Graham Thorpe has scored the fastest double ton by an England layer. Ironically, he has also scored a Test ton with just one boundary © Getty Images
Graham Thorpe has scored the fastest double ton by an England player. Ironically, he has also scored a Test ton with just one boundary © Getty Images

Graham Thorpe, born August 1, 1969 was the rock around whom English middle-order had revolved for a long time. He did not bisect the gaps with a royal flourish like David Gower, but he seemed to have the map of the field fitted in his brain. He had that knack of finding what seemed like an undetectable gap in the field with poise and fluidity. Bharath Ramaraj looks at little-known facts related to the Surrey and England southpaw.

1) Father and son

Graham Thorpe had made his First-Class debut back in 1988 for Surrey against Leicestershire. However, it was the match against Hampshire in 1989 that saw him play with a singular aim to succeed and score a hundred. But interestingly, it was also the game in which he played against Chris Tremlett’s father, Timothy Tremlett. Some 16 years later, while playing for Surrey against the same County, Hampshire, he faced Chris Tremlett!

2) Dual international?

As Thorpe grew up in a sports mad family, he was also interested in sports other than cricket. Thorpe was a decent footballer too. He was selected to play for England Under-18s football team.

Graham Thorpe’s career in photos.

3) Second-time lucky

Everyone tend to remember that Thorpe made a century on Test debut while facing up to the might of Australians at Trent Bridge. Actually, when he played that knock it looked like hungry vultures from Down Under were ready to tear their prey with their talons and sharp curved beaks. But his nerves must have jangled when he went to bat in the second innings. He made just six runs in the first innings and had dropped Michael Slater in the first innings. Even in the second innings early on, one of the deliveries did rear up awkwardly on Thorpe and rolled onto the stumps. What happened next? The bails remained intact! The rest, as they say, is history.

4) The hare…

Thorpe played a soul-lifting innings at Christchurch in 2002 against New Zealand when he made one of the fastest double hundreds ever. He pummelled New Zealand’s bowling by smashing 28 fours and 4 sixes. He reached his double-hundred in 231 balls — still the fastest 200 by an Englishman.

5) … and the tortoise

In a stark contrast to it, when Thorpe reached his century against Pakistan at Lahore in 2000, he had just one boundary to his name. It still remains a world record.

(Bharath Ramaraj, an MBA in marketing, eats, drinks and sleeps cricket. He has played at school and college-level, and now channelises his passion for the game by writing about it)