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#1126 2022-06-21 22:08:44

Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 37,462

Re: crème de la crème

1091) Serena Williams


Serena Williams, (born September 26, 1981, Saginaw, Michigan, U.S.), is an American tennis player who revolutionized women’s tennis with her powerful style of play and who won more Grand Slam singles titles (23) than any other woman or man during the open era.

Williams learned tennis from her father on the public courts in Los Angeles and turned professional in 1995, one year after her sister Venus. Possessing powerful serves and ground strokes and superb athleticism, the sisters soon attracted much attention. Many predicted Venus would be the first Williams sister to win a Grand Slam singles title, but it was Serena who accomplished the feat, winning the 1999 U.S. Open. At that tournament the sisters won the doubles event, and, over the course of their careers, the two teamed up for 14 Grand Slam doubles titles.

At the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, Serena and Venus won gold medals in the doubles event. After several years of inconsistent play, Serena asserted herself in 2002 and won the French Open, the U.S. Open, and Wimbledon, defeating Venus in the finals of each tournament. Known for her fierce tenacity, Serena won the Australian Open in 2003 and thus completed a career Grand Slam by having won all four of the slam’s component tournaments. Later that year she was also victorious at Wimbledon; both of her Grand Slam wins in 2003 came after she had bested her sister in the finals. In 2005 Serena won the Australian Open again. Beset by injury the following year, she rebounded in 2007 to win her third Australian Open. Serena and Venus won their second doubles tennis gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Later that year Serena won the U.S. Open for a third time. In 2009 she captured her 10th Grand Slam singles title by winning the Australian Open. Later that year she won her third Wimbledon singles title, once again defeating her sister. Serena defended her titles at the Australian Open and Wimbledon in 2010. She subsequently battled various health issues that kept her off the court for almost a year.

In 2012 she captured her fifth Wimbledon singles title. A month later at the London Olympic Games, Serena won a gold medal in the singles event, becoming the second woman (behind Steffi Graf) to win a career Golden Slam. She also teamed with Venus to win the doubles event. Later that year Serena claimed her 15th Grand Slam singles title with a victory at the U.S. Open. In 2013 she won her second French Open singles championship and fifth U.S. Open singles title. Williams successfully defended her U.S. Open championship in 2014, which gave her 18 career Grand Slam titles, tying her with Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova for the second highest women’s singles total of the open era. The following year she captured her sixth Australian Open. Williams then won the 2015 French Open—her 20th total Grand Slam singles championship. She continued her torrid streak at Wimbledon, winning a straight-set final to capture her sixth career Wimbledon singles title. Williams again won Wimbledon in 2016, giving her 22 career Grand Slam singles titles, which tied her with Graf for the most Slams in the open era for both women and men. Williams broke Graf’s record at the 2017 Australian Open, where she defeated her sister Venus in the final.

In April of that year, Williams announced that she was pregnant (she had gotten engaged to Alexis Ohanian, cofounder of the Web site Reddit, in December 2016) and would miss the remainder of the 2017 season. In September she gave birth to a daughter, and two months later she married Ohanian. Williams returned to tennis in March 2018. She failed to win a tournament that year, though she reached the finals at both Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. The latter loss proved controversial as Williams was penalized a game after arguing with the chair umpire over a code violation. In 2019 she was again defeated in the finals at both Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. At the 2020 ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand, Williams won her first singles event in some three years.

Williams’s autobiography, On the Line (written with Daniel Paisner), was published in 2009.


Serena Jameka Williams (born September 26, 1981) is an American professional tennis player. She has been ranked singles world No. 1 by the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) for 319 weeks, including a joint-record 186 consecutive weeks, and finished as the year-end No. 1 five times. She has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles, the most by any player in the Open Era, and the second-most of all time (behind Margaret Court's 24).

Along with her older sister Venus, Serena Williams was coached by her parents Oracene Price and Richard Williams. Turning professional in 1995, she won her first major singles title at the 1999 US Open. From the 2002 French Open to the 2003 Australian Open, she was dominant, winning all four major singles titles (each time over Venus in the final) to achieve a non-calendar year Grand Slam and the career Grand Slam, known as the "Serena Slam". The next few years saw her claim two more singles majors, but suffer from injury and decline in form. Beginning in 2007, however, she gradually returned to form despite continued injuries, retaking the world No. 1 singles ranking. Beginning at the 2012 Wimbledon Championships, Williams returned to dominance, claiming Olympic gold and becoming the first tennis player to achieve a Career Golden Slam in both singles and doubles. She won eight out of thirteen singles majors, including all four in a row from 2014–15 to achieve a second "Serena Slam". At the 2017 Australian Open, she won her 23rd major singles title, surpassing Steffi Graf's Open Era record. She then took a break from professional tennis after becoming pregnant, and has reached four major finals since returning to play.

