We have witnessed a lot of players who kicked off their career with a century, but in how many cases did we see a player embarking and concluding his career with a ton? Not many. So today, let's have a look at some players who scored a century on their debut and their last game.
1) Reginald Duff (Australia)
The Australian, also known as "Reggie Duff" played only 22 Tests but achieved something that very few have achieved today. He was the first one to score a ton on debut and also in his last match.
He scored an astonishing 104, also becoming the first-ever no.10 batsman to score a ton. The Australian scored over 1300 runs in Tests and guess when the second ton of his career came?
It was the last Test match of his cricket career at Kennington Oval in 1905 where he scored 146, his career-best score. He was the first-ever player to score a ton on debut and also bid farewell to the game with a ton.
2) Bills Ponsford (Australia)
Another Australian player makes the list as after 20 years, Bills Ponsford MBE commenced on his journey as a cricketer with a century. An opening batsman, Ponsford, played 29 Tests in his career and was exceptional in dealing with spinners.
He got his debut after impressing everyone in first-class cricket and that too against England at Sydney in 1924. He scored 110 against the English and scored over 2000 runs in his international career.
The opener scored seven tons and six half-centuries but once again, the best knock of his career was his final one as he scored 266 against the same opponents, England 10 years after his debut in 1934.
3) Greg Chappell (Australia)
We had to wait for over 20 years for a player to score a ton in the first and last match of his career for the second time, but when the feat was achieved for the third time, it took 50 years to witness it.
An Australian did it once again and it was Mr. Chappell, who also debuted against England, in 1971. He squashed the English bowlers and scored 108 at Perth.
Chappell had a long career, representing Australia in over 150 Tests, scoring over 7000 runs, with 24 tons and 31 50s. He had a 50+ average and the player who turned into a coach in the latter phase of his life made it to this list in 1984.
It was Sydney and Chappell signed off after scoring 182, not just helping Australia to win by 10 wickets but also becoming only the third-ever player to achieve this milestone.
4) Mohammad Azharuddin (India)
And Alastair Cook becomes the 5th batsman & the first Englishman in history to score a ton in his first and last Test.— Bihan Sengupta (@BihanSengupta91) September 10, 2018
RA Duff (came on as No 10), Bill Ponsford, Greg Chappell
Mohammad Azharuddin#EngvsIndia #ENGvIND #INDvENG #ENGvsIND #INDvsENG
Yes! Finally, someone who doesn't belong to Australia, Azharuddin was one of India's finest skippers but concluded his career with quite a few controversial scenarios.
However, it doesn't take away the fact that the former Indian skipper was also the fourth player to have scored a ton on his debut and also in his final game.
But here's another intriguing fact about Azharuddin, he not only scored a ton on his debut but three in his first three Tests. Another amazing fact is that we didn't have to wait for another 50 years as we saw a player achieving it in 16 years itself.
Azharuddin's debut ton came in 1984 at Eden Gardens when he scored a century and then scored another in his final Test against South Africa in 2000.
His career comprised 22 tons in almost 147 Test innings. However, his ton saved India on his debut but couldn't do the same in his last match as India lost by an innings and 71 runs.
5) Alastair Cook (England)
There are only 5 players who scored a ton in their first and their last tests.— An Optimist (@ibneHasan4) September 10, 2018
There are only 6 players who crossed 12000 runs landmark in test cricket.
Alastair Cook is a part of both the select groups. What a player! #ThankyouChef
Six years later Azharuddin's last ton, we saw another player entering this elite list or we can say at least did half the job. Cook was one of the best-ever Test batsmen that the world witnessed, and made his debut in 2006 against India.
Cook scored 104 and chose not to stop as he continued bringing laurels to his country. Cook scored 33 hundreds in all, with five double hundreds and 57 half-centuries from 161 Test games. After an exceptional red-ball career, Cook bid farewell to the sport with a ton against India in 2018 that he may never forget.
Cook scored 147 and helped England thwart India in the final Test of the series as the England legend played his last knock.
Since a lot of batsmen have scored a ton on their debut, what do you think? How many people would end their careers with a ton? Let us know! Stay tuned with Cricwizz for more updates.
Cover Credits: TheWisden