On the Front Foot: It's not really the 3,000th ODI as England play catch-up

So, the match between England and Australia at the Rose Bowl the other night was the 3,000th one-day international. That is some landmark. Or is it? The trouble with this big(ish) piece of history is that it needed several minuscule pieces of history to be achieved. Perhaps this is always the case with history; the little sketches make up the large picture. But the calculation was made by including all those ODIs which do meet the criteria for being so exalted in anything but name. Hong Kong, for instance, have played four ODIs according to the official records, all in the Asia Cups of 2004 and 2008. And nobody has yet made more than 36 in a single innings. The ICC World XI count for four more; then there are the conglomerate sides: East Africa, who appeared in the first World Cup, an Asia XI and an Africa XI. Take these away and there would be some way to go to 3,000. Whatever the number, it came as a surprise to note that between them Australia (742) and India (746) have played in nearly half of all the ODIs ever staged. And that 15 players have appeared 300 times, more than 10 per cent of the total. England, bless them, are still playing catch-up. They have now played 531 one-day matches, having appeared in the first of all in 1971 (a famously rushed, accidental job when the Melbourne Test was washed out). Their leading player, Paul Collingwood, has played in 179 matches, which puts him in joint 77th place on the world list with Adam Parore of New Zealand, who retired eight years ago.

Crowe in Colly's sights

The blessed Collingwood also became England's leading ODI run-scorer during the second match of the NatWest Series on Thursday when he overtook Alec Stewart. His 4,693 runs put him 62nd overall, some 13,000 behind the leader, Sachin Tendulkar. Still, he has other great names in his sights now, with the New Zealander Martin Crowe only 11 runs ahead and Gordon Greenidge of West Indies and Alastair Campbell of Zimbabwe also ready to be toppled. Incidentally, while it might be kidding to suggest Campbell as a great, he and two other Zimbabweans, Andy and Grant Flower, scored more ODI runs than Collingwood.

Asia's no hotbed of cricket

Another blow is delivered to the subcontinent's status as the hotbed of cricket. Crowds for the Asia Cup in Dambulla were pitiful. Until the final, won comfortably by India against the hosts Sri Lanka, the stadium, a modern, custom-built ground – admittedly not as spectacular as the rock fortress of Sigiriya 10 miles away – was deserted. If cricket was really so huge, would not a small town like Dambulla (pop 67,000) have treated the Asia Cup as their Olympic Games? The World Cup played over seven subcontinental weeks next year is anticipated in this quarter with relish.

Ponting loses his head

Good old Ricky Ponting is a bit miffed. Challenged innocuously about whether England, leading 2-0 in the NatWest Series, now had the bragging rights, the little Tassy terrier said: "If that's what you think, take a look at the head-to-heads and see who has got bragging rights. ODI, Tests and Twenty20. Tell me who has got the bragging rights?" Well, true, Australia have won 132 Tests to England's 99, 59 one-dayers to 40 and the teams are tied 2-2 in T20. But in every format, England have won the most recent tie and as Ricky knows, you are only as good as your last match. If England win the next Test (Brisbane, November) it would be their 100th victory. And dare it be suggested that they will? It dare.

s.brenkley@independent.co.uk

News
The Banksy image in Folkestone before it was vandalised
people
Life and Style
tech

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

Sport
football West Brom vs Man Utd match report: Blind grabs point, but away form a problem for Van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Bloom Time: Mira Sorvino
tvMira Sorvino on leaving movie roles for 'The Intruders'
News
Brian Harvey turned up at Downing Street today demanding to speak to the Prime Minister
news

Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and that no-one was arrested

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010
films

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Voices
Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'
voices

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Life and Style
The charity Sands reports that 11 babies are stillborn everyday in the UK
lifeEleven babies are stillborn every day in the UK, yet no one speaks about this silent tragedy
News
Blackpool is expected to become one of the first places to introduce the Government’s controversial new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)
news

Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination

Life and Style
Northern soul mecca the Wigan Casino
fashionGone are the punks, casuals, new romantics, ravers, skaters, crusties. Now all kids look the same
Life and Style
gaming

I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title

News
Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past