Williams has also won 14 major women's doubles titles, all with her sister Venus, and the pair are unbeaten in Grand Slam doubles finals. This includes a non-calendar year Grand Slam between the 2009 Wimbledon Championships and the 2010 French Open, which granted the sisters the doubles world No. 1 ranking. She has won four Olympic gold medals, three in women's doubles — an all-time joint record shared with her sister. She has also won two major mixed doubles titles, both in 1998.

Williams is widely considered one of the greatest tennis players of all time.[a] The arrival of the Williams sisters has been credited with ushering in a new era of power and athleticism on the women's professional tennis tour. Serena holds the most combined major titles in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles among active players, with 39: 23 in singles, 14 in women's doubles, and two in mixed doubles. She is joint-third on the all-time list and second in the Open Era for total major titles. She is the most recent woman to simultaneously hold all four major singles titles (2002–03 and 2014–15), and the most recent woman to win the Surface Slam (major titles on hard, clay and grass courts in the same calendar year), doing so in 2015. She is also, with Venus, the most recent player to have simultaneously held all four major women's doubles titles (2009–10).

Williams was the world's highest paid woman athlete in 2016, earning almost $29 million. She repeated this feat in 2017 when she was the only woman on Forbes' list of the 100 highest-paid athletes, with $27 million in prize money and endorsements. She has won the Laureus Sportswoman of the Year award four times (2003, 2010, 2016, 2018), and in December 2015 was named Sportsperson of the Year by Sports Illustrated magazine. In 2021, she was ranked 28th on Forbes' World's Highest-Paid Athletes list. She is the highest-earning woman athlete of all time.


It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.


#1127 2022-06-22 21:35:03

Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 37,462

Re: crème de la crème

1092) S. P. Balasubrahmanyam


Sripathi Panditaradhyula Balasubrahmanyam (4 June 1946 – 25 September 2020), also known as SPB or Balu, was an Indian playback singer, television presenter, music director, actor and film producer who worked predominantly in Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Hindi and Malayalam films. He is widely considered one of the greatest Indian singers of all time.

Balasubrahmanyam has won six National Film Awards for Best Male Playback Singer for his works in four different languages – Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Hindi; 25 Andhra Pradesh state Nandi Awards for his work in Telugu cinema; and numerous other state awards from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. In addition, he won the Filmfare Award and six Filmfare Awards South. According to some sources, he held the Guinness World Record for recording the highest number of songs by a singer with over 40,000 songs. He recorded 21 songs in Kannada for the composer Upendra Kumar in Bengaluru from 9 am to 9 pm on 8 February 1981. In addition, he recorded 19 songs in Tamil and 16 songs in Hindi in a day, which has also been called a record. In 2012, he received the state NTR National Award for his contributions to Indian cinema. In 2016, he was honoured with the Silver Peacock Medal as Indian Film Personality of the Year. He was a recipient of the Padma Shri (2001), Padma Bhushan (2011) and Padma Vibhushan (Posthumously) (2021) from the Government of India. He was a recipient of Harivarasanam Award from the Government of Kerala.

On 25 September 2020, S. P. Balasubrahmanyam died in Chennai after being hospitalized for over a month for complications due to COVID-19.


Affectionately called as ‘Balu’ in his friends’ circle, SPB made his singing debut in 1966, and went on to sing over 40,000 songs in as many as 16 languages

Sripathi Panditaradhyula Balasubrahmanyam (4 June 1946 – 25 September 2020), also referred to as S. P. Balu or SPB, was an Indian musician, playback singer, music director, actor, dubbing artist and film producer who worked predominantly in Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Hindi and Malayalam.

Affectionately called as ‘Balu’ in his friends’ circle, SPB made his singing debut in 1966 with the Telugu movie Sri Sri Sri Maryada Ramanna, and went on to sing over 40,000 songs in as many as 16 languages including Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, and Hindi.

He also won the Guinness World Record for recording the highest number of songs by a singer.

