Matthew Hayden the man to walk to the crease in partnership with Gavaskar.

Then there were other differences of opinion. According to the panel, the greatest middle-order batsmen of all time, read Brian Lara, Sachin Tendulkar, and Sir Vivian Richards.

The Zone team, despite being made up of solely Caribbean journalists, disagreed. Sir Viv, they said could not fill the third spot in that middle order ahead of an Australian, Sir Donald Bradman.

The Fanalysts agreed and put the weight of their 40% of the vote squarely behind the Australian great.

So now the fans missed out on one of their picks for opener and the panel missed out on one of their picks for a middle-order batsman.

At the allrounder position and the wicketkeeper position, there was unison as Fanalysts, Zone and panel believed Sir Garfield Sobers should fill the former position, while Australia’s Adam Gilchrist is the best the world has ever seen don gloves.

It is in the bowling category that the most controversy was expected and that’s where the most variance occurred.

According to the Zone, Malcolm Marshall, Curtly Ambrose, Wasim Akram and Muttiah Muralitharan would provide the greatest bowling attack the world has ever seen.

The panel disagreed.

The panel, believed Marshall a shoo-in, New Zealand’s Sir Richard Hadlee could not be left out, and South Africa’s Dale Steyn was the final pacer to make up a bowling attack that had one spinner in Muttiah Muralitharan.

Hadlee never stood a chance for the Fanalysts, and neither did Steyn for that matter.

For the Fanalysts, a choice between Muralitharan and Warne, the two bowlers with the most wickets in the history of Test cricket, was too difficult to make and they picked both.

That left space for just two pacers and the all-West-Indian pairing of Marshall and Ambrose was the obvious choice.

With 30 per cent of the vote going to Hadlee, and another 30 per cent going to Steyn, Warne easily made his way into the Ultimate XI with the Fanalysts offering him up with their 40.

Based on all the Ultimate XI profiles have told you about these players, tell us who was right.

Were the fans who got their way with Bradman and the two spinners right? Or is there something to be said for the experts who went with Hadlee and Steyn, or even the Zone, who decided on Akram?

Were the Fanalysts accurate in going against the grain with picking Greenidge ahead of Hayden, or were the Zone and the panel correct in overruling them?  

Crazy or not, we are trusting the Fanalysts again with our Ultimate XI ODI team. 

Check out the shortlist below, tell me who you would pick in the comments section on Facebook and Twitter then go and vote after we tell you how wrong you are. Voting begins later today after the SportsMax Zone on SportsMax.tv.

 

With technique and temperament to succeed in every condition and format, Virat Kohli cutting loose is one of the exalted sights of the modern game — be it for India, Delhi or Royal Challengers Bangalore. He is already at the rarefied top of the ODI and T20 formats.  His style is based on the sound fundamentals of batting, topped with the finishing flair of god-gifted genius.     

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Virat Kohli

Born: November 5, 1988, Delhi

Major teams: India, Delhi, India A, India Blue, India Emerging Players, India Red, India Under-19s, Indian Board President's XI, North Zone, Oil & Natural Gas Corporation, Rest of India, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Surrey

Playing role: Top-order batsman

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm medium

 

ODI Career: India (2008–present)

Mat    Inns    NO   Runs     HS    Ave      BF         SR       100s    50s     4s        6s      

248      239    39    11867    183   59.33    12726   93.25       43     58       1116    121   

 

Career Highlights

  • ICC ODI Player of the Year (2012, 2017, 2018)
  • Highest average (min 5,000 runs) in the history of ODI cricket
  • 2nd most ODI centuries (43)
  • Fastest to 8,000; 9,000; 10,000; and 11,000 runs in ODIs
  • Has scored 5,388 runs in successful run chases at an average of 96.21
  • His 22 hundreds are the most in successful run chases
  • Has scored more than 1,000 runs in ODIs in a calendar year on 7 occasions
  • Reached the 1,000 ODI run mark in a year in record time – 11 innings

Sachin Tendulkar holds the record for the highest tally of runs in Test as well as ODI cricket.

