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Tendulkar – a long-standing member of the Test club

Sachin Tendulkar holds many records and will no doubt acquire more before he retires after a very long and productive career as a Test match batsman. But the sheer length of that Test career is approaching record proportions. Tendulkar is only the 5th cricketer to play in Test matches during four separate decades, and the first non-Englishman. The members of the exclusive “Four-decade” club, and the durations of their careers, are:

 

 

Wilfred Rhodes: 1899-1929 (30 years)

Brian Close: 1949-1976 (27 years)

Frank Wooley: 1909-1934 (25 years)

Jack Hobbs: 1907-1930 (23 years)

Sachin Tendulkar: 1989-2012 (23 years)

Unlike the other four, Tendulkar has also played ODIs over a four-decade span (1989-2011). He shares this record only with Sanath Jayasuriya (also 1989). Both players just squeaked into that particular club, by playing their first ODIs on December 18 (Tendulkar) and December 26 (Jayasuriya), 1989.

At First Class level, there are many players who turned out in four decades, almost all Englishmen from the early years of the 20th Century when County Cricket was not as physically challenging as the modern game. But five men are remarkable for performing at First Class level in FIVE separate decades:

WG Grace: 1865-1908 (43 years)

Brian Close: 1949-1986 (37 years)

Fred Titmus: 1949-1982 (33 years)

How it all ends...

Jack Hearne: 1888-1923 (35 years)

Wilfred Rhodes: 1898-1930 (32 years) 

For Tendulkar to join that list, he would need to still be playing on January 1, 2020, when he would be 46 years old. And if he were still in the Test side at that time, he would become the first member of the “Five-decade” Test club. While that accomplishment seems unlikely, it’s not impossible to imagine it happening. Brian Close was 45 when he was brought out to face the West Indian quicks (and without a helmet!) in the summer of 1976.

 

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2 Responses to "Tendulkar – a long-standing member of the Test club"
  1. Reply Tarun Sandhu January 27, 2012 00:47 am

    Sachin would feel invigorated after reading your article. Instead of thinking about his 100th century, he should really be thinking about 2020 and reaching his 150th century by that time. It should definitely help in getting over the his current dilemma.

    Also, his son could be playing in the same team. Now wouldn’t that be something for stats !

    • Moore
      Reply Moore January 27, 2012 15:50 pm

      Well that’s an interesting point, Tarun… There are quite a few examples of fathers and sons playing Test cricket, but so far as I know never together in the same team. I think that’s happened at first class level, but not in a Test match. So if the Tendulkar family pulled this one off, it would almost certainly be an unique record for them!

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