He bagged six National Film Awards for Best Male Playback Singer for his songs in four different languages (Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, and Hindi), as well as 25 Andhra Pradesh state Nandi Awards for his work in Telugu cinema, apart from numerous other state awards from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

In addition, he also garnered six Filmfare Awards. In 2012, he received the state NTR National Award for his contributions to Indian cinema. In 2016, he was honored with the Indian Film Personality of the Year consisting of a Silver Peacock Medal.

He was a recipient of civilian awards Padma Shri (2001) and Padma Bhushan (2011). On September 25, 2020, he died in MGM Hospital due breathing difficulties, even though he recovered from COVID-19.

Early life

SPB was born in Nellore into a Telugu family. His father, late S. P. Sambamurthy, was a Harikatha artist who had also acted in plays. His mother was Sakunthalamma. He has two brothers and five sisters, including singer S. P. Sailaja. His son is S. P. Charan who is also a popular south Indian singer, actor and a producer.

Balasubrahmanyam developed an interest in music at an early age, studied notations and learned music. He enrolled at JNTU College of Engineering Anantapur with the intention of becoming an engineer. He discontinued his studies early due to typhoid, and joined as an Associate Member of the Institution of Engineers, Chennai.

He continued to pursue music during his engineering studies and won awards at singing competitions. In 1964, he won the first prize in a music competition for amateur singers organised by the Madras-based Telugu Cultural Organisation.

He was the leader of a light music troupe composed of Anirutta (on the harmonium), Ilaiyaraaja (on guitar and later on harmonium), Baskar (on percussion), and Gangai Amaran (on guitar). He was selected as the best singer in a singing competition which was judged by S. P. Kodandapani and Ghantasala. Often visiting music composers seeking opportunities, his first audition song was “Nilave Ennidam Nerungadhe”. It was rendered by veteran playback singer P. B. Srinivas, who used to write and give him multi-lingual verses in Telugu, Tamil, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Sanskrit, English and Urdu.

Singing career:

Beginnings: 1960s–1970

Balasubrahmanyam made his debut as a playback singer on December 15, 1966 with Sri Sri Sri Maryada Ramanna , a Telugu film scored by his mentor, S. P. Kodandapani.The first non-Telugu song that he recorded just eight days after his debut Telugu song was in Kannada in 1966 for the film Nakkare Ade Swarga , starring Kannada comedy stalwart T. R. Narasimharaju.

He recorded his first Tamil song “Athaanodu Ippadi Irundhu Eththanai Naalaachu”, a duet with L.R. Eswari in the music direction of M. S. Viswanathan for the film Hotel Ramba, which never got released. Other early songs he sang were duets with P. Susheela, “Iyarkai Ennum Ilaya Kanni” in the 1969 film Shanti Nilayam , starring Gemini Ganesh, and “Aayiram Nilavae Vaa” for MGR in Adimaippenn . His first song with S. Janaki was “Pournami Nilavil Pani Vizhum Iravil” in Kannippenn . He was then introduced to the Malayalam film industry by G. Devarajan in the film Kadalppalam.

He has the rare distinction of rendering the most songs in a single day by any singer. He recorded 21 songs in Kannada for the composer Upendra Kumar in Bengaluru from 9 am to 9 pm on 8 February, 1981. Futhermore, he also recorded 19 songs in Tamil and 16 songs in Hindi in a day, which is a notable achievement and a record.

He established a prolific career. “There were days when I used to record 15 to 20 songs, but only for Anand-Milind. And I would take the last flight back to Chennai,” SPB said.

In the 1970s, he also worked with M. S. Viswanathan in Tamil movies for actors such as M. G. Ramachandran, Sivaji Ganesan and Gemini Ganesan. He recorded duets with P. Susheela, S. Janaki, Vani Jayaram and L. R. Eswari. Balasubrahmanyam’s association with Ilaiyaraaja began even before Ilaiyaraaja came to the cine field. In those days, SPB used to sing in towns and villages all over south India and Ilaiyaraaja, then an unknown harmonium and guitar player accompanied SPB by playing in his concerts.

International recognition: 1980s

Balasubrahmanyam came to international prominence with the 1980 film Sankarabharanam. The film is considered to be one of the best films ever to emerge from the Telugu film industry. Directed by K. Vishwanath, the film’s soundtrack was composed by K.V. Mahadevan, and led to an increase in the usage of Karnatak music in Telugu cinema. Not a classically trained singer, he used a “film music” aesthetic in recording the songs. Balasubrahmanyam received his first National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer for his work. His first work in Hindi films was in the following year, in Ek Duuje Ke Liye (1981), for which he received another National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer.