He was the first batsman to score a double century in the white ball game. 

He was a nightmare for captains setting the field, as his range and repertoire of strokes had multiple answers to questions posed by bowlers. If there was one stroke from his wide cornucopia which left onlookers spellbound it was his back drive - often just a defensive half-push - that blazed to the straightest part of the ground.

 

Career Statistics 

Full name: Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar

Born: 24 April 1973 (age 47)

Place of birth: Bombay (now Mumbai), Maharashtra, India

Height: 1.65 m (5 ft 5 in)

Batting style: Right-handed

Playing role: Top-order batsman

 

ODI Career: India (1989–2012)

Mat     Inns  NO       Runs       HS    Ave      BF       SR     100s     50s     4s    6s   

463     452     41       18426      200*  44.83  21368   86.23    49       96     2016  195    

 

Career Highlights

  • Leading run-scorer in One-Day Internationals, with 18,426 runs.
  • Holds the record of the highest number of centuries in ODIs (49)
  • Holds the world record for playing the highest number of ODI matches (463).
  • Has scored over 1000 runs in a calendar year in ODIs 7 times
  • In 1998 he scored 1,894 runs, the record for the highest number of runs scored by any player in a single calendar year for ODIs.
  • He is the first male cricketer to score a double-century in one-day cricket.
  • 1997 Wisden Cricketer of the Year
  • 1998, 2010 Wisden Leading Cricketer in the World.
  • 2003 – Player of the tournament in 2003 Cricket World Cup.
  • 2004, 2007, 2010 – ICC World ODI XI.

MS Dhoni, who made his ODI debut in December 2004 against Bangladesh and was run out without scoring, now holds the record for the most wins by an Indian captain in ODIs and T20Is, and most back-to-back wins by an Indian captain in ODIs.

He took over the ODI captaincy from Rahul Dravid in 2007 and led the team to its first-ever bilateral ODI series wins in Sri Lanka and New Zealand. In June 2013, when India defeated England in the final of the Champions Trophy in England, Dhoni became the first captain to win all three ICC limited-overs trophies (World Cup, Champions Trophy and the World Twenty20).

As an individual, Dhoni thrived in the Indian lower order scoring 10 ODI centuries and 73 50s. His presence made India a formidable opponent against all rivals because as long as he was at the crease India was in with a chance of victory.

In the third match of India’s bilateral series against Sri Lanka in 2005 at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur, Sri Lanka had set India a target of 299 after a Kumar Sangakkara century and, in reply, India lost Tendulkar early.

Dhoni was promoted to number-three to accelerate the scoring and ended the game with an unbeaten 183 off 145 balls, winning the game for India.

Wisden Almanack (2006) described the knock as ‘Uninhibited, yet anything but crude'. It was the highest individual score in ODI cricket in the second innings before it was broken by Australia’s Shane Watson seven years later.

 

Career Statistics

 

Full name: Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Born: July 7, 1981, Ranchi, Bihar (now Jharkhand)

Major teams: India, Air India Blue, Asia XI, Bihar, Bradman XI, Chennai Super Kings, East Zone, East Zone Under-19s, Help for Heroes XI, India A, Indian Board President's XI, International XI, Jharkhand, Rajasthan Cricket Association President's XI, Rest of India, Rising Pune Supergiants, Sehwag XI

Playing role: Wicketkeeper-batsman

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Fielding position: Wicketkeeper

 

ODI Career: India (2004-Present)

Mat  Inns  NO  Runs   HS     Ave      SR      100s      50s    Ct       St

350   297    84  10773  183*  50.57    87.56     10       73      321     123

 

Career Highlights

  • Highest batting average among wicket-keepers (50.96)
  • In 2017, became the first Indian to hit 200 sixes in ODIs
  • ICC ODI Player of the Year (2008 & 2009)
  • Highest score by a wicket-keeper, 183 against Sri Lanka in 2005
  • 1st player to pass 10,000 runs in ODIs with an average of over 50
  • Most not outs (82) in ODIs
  • Most stumpings (120) by any wicket-keeper in ODIs

Manchester United completed an unprecedented treble in Barcelona and NBA legend Vince Carter was also celebrating on this day 21 years ago.

