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Happy Birthday the king of line-length, Glenn McGrath

Glenn McGrath was born on February 9, 1970, in Dubbo of New South Wales. His full name is Glenn Donald McGrath. The legendary fast bowler has played for the Australian cricket team in all three formats (Test, ODI, and T20). He was a fast-medium pace bowler and was considered one of the best international bowlers of all time. In international cricket, McGrath has taken 949 wickets in all formats which is the highest among all the fast bowlers. He is the fifth-highest wicket-taker and the most successful fast bowler in history with 563 wickets in Tests. In 1999, McGrath became the ‘first’ and ‘only’ bowler in history to take more than 50 wickets in both Test and ODI formats.

Glenn McGrath made his Test debut against New Zealand on 12th November 1993 (at the WACA Ground) and also made his ODI debut against South Africa on 9th December that year (at the Melbourne Cricket Ground). He then made his T20 format debut against New Zealand on 16th February 2005 (Eden Park, Auckland).

The legendary fast bowler has taken 563 wickets at an average of 21.64 in 124 Tests, with an economy of 2.5. His best bowling figures are against Pakistan where he took 8 wickets giving away 24 runs in an innings and 10 wickets for 27 runs against the West Indies in a Test. It is also the record for taking ten wickets conceding the least run. He scored the only hat-trick of his career in this Test. McGrath picked up Sherwin Campbell, Brian Lara, and Jimmy Adams with three balls in a row. Brian Lara’s wicket was the 300th wicket of his Test career. He also has a record of taking 10 wickets 3 times and 5 wickets 29 times in his Test career. In which he has taken 5 wickets 10 times against England. . McGrath has dismissed former England opener, Mike Atherton, a total of 19 times. This is the highest success record of any bowler in a Test against a particular batsman. He also holds the record of dismissing an opponent’s batsman for 0 runs for the most ‘104 times’ in Test history.

The Ashes is considered as a measurement of the greatness of any Aussie or English cricketer. Glenn McGrath has his footsteps there as well. McGrath played his first Test on English soil in the 1998 Ashes. In the first match, he took 6 wickets for 36 runs and got his name on the Lord’s Honors Board. He missed two ‘important’ matches (Old Trafford and Trent Bridge) in the fiercely competitive 2005 Ashes series on English soil due to injury. As a result, Australia lost both matches. The English regained the Ashes 19 years after winning the series 2-1. Many blamed his absence as the main reason behind Australia’s rate of service. In that series, McGrath touched the milestone of 500 wickets in his Test career. Former England opener Marcus Trescothick became his 500th victim at Lord’s. In the return Ashes of 2006-07, Australia took a ‘sweet revenge’ by whitewashing England 5-0. McGrath was also a big contributor, taking 21 wickets at an average of only 23.90.

McGrath became the highest wicket-taker in history, surpassing Courtney Walsh (519) in a Test match against the rest of the World XI in the ICC Super Series in October 2005. Brian Lara shared another milestone as being McGrath’s 520th victim in his Test career. McGrath played the last test match of his career in Sydney from January 2-5, 2007. He officially bid farewell to Test cricket after that match. McGrath also took a wicket in the last ball of his Test career.

McGrath is the 7th highest wicket-taker in ODI history. He has taken 381 wickets in 250 ODIs at an average of 22.02, and with an economy of 3.88. His best bowling figure was against Namibia where he took 7 wickets for 15 runs. He also has a record of taking 5 wickets 7 times and 4 wickets 9 times in his ODI career. He has the best bowling average among the bowlers who have taken at least 300 wickets in ODIs. Glenn McGrath also holds the second-best economy rate (3.88) in ODIs after Shaun Pollock (3.67).

He has taken 5 wickets at an average of 15.8 in two T20I matches, where his economy was 9.88. His best bowling figure was against England, where he took 3 wickets for 31 runs. He also took 12 wickets at an average of 29.75 playing 14 IPL matches since 2008, with an economy of 6.61.

This fast bowler was not very comfortable with the bat. Test and ODI – ‘Golden Duck’ has been his score in both the debut. McGrath also holds the record for most 35 Test appearances as an Australian. He used to get out repeatedly for 0 runs, so he took revenge on the opponent’s batsmen. His only Test fifty of his career was against New Zealand in 2004-05. His 61-run innings is the third-highest score by a batsman at number 11 in Test history. He also once held the record for the highest (603) runs in Test history as the ‘number eleven’ batsman. Later, Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan (623) broke that record.

McGrath played in four World Cups from 1996 to 2007. Australia has reached the final four times and they have won the World Cup three times except for the ’96 World Cup. Note that the 2007 World Cup was his last tournament. He ended his colorful career with the final match of this tournament. McGrath was named Man of the Tournament with 26 wickets and Australia won the title for the third time in a row. At the end of the World Cup, McGrath was the ‘Sachin Tendulkar’ of bowling. McGrath holds almost all of the bowling records at the highest level of world cricket.

  • The highest number of wickets in all World Cup matches – 71
  • Highest wicket in a World Cup – 26, in the 2007 World Cup.
  • The best bowling figure in a World Cup match – 7 for 15, against Namibia in the 2003 World Cup.
  • Most maiden overs in the World Cup – 42

McGrath holds an exceptional record. He took wickets on the last ball at the end of his Test career, at the end of his ODI career, and the end of the last ODI in Australia.

When his first wife was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997, his personal life took a turn for the worse. He gradually accepted fate and formed the McGraw Foundation in 2002 with his wife Jane. It is a charity that raises awareness among women about breast cancer. The money received from this organization is spent on the treatment of women with breast cancer. After Jane died in 2008, the foundation expanded its reach. The Foundation has so far distributed 154 nurses across Australia and has been able to help approximately 91,000 Australian families. McGrath is currently the head of the foundation.

The golden generation of Australian cricket came in the mid-nineties, holding the hand of a bunch of world-class ‘champion’ cricketers. One of them was Glenn McGrath. The legendary pacer has shown throughout his career that not only speed but also light line movement, intelligence, and consistency with controlled line-length can turn the stick on the opposing batsmen.

Today is the birthday of this one of the best fast-medium pace bowlers of all time. There is humble respect and love for him from all cricket fans and admirers.

–Happy Birthday Glenn McGrath

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