Chris Martin 1

Born on December 10, 1974, Chris Martin turned 41 today. Martin was commonly known and renowned for his ability to bowling nagging line and lengths at moderate pace with a tad of seam movement to pry batsmen out. However, he gained a cult following for his comically dismal batting skills. The seamer is the all time third-leading wicket-taker for New Zealand in Tests but holds far more interestingly dubious records with the bat. Rishad D’Souza lists out some important and interesting points on occasion of his birthday.

1. New Zealand’s third highest wicket-taker

At the end of his career, Martin finished as the third highest wicket-taker for New Zealand in Test with a total bag of 231 scalps at an average of 33.81. Only Sir Richard Hadlee (431) and Daniel Vettori  (361) has more wickets than him.

2. Second highest number of ducks in Tests

There is glaring testimony to Martin’s horrendous batting skills in the fact that he has the second most number of ducks in the history of Test cricket. In 104 innings, Martin suffered 36 ducks! He is bettered only by Courtney Walsh in that aspect who has 43 ducks to his name but has played many more matches.

3. Beats everyone for most pairs, comfortably!

Martin may not have achieved the record for most ducks, but he comfortably beat everyone else for the dubious record of holding most pairs in Test cricket. On seven occasions he got out on zero in both innings of a Test. The players who come in next on the list have only four to their name in comparison.

4. Mini mart business

After the completion of his cricketing career, Martin bought a mini-mart in Palmerston North. Martin, who does not possess any prior experience or background as a retailer said he was confident his experiences as a cricketer would assist him in his new venture. “I think with the cricket side of things you have to get out of bed every day and kind of do it for yourself . . . it’s all about your attitude every day and getting into it. I think owning your own business is similar. I’ve been running myself as a cricketer and selling skills as, I suppose, a self-employed person and now I’m doing the same as a business owner and employer,” Martin told

5. Blames poor batting on delayed learning of driving

Martin cites his late development as a driver as the probable reason he batted so badly. He learnt to drive only at the age of 28, prior to which he navigated his way around on a bicycle because of which he found it uncomfortable to take his bat to practice. But he sees the silver lining that biking kept him fit and hence made him a durable bowler.

6. Favourite bowling innings

Martin’s favourite bowling innings is his 11 wicket haul against South Africa in March 2004 which gave the Black Caps a famous nine-wicket victory over a strong South African side. Martin was rightfully and obviously labelled Man of the Match. In the first innings he tore through South Africa with six wickets and took another five in the next innings.

7. Favourite batting innings

Funnily Martin’s favourite batting innings is one which consists just one more run than his favourite bowling innings consists wickets. Martin scored an unbeaten 12 runs against Bangladesh at Dunedin in early 2008. Martin got all his runs in that innings off boundaries and the final shot was an exquisite cover drive. On seeing this, the crowd jumped up to their feet and applauded the rare sight. New Zealand won that game by nine wickets.

8. Regards Stephen Fleming as best captain

Martin rated Fleming as the best captain he played under because Fleming  went out of the way to make him comfortable even on days when he was not doing too well. “He (Stephen Fleming) had a way of backing me and making me feel like I was making a difference even on days when maybe I wasn’t,” Martin said when asked the question by

(Rishad D’Souza, a reporter with CricketCountry, gave up hopes of playing Test cricket after a poor gully-cricket career. He now reports on the sport. You can follow @RDcric on Twitter)