Bayern Munich were on the brink of winning the Champions League at Camp Nou, but late goals from Teddy Sheringham and current United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer secured a dramatic 2-1 victory for Alex Ferguson's men.

May 26, 1999 is also a date for Carter to reflect on with great memories, as he was named NBA Rookie of the Year, while history was made by India batsmen Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly on the same day.

A decade earlier Arsenal snatched the First Division title from Liverpool at Anfield with a last-gasp strike from Michael Thomas.

 

1989 - Thomas fires Gunners to title

It came down to the final match of the season to decide who would be crowned champions of England 31 years ago.

Liverpool had overtaken the wobbling Gunners to take a three-point lead, but a victory by a margin of two goals or more would be enough for George Graham's side to take the title.

Alan Smith put the London club in front seven minutes into the second half to get the nerves jangling even more on such a tense evening on Merseyside.

Arsenal looked to have fallen just short of winning the First Division for the first time in 18 years, but Thomas surged through from midfield to win it right at the end and Arsenal took the title on goals scored with a stunning 2-0 victory.

 

1999 - Solskjaer leaves Bayern crestfallen in Barcelona

Bayern appeared to have dashed United's hopes of becoming the first team to win the Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup in the same season.

Mario Basler's early strike put the Bavarian giants in front and that looked to be enough for Ottmar Hitzfeld's well-drilled side to lift the trophy at Camp Nou.

United had almost run out of ideas but with three minutes of added time shown on the fourth official's board, goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel came up for a corner that eventually resulted in Sheringham sweeping home following a scuffed shot from Ryan Giggs.

There was one final twist as Bayern were hit with the sucker punch, Sheringham nodding on another corner and Solskjaer prodding in from close range to spark wild celebrations.

 

1999 - Carter 'not surprised' by Rookie MVP gong

Carter was a revelation in his debut NBA season for the Toronto Raptors.

He averaged 18.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists a game, subsequently securing 113 of the 118 first-placed votes to be named the best rookie in the league.

Carter said after learning he had landed the award: "I can't say I'm surprised. But I'm overjoyed."

The Raptors missed out on the playoffs, but Carter gave them plenty of grounds for optimism and he has gone on to become an eight-time NBA All-Star.

 

1999 - Ganguly and Dravid slay Sri Lanka

The Sri Lanka bowlers who faced India in a Cricket World Cup contest in Taunton must have had nightmares over this day in Taunton 21 years ago.

It was Dravid and Ganguly who might have given them sleepless nights as they piled on 318 for the second wicket - an ODI record at the time.

The magnificent partnership, now the third-highest for the second wicket in the 50-over format at international level, enabled India to post 373-6 and go on to win by 157 runs.

Ganguly made a sublime 183 off 158 balls and the classy Dravid 145 from 129 deliveries on a painful May day for Sri Lanka.

Sourav Ganguly made his ODI debut for India in a six-wicket loss to the West Indies. Batting at number six Ganguly scored only three runs as India succumbed to the West Indies bowling for 191 in 48.3 overs.

Moved up and down the order as the needs demanded, Ganguly had some measure of success early on with scores of 46 against England in May 1996 and 59 against Australia in September that year. However, after being moved up the order permanently to open the batting along with Sachin Tendulkar, the pair formed one of the most destructive opening partnerships in history.

He scored his maiden ODI century in 1997, 113 against Sri Lanka. Later in the year, he won four consecutive man-of-the-match awards, in the Sahara Cup against Pakistan. During the third final of the Independence Cup at Dhaka in January 1998, India successfully chased down 315 off 48 overs, and Ganguly won the Man of the Match award.

During the 1999 World Cup in England at Taunton, Ganguly scored 183 from 158 balls and hit 17 fours and seven sixes. It was the second-highest score in World Cup history and the highest by an Indian in the tournament.

His partnership of 318 with Rahul Dravid is the highest overall score in a World Cup and is the second-highest in all ODI cricket.

