Cricketers aren’t immune to the caprice of circumstance. As many as 451 cricketers have played just one Test in their careers. Here, we look at 10 of those who were impressive with bat or ball.
In the third Test of a three-match series between New Zealand and Pakistan in Auckland in February, 1973, Rodney Redmond opened the batting for New Zealand. He scored a century in the first innings and a half-century in the second. Both teams were bowled out for 402 in the first innings, and the contest was eventually drawn.
Redmond outscored his more accomplished colleagues in Glenn Turner and Brian Hastings, and every batsman from Pakistan as well, including Majid Khan, who scored 110 in the first innings.
Yet, he did not get a single Test after that, and swiftly departed cricket altogether. He played his last first-class match in the 1975-76 season.
His son, Aaron Redmond, played eight Tests, six One-Day Internationals, and seven Twenty20 Internationals for New Zealand.
Marriott, a leg-spinner, starred in England’s innings win against West Indies in the third Test of a three-match series at the Oval in August, 1933. Then 37, Marriott took 5 for 37 in the first innings and 6 for 59 in the second. Among his wickets was the one of the great George Headley, who was stumped off his bowling in the first innings for 9. The contest was over in three days.
He played first-class cricket for a few more years. He died aged 71 in 1966.
In February, 1948, West Indies’ Andy Ganteaume played in the second Test of a four-Test series against England, at Port of Spain, Trinidad. In the first innings, he opened the batting and scored 112, an innings studded with 13 boundaries. With George Carew, he put on 173 runs for the first wicket as West Indies went on to post 497 for a sizeable lead. The match would be drawn.
Ganteaume didn’t get a chance to bat in the second innings. With 69 runs left to win for West Indies with seven wickets in hand, the match concluded as a draw.
Ganteaume played on until 1962-63, but couldn’t get another Test. He died in February, 2016.
Ashley was a left-arm medium pacer from South Africa. During England’s first-ever tour of South Africa, in 1889, he played the second Test of a two-match series in Cape Town, and shone with the ball. He took 7 for 95 in the first innings as England was dismissed for 292; however, left-arm orthodox bowler Johnny Briggs spun his web around the South Africans and they were bowled out for 47 and 43, respectively, in the two innings.
This contest was Ashley’s first-class debut. He died in July, 1930.
Sri Lanka’s Naveed Nawas, a left-handed batsman, made his Test debut against Bangladesh in July, 2002. He scored 21 and 78 n.o. in the two innings of a one-sided contest in Colombo as Sri Lanka won by 288 runs.
Opener Michael Vandort registered his highest Test score – 140 – in that game and a half-century, and was adjudged the man of the match. Vandort would play just 18 more Tests in his career.
Nawas, however, would play none after this. Until this Test, he had played three ODIs, and he wouldn’t play ODIs after this either. It would be just the domestic grind for him; he played his last first-class match in December, 2004. Nawas was the head coach of Bangladesh’s U-19 team that won the U-19 World Cup in February this year.
England leg-spinner Douglas Carr took seven wickets in the drawn fifth Ashes Test in August, 1909, and bowled 69 over across two innings. Thanks to Jack Sharp’s century, England was able to take the first-innings lead, but Australia provided a stiff resistance in the second innings – Carr took 2 for 136 in 35 overs – to comfortably pull the contest away from England.
It was a drawn game, and consigned England to a 2-1 series defeat.
Carr was 37 when he played this game; remarkably, he had made his first-class debut earlier that year. He would go on to play first-class cricket until 1914. He died in March, 1950.
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England’s Buddy Oldfield played 332 first-class matches but just one Test. That Test, in August, 1939, was a successful one for him; batting at No. 3, he scored 80 in the first innings and 19 in the second. It was the third Test of a three-match series against West Indies at the Oval. Plenty of runs were scored from both teams as the contest was drawn.
Before Oldfield could further make a mark in international cricket, the second World War intervened, and although he played on until 1954, he didn’t get to play a Test again.
He died in April, 1996, aged 84.
Sir Aubrey Smith
Smith was a cricketer as well as a Hollywood actor. In the only Test he played in March, 1889, at Port Elizabeth, the fast bowler took seven wickets in England’s eight-wicket win against South Africa, including a haul of 5 for 19 in the first innings. This was the first-ever Test between the two teams.
Smith would conclude his first-class career by 1896. He died in December, 1948, in California, U.S.
Stollmeyer is a name more famous for Victor’s brother Jeffrey Stollmeyer, who played 32 Tests for West Indies. Victor played just one Test, the third Test against England at the Oval, a contest mentioned already for England batsman Buddy Oldfield’s performances.
Both Victor and Oldfield made debuts in that game, both shone through with the bat, and neither would play another Test in their careers. Victor scored 96 in the only innings his team batted. His brother, Jeffrey, scored 59.
Victor played 33 first-class matches. He died in September, 1999.
Zulqarnain was a wicketkeeper-batsman who played for Pakistan in its infamous tour of England in 2010. The tour was infamous because the spot-fixing scandal that engulfed Pakistan’s cricket broke during that tour, with shocking revelations made by the now-defunct tabloid, News of the World . In that Test, in August, 2010, Zulqarnain scored 88 in Pakistan’s second innings, to provide some resistance after his team had given away a first-innings lead of 179.
It wasn’t enough, and England duly completed a nine-wicket win.
Zulqarnain disappeared from a team camp in Dubai during Pakistan’s tour of the UAE later that year. He had fled to London. He revealed he had received death threats from bookies, and announced his retirement. In 2011, he returned to Pakistan to play first-class cricket, and in 2013, he said he was suffering from stress when he decided to flee to London. He hasn’t played a single first-class game since December, 2014.