Which year has seen the maximum number of Test debutants?

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10 Aug 2020 | 11:26 AM
authorMohandas Menon

Which year has seen the maximum number of Test debutants?

In this series, your cricket-related queries will be answered by our expert statistician

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Which year has seen the maximum number of Test debutants? - Srinath Jayshankar on Twitter

With the two new sides, Ireland and Afghanistan, given the Test status, it comes as no surprise that 2018 has seen the maximum number of players (64) making their debut in Test cricket. Interestingly, the next best came in 1992 when 58 players made their Test debut. During that year too, two sides were brought into the Test fold - South Africa, in their comeback Test match since their suspension in 1970 and the new entrant Zimbabwe, who were playing in Tests for the first time.

In the first year of Test cricket in 1877, a total of 25 players made their debut. This remained a record until 1896 when 31 players appeared in a Test match for the first time. Then in 1930, for the first time a total of 50 players made their maiden appearances in Tests. In 1992, 62 years later, 58 players made their first appearance in Tests. And then finally, in 2018, for the first time over 60 players played in Tests, which is now the new Test record for the maximum number of debutants (64) playing in Test cricket in a single calendar year! 

Notes:

+ John Traicos had already made his debut for South Africa in 1970

# Boyd Rankin had already made his debut for England in 2014

** In 2000, no Australian player made Test debut, while in 2011 no England player made Test debut!

** The fewest number of debutants in a year is two in 1886 and 1898, followed by three in 1895 and 1926.

** Incidentally, the last occasion fewer than 10 players made debut was in 1926, when just three players did so. 

What is the record for generations to play first class cricket like Headleys of West indies and Khans of Pakistan? - Ijaz Irshad on Twitter

There are several other families to achieve this. However, last year in October, one New Zealand family provided four generations of a father, son, grandson and a great grandson to first-class cricket when Michael Snedden made his Plunket Shield first-class debut. He thus followed in the footsteps of father Martin Snedden (Auckland 1977/78-1989/90), grandfather Warwick Snedden (Auckland 1946/47) and great-grandfather Nessie Snedden (Auckland 1909/10-1927/28) as a first-class cricketer. Martin represented New Zealand officially, while Nessie having captained his country in unofficial matches. Incidentally, Michael became the sixth cricketer from the Snedden family to play first-class cricket, which also includes another of Nessie's sons Colin (Auckland 1938/39-1947/48) and Nessie's brother Cyril Snedden (Auckland 1920/21).

+includes 25 Test matches for New Zealand

We recently saw three consecutive Test matches being played at Old Trafford in Manchester. Has this happened before in Test cricket? – Suresh Desai on Facebook

The recent consecutive Test matches played at Old Trafford at Manchester provided the first such instance in England. However, the Harare Sports Club in Zimbabwe holds the distinction of hosting five consecutive Tests from April 2013 to August 2014 – two each against Bangladesh and Pakistan and one against South Africa. This ground also has the honour of being the only venue to consecutively host three or more Tests on two separate occasions. The full list. 

+ It was the first three Tests in same series

# It was the first four Tests played in the UAE

Could you compile the list of Parsees who played Test Cricket? - Shahbaz Ali on twitter   

Since 1932, 11 Parsee cricketers have appeared in Test cricket for India. Farokh Engineer was the last Parsee to make debut in Tests – against England at Kanpur on 1 December 1961, while he is also the last to play a Test on 29 January 1975 in the inaugural Test match at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai against the West Indies. Unfortunately for him, he bagged a pair in his final Test match! 

The most prolific Parsee cricketer has undoubtedly been Polly Umrigar. When he retired from Test cricket in 1962, he was then the leading run-getter (3631), century maker (12) and had also appeared in most Test matches (59) for India. In fact, he was actually then the only Indian player with over 3000 runs, over 10 centuries and over 50 matches in Test cricket!

The full list:

+ Also captained India in Tests – Umrigar (8) and Contractor (12)

Note: two other Parsees appeared in Tests for the Indian Women’s team.

Behroze Edulji (1 Test in 1976) and Diana Edulji (20 Tests from 1976-1991)

All records mentioned above are correct and updated as on 9 August 2020 

If you have any cricket-related questions, then ask them using the #AskMohan and #StatsBurst hashtags on our social media channels. Reputed statistician, Mohandas Menon will be answering the selected questions.

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IndiaNew ZealandZimbabweIrelandMartin Colin SneddenMichael Warwick SneddenTimothy James MurtaghIreland tour of England, 2019England vs Ireland - One-off Test - Ireland in England, Only Test, 2019

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