Glenn McGrath: Wikis


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Glenn McGrath
Glenn McGrath 01 crop 2.jpg
Personal information
Full name Glenn Donald McGrath
Born 9 February 1970 (1970-02-09) (age 40)
Dubbo, New South Wales, Australia
Nickname Pigeon, Millard, Ooh Ah
Height 1.95 m (6 ft 5 in)
Batting style Right-handed
Bowling style Right arm fast-medium
Role Bowler
International information
National side Australia
Test debut (cap 358) 12 November 1993 v New Zealand
Last Test 2 January 2007 v England
ODI debut (cap 113) 9 December 1993 v South Africa
Last ODI 28 April 2007 v Sri Lanka
ODI shirt no. 11
Domestic team information
Years Team
1992–2008 New South Wales (squad no. 11)
2000 Worcestershire
2004 Middlesex
2008– Delhi Daredevils
Career statistics
Competition Test ODIs FC LA
Matches 124 250 189 305
Runs scored 641 115 977 124
Batting average 7.36 3.83 7.75 3.35
100s/50s 0/1 0/0 0/2 0/0
Top score 61 11 61 11
Balls bowled 29248 12970 41759 15808
Wickets 563 381 835 463
Bowling average 21.64 22.02 20.85 21.60
5 wickets in innings 29 7 42 7
10 wickets in match 3 n/a 7 n/a
Best bowling 8/24 7/15 8/24 7/15
Catches/stumpings 38/– 37/– 54/– 48/–
Source:, 20 August 2007

Glenn Donald McGrath AM (pronounced /məˈɡrɑː/) (born 9 February 1970 in Dubbo, New South Wales), nicknamed "Pigeon"[1] is a former Australian cricket player. He is one of the most highly regarded fast-medium pace bowlers in cricketing history[citation needed], and a leading contributor to Australia's domination of world cricket since the mid-1990s to the early 21st century.[2] He holds the world record for the highest number of Test wickets by a fast bowler and is fourth on the all time list, with the top three wicket takers Muttiah Muralitharan, Shane Warne and Anil Kumble all being spin bowlers.[3] McGrath announced his retirement from Test cricket on 23 December 2006.[4] His Test career came to an end after the 5th Ashes test in Sydney, whilst the 2007 World Cup marked the end of his one-day career.[5] Known throughout his career for maintaining a remarkably accurate line and length, McGrath's consistency enabled him to be one of the most economical fast bowlers of his time. McGrath also played for the Indian Premier League team of Delhi DareDevils and was one of the tournaments most economical bowlers during its first season.[6] On January 5, the franchise announced that it had bought out the remaining year of his contract.[7]




Early years

McGrath was born in Dubbo, New South Wales to Beverly and Kevin McGrath. [1] He grew up in Narromine, New South Wales (NSW) where he first played cricket and his potential was spotted by Doug Walters.[8] He moved to Sydney to play grade cricket for Sutherland, and made his debut for NSW during the 1992–93 season. McGrath capped his rapid rise in the next Australian summer with selection in the Test team after only eight first-class matches.[9] His Test debut was against New Zealand at Perth, in 1993–1994. In Australia's 1995 Test series victory, McGrath took the approach of bouncing the West Indies team including the bowlers, which had not happened before. Ponting said:

I remember thinking Glenn's decision to take on the West Indies bowlers sent out a positive message to the West Indies that the Australian side was really up for it," Ponting said. "Ambrose, Walsh Kenny Benjamin had never been treated like that before. It made the West Indies sit back and think, 'This Australian team is fair dinkum — they're really up for it.' "Even if you aren't the murder boys of cricket, you can show little things to let the opposition know you are serious. It might be the way you warm up, how you dress to go to the ground. Perception can be enormous. If you can give off the right signals to (a) bluffing them or (b) showing them what you're all about. McGrath, at that stage of his career, showed them what he was all about. His body language and the way he looked at their batsman — the wry smile — it sent a signal to the batsman and his own team-mates that he knew what he was doing.[10]

County cricket in England

McGrath played for Worcestershire in the 2000 English County Championship, proving both successful on the field and popular with the county's supporters. In 14 first-class games he took 80 wickets at 13.21, including an outstanding innings return of 8-41 against Northamptonshire, as well as making his first ever first-class half-century (55 against Nottinghamshire). He also played a few games for Middlesex in 2004, but although accurate could manage only nine wickets in four first-class appearances for the county.