Balasubrahmanyam began to record more songs in Tamil, especially for Ilaiyaraaja with S.Janaki, the trio considered to be highly successful in the Tamil film industry from the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s. The songs were based on classical music, such as in Saagara Sangamam (1983), for which both Ilaiayaraaja and S.P.B won National Film Awards, Swathi Muthyam (1986) and Rudraveena (1988) which again won National Awards for Ilaiyaraaja and Balasubrahmanyam.

In 1989, Balasubrahmanyam was the playback singer for actor Salman Khan in the blockbuster Maine Pyar Kiya . The soundtrack for the film was very successful and he won a Filmfare Award for Best Male Playback Singer for the song Dil Deewana . For much of the next decade, Balasubrahmanyam continued as the “romantic singing voice” on the soundtracks of Khan’s films.

Notable among these was Hum Aapke Hain Koun..! which became the all time highest-grossing Hindi film, and Balasubrahmanyam’s duet with Lata Mangeshkar, “Didi Tera Devar Deewana”, was very popular. This solidified Balasubrahmanyam as one of the biggest playback singers in India. SPB was identified as Salman Khan’s voice in the 90s, just like Kishore Kumar became Rajesh Khanna’s voice through the 70s.

Association with other composers, including A.R. Rahman: 1990s

In the 1990s, he worked with composers such as Vidyasagar, M. M. Keeravani, S. A. Rajkumar and Deva among others, but his association with A.R.Rahman turned out be a major success.

Balasubramanyam’s association with Hamsalekha began after the latter’s successful venture Premaloka in Kannada. Balasubramanyam sung the most songs for Hamsalekha in Kannada. He received his fourth National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer for the song “Umandu Ghumandu” from the Kannada film Ganayogi Panchakshari Gavayi (1995), which was a Hindustani classical music-based composition by Hamsalekha.

Balasubrahmanyam recorded three songs for A. R. Rahman in his debut film Roja. He began a long time association with Rahman since then. Other popular songs include “July Maadham” from Pudhiya Mugam , which also marked the debut of singer Anupama, “Mannoothu Manthayilae” from Kizhakku Cheemayile which was a folk number and he almost sang all songs in the musical love story Duet and “Thanga Thaamarai” from Minsara Kanavu which fetched him the sixth and latest of his National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer till date.

Cementing his legacy: 2000s–2020

In 2013, Balasubrahmanyam recorded the title song for Chennai Express , singing for the lead actor Shahrukh Khan, under the music direction of Vishal-Shekhar. He returned to Hindi film music after being away from it for 15 years.

In May 2020, SPB crooned a song on humanity titled “Bharath Bhoomi” which was composed by Ilaiyaraaja as a tribute to the people such as police, army, doctors, nurses and janitors who have been significantly working amid COVID-19 pandemic. The video song was officially unveiled by Ilaiyaraaja through his official YouTube account on 30 May 2020 in both Tamil and Hindi languages.

Voice acting

Balasubrahmanyam accidentally became a dubbing artist with K. Balachander’s film Manmadha Leela , the dubbed Telugu version of Manmadha Leelai , providing a voice-over for Kamal Haasan.

He has also provided voice-overs for various other artists, including Rajinikanth, Vishnuvardhan, Salman Khan, K. Bhagyaraj, Mohan, Anil Kapoor, Girish Karnad, Gemini Ganesan, Arjun Sarja, Nagesh, Karthik, and Raghuvaran in various languages.

He was assigned as the default dubbing artist for Kamal Haasan in Telugu-dubbed versions of Tamil films. For the Telugu version of Dasavathaaram , he gave voice to seven characters (including the female character) out of ten characters played by Kamal Haasan. He was awarded the Nandi Award for Best Male Dubbing Artist for the films Annamayya and Sri Sai Mahima . He dubbed for Nandamuri Balakrishna for the Tamil version of the movie Sri Rama Rajyam in 2012. He also dubbed for Ben Kingsley in the Telugu-dubbed version of Gandhi.


On August 5 2020, Balasubrahmanyam tested positive for COVID-19 and was admitted to MGM Healthcare in Chennai. Subsequently, his health deteriorated and he was shifted to the intensive care unit in a critical state. He required a ventilator and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) support.

His son Charan provided updates via social media to fans, while members of the Tamil film industry engaged in a mass prayer via Zoom on 20 August and candlelight vigils were held by fans outside the hospital.

