Ryan Harris and others with 50 Test wickets after making debut after 30
Ryan Harris made his debut at 30 years 159 days © Getty Images

Ryan Harris, who retired from Tests recently, is the only pace bowler to have taken more than 100 wickets after having made Test debut at age of 30 or more. Bharath Seervi lists bowlers who had a successful career even though making debut after the age of 30.

One of the Test players from the recently retired Australian cricketers is Ryan Harris, who took 113 wickets from 27 Tests at 23.52 and a strike rate of 50.7. He made his debut at 30 years 159 days. He is one of only 5 players in the history of Test cricket to take more than 100 wickets having made debut after 30. Interestingly, he is the only pace bowler out there.

Other bowlers who took more than 100 wickets after having waited till 30 to make Test debut are Clarrie Grimmett (216), Bruce Yardley (126), Dilip Doshi (114) and Mohammad Rafique (100) — all spinners. Harris, thus, has ended his career with a remarkable record.

The next fast bowler with most wickets making debut after age of 30 is another Australian, who played just before Harris made his debut. Stuart Clark had 94 wickets from 24 Tests after making debut at 30 years 169 days.

Let’s have a look at the bowlers who took at least 50 wickets after making Test debut at age of 30 or more. The table below lists the bowlers with career stats.

Bowler Team Debut age Span M W Ave SR 5WIs 10WMs BBI BBM
Clarrie Grimmett Aus 33y 64d 1925-1936 37 216 24.21 67.1 21 7 7/40 14/199
Bruce Yardley Aus 30y 145d 1978-1983 33 126 31.63 70.7 6 1 7/98 10/185
Dilip Doshi Ind 31y 263d 1979-1983 33 114 30.71 81.7 6 0 6/102 8/103
Ryan Harris Aus 30y 159d 2010-2015 27 113 23.52 50.7 5 0 7/117 9/106
Mohammad Rafique Ban 30y 66d 2000-2008 33 100 40.76 87.4 7 0 6/77 9/160
Arthur Mailey Aus 34y 349d 1920-1926 21 99 33.91 61.8 6 2 9/121 13/236
Stuart Clark Aus 30y 169d 2006-2009 24 94 23.86 54.7 2 0 5/32 9/89
Bert Ironmonger Aus 46y 237d 1928-1933 14 74 17.97 63.4 4 2 6/23 11/24
Colin Miller Aus 34y 237d 1998-2001 18 69 26.15 59.2 3 1 5/32 10/113
Tich Freeman Eng 36y 216d 1924-1929 12 66 25.86 56.5 5 3 7/71 12/171
Reggie Schwarz SA 30y 243d 1906-1912 20 55 25.76 47.9 2 0 6/47 7/89
Ken Mackay Aus 30y 241d 1956-1963 37 50 34.42 115.8 2 0 6/42 7/58

– Harris, Clark, Colin Miller (who bowled mixed bag) and Ken MacKay are the only pace bowlers in the list.

– Grimmett debuted at 33 years and still took 216 wickets from 37 tests.

– Grimmett was the first bowler to reach 200 wickets in Test cricket. He surpassed Sydney Barnes’ 189 wickets to become the leading wicket-taker in Test matches in 1936. He was the highest wicket-taker for more than 17 years till Alec Bedser bettered him in 1953. 17 years is the second-longest duration for anyone at the top after Sydney Barnes’ 22 years from 1913 to 1936.

– Bert Ironmonger made his debut at the age of 46 and played 14 Tests to take 74 wickets. He has the most wickets among those who made their debut after age of 35.

Bonus Trivia:

Rafique is the only player to score 1,000 runs and take 100 wickets among players who made their Test debut after 30. He scored 1,059 runs and took 100 wickets.

Mackay scored 1,507 runs and took 50 wickets.

Grimmett (557 runs, 216 wickets), Harris (603 runs, 113 wickets) and Yardley (978 runs, 126 wickets) scored 500 runs and took 100 wickets.

(Bharath Seervi is a cricket statistician who is obsessed with digging numbers, facts and records related to the game. An active member of Society of Cricket Statisticians of India, he blogs at www.cricketseervistats.blogspot.com. He can be followed on Twitter at @SeerviBharath and on Facebook here)