By the time he played his last ODI against Pakistan in November 2007, Ganguly had scored more than 11,000 ODI runs that included 22 centuries and 72 50s to become one of India’s greatest ODI batsmen.

 

Career Statistics

Name: Sourav Ganguly

Born: July 8, 1972, Calcutta (now Kolkata), Bengal

Major teams: India, Asia XI, Bengal, East Zone, Glamorgan, India Under-19s, Kolkata Knight Riders, Lancashire, Marylebone Cricket Club, Northamptonshire, Pune Warriors

Playing role: Batsman

Batting style: Left-hand bat

Height: 5 ft 11 in

 

ODI Career: India (1992-2007)

Mat        Inns       NO         Runs      HS     Ave        BF           SR           100s        50s           4s           6s              

311         300        23          11363    183     41.02     15416      73.70          22          72             1122      190 

 

Career Highlights

  • 2nd fastest batsman to reach 9,000 ODI runs
  • 8th highest run-scorer in ODI history and 2nd among Indians
  • Only cricketer to win 4 consecutive man-of-the-match awards in ODIs
  • One of five to have 10,000 runs, 100 wickets & 100 catches in ODIs
  • 1st player to score 3 centuries in the history of ICC Champions Trophy
  • Highest score by an Indian batsman at the World Cup (183)

Rohit Sharma’s career started slowly. He was clearly a talented player but never found that consistency all great players possess. Over the last few years though, that part of his game has come on in leaps and bounds and India can count on him to contribute significantly to most of their totals. That consistency came when he moved to the opening position in 2012. Since then, ‘hitman’, has shown a particular penchant for scoring double hundreds. In fact, as an ODI opener, facing the first delivery, he averages 56, while as the man at the non-striker’s end when the first ball is bowled to India, he averages 64.84, both higher than his career average of 49.27. Sharma is for want of a less common phrase, easy on the eye, and uses timing and classic intent to get his runs, however, he has plenty of power too. Sharma has scored almost half the number of total double hundreds the ODI game has seen in its history, his 209, 264, and 208 not out, equivalent to three of the seven scored to date. The West Indies’ Chris Gayle, India’s Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar, along with New Zealand’s Martin Guptill, are the only other players to score ODI double hundreds, each of them doing so once.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Rohit Gurunath Sharma

Born: April 30, 1987, Bansod, Nagpur, Maharashtra

Major teams: India, Air India, Deccan Chargers, India A, India Blue, India Green, India Red, India Under-19s, Indian Board President's XI, Indian Oil Corporation XI, Mumbai, Mumbai Cricket Association President's XI, Mumbai Cricket Association XI, Mumbai Indians, Mumbai Under-19s, Rest of India, West Zone

Playing role: Top-order batsman

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm offbreak

 

ODI Career: India (2007-present)

Mat    Inns    NO     Runs     HS     Ave      BF          SR           100s      50s         4s        6s     

224      217    32      9115      264    49.27   10250     88.92           29       43           817      244

 

Career Highlights

  • World record holder for highest score in an ODI (264)
  • Only cricketer to score more than one ODI double hundred
  • ICC ODI player of the year 2019
  • Scored most runs in ICC World Cup 2019

There is growing optimism the Indian Premier League (IPL) could still be staged in 2020.

The competition, originally scheduled to begin in March, was suspended amid the coronavirus pandemic and it had been feared there would be no opportunity for it to take place this year.

However, Rahul Johri, CEO of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), underlined the governing body's desire for the IPL to go ahead.

The action would not be able to begin until after India's monsoon season, which runs until the end of September, which would put it in a scheduling conflict with the Twenty20 World Cup, due to start in October.

But Johri appeared confident over the prospect of the IPL going ahead, suggesting it would provide a boost for fans and the economy.

"IPL is one of the greatest engagers. More people watched the IPL last year than those who voted for general elections," he said at the TCM Sports Huddle Webinar.

"For sponsors, cricket is a leader and it will lead the way. The recovery will be sharper than a V-shaped recovery.

