On the Front Foot: Hilfenhaus has honour but Watson not Warne is on the board

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The Independent Online

So Ben Hilfenhaus, batting rabbit, has a Test fifty at Lord's and Ricky Ponting, batting genius, does not. More bizarrely, Marcus North, occasional off-spinner, has taken five wickets in a Lord's Test innings, as did Shane Watson. Shane Warne, greatest spin bowler of all, has not. Ponting at least does not have to suffer the indignity of seeing Hilfenhaus's name go on the honours board. North, however, will be recalled forever by successive teams passing through on the new, specially commissioned board for those achieving the feat of five wickets in a neutral Test. Ponting is in good company. Five others in the top 10 Test run-scorers of all time haven't scored a hundred at Lord's: Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Rahul Dravid, Jacques Kallis and Sunil Gavaskar. Also in the top 20, Javed Miandad and Matthew Hayden miss out. There's more. Five of the leading 10 Test wicket-takers aren't on the board: Warne is joined by Anil Kumble, Muttiah Muralitharan, Shaun Pollock and Curtly Ambrose.

Dudley's eye is on the ball

Some truly great Englishmen have been nominated these past 60 years as the Young Cricketer of the Year by the Cricket Writers' Club. Dudley Owen-Thomas is probably not among them. He had a glittering start to his career which led to the award in 1972 but he did not kick on and left the professional game in 1975. He re-emerged this week sparklingly in another capacity. Owen-Thomas is (thank heavens) the living, breathing emblem of the Professional Cricketers' Association's new partnership with the Prostate Cancer Charity. In 2006, after a lifetime of being as fit as a fiddle, he was diagnosed with the disease. "Don't take your eye off the ball because there's a good chance you'll be history – I was very lucky. We all need to be aware of this disease, it doesn't just happen to other people," he said, launching the three-year partnership at The Oval. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among British men. The PCA are holding a charity match on 12 August at Wormsley and a fundraising day at an international match later this summer. Owen-Thomas was one of seven award-winners not to have played Test cricket, the first being Brian Taylor of Essex, the most recent (apart from Adil Rashid and James Taylor, who still have every chance) being Paul Franks of Nottinghamshire in 2000.

A mere trifle but it is Amir

What's in a name? The 18-year-old Pakistani fast bowler Mohammad Aamer seems likely to be around for years so we had better become accustomed to him. Or is it Mohammad Amir? Although the official records show that it is Aamer, he has let it be known that he wants to be Amir. Confusion seems certain to reign, as it has previously. Muralitharan is Muralidaran in many places, including home, and Younis Khan suddenly decided he was Younus Khan.

Hang on Frith's every word

David Frith, copious collector and archivist of cricketing memorabilia and prolific journalist, has published an anthology of his works. Wide-ranging does not begin to describe its scholarship and passion. When Frith presented the magnum opus to the publishers they wanted to reduce its 175,000 words to 125,000. It could not be done, insisted Frith; it had to be, said the publishers. The book designer came to the rescue. The longer version survived.

s.brenkley@independent.co.uk

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