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Famous father-son duos in cricket


Sanjay_Manjrekar_Vijay_Manjrekar_father_Son_India_CricketEarlier this year, Arjun Tendulkar’s selection in the U-19 side for two four-day games against Sri Lanka had grabbed headlines everywhere. The son of ex-Indian batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar, at 18 years of age, Arjun has shown his mettle both with the bat and the ball in the last couple of years and really seems to be developing into a talented fast bowler, despite modest returns from the Sri Lanka series.

It remains to be seen if Arjun can make a name for himself and not get burdened under the aura and hype surrounding his surname. If he does make it to the national team someday, and manages to leave his mark, then it would be another rare case of a father and son duo both making it big in international cricket.

Throughout cricket history there have been a number of father-son pairs who have represented their countries and left a solid impression as well. Here is a look at some of the famous ones.

Peter Pollock & Shaun Pollock (South Africa):

While not as famous as his brother, Graeme Pollock, Peter Pollock was a decent bowler for South Africa and played 28 Tests, picking 116 wickets. He led the South African bowling unit in the 1960s and was their prime bowler before the country was forced into international isolation due to apartheid. After retirement, Peter went on to become a reputed selector for South Africa in the 1990s.

Peter’s son, Shaun, left a much more distinct impression on international cricket. With 421 wickets to his name, Shaun Pollock is currently the joint leading wicket-taker for South Africa in Tests. He was also a pretty decent batsman lower down the order. Shaun snared 393 wickets in ODIs and was a true champion bowler who did not get as much recognition in his times as he was often overshadowed by the likes of Glenn McGrath.

Hanif Mohammad and Shoaib Mohammad (Pakistan):

Among Pakistan cricket’s greatest legends, Hanif Mohammad’s name will always command a lot of respect. Known as the very first “Little Master”, Hanif is renowned for playing the longest Test innings in the sport's history, when he took a mammoth 970 minutes to compile his epic 337 versus West Indies at Bridgetown. It still remains the highest individual score by a Pakistani batsman in Test cricket. In the 55 Tests that Hanif played, he smacked 12 hundreds and was an inspiration to several young cricketers with his style and technique.

Hanif’s son, Shoaib, wasn’t as talented as his father, but he still managed to leave his mark. In 45 Tests for Pakistan from 1983 to 1995, he averaged 44.34 with 7 hundreds. He was renowned for his powers of concentration – a trait he had supposedly inherited from his father – and had a sparkling cover drive that could be watched for hours.

Lance Cairns and Chris Cairns (New Zealand):

Before the time of Chris Cairns, the burly all-rounder from New Zealand, it was his father Lance who had made his mark in international cricket. Using a strange bat that looked more like a wooden club, Lance, with his broad shoulders, was a powerful striker of the ball and a true crowd pleaser. He was also a useful swing bowler and could put batsmen in trouble with his big in-swingers. Lance played 43 Tests and 78 ODIs for New Zealand and scored close to 1,900 runs, picking up 219 wickets in both formats combined.

Lance’s son Chris went on to have a much bigger impact and in his time was one of the most noted all-rounders around. Chris was a true match-winner and was only the sixth man to achieve the rare double of 200 wickets and 3,000 runs. Regular injuries and erratic form meant that Chris couldn’t live up to his true potential, but he did help New Zealand achieve one of their finest cricketing moments – lifting the ICC Knockout Championship in 2000. As a batsman, Chris scored close to 8,500 international runs - he was a bludgeoner of the ball and could rip any attack on his day. Chris was also a decent swing bowler and had 273 international wickets to his name, which has unfortunately been tarnished by allegations of match-fixing.

Vijay Manjrekar and Sanjay Manjrekar (India):

Vijay Manjrekar was a legend of Mumbai cricket who went on to represent India in 55 Tests, scoring 3,208 runs with 7 hundreds. A quality middle-order batsman, Vijay was a wristy player who could cut and hook the ball well. He played quite a few match-saving innings for India; some of his best knocks include the 133 versus England at Headingley and the 118 against West Indies at Kingston. Vijay commanded deep respect in Indian cricket even years after he had retired.

Vijay’s son, Sanjay, had the gift of timing and was a technically sound batsman. Sanjay made headlines when he scored a gritty 218 against Pakistan at Lahore early on in his career. He could time the ball superbly and also had the ability to spend hours at the wicket. However, by his own admission, Sanjay was so obsessed with being technically correct that he lost sight of himself as a batsman. That was the reason he lost form and could only feature in 37 Tests for India, when so much more was expected of him. Sanjay did score more than 4,000 international runs with 5 hundreds and 24 fifties.

Geoff Marsh and Shaun & Mitchell Marsh (Australia):

An opening batsman known for his dogged determination, Geoff Marsh played 50 Tests and 117 ODIs for Australia, doing pretty well in his prime. While he was known for his gritty batting in Tests, Geoff thrived in ODIs where he enjoyed playing freely and ended up scoring 4,357 runs with 9 hundreds in the format.

Both of Geoff’s sons - Shaun and Mitch - play for Australia at present and are doing a pretty fine job of it. Shaun is a stylish left-handed top-order batsman who has featured in 34 Tests for Australia already while Mitch is a hard-hitting seam bowling all-rounder who is growing in strength with every season and has represented the country in 30 Tests. The Marsh brothers, especially the younger Mitch, are seen as future stars of Australian cricket and have it in them to become much bigger than their father.

Incidentally, Geoff Marsh remains only the third player in history to have had both his sons represent their country in Test cricket – the other two being Walter Hadlee and Lala Amarnath.

Chris Broad and Stuart Broad (England):

Currently an ICC official, Chris Broad featured in 25 Tests and 34 ODIs for England and was decently successful. The high point of his career was scoring three successive hundreds in the 1986-87 Ashes. While Chris didn’t score bucketfuls of runs, he did average 40-plus in ODIs and 39.54 in Tests, scoring 7 international hundreds and 17 fifties.

Chris’ son Stuart has gone on to be far more successful than his father. In fact, Stuart Broad is one of the most successful English bowlers of all time with 433 Test wickets. Stuart has been the mainstay of the English Test side for many years, with his seam bowling destroying many attacks. Today, he is second in the list of England's all-time wicket takers. Stuart’s phenomenal spell of 8/15 against Australia in the Nottingham Ashes Test of 2015 and his match-turning innings of 169 against Pakistan at Lord’s in 2010 will always the defining moments of his career.

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