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This Day in 1963: Five Players Fielded for Rival Team

Representation Image.

Representation Image.

Eight players of the Kent team agreed to play against their own side.

Cricket is called a gentleman’s game. But with the advent of the shorter and fast-paced T20 format, it sometimes becomes very difficult for players to contain their emotions. However, there was once an occasion when something totally out of the box happened. On this day in 1963, five players of an opposing team took the gentleman’s game to a new level. These five players fielded against their own team and even helped the rival team take wickets.

During an English county Test match between Kent and Middlesex, the former got all-out on 150 runs on the first day of the match on June 15. In return, the guests Middlesex racked up 121 runs for the loss of three wickets till Stumps. June 16 was Sunday, and back then there used to be no cricket in England on Sundays.

Since there was no cricket on June 16, the Middlesex players went out for a Sunday tour of Kent. However, unaware of Kent’s traffic, the players couldn’t return in time for the next day’s play at 11:30 am. Being the hosts, Kent had their full strength on the ground, but Middlesex had only two members available from their playing 11, in addition to the 12th man. Since it was impossible for Middlesex to bat, the umpires declared their innings.

But now fielding with only three players became an even more herculean task, and it was then when eight players of the Kent team agreed to play against their own side. Before the start of Kent’s second innings, three more Middlesex players landed on the field, and so when the second day’s play started, five Kent’s players were fielding against their own batsmen.

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As if the scene wasn’t interesting enough, Kent’s John Prodgar, who was fielding for Middlesex, caught his own teammate Laxcester’s catch in the slip. Kent declared their innings at 341/7. Middlesex drew the match after posting 82 runs at the loss of three wickets against the target of 371 runs. Despite being a draw, the match became really memorable.

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first published:June 17, 2021, 20:41 IST