Glenn mcgrath australia

Glenn McGrath, born on February 9, 1970, is one of the greatest fast bowlers to have played the game. McGrath was a part of the world beating Australian side that dominated in the 1990s and the 2000s. Away from the field, McGrath has worked tirelessly for the cause of breast cancer awareness. Nishad Pai Vaidya picks 10 facts you should know about one of the greatest fast bowlers the world has seen.

1. The rejected bowler

McGrath hailed from a town called Narromine in New South Wales. When he was a teenager, he was not given the ball in one of his age group matches as he wasn t getting it right. In fact, the seamer was spraying around.

2. The relentless hard work

When McGrath wasn t allowed to bowl, it spurned him to put in the hard yards. As a result, McGrath started practicing in his backyard. Michael Vincent, a reported with ABC, said, He didn’t have an even wicket, he didn’t even have a set of stumps and, like many other country kids before him, he improvised, raining down balls on a 44-gallon drum. Ball after ball, after ball.

3. The struggle while playing grade cricket in Sydney

McGrath had to move to Sydney to play grade cricket and work his way up the cricketing ladder. It was not an easy time for him. The Guardian reported that he had to live in a beach caravan. At the same time, he had to work in a bank. His colleague had told the paper, He used to sign withdrawal slips and pass them to girls and say “keep this, because I’m going to be famous one day.”

4. Stole the pigeon s legs

It is well known that McGrath was bestowed the name of pigeon because of his thin legs as a youngster. Steve Waugh noted in his article for Daily Telegraph that Brad McNamara gave McGrath the nickname, when he said You’ve stolen a pigeon’s legs McGrath.

5. Meeting Jane McGrath

McGrath met his future wife Jane in Joe Bananas, a nightclub, in Hong Kong in the year 1995. In an interview, Jane said, Of all the guys there, he was the last one to say hello. So the challenge was there for me. Initially, she did not know how big a cricketing figure McGrath was. It was only after a few incidents that she realised that McGrath was a legend and respected by most people in Australia.

6. McGrath Foundation

Jane had multiple battles with breast cancer and McGrath stood by her at all times. There were times when he had to stay away from the field. She died at the young age of 42 in 2008. In tandem, they had launched the McGrath Foundation, which works towards the cause of breast cancer. In her honour, Day Three of the annual Sydney Test is marked as Jane McGrath Day. Not only that, but the couple were honoured with the Order of Australia for their efforts in that cause.

7. Batting milestones

McGrath s inept batting was infamous in the cricketing world. He has only two fifties in representative cricket, one of which came in a Test match against New Zealand. During that innings, his teammates were seen laughing when he launched a six into the stands. Guardian reported that McGrath had once bet with his friend Shane Warne that he would one-day score a fifty. He finally achieved it when he scored a fifty in county cricket. At one time, he was the leading run-scorer at No. 11 in Test cricket with 603 runs at an average of 7.63. Muttiah Muralitharan beat that record with a narrow margin of 20 runs.

8. On top of the world

McGrath is the most successful fast bowler in cricket history. In Test cricket, he has taken 563 wickets and is miles ahead of Courtney Walsh, who took 519. If one takes into account all international cricket, then McGrath is the most prolific fast bowler with 949 wickets. Wasim Akram comes next with 916. In World Cup cricket, he is the most successful bowler with 71 wickets in 39 matches at an average of 18.19.

9. Keeping the greatest out

Glenn McGrath was picked by the Delhi Daredevils before the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2008. A year down the line, he was retained in the squad but the team preferred Dirk Nannes over him. During that tournament, Nannes famously said, “I will tell my grandchildren that I was responsible for keeping out the greatest fast bowler of all times of a playing XI.”

10. Predicting a whitewash

McGrath played for a world beating Australian side that blew almost every opposition in its way. Though his retirement left Australia poorer, he maintained confidence over the Australian team. In 2008-09, he predicted that Australia would beat South Africa 3-0. However, South Africa ended up winning the series 2-1. And then, before the Ashes 2009, he said that Australia would win 5-0. England clinched the urn 2-1. Even before the India-Australia Test series in 2014-15, he said that the hosts would complete another whitewash. At least this time, Australia went on to win 2-0.

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_45)