Generally, when one describes a southpaw, aggression comes into mind. However, Graham Thorpe was a southpaw who played with sheer class — a middle-order batsman who oozed charm in his playing style, cover-drives which could deemed as exquisite and a count-attacking batsman. Thorpe could change the situation on any given day. Born August 1, 1969, hailing from Farnham, Surrey, Thorpe made his debut for the England Test team in 1993 against Australia at Trent Bridge after just playing first-class cricket for five years. Naturally a right-handed batsman, Thorpe changed sides so that his brothers could not get him out.
With a bright cricketing mindset, Thorpe started his career for Surrey in 1988. Five years later, the middle-order southpaw was playing in the Ashes series. For 12 years consistently, Thorpe has delivered and on rare occasions, would have a bad outing. In a career which spans over a decade, Thorpe has gone on to play 100 Test matches for England, scoring 6,774 runs which include 16 centuries, 1 double century and 39 half centuries. The highest score the southpaw scored was also an exact 200.
In One Day Internationals (ODI), Thorpe has played 82 matches and has scored 2,380 runs and surprisingly, the southpaw hasn’t been able to score a century in white-ball cricket. The Surrey batsman has scored 21 half-centuries but has been unable to convert them in ODI cricket, with a high score of 89.
In his decorated career, here are some lesser-known facts about Thorpe:
Love For Football: Before Thorpe decided to stick to cricket and make a career in the sport, the southpaw played for Under-18 England side and represented the national squad in a few international games. However, after much convincing from Surrey Cricket Club, Thorpe decided to stick with cricket.
Century on Debut: Thorpe made an instant impact and announced his arrival in style as the southpaw scored a century on his debut against Australia at Trent Bridge in 1993. The middle-order batsman scored 114 in his second innings to help England draw the clash against Australia.
Not a fan of Boundaries: Thorpe is not a fan of maximums and on one such occasion, Thorpe scored a century which only consisted of two boundaries. The southpaw scored 118 runs against Pakistan in Lahore in 2000 in which he only scored two fours. In the second innings, the southpaw scored a gritty half-century to help England win the match and clinch the series as well.
200 in 231: Thorpe showed his class in Christchurch against New Zealand in 2002, where the southpaw scored 200 runs in just 231 balls. He scored one of the quickest double centuries in history and that was his career highest score.
However, Thorpe’s double ton was overshadowed when Kiwis’ Nathan Astle went on to score 200 in 153 deliveries, which is till date the quickest.