Happy birthday Glenn McGrath, here are lesser-known facts about "Pigeon"
Australia's Glenn McGrath is unarguably one of the greatest bowlers of all time. A three-time World Cup winner, McGrath was the spearhead of the Australian bowling attack that dominated world cricket for close to a decade. Today, as the legend turns 48 here are some of the lesser-known facts about the lanky pacer.
Eventful retirement at the age of 37
McGrath was not about pace, but about accuracy and subtle seam-movements. This is the reason he was able to play until he was 37. He dismissed 104 batsmen on a duck in Tests, the most by any fast bowler. McGrath ended his career with last ball wickets in all 3 formats Tests, ODIs and T20Is. He is the only player to achieve this feat.
Batting was not his strength, but he still has records
McGrath was dismissed on a duck on 35 occasions in Test cricket, third highest after Courtney Walsh and Chris Martin. Even after playing 250 ODIs, his highest score is only 11. McGrath scored his only Test fifty against New Zealand and has two first-class fifties to his name. He was a part of two 100+ runs partnerships for the tenth wicket.
First Australian pacer to play 100 Tests
Till date, He is the only Australian pacer to play 100 Tests. McGrath achieved the feat in October 2004 against India at Nagpur. He also boasts the record for the second best figures by an Australian bowler after claiming 8/24 against Pakistan, in December 2004.
Brian Lara was his 300th Test scalp
Not many bowlers could overcome the batting prowess of West Indies great Brian Lara, however, McGrath is an exception. Lara was McGrath's 300th Test wicket and oh boy, he claimed it in some style. McGrath got Brian Lara caught at fourth slip by Stuart MacGill and the next ball got Jimmy Adams caught at short leg to complete his hat-trick.
Most successful pacer in cricket history
McGrath is the most successful fast bowler in Test cricket history. In Tests, he has 563 scalps to his name and is still ahead of James Anderson who has claimed 523 wickets, till now. In international cricket, including all 3 formats, McGrath is the most successful fast bowler with 949 wickets, Wasim Akram is next with 916 scalps.
The McGrath Foundation
McGrath's wife, Jane suffered from breast cancer and died at a young age of 42 in 2008. This inspired McGrath to launch the McGrath Foundation, which is a breast cancer support and education charity in Australia.
Maximum wickets in world cups
No cricketer has claimed more wickets in world cups than Glenn McGrath. In 39 games, the lanky pacer claimed 71 wickets, three more than his closest rival, Sri Lankan spin legend Muttiah Muralitharan. His final World Cup was his best where he took 26 wickets, which is the most in a single edition of any World Cup.