Jamie and Craig Overton © Getty Images
Jamie and Craig Overton could become the first twins to play international cricket for England © Getty Images

With twins Craig and Jamie Overton being called-up to the England squad for the remaining two One-Day Internationals (ODI) against New Zealand, there is a high chance that they could become the first twins to play international cricket for England. Pramod Ananth lists some other twins to have played together.

Craig Overton’s all-round abilities has earned him a place in the England squad in place of Chris Jordan, whereas his twin brother Jamie has been named as Liam Plunkett’s replacement. Craig, three minutes elder to Jamie, made his List A and First-Class debut for Somerset just days ahead of his ‘younger brother’.

If they make their debuts, they will be forever etched in history as the first pair of twins to have played international cricket for England. Jamie has 20 List A wickets to his name and was called up to the England squad for the ODI series against Australia in 2013, aged 19 with just 13 List A games under his belt. He played five tour games, but did not make it to the senior side. Jamie has just 10 wickets in 15 List A games, but is a handy batsman lower down the order. His scores of 86 and 99 against Sussex and Lancashire respectively in the First-Class arena help back it up.

Here are some of the other twins, who played cricket together:

1. Steve Waugh & Mark Waugh (Australia): Perhaps the most accomplished twins in the history of cricket, Steve and Mark Waugh were pillars of Australian cricket for many, many years. They played 108 Tests and 214 One-Day Internationals (ODI) together. The won the 1999 World Cup together and were part of the Test team that recorded 16 wins in a row from 1999 to 2001.

Steve and Mark have 61 international centuries and well over 25,000 runs between them.  Here are a cumulative statistics of matches they have played together for Australia in ODIs and Tests:

Steve Waugh and Mark Waugh playing together in ODIs

Players

Span

M

I

R

HS

Ave

SR

100s

50s

Steve Waugh

1988-2002

214

191

5167

120*

33.77

77.96

3

33

Mark Waugh

1988-2002

214

206

7487

173

39.4

77.91

17

41

Steve Waugh and Mark Waugh playing together in Tests

Players

Span

M

I

R

HS

Ave

SR

100s

50s

Mark Waugh

1991-2002

108

176

6698

140

41.09

51.88

16

40

Steve Waugh

1991-2002

108

171

7628

200

54.87

47.46

25

31

It must be noted that though the Waughs were the first Australian twins to play Test cricket together, the Shevills were the first twins to do the same. Fernie (nee Blade) and Rene Shevill played in the same series — against England Women in 1934-35. Fernie played the Women’s Test, while Rene played the second and the third at SCG. Essie, an elder sister, played all three; this meant that both Fernie and Rene played alongside Essie, but Fernie and Rene never played together.

2. Hamish Marshall & James Marshall (New Zealand): Hamish and James became the first ever identical twins to play a Test — against Australia at Eden Park. Australia captain Ricky Ponting apparently had no idea how to tell them apart but figured that the twins used different stickers on their bats. The twins have played 20 Tests and 76 ODIs together from 2000 to 2008 but were never really regulars for their national sides. Hamish is however believed to be one of those players who had immense talent but never really managed to shine on the big stage.

However, Hamish and James were not the first New Zealand twins to represent their nations. Liz and Rose Signal of the Women’s cricket team played a Test series in England in 1984 together. Rose just played one Test, failed miserably and never played again. Liz, on the other hand, won five more caps.

3. Baba Aparajith & Baba Indrajith (India): Blessed with immense talent, Aparajith and Indrajith are just about making the way through the Tamil Nadu. Aparajith, member of the Under-19 World Cup winning side, is well-established in the Tamil Nadu side, while Indrajith is also taking strides.

4. Alec Bedser & Eric Bedser (England): Almost certainly the most iconic of twins. The Bedser twins were part of a seven-time County Championship-winning Surrey side after World War II. Legend has it that they flipped a coin one day and the winner of the toss will continue being a fast bowler. Alec won the toss and went on to become a legend of the sport. Eric never played Test cricket but finished with 833 First-Class wickets from 457 matches.

Though both brothers lived past 87, the twins remained inseparable (they even dressed identical!). Alec (and hence, Eric) became household names in the mid-1940s, and a Bedser family in East London named their twins Alec and Eric. Alec, the medium-pacer, played for Border. His twin, however, could never make it big in cricket.

5. Everton Matambanadzo & Darlington Matambanadzo (Zimbabwe): Everton represented Zimbabwe thrice in three years and picked up just three wickets, but he made history on debut, when he and Mpumelelo Mbangwa became the first black pair to open bowling for Zimbabwe in a Test. His brother Darlington had a decent domestic career, but never managed to make it on the grand stage.

(Pramod Ananth is a reporter at CricketCountry. He has represented Karnataka table tennis under-15, and is a hardcore supporter of Liverpool FC. His Twitter handle is @pramz)