Happy-Birthday-craig mcmillan

Craig Douglas McMillan, born on September 13, 1976, is a former New Zealand cricketer, who featured in 197 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and scored 4,707 runs at 28.18. With the ball, he is also someone who was recognised as a partnership breaker at crucial stages. Ankit Banerjee points out 12 facts about the effective Kiwi cricketer.

1.  Coach

He is currently the New Zealand batting coach.

2.  Broadcaster

He has had stints in the media as a commentator for Sky Network Television and in the IPL.

3.  Square-on

His batting is often characterised by innovation and improvisation, notably with a “square on” stance, which he sometimes uses in ODIs when he is premeditating a big hit to the leg side.

4.  Back-of-the hand

At a certain stage in his life he started bowling the back of the hand slower delivery and could also bowl a bouncer with the same ball, which foxed the batsman and it became his USP.

5.  Gladiator

His nickname was Gladiator, which is what his colleagues touted him as because of his resemblance to actor Russell Crowe.

6.  Fastest ODI hundred by a New Zealander

McMillan could accelerate at will. In 2001, against the touring Pakistan, he equalled Chris Cairns record of scoring the fastest hundred by a New Zealander, when he scored one from 75-balls. Jacob Oram broke that record in January 2007 when he scored a hundred from 71, but McMillan was quick to reclaim it and in less than a month’s time he scored a hundred against Australia from just 67-balls. However, the current holder of that record is Corey Anderson, who scored a hundred from 36-balls.

7.  Most runs in an over in Test cricket

In the Hamilton Test against Pakistan, McMillan took 26 runs off a Younis Khan over. At that time it was a record in Test cricket.

8.  The then fastest ODI fifty by a Kiwi

He scored a fifty from 21-balls against United States of America in the 2004 Champions Trophy. It was then the fastest fifty by a New Zealander in ODIs. Currently Brendon McCullum holds the record.

9.  Diabetic

He was often criticised for his weight and lack of fitness. He does have an ailing diabetic history.

10.  Tempers running wild

He has often been involved in verbal confrontations with opposition fielders, only to lose his concentration and lose his wicket soon after. He was famously dismissed the ball after he was recorded by the stump microphone at Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist after being baited for having edged a ball and refused to walk, when the umpire was oblivious to the nick.

11.  Final Nail

He announced his retirement on October 17, 2007 after a Twenty20 World tournament citing personal reasons wherein he was New Zealand’s leading run-scorer with 163 runs at an average of 40.75 and a strike-rate of 181 in the tournament.

12.ICL

He had joined the Indian Cricket League, and was the captain of the Kolkata Tigers till the eventual disbanding of the league.

(A cricket geek to the tee, Ankit Banerjee smokes and snorts it all day long. The romance with the sport incepted since the 1996 World Cup semi-final. He is a winner of the 2011 edition of the All-India college cricket quiz.)