On 7 September 2020, Balasubrahmanyam tested negative for the coronavirus, although he remained on a ventilator. His son said SPB was responsive and watching tennis and cricket matches on his iPad. He died on September 25 after a month-long hospitalisation.


It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.


#1128 2022-06-23 21:13:22

Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 37,462

Re: crème de la crème

1093) Glenn McGrath


Glenn Donald McGrath AM (born 9 February 1970) is an Australian former international cricketer who played international cricket for 14 years. He was a fast-medium pace bowler and is considered one of the greatest international bowlers of all time, and a leading contributor to Australia's domination of world cricket from the mid-1990s to the late-2000s.

Known throughout his career for maintaining an accurate line and length, McGrath displayed a consistency that enabled him to be one of the most economical and successful fast bowlers of his time. In terms of total career Test wickets taken by fast bowlers, McGrath is the second-most successful of all time behind James Anderson. On the list of all Test bowlers, he is fifth, and no bowler has taken more wickets at a lower average. He has also taken the seventh-highest number of one day international wickets (381) and holds the record for most wickets (71) in the Cricket World Cup. McGrath announced his retirement from Test cricket on 23 December 2006, with his Test career coming to an end after the fifth Ashes Test in Sydney in January 2007, while the 2007 World Cup, which marked the end of his one-day career, saw him win the man-of-the-tournament award for his outstanding bowling, which was instrumental in Australia winning the tournament.

McGrath later played for the Indian Premier League team of the Delhi DareDevils and was one of the competition's most economical bowlers during its first season, but he saw no action in the second season, ultimately having his contract bought out.

McGrath is the director of MRF Pace Foundation, Chennai, replacing Dennis Lillee, who served for 25 years. He currently serves as president of the McGrath Foundation, a breast cancer support and education charity he founded with his late first wife, Jane.

McGrath was honoured during the seventh annual Bradman Awards in Sydney on 1 November 2012.

He was inducted into the ICC Hall of fame in January 2013.


Good is ubiquitous, greatness rare. And then there's something greater and rarer, like a cricketing career that punctures conventions by making limitations fashionably incisive, so much so that an entire generation is inspired into considering them indispensable.

Glenn McGrath wasn't the quickest or the canniest ever, but in a career spanning over 14 years, he had the simplest of tool kits for menacing returns - scalping a staggering tally of 563 Test wickets to end up statistically, if not otherwise, as the greatest ever fast bowler. His famous partnership with Shane Warne bullied oppositions, crippling them mentally to engineer improbable victories that helped an all-time great Australian side sustain its warfare.

McGrath's genius wasn't derived from his pin-like long legs that conspired his nickname Pigeon, and not from his lanky physique that hardly bordered on athletic either; McGrath's selling point was his metronome precision: tidy lines and lengths boringly hurled in an infinite loop outside off, rivaling an all-devouring bowling machine, until either the batsman's technique or his temperament yielded.

Born in Dubbo to Beverly and Kevin McGrath, Glenn Donald McGrath was spotted by Doug Walters at New South Wales. He eventually debuted at the age of 23, against New Zealand at Perth in 1993, after only eight First Class matches. A month later, he made his ODI debut against South Africa at the MCG. As soon as 1995, he graduated to become Australia's bowling leader, snaffling 17 wickets during their tour of West Indies. In the return tour by Courtney Walsh's men, McGrath followed up his performance by taking away the series honours in a 3-2 win.

Ashes are a solid testament to his impact, a criterion ever so essential for greatness. Ten of his twenty-nine 5-wicket hauls came against England, and his spell of 8/38 at Lord's in 1997, in his first ever Test on English soil, is a bowling timestamp that dawned upon us a ridiculously skewed era in the Ashes rivalry. Except the year 2005 which proved to be a momentous blip: Australia lost the second and the fourth Tests - the two Tests McGrath missed after infamously rolling his ankle over a spare cricket ball on the morning of the second Test - for England to notch up a historic 2-1 win in the 2005 Ashes.

McGrath had a penchant for marquee occasions and for scissoring out the best players on biggest of stages. He reached the 300 landmark with Lara's wicket sandwiched in a hat-trick, hit the 500 mark on Day 1 at Lord's in 2005, took 2/13 in the 1999 World Cup final and could often keep a belligerent Lara under check. His many battles with Tendulkar though were routinely rendered subtle under the Warne clout.