Against England (Ashes 2005 and 2006/07)

During the 1st Test at Lords in the 2005 Ashes series Glenn McGrath became the fourth bowler in history to take 500 Test wickets with the dismissal of Marcus Trescothick. This wicket was also the start of a very productive spell of 5-2 which led to England being bowled out for 155. McGrath took 4-29 in the 2nd innings and was named man of the match in a comprehensive Australian victory.

McGrath trod on a cricket ball and injured his ankle the morning before the start of the 2nd Test at Edgbaston and was unable to play in the match in which England amassed 407 runs in one day against the McGrath-less bowling attack to win by 2 runs. He was rushed back when not fully fit for the 3rd Test at Old Trafford, where he earned another 5-wicket haul in the 2nd innings of a drawn game, batting in a last-wicket partnership with Brett Lee in the last hour of the Test to deny an English victory. He then missed the 4th Test at Trent Bridge, which England won by 3 wickets, with an elbow injury. McGrath returned for the final Test at The Oval but he, and the rest of the Australian team, were unable to force a result and the match was drawn, giving England the series win. McGrath's injury problems are seen as a key factor in England regaining the Ashes, as their victories came in matches in which he was absent.[11]

Australia hosted England in the 2006-07 Ashes series and quickly regained the Ashes, beating England 5-0, only the second 5-0 series whitewash in Ashes history (the first time was by the Australian team during the 1920-1921 Ashes Series). Having taken a break from cricket since April 2006, McGrath used the 2006 ICC Champions Trophy to reclaim his spot in Australia's test XI. He took a 6 wicket haul in his comeback innings in the first test at the Gabba to set the tone for the rest of the series, with Australia winning back the Ashes in a record breaking 15 days of play.[12] McGrath took 21 wickets in the series at an average of 23.90, as well as scoring 10 runs and taking 1 catch in what was to be his final test series. In his biography McGrath wrote:

There was an incredible sense of emotion and elation as I walked around the Sydney Cricket Ground with my team-mates, holding hands with my children, James and Holly. I didn't feel the slightest sense of sadness about retiring. I knew I'd reached the end; my body told me that. And even more importantly, I'd realised that those special moments I was missing in the life and times of my family were too great ... the moments had become weeks at a time, and I didn't like it.[13]


McGrath in his final test series - the 2006-07 Ashes series

On 23 December 2006, McGrath announced his retirement from tests. His last test was the Fifth Ashes Test against England in Sydney in January 2007.[14][15] He has also retired from all forms of international cricket following the successful 2007 Cricket World Cup where he became the leading wicket taker in the history of the World Cup, while also being the top wicket taker with 26 and being named player of the tournament.

2008 Indian Premier League

He was signed by the Delhi DareDevils for the Indian Premier League for a sum of USD 350,000 (INR 1.4 crore) to play in Twenty Overs games.[16] His T-Shirt had the name "Pidge", short form for his nickname "Pigeon".

Playing Style


McGrath bowling a wicket-taking ball to Kevin Pietersen at the SCG in 2007

McGrath's bowling was not of express pace. Rather, he relied on unerring accuracy and subtle seam movement.[17] His height (195 cm), combined with a high arm action, allowed him to extract extra bounce from most pitches that often surprised batsmen. In the later years of his career, he developed as a swing bowler.[18]

His uncomplicated method and natural physical fitness were significant factors in the longevity of McGrath's career. In 2004, he became the first Australian fast bowler to play 100 Tests.[19] In the first innings of the ICC Super Series Test match in 2005, McGrath passed Courtney Walsh to become the greatest wicket-taker among fast bowlers in Test history.[20]

