10 Mind-blowing Facts about Allan Donald: Allan Donald will always be entitled in the lists of the greatest fast bowlers of world cricket of all time. He is still contributing to the game, has been coaching for quite some time now after retirement breeding new talents. His commitment towards the game in and out the boundary rope makes him one of the most sort after pace bowlers of all time.
The fiery pacer turns 48 today. Let’s have a look at some of the lesser known facts about the fearsome pacer.
1. Successful pacer for the Proteas
He was the first Protea to capture 300 Test wickets. Did that in 2000. Allan Donald was for some time the
most successful Test bowler in South African cricketing history, and ranks among the best in the history of the game in terms of points. He has a sensational strike rate of 47. By the time he announced his retirement from the Test arena in early 2002, he had taken 330 wickets at an average of 22.25.
2. Nicknamed ‘White Lightning’
He was nicknamed ‘White Lightning’ because he was so fearsome and dangerous. He used to be aggressive, with white cream around his cheeks and nose and his deadly spells in the 1992 World Cup will always be an eye-catching. He published an autobiography naming after his nickname “White Lightning”.
3. Outstanding Debut
South Africa’s return to the international cricket after the ban was in 1991 against the Indians (ODI) at the ‘Home of Indian Cricket’ Eden Gardens. The house was packed with no less than 90,000 crowds and Donald could not find a better atmosphere for his debut. He claimed 5 for 29 which was an outstanding exhibition of fast bowling.
4. Allegations of Racist
In 1997, Donald was under much scrutiny for racism allegations on Rahul Dravid. He was accused of racially abusing the ‘Wall’ during the finals of the ODI series. Donald denied such allegations which he then wrote in his autobiography that the incident caused him a lot of grief, leading to accusations of a racist. According to Donald, the words said to Dravid were: “This isn’t such an easy game” and the cameras were up close and the lips were read”.
5. Most World Cups
Allan Donald has played the most number of World Cups (4) (1992-2003) among the Proteas pacers joint-most with Shaun Pollock (1996-2007).
6. Greater Control
In the latter part of his career, Donald chose to shorten his run up. While this cost him some speed, it gave him greater control, and the loss of pace did little to curb his effectiveness.
7. County Career and Accent
Donald was well known for his Birmingham dialect though he was a Protea. This was mainly because of his long stay at Birmingham playing for Warwickshire.
8. Commentary Ties
He now commentates for South African Broadcast Corporation (SABC) in their coverage of South Africa’s home Tests.
9. ICC Test Rankings
He reached the Top of ICC Test Rankings in 1998. He was also at the peak next year with 895 points (25th best Rankings ever).
10. Furious Donald strike at 1996 World Cup
UAE skipper, Sultan Zarawani, was hit on the head by paceman Allan Donald’s bouncer. What made Donald angry was the fact that Zarawani came out to bat against him in a sun hat, which is considered as an insult by fast bowlers. After Zarawani got hit, he faced another six balls without scoring a single run. He was then rushed to a hospital. It turned out that Zarawani was unfit coming into that World Cup after operations on his knee and required regular cortisone injections to help him play. He then played four more matches in the world Cup.