New Delhi. There is a long list of best cricketers in the world. But there are few such players who can be called Gentlemen even by the opposing players, whose selfless sports world can testify. Who takes the catch even knowing that by doing so he will miss out on making the world record for taking 10 wickets in an innings. July 3 is the birthday of such a player. The name is Richard Hadley. Hadlee, one of the world’s greatest all-rounders, is the first bowler to take 400 wickets in Test cricket. Today, when Richard Hadlee is celebrating his birthday, why not remember some of his memorable performances.
Richard Hadlee, born on 3 July 1951, played 86 Tests and 115 ODIs. When he retired in the year 1990, he had many world records including taking 431 Test wickets. But we will not go into his record here. Records are made and broken. But the player’s style of play, personality, vivacity always remain the same. The world also salutes Richard Hadlee of New Zealand for his personality more than his record.
First that story related to Richard Hadley, after which ‘Catch of the Century’ was added to his name. That was the year 1985. Hosts Australia faced New Zealand in Brisbane. Richard Hadlee took 9 wickets in the first innings of this match. He wreaked havoc with his precise bowling that Australia lost 8 wickets for 175 runs. Hadlee had given the best performance of his career and now the record of taking 10 wickets in an innings was in front of him. Then he got a difficult catch. Known for his selfless game, Hadlee made no mistake in taking this catch of Geoff Lawson. In this way, Vaughan Brown got the first wicket of his Test career and the chance of taking 10 wickets in the innings went out of hand of Hadley. English journalist Frank Keating has called it the ‘Catch of the Century’. Not because it was the toughest catch in the world. Rather because the player who was taking this catch, he had a chance to take 10 wickets in an innings and he knew that by taking this catch, he would miss this record in his name. Despite this, he took this catch. Frank Keating has written many books on English cricket apart from Ian Botham, Geoffrey Boycott, Graham Gooch.
However, taking the catch of Richard Hadlee was not a big deal for the cricket-watchers from 1970 to 1990. Cricket lovers were witness to hundreds of such occasions when this player had made cricket proud with his selfless game. Captain Kapil Dev, who made India the world champion, compares his bowling to the computer. In a News18 Hindi program, Kapil says that Hadlee was such a bowler who could bowl continuously at the same place. Just like a computer, in which there is no room for error. Kapil further explains his point by saying that Hadlee was such a bowler who could bowl throughout the day by keeping only two fielders on the legside and during this time it is useless to expect a mistake from him.
It is a coincidence that Kapil Dev broke Richard Hadlee’s world record of taking 431 Test wickets. Hadlee is not only the first bowler to take 400 wickets in Test cricket. Rather, when he retired, he also had a world record of taking 431 Test wickets. This record of Hadlee was broken by Kapil Dev in 1994. Richard Hadlee has 431 wickets and 3124 runs in 86 Test matches. His performance in ODI cricket was also excellent. He took 158 wickets and scored 1751 runs in 115 ODIs. Happy Birthday Richard Hadley. Cricket fans will always remember this performance of yours.
FIRST PUBLISHED : July 03, 2022, 11:03 IST