McGrath was regarded as one of the best fast bowlers in the world and has had success against every opposition team, in both Test and one-day cricket. He deliberately (and publicly) targeted the opposition's best batsmen prior to a series in an attempt to distract them, a ploy which regularly worked. At the beginning of the Frank Worrell series against the West Indies he stated in interviews before the match, that he would dismiss Sherwin Campbell for his 299th wicket, then remove star batsman Brian Lara for his 300th wicket the very next ball. In a masterstroke this eventuated as planned, following this with the dismissal of captain Jimmy Adams to complete a memorable hat trick. The targeting of opposition batsmen has generally been successful; he has dismissed Mike Atherton of England 19 times - the most times any batsman has been dismissed by one bowler in cricket history. On the other hand, he targeted Michael Vaughan prior to the 2002/03 Ashes series in Australia, with Vaughan going on to score three centuries at an average greater than 60. He targeted Andrew Strauss in the 2005 series in England, who went on to score two centuries.

A graph showing McGrath's test career bowling statistics and how they have varied over time.

He also tends to engage in sledging of opposition batsmen and teams, though it doesn't always pay off. Before the 2005 Ashes series he predicted a 5-0 whitewash for Australia, and even said that if England won the Ashes he would return to Australia by boat, but England prevailed 2-1. However, this did not dissuade him from making a similar 5-0 prediction for the next Ashes series, in Australia in 2006/07 which turned out to be true. He finished his career as the most successful Test fast-bowler and 3rd highest Test wicket taker. However his Test wicket haul was surpassed by Indian leg-spinner Anil Kumble during India's tour of England 2007.

McGrath has often been in trouble with match referees for his confrontational behaviour while bowling, particular in showing dissent after an appeal is rejected. In January 2006, he was given a severe reprimand after using obscene language.[21]

A Sri Lankan Cricketer Roshan Mahanama claimed in his book 'Retired hurt' penned by noted Australian sports chronicler Ken Piesse that McGrath called Sanath Jayasuriya a black monkey. McGrath denied this.[22][23]


McGrath is a competent outfielder with a strong and accurate throwing arm; whilst not known for his athleticism, on one memorable occasion in 2002 he took an exceptional outfield catch at the Adelaide Oval against England, dismissing English batsman Michael Vaughan from the bowling of Shane Warne, running many metres before leaping into the air and catching the ball with arms outstretched and his body horizontal (see Google Video video [2]). His captain, Steve Waugh, described the famous catch as "a miracle" and "one of the great catches in history".


Glenn McGrath's Test career batting performance.

McGrath's batting prowess, in the early phases of his career was non-existent; in fact, he scored first-ball ducks (zero runs) on both his Test [3] and One-Day International [4] debuts, and his batting average hovered below 4 for the first few years of his career. Years of patient tutelage from captain and friend Steve Waugh have improved this aspect of his game, to the point where he has scored a Test half century which came on 20 November 2004 against New Zealand [5]at the Gabba. His final score in that innings was 61. Nevertheless, McGrath is still regarded as a batting 'rabbit', although to his credit coaching from Steve Waugh and others has helped to push his average up to above 7.00 runs/dismissal. In the first World Cricket Tsunami Appeal charity match, he was promoted to bat at number 6 ahead of specialist batsmen Stephen Fleming and Matthew Hayden, but was dismissed first ball trying to slog Muttiah Muralitharan. Towards the end of his international career, McGrath, while not scoring many runs himself, became rather more difficult for opposing bowlers to dismiss, being dismissed only once during the 2005 Ashes series. With a contribution of 11 runs in the first innings of the MCG 2005 Boxing Day Test versus South Africa[6], he stood his ground for 53 deliveries, helping Michael Hussey push the Australian tail to a record tenth wicket stand against South Africa of 107 runs.

Personal life

His late wife, Jane Louise (née Steele), was British-born and had worked as a flight attendant before their marriage. Glenn married Jane in 1999 after they met at a Hong Kong nightclub called Joe Bananas in 1995. They had two children, James and Holly. Jane McGrath fought recurrent battles with breast cancer and bone cancer. On 26 January 2008 (Australia Day) Glenn and Jane McGrath were both made Members of the Order of Australia. Jane McGrath died, aged 42, on 22 June 2008 from complications following cancer surgery.[24] Glenn McGrath found love again, one-and-a-half years after losing his wife Jane to cancer in Italian beauty Sara Leonardi.[25]

McGrath Foundation

In 2007 the McGraths founded the McGrath Foundation, a charitable organisation dedicated to raising money to fund more Breast Care Nurses in rural and regional Australia and educate young women to become 'breast aware'. Glenn has continued the work of Jane in her memory. The foundation has so far raised over $12 million.[26].


