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Wednesday, July 1, 2020

family in Cricket

Edward 'Teddy' Brown lives for his suburban cricket club and his two best friends, Rick and Stavros.  Rallying a boyhood dream and his own teenage obsession, 35-year-old Teddy leads his very ordinary cricket team into the extraordinary heart of India, on an audacious three match tour and a mission to meet cricketing legend, Sachin Tendulkar.  The dream tour becomes a nightmare and the men are forced to face the realities of their friendship, confront their fears and Ted has to learn to move with the changing times.

That was the theme of ‘Save Your Legs!’   a 2012 Australian comedy film directed by Boyd Hicklin and starring Stephen Curry, Damon Gameau and Brendan Cowell.   The hero of the post acted as an Umpire in that movie.

There have been many father / son players who have represented the Nation – some are more unique.  Lala Amarnath was the first Indian century maker and his most illustrious son was courageous Mohinder Amarnath.  Surinder Amarnath made a century on debut against New Zealand but faded; their another brother Rajinder Amarnath played Ranji. The man who is the subject matter of this post is more unique.

Remember seeing Richard Hadlee touring with Glenn Turner playing at Chepauk in 1976 (Venkat made 64 in that test) – India won by a big margin. Ill-tempered Hadlee flung a bail at the umpire after Anshuman Gaekwad wasn't ruled out hit-wicket. To make things worse, the heat and humidity contributed to him falling violently ill ten minutes into the game, and kept him off the field for a day and a half. He swore that he would never return to the subcontinent.

He returned to India in Nov 1988 chasing a World record trying to overhaul Ian Botham’s 373.   At Chinnasamy stadium, he thought Krish Srikkanth would be his World record victim, but it was Arunlal who edged Hadlee to the debutant Chris Kuggeleijn’s hands at slip (pic of K Gopinath Indian Express). Sir Richard Hadlee was a great allrounder – he made 3124 test runs in 86 tests and 1751 in 115 ODIs.  More importantly he took 431 test wickets and 158 ODI wickets.  

His name stood at the top of wicket takers in Tests – and few years later Kapil Dev broke it and went beyond.  Courtney Walsh went over and for sometime Muthiah Muralitharan and Share Warne out-vied each other.  Now the record permanently stands in the name of  Muralitharan with 800 and the way Test Cricket is played these days, it is unlikely that another bowler would get anyway closer.  For records No. 1 is Murali 800; Shane Warne 708; Anil Kukmble 619; Jimmy Anderson 584; Glenn McGrath 563 & C Walsh 519 (500 club) – another 9 in the 400 club and 18more with 300 wickets +

Richard Hadlee  was a right-arm pace bowler and a left handed batsman.  Initially extremely fast, as the years progressed he shortened his run amid great controversy, gaining accuracy and movement off the wicket and in the air. Perhaps his most potent delivery was the outswinger, which became his main weapon in the latter stages of his career.  Hadlee was appointed MBE in 1980 and knighted in 1990 for services to cricket. He is a former chairman of the New Zealand board of selectors. In December 2002, he was chosen by Wisden as the second greatest Test bowler of all time. In March 2009, Hadlee was commemorated as one of the Twelve Local Heroes, and a bronze bust of him was unveiled outside the Christchurch Arts Centre.  In Apr  2009, Sir Richard Hadlee was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. 

The international bowling career of  Hadlee,  by his own assessment may be divided into three distinct periods: the first five years when he was “erratic, inconsistent and without a great idea of how to get through three days, let alone four, or five”; the years 1977 to 1980 when, according to Glenn Turner, he “came of age”; and the final decade, when he positively raced to his record number of 431 Test wickets by summoning every resource of experience and guile.  It began on Feb 2, 1973, at the Basin Reserve, Wellington, where he took two wickets in the match against Pakistan for 112 runs, and it ended on July 10, 1990, at Edgbaston, Birmingham, when he was handed the ball with which he had taken five wickets in an innings for the 36th time. From that modest start he had averaged five wickets a match over the 86 Tests in which he had played in the subsequent 17-and-a-half years, and he retired “very happy, relieved, proud”.

His father Walter Arnold Hadlee was born in 1915 in Canterburry; he played in 11 tests.    He first represented New Zealand in 1937, and in 1949, he was the captain of the team that toured England. When he retired in 1951, he became a selector. In 1965 he managed the New Zealand team on the tour of England, India and Pakistan.  On that tour to England in 1949, he wrote a day-to-day diary of the eight-month tour.  That tour to England  tour produced a profit for the first time in the history of New Zealand cricket, like £16,700. It was a lot of money,  those days.

He and his brother Dayle Robert Hadlee played together and opened the attack too.  Dayle too was a right handed fast bowler.  He played 26 tests and 11 ODIs taking 71 & 20 wickets.  Richard Hadlee was the fourth son of Walter and the eldest Barry George Hadlee, 10 years elder to Richard  played two ODIs for NZ asx a batsman.  In the 5th match of   Prudential World Cup at Nottingham on , Jun 11 1975 – the three of them played together. 

However that is not totally unique – there  have even been three instances in Tests: WG, EM and GF Grace for England against Australia at The Oval in 1880; Alec and George Hearne played for England, and their brother Frank for South Africa, in Cape Town in 1891-92 (a cousin also played); and Hanif, Mushtaq and Sadiq Mohammad for Pakistan against New Zealand in Karachi in 1969-70 (it was Hanif's 55th and last Test, and Sadiq's first).

To add some more flavor : Karen Ann Marsh (married name Hadlee)  played a single match for the New Zealand national side at the 1978 World Cup.  A pace-bowling all-rounder, her sole One Day International (ODI) appearance for New Zealand came at the 1978 World Cup in India, against England. Coming in sixth in the batting order, she scored 14 runs from 17 balls, but was not called upon to bowl.  Karen  was married to Richard Hadlee,  they had two sons together, but later divorced.

So a Cricket family of Richard Hadlee, his wife, his father and 2 brothers having represented the country.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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