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Know Ian Craig, Australia's youngest Test captain

India TV Sports Desk 26 Dec 2014, 11:18:01 AM IST
India TV Sports Desk

New Delhi: Ian Craig is known for numerous records on his name and among that one is Australia's youngest Test Captain. Ian represented Australia in 11 Tests between 1953 and 1958. His cricketing career started at a very early stage leading to his early retirement from cricket too. 

Ian Craig holds the record for being the youngest Australian to make a first-class double century, gain Test selection and captain his country.

Very few people know the fact that Ian Craig was named as a Twelfth-man before making his debut.

Aged only 16, Craig made his first-class debut for New South Wales in the last match of the 1951–52 Australian season at the age of 16 years 249 days, making him the youngest ever Sheffield Shield player.

He joined Mosman Cricket Club on Sydney's North Shore and scored a first-grade century at the age of 16.

After becoming the youngest player to score a first-class double century with an unbeaten 213 against the touring South African cricket team. He soon started being called as the "next Don Bradman". The burden of the expectations to perform extraordinary as well as comparison with Don Bradman, Craig's career did not fulfill its early promise. A loss of form and illness forced him out of the team after one season.

Not only the fact that Ian was Australia's youngest Test captain; he was also the youngest Australian player to tour England. In 1953 ashes tour, Ian Craig aged 17 years and 239 days. But his bad form and poor health kept him in the dressing room for the five test matches.

Fighting with the bad form on the crease Craig made a comeback, but work commitments forced him to retire from first-class cricket. He retired at only 26 years of age from first-class cricket.

In 1953, at the age of 17 years and 207 days Craig became the youngest double centurion in the history of first-class cricket, in only his 13th first-class innings.

Making his debut on the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Ian also became the youngest ever Australian to play Test cricket. Ian was 17 years and 239 days old when he made his debut.

Craig received a standing ovation from the 47,000-strong crowd as he walked out to bat under heavy public expectations, doffing his cap twice.

In between, Ian Craig suffered from a sorts of distractions in his cricketing career. Bad form, dismal health and overburdened with expectations the career graph of Ian Craig took a downfall early in his career, which led to his early retirement from cricket.

Ian Craig left the game for commerce, and joined the Australian subsidiary of the pharmaceutical giant Boots, where he was to retire as managing director.