"We will be guided by the government guidelines. Our advisory says: IPL is suspended till further notice.

"We are engaging with various agencies. After the current phase of lockdown ends, there is the monsoon. Cricketing activities can start only after monsoon. By then, hopefully things will improve."

Johri was insistent that players from all over the world would have to be involved for it to constitute a proper IPL campaign, all but ruling out a league consisting entirely of homegrown talent.

"The flavour of IPL is that best players of the world come and play, and everyone is committed to maintaining that flow," he said.

"But it will be a step-by-step process. We can't expect normalisation tomorrow."

India is currently under government lockdown until May 31.

There is a strong cricket theme running through sporting history on May 21 – as well as an unforgettable outing for Manchester United.

Saeed Anwar dazzled during a stunning innings for Pakistan that put him in the one-day record books, while the date is also notable in the history of Indian Premier League franchise Mumbai Indians.

As for United, they were crowned champions of Europe for a third time in their history, but only after battling back from the brink to beat familiar foes in a dramatic final.

 

1997 – Anwar powers Pakistan with record-breaking knock

Anwar set an ODI record as he thrashed India's attack around Chennai, the opener making 194 from just 146 deliveries.

The left-hander hit 22 fours and five sixes – including three in a row off leg-spinner Anil Kumble – as he contributed the majority of Pakistan's final total of 327-5 in the Independence Cup fixture. The next highest score in the innings? 39.

Sachin Tendulkar eventually dismissed the centurion with the score on 297, though he made just four with the bat in India's unsuccessful reply. Despite a hundred for Rahul Dravid, they were bowled out for 292 to lose by 35 runs.

Anwar sat at the top of the highest scores list alone for 12 years until Zimbabwe's Charles Coventry matched his effort. However, in February 2010, Tendulkar set a new benchmark when he became the first batsman to score a double century in a one-dayer, doing so against South Africa.

2008 – Red Devils hit the spot to be crowned European champions

Moscow staged an all-Premier League final with a dramatic twist, with Chelsea missing their chance before United sealed glory.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored the opening goal for the Red Devils when he headed past Petr Cech, but Chelsea levelled before the break when Frank Lampard reacted quickly to a deflection to score.

There were no further goals in the remainder of the 90 minutes or extra time, meaning spot-kicks were required. Ronaldo was surprisingly the first to miss, meaning John Terry had the chance to seal victory with the Blues' fifth effort.

Yet the Chelsea skipper crucially slipped and lost his footing at the point of contact, sending his strike against a post. Into sudden-death kicks it went and, with the score at 6-5, Edwin van der Sar guessed correctly to deny Nicolas Anelka and secure the trophy in the Russian capital.

2017 – Johnson does just enough as Mumbai win again

Mumbai Indians claimed a third IPL title thanks to a thrilling one-run victory over the now-defunct Rising Pune Supergiant in Hyderabad.

The eventual champions slipped to 65-5 in their innings but Krunal Pandya led a lower-order recovery, making 47 to get his side up to 129-8. Pune reached 98-2 in reply but despite a half-century from Steve Smith, came up agonisingly short.

After a late collapse left them needing 11 off the last over, they lost two wickets off as many deliveries at the start as Mitchell Johnson held his nerve with the game – and the trophy – on the line.

Needing four off the final ball to win (and three to tie to force a Super Over), Dan Christian was only able to pick up two as Washington Sundar was run out.

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) are awaiting confirmation that India and Bangladesh will agree to tour for limited-overs series' in July.

SLC invited India to fly out for three ODIs and as many Twenty20 Internationals, while the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) are also considering the opportunity to tour for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic brought the vast majority of sport to a halt.

Ashley de Silva, the SLC chief executive, revealed there has been no official word from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) or the BCB over whether they will take up the offers.

"We have made inquiries from both the India and Bangladesh boards and are awaiting a response from them," he told ESPNcricinfo.

"As of now, those series haven't been postponed."

The BCCI on Sunday stated that contracted players would not be rushed back into training camps after the government gave the go-ahead for sports facilities to reopen.