Despite major doubts, McGrath made roaring returns: after his ankle surgery in 2003, and then again after the longish sabbatical he took in 2006 to care for his ailing wife. He finally hung his boots after avenging the 2-1 Ashes loss with a ruthless 5-0 whitewash, where he bid farewell with a wicket off the last ball he bowled. Later that year, he bagged the most number of wickets in a successful World Cup campaign, his third title, to end his limited-overs career on a high too. He also finished with most number of World Cup wickets and was later inducted into the ICC Hall of fame in January 2013.

Off the field, Glenn McGrath championed the cause of breast cancer after losing his wife Jane McGrath to it in 2008. As the Chairman of 'The McGrath Foundation', he reincarnated Sydney Test as the Pink Test and Day 3 has since been annually celebrated as Jane McGrath Day. He currently also serves as the Director of MRF Pace Foundation in Chennai, having replaced Dennis Lillee, and makes occasional appearances as a commentator. His moot predictions not only underline his overwhelming self-confidence but also his conviction for Australian Cricket - an entity that gave him all.

Personal information

Full name  :  Glenn Donald McGrath
Born  :  9 February 1970 (age 52)
Dubbo, New South Wales, Australia
Nickname  :  Pigeon
Height  :  197 cm (6 ft 6 in)
Batting  :  Right-handed
Bowling  :  Right arm fast-medium
Role  :  Bowler

Career statistics

Competition  :  Test  :  ODI  :  FC  :  LA
Matches  :  124  :  250  :  189  :  305
Runs scored  :  641  :  115  :  977  :  124
Batting average  :  7.36  :  3.83  :  7.75  :  3.35
100s/50s  :  0/1      :  0/0  :  0/2    0/0
Top score  :  61  :  11  :  61  :  11
Balls bowled  :  29,248  :  12,970  :  41,759  :  15,808
Wickets  :  563  :  381  :  835  :  465
Bowling average  :  21.64  :  22.02  :  20.85  :  21.60
5 wickets in innings  :  29  :  7  :  42  :  7
10 wickets in match  :  3  :  0  :  7  :  0
Best bowling  :      8/24  :  7/15  :  8/24  :  7/15
Catches/stumpings  :  38/–  :  37/–  :  54/–  :  48/–


It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.


#1129 2022-06-25 00:17:18

Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 37,462

Re: crème de la crème

1094) Muttiah Muralitharan


Deshabandu Muttiah Muralitharan (born 17 April 1972) is a Sri Lankan cricket coach, former professional cricketer, businessman and a member of the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. Averaging over six wickets per Test match, Muralitharan is widely regarded as the most successful bowler to play international cricket. He is the only bowler to take 800 Test wickets and more than 530 One Day International (ODI) wickets. As of 2022, he has taken more wickets in international cricket than any other bowler.

Muralitharan's international career was beset by controversy over his bowling action. Due to an unusual hyperextension of his congenitally bent arm during delivery, his bowling action was called into question on a number of occasions by umpires and sections of the cricket community. After biomechanical analysis under simulated playing conditions, Muralitharan's action was cleared by the International Cricket Council, first in 1996 and again in 1999.

Muralitharan held the number one spot in the International Cricket Council's player rankings for Test bowlers for a record period of 1,711 days spanning 214 Test matches. He became the highest wicket-taker in Test cricket when he overtook the previous record-holder Shane Warne on 3 December 2007. Muralitharan had previously held the record when he surpassed Courtney Walsh's 519 wickets in 2004, but he suffered a shoulder injury later that year and was overtaken by Warne. Muralitharan took the wicket of Gautam Gambhir on 5 February 2009 in Colombo to surpass Wasim Akram's ODI record of 502 wickets. He retired from Test cricket in 2010, registering his 800th and final wicket on 22 July 2010 from his final ball in his last Test match.

Muralitharan was rated the greatest Test match bowler by Wisden's Cricketers' Almanack in 2002, and in 2017 was the first Sri Lankan cricketer to be inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. He won the Ada Derana Sri Lankan of the Year award in 2017.


By almost universal consensus, Muttiah Muralitharan is one of the nicest blokes to play cricket. And yet, he has been at the centre of numerous controversies, none of them of his own making.

Viewed purely through numbers, Muralitharan is a giant performer and is in the unique position of holding the records for most wickets in One Day Internationals as well as Test matches. In fact, what Murali has done in bowling is akin to what Tendulkar has done in batting.

