There’s an old saying that goes as “A good beginning makes a good ending”. It does hold true as it sets things in motion for an athlete’s career for the future. Surprisingly, for a few other players, it works the other way. Despite not enjoying promising starts, such cricketers have managed to work their way to a fulfilling career.
It barely mattered for them whether they have scored no runs or picked no wickets at the start. They didn’t lose hope and bounce back strongly to make a name for themselves. It was only a matter of time before these athletes become a household name. Eventually, they also become role-models for the upcoming players not to give up hope after commencing weakly.
We take a look at ten players who had far from dream debuts but turned out as greats:
Former English captain Graham Gooch was not only a prolific run-getter in first-class cricket but also for England in Tests. His 44846 first-class runs come in the top ten for most runs in the format. However, his first game in whites for England against Australia in Birmingham in 1975 wasn’t a promising one. The former English batting coach recorded consecutive ducks in the match in two innings.
Gooch became the victim of Max Walker in the first innings while Jeff Thomson claimed his scalp in the second. Across the game, the 66-year old could survive only 11 deliveries. However, by the time the Essex-born retired in 1995, he had accumulated 8900 Test runs. It was a record for the most runs scored by an Englishman in red-ball cricket for England till Alastair Cook surpassed it in 2015.