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World Cup flashbacks: When oldest player Traicos bowled to young Tendulkar in 1992

Sachin Tendulkar

Bengaluru, May 2: Athanasios John Traicos was the oldest player in the 1992 World Cup at the age of 45. The off-spinner had played for Zimbabwe in that edition in Australia and New Zealand.

Indian batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar was making his World Cup debut in that edition and as an 18-year-old, he was the youngest player in the tournament.

In fact, when Traicos had led Zimbabwe in the 1987 edition played in India and Pakistan. Tendulkar was then just a 14-year-old, who also did ball boy duties during the World Cup games, including that between India and Zimbabwe at the Wankhede Stadium. Traicos, now approaching 72, though did not know about it as he told the media later.

Tendulkar played against Traicos on five occasions in One-day Internationals, starting from the India-Zimbabwe game in Hamilton in the 1992 World Cup, but was never dismissed by the senior spinner.

John Traicos

The highest score that Tendulkar had scored in these five games was at Hamilton (81 off 77 balls) while Traicos had the most productive outing against India in that match too (3 for 35 in six overs). India had won that rain-curtailed game by 55 runs with Tendulkar winning the man of the match award.

'An early lesson in batsmanship'

The Egypt-born Traicos had later spoken highly about the Indian maestro. In a piece for ESPNcricinfo, he wrote: "In the World Cup we lost to India in Hamilton, where Tendulkar, as an 18-year-old, made 81 and was Man of the Match. I was amazed how cleanly he hit the ball, and it was extremely difficult to restrict him and to stop him scoring boundaries. His timing and placement in that match were impeccable - he kept hitting the ball off the middle of the bat and was able to accumulate runs off nearly every ball. It was an early lesson in batsmanship from a young master."

Traicos's time against Tendulkar had come albeit in the longer format. The former South Africa cricketer later represented Zimbabwe (Traicos played only seven Tests in 23 years) in their maiden Test match in Harare in October 1992.

He had Tendulkar out cught and bowled for duck and when he came out to bat against Zimbabwe again in a Test in New Delhi (March, 1993), the Zimbabwean fielders thought he was an easy wicket and Grant Flower asked Traicos from the slip to bowl the man "another long hop", Traicos revealed later.

However, Tendulkar didn't oblige this time and scored 62 as India went on to win by an innings and 13 runs.

The veteran had also praised Tendulkar over his gentlemanly conduct off the ground.

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Story first published: Thursday, May 2, 2019, 15:27 [IST]
Other articles published on May 2, 2019
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