A BCCI statement said: "The Board of Control for Cricket in India has taken note of the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs on Sunday for containment of COVID-19 across the country. 

"Taking into the account the restrictions on air travel and movement of people till May 31, the BCCI will wait further before organizing a skill-based training camp for its contracted players.

"The Board reiterates that the safety and well-being of its athletes and support staff is paramount and will not rush into any decision that can hamper or jeopardize India's efforts in containing the spread of the virus."

There have been just 981 COVID-19 cases reported in Sri Lanka, nine of those people passing away.

Ravi Shastri believes bilateral action and the Indian Premier League (IPL) should take priority over global competitions when the green light is given for cricket to resume.

The coronavirus crisis has ground the vast majority of sport to a halt worldwide, with many events cancelled or suspended.

It was not possible to get the IPL under way at the end of March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but organisers are still hopeful of rescheduling the extravaganza for later in the year.

There are also doubts over whether the ICC Men's T20 World Cup in Australia, scheduled for October and November, will go ahead.

India head coach Shastri thinks it is too early to be thinking about staging major international tournaments.

He told the Times of India: "I wouldn't put too much emphasis on world events right now.

"Stay at home, ensure domestic cricket comes back to normal, cricketers at all levels - international, first-class, et cetera - all get back on the field. That's the most important bit. Second: Start with bilateral cricket.

"If we had to choose between hosting a World Cup and a bilateral tour, obviously, we'd settle for the bilateral.

"Instead of 15 teams flying in, we'd settle for one team flying in and playing an entire bilateral series at one or two grounds.

"When cricket resumes, we could give the IPL a priority. The difference between an international tournament and the IPL is that the IPL can be played between one or two cities and the logistics will be easier to manage.

"The same thing with bilaterals - it'll be easier for us to tour one country and play there at specific grounds than 15-16 teams flying in during these times. The International Cricket Council needs to look at this objectively."

Jason Gillespie remains hopeful the ICC T20 World Cup will go ahead despite the coronavirus pandemic, while he sees a route for domestic cricket to not only survive but thrive in unprecedented circumstances.

The seventh edition of the T20 tournament is due to take place in Australia during October and November, though the ongoing global health crisis has raised logistical issues that have put the event in doubt.

Different guidelines will affect when players can return to practice due to the risks posed by COVID-19 in each country, while the international fixture list for 2020 has been decimated.

Then there are potential travel restrictions for those flying to Australia, with former South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis proposing a two-week quarantine period for players both before and after the World Cup.

Gillespie insists it should only go ahead if all countries can participate, but expects contingency plans are being put in place in case it needs to be moved.

"I'm still hopeful that we can have a tournament in one form or another," the former Australia fast bowler told Stats Perform. "Whether it's on when it's scheduled is another conversation, I think.

"My gut feeling would be potentially to push it back a little bit, but at the moment, I'm still hopeful that all the teams participating can do that. That will come down to the administrators, the authorities, to make the right calls at the time.

"But I think, at the moment, because there is a bit of time, I think we can assume things will go ahead, but I’m sure, behind the scenes, there'll be Plan B and Plan C in any situation that can crop up."

Gillespie should have been busy in his role as head coach at Sussex at this stage of the year, yet the 2020 English county season remains on hold.

However, there is the potential for a positive to emerge from the situation, according to Gillespie, as domestic teams around the world may suddenly benefit from having international stars available on a more regular basis.

“I'm trying to put a positive spin on this situation, and I think the one thing I keep coming back to is borders are essentially closed in all the countries, but local sport can play," he said.

"It's a really good opportunity for cricket. I think it's a wonderful opportunity for the various boards and Cricket Australia to really promote the fact that international players are going to play a fair chunk of the season for their respective states, which I think is absolutely fantastic.

"I’d be really pushing Sheffield Shield cricket hard [in Australia] and giving it a lot of coverage and promotion, because I think it's a wonderful competition.

"These days, international players don’t get to play much Sheffield Shield cricket. They love playing Sheffield Shield cricket, but with the schedules, it makes it very difficult, so I’d say really promote that.

