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17th May | The Birthday of Three Great Spinners

17th May can be celebrated as the birthday of three great spinners from three different era and background who have created their name in world cricket with their performance.

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Last updated: 17.05.2019
Bhagwath Chandrasekhar and John Traicos | Sports Social Blog

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17th May can be celebrated as the birthday of three great spinners from three different era and background who have created their name in world cricket with their performance.

On 17th may 1888 England a Kent spinner Alfred ‘Tich’ Freelan was born, who holds the record for the second highest wicket taker in first class cricket after Wilfred Rhodes. In a career spanning 22 years, Freeman took 3,776 wickets and moreover he scalped more than 250 wickets six times. In the season of 1928 he finished with 304 wickets which is still a county record. He also played well for England and took 66 wickets in 12 test matches including three 10-wicket hauls in a match. He made his England debut at the age of 36 and could play only five years for the national team.

The Indian legendary leg-spinner Bhagwath Chandrasekhar was born on 17th May 1945. A magical leg-spinner Chandra was one of the biggest match winners  for India during 1970s and finished with 242 wickets at an average of 29.74. However in the matches where India won his average was just 19.27. Some of his memorable match winnings spells were in the 1971 Oval test against England and the 1977 Melbourne test against Australia where he finished with identical record for 6 for 52 in both the innings. He suffer with Polio in his right hand as a child and although that made his right hand weak it could not stop him to become of the best wrist spinners India has ever produced.

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The third member of the group is the well travelled off-spinner John Traicos. Traicos was born on 17th May, 1947 in Egypt and till now the only Egypt born test cricketer. He moved to South Africa and made his debut in their 1970 home series against Australia. However, South Africa was banned from international cricket just after that series and Traicos’ career failed to blossom. He moved to Zimbabwe and played in their inaugural one day international match against Australia during 1983 world cup. Since then he was a regular fixture for Zimbabwe and made a return to test cricket after 22 years and 222 days in Zimbabwe’s first test. He was 45 by then but still made a mark with a five wicket haul.

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