Geoff Allott: 10 interesting facts about the former New Zealand cricketer

Born December 24, 1971, Geoff Allott is a former New Zealand cricketer who played 10 Tests and 31 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) for the Kiwis. Best known for his record 20 wickets in the 1999 World Cup and for holding the record of having the longest duck, Allott was a talented cricketer who had a pretty short career. Devarchit Varma lists down 10 interesting facts about the left-arm paceman.

1.  A short Test career: Geoff Allott played 10 Tests for New Zealand as he made his debut against Zimbabwe at Hamilton in January 1996. He claimed 19 wickets, which certainly does not tell the story of being a successful bowler in 50-over cricket.

2.  But had a successful ODI stint: Allott played three years of Test cricket, and same is the number for ODIs. In the 1999 World Cup alone, he bagged 20 wickets which was a record for any bowler with most scalps in a global tournament. Unfortunately, his record was bettered by Shane Warne in the same tournament, who played one extra game.

3.  An awesome 1999 ICC Cricket World Cup: Allott played 9 matches in the tournament, and ended it with 20 wickets. Warne took a game extra to take as many wickets in Australia’s successful run.

4.  The sock tale: To release pressure on his front foot while delivering the ball, Allott cut out the boot. He wore two pairs of socks, and the other one would protrude whenever he would bowl. It was a fascinating sight for the viewers, and certainly a confusing one for his opponents.

5.  Working the backside off: Stress fractures in his back always troubled the left-arm bowler, and it was only after intensive work with Richard Hadlee that he was able to achieve the success in the ICC Cricket World Cup 1999. In that year, he remodelled his action, but by the time 2000 arrived, he was forced to concentrate only on limited-overs cricket.

6.  Unfortunate end: Sometime in 1998, Allott gave up a bank job to concentrate on cricket, but frail back and hip proved to be the hindrance. He had an exciting World Cup in 1999, and despite deciding to focus only on ODI cricket in 2000, Allott decided to call it a day in March 2001.

7.  The longest duck: In the first Test of South Africa’s tour of New Zealand in 1998-99 at Auckland, the hosts needed 102 runs to avoid the follow-on. Allott walked out to bat at No. 11, and was involved in a 32-run stand with Chris Harris. Interestingly, Allott did not score a single run, was in the middle for 101 minutes, and faced 77 balls. When Allott broke the unwanted record held by Godfrey Evans, the cheer, according to CricketCountry and CricLife chief editor Abhishek Mukherjee, was louder than the reception Daryl Cullinan received when he scored a monumental 275 in the same match.

8.  Career in banking and finance: After quitting cricket in March 2001, Allott moved on to make a career in banking and finance.

9.  Back to cricket: In late 2008, Allott was appointed as general manager of cricket with New Zealand Cricket (NZC). The position was created as the Kiwis juggled their cricket set-up looking for more success.

10.  Bangla-wash ends tenure: New Zealand’s tour of the Asian side perhaps marked the rise of Bangladesh. The Kiwis were blanked 0-4 in a five-match ODI series, with the second game being washed out completely. Allott stepped down from his post after the end of the tour.

(Devarchit Varma is senior writer with CricketCountry. He can be followed on Twitter @Devarchit)