Disaster narrowly averted
While we were researching Matthew Hoggard's 'Holy Crap' entry, below, we made a HORRIFYING DISCOVERY.
Here are the top two players by Test match batting strike rate:
A C Gilchrist, 82.14
Shahid Afridi, 80.22
He's second. Afridi's second. Shahid Afridi is defined by scoring runs quickly all of the time. How can this be?
Fortunately, we then found this, which made us feel better. This is the same statistic but for one-day internationals:
Shahid Afridi, 108.36
I D S Smith, 99.43
V Sehwag, 97.64
R L Powell, 96.66
A C Gilchrist, 95.57
Take that everyone who's ever played cricket. Shahid Afridi scores near enough thirteen runs per hundred balls more than Adam Gilchrist.
The runner-up there, incidentally, is former New Zealand keeper Ian Smith who only ever scored three fifties.
Shahid Afridi holds the record for the fastest one-day hundred, which he scored off 37 balls on his debut. On his DEBUT. He was sixteen in Pakistani years at the time. Pakistani years are the same length as everyone else's but some don't count towards your age.
Adam Gilchrist's fastest one-day hundred was off 73 balls.
As Geoff Boycott might say if his family weren't genetically predisposed to slow scoring: "73 balls? 73 balls? My mum could score a ton faster than that one-handed, with her eyes closed, using a fish instead of a bat - even if the boundaries were set really, really far back."