40) Pankaj Singh 0/179 on debut
Pankaj Singh came into cricket at a perfect time.
Ishant Sharma had just routed England at Lord’s to help India to a 1-0 series lead.
However, his heroics led to an injury that made him unavailable for the next Test at the Ageas Bowl, which incidentally, has the worst name of any sporting ground anywhere in the world.
Singh was selected to replace Ishant and duly served up 0/146 in the first innings. He could have had Cook early, but Ravi Jadeja dropped him at slip.
He finished with the match figures of 47 – 12 – 179 – 0.
These are the most expensive on debut without a wicket ever in the history of Test cricket.
Many feel he was extremely unlucky as his bowling was better than what the figures show.
39) Strauss calls Kevin Pietersen a ‘c**t’ on TV
It was supposed to be a celebration.
Lord’s was 200 years old.
Old faces were coming back to party.
One of those old faces, Andrew Strauss, was perched in the Sky TV commentary box.
The other, Kevin Pietersen, was out on the ground.
During a break, Strauss broke the golden rule by not assuming that the microphone is always on. Fox Sports listeners in Australia, who were taking the live stream, were smacked in the face with a C-bomb as Strauss told fellow commentator Nick Knight what he thought about Kevin Pietersen.
Sky TV took no action against him.
KP just laughed it off on social media.
38) Sunil Narine chooses the IPL final over Test cricket with the West Indies
The battle lines have been clearly drawn.
T20 mercenaries now have a pioneer who has turned his back on Test cricket for instant riches.
The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) wanted its players in a training camp prior to their home Test series against New Zealand.
The camp started the day before the IPL final for which Narine was a required player.
The WICB stated that anyone not attending the camp would not be selected for the Test series.
His team, the Kolkata Knight Riders won the IPL final.
His other team, the West Indies, lost the Test series against New Zealand 2-1
37) Jonathan Trott returns to County Cricket
After returning home from the Ashes with a ‘stress related illness’ and apparently suffering from having ‘scared eyes’, it was finally revealed that Jonathan Trott had a mental illness.
He returned to play a month with Warwickshire before again requiring another break from the game.
On his second comeback, Trott impressed with three hundreds in nine First Class matches. He also averaged 54.22 in 50-over cricket.
Trott was named in a 14-man England Lions party for their January 2015 tour of South Africa, capping a remarkable comeback.
36) Graeme Smith Retires from International Cricket
Graeme Smith retired from International cricket after captaining South Africa in a record 109 Test matches.
He is probably most famous for the fact that none of his 27 Test hundreds came in a defeat.
Australian’s will long remember his innings in Sydney when he came out to face Mitchell Johnson with a broken hand, showing amazing courage and team spirit.
Unfortunately, his legacy will always be tainted by the fact he chose to gain an Irish passport in an ill fated bid to play cricket with Boyd Rankin.
35) England sack Graham Gooch
What do you do when you lose an Ashes series 5-0?
Sack your best coach.
England decided that Graham Gooch would be one of the fall guys (as well as KP, Andy Flower and Mushtaq Ahmed) for the disastrous tour of Australia.
The problem with this of course is that it was Gooch who had taught English players how to make double hundreds.
He was also well respected by the team but clashed at times with Alastair Cook. Enough said.
Gooch was replaced by Mark Ramprakash, who averages less than 30 in Test cricket.
England also poached Paul Farbrace from Sri Lanka post their T20 World Cup win.
However, Farbrace then assisted England to lose their home T20, ODI and Test series against, you guessed it, Sri Lanka.
34) Sangakka makes 1486 Test runs in the Calendar Year
In what will be his last year as a Test batsman before retirement, Kumar Sangakkara smacked 1486 runs in 2014.
That puts him 9th on the all time list of runs made in a calendar year.
4 hundreds, 9 fifties and a highest score of 319 from only 20 innings.
65% of the time, he reached 50. That’s just ridiculous.
Not the worst way to leave the game.
The added benefit of Sangakkara is that he is a top bloke as well.
33) The ICC announce a 10 Team World Cup for 2019
There was always going to be an ICC nomination or two.
Here’s the first one.
With a steely resolve to protected revenues and records of the leading cricketing nations, the ICC have announced that the 2019 World Cup will only involve 10 teams.
This is down from the 14 playing in the 2015 World Cup.
There are currently 10 Test playing nations. The top 8 in the ODI rankings will automatically qualify. The final two spots will be fought out by the remaining 180 countries who play cricket.
It is highly likely that no affiliate or associate nation will qualify.
Apparently, this is how you grow the game.
32) Carberry breaks his bat in Sydney
Was this the most symbolic moment of England’s disastrous Ashes tour or just proof that Ryan Harris bowls a heavy ball?
31) Herath takes 9/127
It was a magical year for Sri Lanka, winning just about everything thrown at them.
However, it takes a special player to take 9 wickets in an innings.
A stocky bank teller called Herath decided he would do it against Pakistan.
It has only been done 18 times in the history of the game.