During the recently-concluded second Test match between India and England in Visakhapatnam, pace maestro James Anderson, at the age of 41 years and 187 days, etched his name in cricket annals as the oldest pace bowler to grace an Indian Test match.
Anderson’s feat shattered a longstanding record existing in Test cricket for 72 years, previously held by the legendary Indian cricketer Lala Amarnath. Amarnath had been the oldest pacer to play a Test in India since 1952, achieving this distinction at the age of 41 years and 92 days during his final Test against Pakistan at Eden Gardens.
Once a player enters the international arena, they face pressures of different kinds as other cricketers are always waiting for an opportunity to get into the XI. So those who get into the team need to be consistent, ideally for a long period of time.
Only a few players are able to achieve that consistency with their longevity and become greats of the game. But for some cricketers, age is just a number. Here is a look at such cricketers…
Anderson now stands as the fifth oldest player to participate in a Test in India, with Zimbabwe’s John Traicos holding the record at 45 years and 304 days in 1993.
At 49 years & 119 days, England all-rounder James Southerton still holds the record for the oldest player to make a debut in a Test. Southerton picked up seven wickets in the two Tests that he played for England in 1877.
George Gunn played 15 Tests for England till he was 50 years and 303 days. He scored a decent 1120 runs at an average of 40 including two hundreds and seven half-centuries.
Grace played his last Test for England just 45 days prior to his 51st birthday and that sums up the incredible longevity that Grace’s highly-successful career had. He is one of the greatest domestic players for his country.
Ironmonger represented Australia till he was 50 years 327 days. The left-arm spinner managed to pick up 74 wickets in the 14 games that he represented his country in.
The talented all-rounder played for England till he was 52 years & 165 days. He played 58 Tests for England, picking up 127 wickets and also scoring 2325 runs.