However, most people view Murali through a prism -- fair or unfair -- and questions about the legality of his action have continued to haunt him throughout his career. He has been cleared numerous times -- by biomechanical experts, by the ICC and by independent observers -- but the doubters refuse to be silenced.

He has been called for chucking by umpires in Australia, and been cast aspersions on every time he has walked out on the field.

What nobody can dispute though, is the fact that Murali weaves magic with a cricket ball in his hands. He has flummoxed generations of batsmen with his prodigious spin, subtle variations and often been a one-man army for the Sri Lankan bowling.

Although his talent was never in doubt, Murali really flowered a few years after his debut in 1992. From 1998 onwards, his stats tell the story of a stunning decade. He averaged 20.80 in Test matches and 21.23 in ODIs, picking up over 1000 international wickets (653 in Tests and 405 in ODIs).

In contrast to his success all over the world, Murali has never managed to replicate his feats in Australia. That may be partly due to the fact that for much of his career, Australia have had the best international team, but it is also largely due to the barracking he has had to endure at the hands of the Australian press, players and public. The only other place where Murali has not done well is in India.

Amongst the deluge of the peaks of numbers that Murali has scaled, one startling fact is that he bowls more than 55 overs per Test on an average. And that figure has come after a career that has so far spanned 17 years and 131 Tests - during the early part of which he wasn't the team's strike bowler.

It has been alleged that Murali has picked up a lot of 'cheap' wickets by playing often against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh, but even if you exclude his statistics against these two teams, he still has world-beating figures of 612 Test wickets at an average of 24.73 -- which incidentally is better than Shane Warne's career average of 25.41.

The spin wizard signed off Test cricket in 2010, with a wicket off his last ball, propelling his tally to 800 wickets. Fittingly, the final script had tinges of romance. The ODI flame though kept flickering until the 2011 World Cup. Murali has also featured in T20 leagues across the world including the IPL, BBL and CPL.


Personal information

Full name  :  Muttiah Muralitharan
Born  :  17 April 1972 (age 50), Kandy, Ceylon
Nickname  :  Murali
Height  :  5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Batting  :  Right-handed
Bowling  :  Right-arm off break
Role  :  Bowler

International information:

National side : Sri Lanka (1992–2011)
Test debut (cap 54)  :  28 August 1992 v Australia
Last Test  :  18 July 2010 v India
ODI debut (cap 70)  :  12 August 1993 v India
Last ODI  :  2 April 2011 v India
ODI shirt no.  :  8
T20I debut (cap 13)  :  22 December 2006 v New Zealand
Last T20I  :  31 October 2010 v Australia

Career statistics

Competition  :  Test  :  ODI  :  FC  :  LA
Matches  :  133  :  350  :  232  :  453
Runs scored  :      1,256  :  674  :  2,192  :  945
Batting average  :  11.67  :  6.80  :  11.35  :  7.32
100s/50s  :  0/1  :  0/0  :  0/1  :  0/0
Top score  :  67  :  33*  :  67  :  33*
Balls bowled  :  44,039  :  18,811  :  66,933  :  23,734
Wickets  :  800  :  534  :  1,374  :  682
Bowling average  :  22.72  :  23.08  :  19.64  :  22.39
5 wickets in innings  :  67  :  10  :  119  :  12
10 wickets in match  :  22  :  0  :  34  :  0
Best bowling  :      9/51  :  7/30  :  9/51  :  7/30
Catches/stumpings  :  72/–  :  130/–  :  123/–  :  159/–


It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.


#1130 Yesterday 00:36:27

Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 37,462

Re: crème de la crème

1095) Shaun Pollock


Shaun Maclean Pollock OIS (born 16 July 1973) (The Order of Ikhamanga is a South African honour) is a South African cricket commentator and former cricketer, who was captain in all formats of the game. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest fast bowlers and allrounders of all time. A genuine bowling all-rounder, Pollock along with Allan Donald formed a bowling partnership for many years. From 2000 to 2003 he was the captain of the South African cricket team, and also played for Africa XI, World XI, Dolphins and Warwickshire. He was chosen as the Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 2003.

On 11 January 2008 he announced his retirement from all forms of international cricket after his 303rd One Day International on 3 February. Pollock now works as a commentator on SuperSport's coverage of South African cricket.

In November 2021, he was inducted to the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.