He was named a Member of the Order of Australia on 26 January (Australia Day) in 2008 for "service to cricket as a player", and along with his wife for "service to the community through the establishment of the McGrath Foundation."[27]

Sporting Achievements

McGrath holds 7 highest tenth wicket partnerships, and two tenth wicket partnerships of 100 plus[7].

At the time of his retirement he held the record for most runs scored as a number 11 batsman (603)[8]. This record has since been surpassed by Muttiah Muralitharan.

After his dismissal for a duck in the fourth test of the 2006-2007 Ashes series, McGrath claimed the record of having scored more ducks in test cricket than any other Australian cricketer (35 - one more than Shane Warne)[9].

McGrath holds the record for dismissing the most batsmen for ducks in test cricket (104) [10].

His win-loss record at World Cup tournaments is impressive; he's been in four tournaments (two less than the record) and has won three of those, getting to the final in the other.

Preceded by
new award
Allan Border Medal winner
Succeeded by
Steve Waugh
Preceded by
Sachin Tendulkar
World Cup Player of the Series winner
Succeeded by

See also


  1. ^ "Glenn McGrath Cricinfo Profile". Cricinfo. Retrieved 2007-03-06. 
  2. ^ "Glenn McGrath's Brilliant Career". Cricinfo. Retrieved 2007-03-07. 
  3. ^ He has also taken the 6th Highest number of ODI Wickets."Bowlers taking 300 wickets". Howstat. Retrieved 2007-02-22. 
  4. ^ "Glenn McGrath To Retire After World Cup". Cricinfo. Retrieved 2007-03-07. 
  5. ^ "McGrath eyes perfect one-day finish". Cricinfo. Retrieved 2006-12-22. 
  6. ^;type=tournament
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Cricketing great's career nearly didn't start". Retrieved 2007-04-12. 
  9. ^ "Glenn McGrath Profile". Retrieved 2007-04-12. 
  10. ^ McGrath and Lane (2008), p. 133–134.
  11. ^ Gough, Martin (25 August 2005). "Overstepping the mark". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2008-01-26. 
  12. ^ Etheridge, John (19 December 2006). "Sorry England just Perthetic". The Sun. Retrieved 2008-01-26. 
  13. ^ McGrath and Lane (2008), p. xv.
  14. ^ Yahoo news article Retrieved on 17 May 2007
  15. ^ NineMSN News Article Retrieved on 17 May 2007
  16. ^ "Rich life becoming even richer for Glenn McGrath". The Herald Sun.,21985,22934448-11088,00.html. Retrieved 2007-12-17. 
  17. ^ "A tale of two metronomes". Cricinfo. Retrieved 2007-03-07. 
  18. ^ "Natural Born Killer – Glenn McGrath’s New Road". Cricinfo. Retrieved 2007-04-12. 
  19. ^ An ironman of the land, Cricinfo, Retrieved on 16 October 2007
  20. ^ Cricinfo Profile, Cricinfo, Retrieved on 16 October 2007
  21. ^ "2006: Penalties imposed on players for breaches of ICC Code of Conduct". International Cricket Council. Retrieved 2007-01-30. 
  22. ^ McGrath accused of racial slur, 334 not out, Retrieved on 16 October 2007
  23. ^
  24. ^ McGrath Foundation website
  25. ^ "McGrath finds a girl friend". Espnstar. Retrieved 2010-02-04. 
  26. ^ "McGrath Foundation - About Us". McGrath Foundation. 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-25. 
  27. ^ "It's an Honour website". Australian Government. 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-26. 


  • McGrath, Glenn; Lane, Daniel (2008). Glenn McGrath: Line and Strength - The Complete Story. Random House. ISBN 978-1-74166-719-6. 

External links


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