"All around the world, can you imagine India having all their superstar players playing their domestic cricket? English cricket stars if cricket's able to played there, having all their international players; South African domestic cricket, Pakistan domestic cricket.

"All around the world, I think it could really give domestic competitions a shot in the arm, and that can only be really good for our sport.

"I'm sure a lot of people will be following domestic cricket if there is limited international cricket. Then the domestic game can not only survive, I think it can thrive."

Rahul Dravid, despite not sharing the explosiveness of a very explosive group of batting stars coming out of India from the mid-1990s until the end of his career in 2012, could be seen as the most important batsman the country produced at the time.

At the time of Dravid’s arrival in Test cricket, India were a team, dominant at home on slow, turning pitches but found playing away on faster, bouncier ones a bridge too far.

Dravid was not considered a natural athlete and worked hard to forge a technique that was almost impervious to all the different types of bowling. So solid was his defence, that his well-known nickname was ‘The Wall’. His strike rate of 42.51 may have been a little low for those who liked the flash of Sachin Tendulkar or Virender Sehwag, but the results were undeniable. Dravid’s almost 14 hours of batting won India their first Test in Australia for a generation, and then his 12-hour-long stint for 270 gave India their first series win in Pakistan. Performances like that would become a regular feature of Dravid’s batting, the most famous of them coming when he partnered VVS Laxman to overhaul a 270-run lead against Australia and turn it into a 171-run victory. India, batting a second time against Australia at Eden Gardens after faltering to 175 all-out, chasing 445, racked up 657-7 declared on the back of Dravid’s 180 and Laxman’s 281, the two partnering in a record 376-run fifth-wicket partnership.   

Career Statistics

Full name: Rahul Sharad Dravid

Born: January 11, 1973, Indore, Madhya Pradesh

Major teams: India, Scotland, Asia XI, Canterbury, ICC World XI, Karnataka, Kent, Marylebone Cricket Club, Rajasthan Royals, Royal Challengers Bangalore

Playing role: Top-order batsman

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm offbreak

Fielding position: Occasional wicketkeeper

 

Test Career:   India (1996-2012)

Mat    Inns    NO     Runs       HS     Ave      BF          SR      100s    50s

164      286     32     13288      270    52.31    31258    42.51      36     63

        

Career Highlights

  • 4th all-time for most runs scored in Tests (13, 288)
  • 2nd most runs scored by a number three in Tests (10, 524)
  • Most number of balls faced in Test history (31, 258)
  • Longest time spent at the crease in Tests (44, 152 minutes)
  • First player to score centuries in all Test-playing nations

Sachin Tendulkar’s heavenly gifts redefined cricketing statistics: the only batsman to score 100 international centuries, the only player to play 200 Tests, the only batsman to score 30,000 international runs, and the owner of the highest number of runs and hundreds in both Tests and ODIs.

He was a nightmare for captains setting the field as his range and repertoire of strokes had multiple answers to questions posed by bowlers. If there was one stroke from his wide cornucopia which left onlookers spellbound it was the batsman’s’-back drive - often just a defensive half-push - that blazed through the straightest part of the ground.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar

Born: April 24, 1973 (age 47)

Place of birth: Bombay (now Mumbai), Maharashtra, India

Height: 1.65 m (5 ft 5 in)

Batting style: Right-handed

Bowling style: Right-arm medium, leg break, off break

Role: Batsman

 

Test Career: India (1989-2013)

Mat    Inns    NO     Runs    HS      Ave     100s    50s         

200    329    33     15921      248*   53.78      51     68             

 

Career highlights

  • Regarded as one of the greatest batsmen of all time
  • Leading run scorer in Tests (15,921)
  • Most centuries in Tests (51)
  • Named ESPNCricinfo’s Cricketer of the Generation (2014)
  • Inducted into ICC Hall of Fame (2019)
  • Laureus World Sports Award for Best Sporting Moment (2000-2020)
  • Given several awards in India including highest for sports (1997-98)
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