Every Cricketer To Captain Their Country On Men’s Test Debut

    Every Cricketer To Captain Their Country On Men’s Test Debut

    South Africa have named seven uncapped cricketers in a second-string Test squad for the New Zealand series, with several senior members set to be busy playing their trade for their respective franchises in SA20 2024. Brand, a 27-year-old all-rounder who is yet to make his international debut, will lead the side.

    With a first-class experience of 51 matches, Brand, being named the captain of his national side, will become the 35th player overall to lead a Test team on debut.

    However, it is to be noted that the illustrious list contains cricketers who achieved this feat on their country’s Test debut. In 1877, James Lillywhite jnr led an English side which toured Australia to play the first-ever Test match, thus coinciding with their red-ball debuts.

    Owen Dunnel for South Africa in 1889, Robert Karl Nunnes for West Indies in 1928, Tom Lowry for New Zealand in 1930 and CK Nayudu for India in 1932 captained their respective national sides on their nation’s Test debut, while Sri Lanka’s Bandula Warnapura in 1982,  Zimbabwe’s David Houghton in 1992 were the last inductees in the 20th century.

    Talking of 21st century, Bangladesh played their inaugural Test against India under captain Naimur Rahman in 2000. Meanwhile, Ireland’s William Porterfield and Afghanistan’s Asghar Afghan being the most recent entrants to the club in 2018 on the back of their country’s first match after receiving Test status.

    Leading your country on Test debut has become far less common in recent years. Brand will be just the second to do so in the last 50 years (excluding the above who captained in their country’s first Tests). New Zealand’s Lee Germon, appointed skipper in 1995, is the other to do so in that time.

    It’s worth mentioning the circumstances surrounding South Africa’s first Test after isolation, in 1992. With a long gap between Test appearances, none of the side had played a Test for the Proteas before. However, Kepler Wessels, the captain, had played Test cricket for Australia. All of the other South African players in the game were Test debutants.

    Every cricketer to captain their country on men’s Test debut

    Dave Gregory, Australia, 1877
    James Lillywhite jnr, England, 1877
    Lord Harris, England, 1879
    Ivo Bligh, England, 1883
    Owen Dunell, South Africa, 1889
    Aubrey Smith, England, 1889-1889
    Akfred Richards, South Africa, 1896
    Murray Bisset, South Africa, 1899
    Henry Taberer, South Africa, 1902
    Biddy Anderson, South Africa, 1902
    Percy Sherwell, South Africa, 1906
    Henry Leveson Gower, England, 1910
    Johnny Douglas, England, 1911
    Frank Mann, England, 1922
    Rony Stanyforth, England, 1927
    Karl Nunes, West Indies, 1928
    Harold Gilligan, England, 1930
    Tom Lowry, New Zealand, 1930
    Freddie Calthorpe, England, 1930
    Nelson Betancourt, West Indies, 1930
    Jackie Grant, West Indies, 1930
    CK Nayudu, India, 1932
    Herby Wade, South Africa, 1935
    Maharajah of Vizianagram, India, 1936
    Alan Melville, South Africa, 1938
    George Mann, England, 1948
    Nigel Howard, England, 1951
    Tony Lewis, England, 1972
    Bandula Warnapura, Sri Lanka, 1982
    Dave Houghton, Zimbabwe, 1992
    Lee Germon, New Zealand, 1995
    Naimur Rahman, Bangladesh, 2000
    William Porterfield, Ireland, 2018
    Asghar Afghan, Afghanistan, 2018

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