Usually, in the game of cricket, players tend to hang their boots when they reach the age of 35 or more. The experts of the game believe that this happens because after the age of 30, many players witness a downfall in their reflexes. And since it is a very crucial aspect, cricketers choose to bid farewell to this beautiful sport. Also, at such an age, fitness becomes a critical issue as well.
However, there have been some cricketers who debuted at a very old age. These cricketers debuted after crossing the age of 40, which looks impossible if one sees the trend in modern-day cricket.
Let’s look at five players who were the oldest players on their debut:
5.) Nelson Betancourt
Nelson Betancourt, a wicket-keeper batsman from West Indies, debuted at the age of 42 years and 242 days against England in 1930. The debut game of Betancourt turned out to be the only match in his Test career. Interestingly, he was also the captain of the West Indies team in his debut game. He scored just 52 runs in two innings, with 39 in the first and 13 in the second.
4.) Herbert Ironmonger
A left-arm spinner from Australia was the fourth oldest cricketer to debut in Test cricket. The Queensland cricketer played his first match at the age of 46 years and 237 days against England at Brisbane in 1928. In his first game, Ironmonger showcased his magical spin bowling and grabbed two wickets each in both the innings.
Overall, the Pine Mountain-born played 14 Tests for Australia and collected 74 wickets. Two times, the left-armer bagged 10 wickets in a match, whereas four times he took a five-wicket and four-wicket haul.
3.) Donald Dearness Blackie
Another Aussie in the list is Donald Dearness Blackie. The off-spinner from Victoria was the oldest man to represent his country. He debuted at the age of 46 years and 256 days against England in December 1928.
The Bendigo-born grabbed four wickets in his first game. Overall, he appeared for 3 Tests and went on to take 14 wickets in his short career.
2.) Miran Bakhsh
Another off-spinner on the list is Miran Baksh from Pakistan. He was the second oldest debutant in Test history. The right-armer played his first game at the age of 47 years and 284 days against India at Lahore in 1955.
The Rawalpindi-born grabbed two wickets in his debut match. Baksh then played the second and final Test of his career for Pakistan.
1.) James Southerton
The England cricketer James Southerton was amongst those special group of players who played the first-ever Test in the history of the game, where all players and umpires debuted. However, Southerton, 49 years and 119 days, was the oldest cricketer.
During the game played between Australia and England at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in 1877, the hosts managed to win the contest by 45 runs. Southerton picked up three wickets in that match.
Overall, the Sussex cricketer played 2 Tests and grabbed seven wickets. In first-class cricket, he took 1682 wickets in 286 games.