Every sportsperson who plays sport has a dream of representing their country. Be it cricket or any other sport, the dream of representing your country gives you a whole new different feeling.
In cricket, there have been numerous instances where a player has played a game for his country but never got the opportunity to carry on. While most of them hadn’t really made a mark on their test debut and quite deservingly got the axe, some never got a second look in due to various circumstances.
There have been quite a handful of them who, despite performing exceedingly well on debut, never ever wore the test whites of their respective countries. These few handfuls of players are called “one-test wonders”.
Let us delve into the cricketing history books and find out the top five cricketers who were a “one-test wonder”. Also, let us know who do you think deserved to play more than one test for their country.
#1 Andy Ganteaume
In 1947-48, England toured the mighty West Indies for a four test match series. Prior to the start of the second test in Port of Spain, West Indies opening batsmen Jeff Stollmeyer injured himself, meaning local lad Andy Ganteaume would make his test debut.
In the warm-up games before the commencement of the series, journalists had often criticized Ganteaume for his slow batting. But against England, he batted at a decent pace and when he neared a hundred, he slowed down, and the West Indies’ captain sent out a note asking the batsmen to score faster.
Ganteaume eventually reached his ton and was dismissed for a fine 112 but was once again criticized for his slow batting. Ganteaume did not bat in the second innings when the West Indies needed to score runs quickly in an unsuccessful attempt to win the game.
The match ended in a draw but knowing that scoring runs at a quick pace were vital, Ganteaume’s slow batting adversely affected the West Indies’ chances of victory. Ganteaume was dropped for the third test and was replaced by John Goddard.
He never ever got a look in again and thus, holds the record of the highest test batting average of 112!
#2 Rodney Redmond
Pakistan toured New Zealand in 1972-73 for a full-fledged test and ODI series. In the third and final test match, 29-year old Auckland batsman Rodney Redmond was handed his maiden test cap.
Pakistan batted first and put on a healthy 402 on board. In reply, Redmond and Turner gave New Zealand a fine start.
Redmond went on to make a solid 107 which included 20 fours. During the innings, he had hit Majid Khan for five successive boundaries in an over.
New Zealand ended on an identical 402. In the second essay, the Black Caps were set 272 to win but with hardly any time remaining the match ended in a draw, but debutant Redmond scored a fine 56 before being dismissed by Wasim Raja.
Despite such a dream debut, Redmond never wore the New Zealand test whites, but he did play two ODI’s for his country. In 1973, he was picked for the England tour but due to troubles with his contact lenses and showing poor form prior to the series, he was not picked.
#3 Vic Stollmeyer
Vic Stollmeyer, unlike his brother, Jeff Stollmeyer never had a long test career. In fact, Vic Stollmeyer managed to play only test match for the West Indies in his entire playing career.
In 1939, West Indies toured England and in the third test match, Vic Stollmeyer was handed his test debut cap. His brother and West Indies skipper Jeff Stollmeyer had presented him with the cap.
He was slated to bat in at No. 4 and quite ironically when his brother was dismissed, he walked in to bat. Vic Stollmeyer batted brilliantly and was on the verge of making a fine hundred but fell four short, as he was stumped by Wood of the bowling of Goddard.
His brilliant 96 was studded with 11 hits to the fence. West Indies never got to bat in their second essay due to Len Hutton and Wally Hammond’s brilliant hundreds which ate up time.
Despite having a decent first outing as a West Indies player, Vic Stollmeyer never got another chance to represent his country.
#4 Gobo Ashley
Left-arm South African quick, William Hare Ashley, better known as Gobo Ashley was another player who did exceedingly well on test debut but never played for the national team again. In the year 1889, in South Africa’s second ever test match in test cricket history, Gobo Ashley made his debut.
England was batting first and had started quite brilliantly. Ashley was the first change bowler and within minutes, he got his maiden test wicket by knocking Ulyett’s stumps.
One wicket brought two and two became three and when the English innings ended on 292, Gobo Ashley’s figures read: 43.1 – 18 – 95 -7.
South Africa was awful with the bat and was dismissed for 47 in the first and 43 in the second as Johnny Briggs wreaked havoc and ended with match figures of 15 for 28 to overshadow Ashley’s performance.
Ashley was the only bright spark for South Africa but to everyone’s surprise, he got dropped and never played for South Africa again.
#5 Charles Marriott
Perhaps the unluckiest candidate on this list who never got to play a second test is Englishman Charles Marriott.
Marriott was a leg break bowler and made his test debut in the third test during West Indies’ tour to England in 1933.
England batted only once and scored 312. In reply, West Indies were skittled out very cheaply in both innings. A mere 100 runs in the first and 195 in the second as England cruised to an innings and 17 runs win.
The chief wrecker was none other than debutant Marriott. In the first innings, his figures read 11.5 – 2 – 37 – 5.
He fared much better in the second with figures of 29.2 – 6 – 59 -6. Marriott ended up with exceptional match figures of 11 for 96 and was without a doubt the best player on show.
Marriott was a school teacher and thus, hardly had any time to play cricket and probably that was the reason why he never again played for England.
Did we miss out on any player from our list? Sound off in the comments section below!