Batting Career Summary:

M  :  Inn  :  NO  :  Runs  :  HS  :  Avg  :  BF  :  SR  :  100  :  200  :  50  :  4s  :  6s
Test  :  108  :  156  :  39  :  3781  :  111  :  32.32  :  7198  :  52.53  :  2  :  0  :  16  :  412  :  35
ODI  :  303  :  205  :  72  :  3519  :  130  :  26.46  :  4059  :  86.7  :  1  :  0  :  14  :  248  :  58
T20I  :  12  :  9  :  2  :  86  :  36  :  12.29  :  70  :  122.86  :  0  :  0  :  0  :  4  :  4
IPL  :  13  :  8  :  0  :  147  :  33  :  18.38  :  111  :  132.43  :  0  :  0  :  0  :  12  :  8

Bowling Career Summary:

M  :  Inn  :  B  :  Runs  :  Wkts  :  BBI  :  BBM  :  Econ  :  Avg  :  SR  :  5W  :  10W
Test  :  108  :  202  :  24353  :  9733  :  421  :  7/87  :  10/147  :  2.4  :  23.12  :  57.85  :  16  :  1
ODI  :  303  :  297  :  15712  :  9631  :  393  :  6/35  :  6/35  :  3.68  :  24.51  :  39.98  :  5  :  0
T20I  :  12  :  11  :  243  :  309  :  15  :  3/28  :  3/28  :  7.63  :  20.6  :  16.2  :  0  :  0
IPL  :  13  :  13  :  276  :  301  :  11  :  3/12  :  3/12  :  6.54  :  27.36  :  25.09  :  0  :  0

Career Information

Test debut vs England at SuperSport Park, Nov 16, 1995
Last Test vs West Indies at Kingsmead, Jan 10, 2008
ODI debut vs England at Newlands, Jan 09, 1996
Last ODI vs West Indies at The Wanderers Stadium, Feb 03, 2008
T20 debut vs New Zealand at The Wanderers Stadium, Oct 21, 2005
Last T20vs West Indies at The Wanderers Stadium, Jan 18, 2008
IPL debut vs Royal Challengers Bangalore at math Stadium, Apr 20, 2008
Last IPL vs Royal Challengers Bangalore at M.Chinnaswamy Stadium, May 28, 2008


Hailing from a family of cricketing legends, it was no surprise when Pollock went on to become one himself. Son of respected Peter Pollock and nephew of the legendary Graeme Pollock, the junior Pollock went on to make his name as one of the finest all-rounders to represent South Africa.

With a heap of wickets behind him, it was no surprise that Shaun was introduced into the hard rigor of Test cricket when South Africa squared off against England in Centurion in 95. Shaun's uncle, Graeme Pollock was the chief selector at that time but there was no hint of any sort of favoritism regarding the debut of Shaun. An impressive first series was capped with his first 5-wicket haul at Cape Town. After a slow start, Pollock came into his own in 1998 scalping 69 Test wickets in 14 Test matches which included career best figures of 7/87 against arch rivals Australia in Adelaide. Consistency was Pollock's forte and his nagging accuracy and his ability to get zip off the pitch from any surface added to his charm.

Pollock was thrust into the captaincy role after the shocking exit of Hansie Cronje when the match fixing bubble burst in early 2000. Pollock was left to resurrect a country that was left demoralized and distraught with things that transpired during the murky dealings of its erstwhile captain.

Pollock started his captaincy stint in a solid fashion and brought some credibility back into the South African set-up with convincing performances. His bowling prospered with the additional load of captaincy. Pollock completed his first and what turned out to be his only 10-wicket haul in a match when he claimed 10/147 against India at Bloemfontein in 2001-02. He though suffered the ignominy of leading South Africa to a 3-0 whitewash down under, the 1st such occurrence post-apartheid.

Things went from bad to worse as South Africa failed to reach the Super 6 stage in the 2003 WC held at home. An apparent D/L miscalculation led to the hosts being knocked out at the group stages itself and Pollock was sacked as the captain with a young Graeme Smith taking over the mantle. Pollock continued to remain an integral part of the team and played his role as a senior to perfection. The advent of Dale Steyn meant that Pollock was relegated from being the main strike bowler to one of support. He cut down on his pace and concentrated more on a stifling line and length to harass the batsmen. Injury and lack of form though continued to hassle Pollock and he announced his decision to quit international cricket at the end of the international summer of 2008.

Shaun Pollock was a part of the Mumbai based IPL team and even captained it in the absence of Sachin Tendulkar and Harbhajan Singh. He was later appointed as the coach of the Mumbai Indians and was at the helm of the affairs when they clinched the 2011 Champions League T20.


It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.


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