The surprise inclusion in this week’s Cricket World Cup squad announcement was the inclusion of Tom Blundell who has yet to play in an ODI. While that is unusual he will not be unique. New Zealand has an interesting list of players to make their debut at a World Cup.
That list in full.
The first New Zealander to make his ODI debut at a World Cup match was Brian McKechnie in 1975. This was only the 20th ODI to ever be played and it was against the curious team of East (and Central) Africa.
He took 0/39 off 12 overs which seems more than respectable but is put into context a little given East Africa crawled their way to 128/8 off 60 overs. RJ Hadlee, for example, went for 10 runs in his 12 overs.
- The World Cup with the most ODI debutants.
With 3/43 Warren Stott has the best record of New Zealand debutants at a World Cup, but Sri Lanka in 1979 was not that strong.
He then went into local body politics and ended up pleading for people to feel sorry for beach property investors. “Former world cup cricketer Warren Stott” indeed.
In that same match there were ODI debuts for Jeremy Coney who dad recently returned to the test side after a five year absence and Wally Lees. Neither featured on the scoreboard.
Ewen Chatfield had been around in international cricket for four years before his ODI debut. And it had been a dramatic time too. He famously came close to death on debut having been hit in the head while batting, and in 1978 did the Mankad of Derek Randall in a test match. He would not play that form of the game for a further five years.
He did, however, play in the 1979 World Cup, which was his ODI debut with figures of 1/45 off 11 overs against eventual champions the West Indies. It was the only match he played in that tournament.
Roll forward to 1983 and it was John Bracewell’s turn to debut at a World Cup. He had made his test debut in 1980 but hadn’t been used in the shorter format. New Zealand had an extensive build-up to that World Cup, including some famous victories, but it was all done without using spinners.
He scored 3 and had figures of 0/39 off 11 in a match stretched over two days that had Martin Crowe batting at 7 and Jeremy Coney being a destroyer with the ball.
The last time debutants featured in a World Cup was in 1987. Andrew Jones had made his test debut earlier that year in the ill-fated tour of Sri Lanka. On his ODI debut he made a six ball duck in a match more remembered for one of the greatest innings in a losing cause from David Houghton.
Later in that tournament Danny Morrison, yet to play a test, made his ODI debut.
It was a pretty grim affair; Chetan Sharma took the first hat-trick in a World Cup match, Morrison ended up with 0/69, and India won with 18 overs to spare.
And there was the unusual situation of Chatfield batting at number 9.
Richard Hadlee was unavailable for that tournament.