March 24 marks the birthday of some prominent cricketers who has represented their respective countries with great pride. Dean Jones, recognised as one of Australia’s ODI greats, Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan, unarguably one of the finest all-rounders today, and Graeme Swann, England’s most effective spinner of the last decade. Here’s a brief profile of the three fine players.
Dean Jones: Deano is remembered for two fine reasons, one obviously the heroic double hundred at Chennai (then Madras) during the tied Test against India in 1986-87. The other reason is for his magnificent record in one-day cricket. Much before Michael Bevan came onto the scene, Jones knew the power running hard between the wickets, and manoeuvring the gaps. He record in both the format, averaging in the 40s, speaks for itself. And, yet it is often believed that he could not completely fulfil his potential as he slacked towards the later part of his career, and was done with international cricket before 35. There’s no arguing though that he set a benchmark for the newer generation as far as ODIs are concerned.
Shakib Al Hasan: What does one say about Shakib? To emerge out of a minnow country like Bangladesh, and yet become one of the finest all-rounders of his generation speaks volumes of his talent. In a career that has spanned over a decade, Shakib, who turns 31, has over 9000 runs in international cricket and almost 500 international sticks. If numbers speak a thousand words, nothing more needs to be said about Shakib. The all-rounder has a double hundred in Wellington, claimed 10 wickets in a Test win over Australia in Mirpur among his many achievements. He has constantly topped the ICC all-rounders ranking over the years.
Graeme Swann: When Graeme Swann was dropped after a poor international debut in 1999-2000, no one would have imagined he would return to become one of England’s finest spinners. As things turned out, Swann earned a recall to the Test side at the age of 29 against India, and went on to have a distinguished career, finishing with a highly respectable 255 scalps from 60 Tests. He played a starring role in the 2009 Ashes, and claimed 22 wickets in a four-Test series against Pakistan in 2010. Swann also played a stellar role as he and Monty Panesar combined to rock India at home in 2012. He retired midway through the 2013 Ashes though, woefully out of form.