Five prominent father-son duos to have played in the same match

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Five prominent father-son duos to have played in the same match

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Bastab K Parida


“Like father, like son”- The cricketing world is no stranger to this maxim as, over the years, the game has seen many fathers and sons representing the same team. But how often do we see, a father-son duo play in the same match and forge a partnership or even celebrate wickets together?

Last weekend, on March 11, it was on the show as West Indian cricket legend Shivnarine Chanderpaul and his son Tagenarine Chanderpaul scored a fifty each in the same innings of a first-class match between Guyana and Jamaica at Sabina Park, Kingston. Chanderpaul Jr, who opened the innings, made a measured 58 off 125 balls, while senior, staying true to his perfect defensive skill, scored 57 runs off 175 balls. The duo even batted together for 12.2 overs and managed to forge a partnership of 38 runs for the fourth wicket.

I was always looking forward to seeing him playing at the first-class level and what he could do.

It was indeed a satisfying moment for the Shivnarine to see his son playing the game with such sublime composure. “I was always looking forward to seeing him playing at the first-class level and what he could do,” Shivnarine had said once during his international playing tenure and he couldn’t have gotten a better seat to watch his dream being fulfilled. 

But, this is not as rare a case as one might think in cricket. Like the Chanderpauls, there are many father and son duos, who were lucky enough to get the chance of playing alongside each other in the same match. Here, we look at five of these 18 father-son duos, who have played in a same first-class match. 

1. Lala Amarnath and Surinder Amarnath

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The Amarnath family's contribution towards Indian cricket has been unparalleled. Lala Amarnath, India’s first Test centurion was a cricketer par excellence and after he decided to call it a day, helped Indian cricket in the capacity of a selector, manager, coach, and broadcaster before breathing his last on in 2000. His two sons also represented India with distinction and while Mohinder Amarnath, who played 69 Tests for India might be a more household name, it was Surinder Amarnath, who represented the country in 10 Tests during his career, who had the honor of playing against his father in a match.

In 1963, with the Sino-Indian War at its peak, five Defence Fund Matches were organized to showcase the brightest cricketing talents in India. In the fourth match of the series, Maharashtra Governor’s XI played Maharashtra Chief Minister’s XI, in which Lala Amarnath, who was 52 at the time, played for the Governor’s XI while his son Surinder Amarnath, who was only 15, made his appearance for the opposition Chief Minister’s XI. As per Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack report, both father and son managed to score 40+ runs in that match.

2. WG Grace, WG Grace Jr, Charles Grace

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“54,000 first-class runs” is sufficient to define who Sir WG Grace was. Even a century after Grace’s death, people are still talking about his poise and the penchant for scoring runs at a brisk pace. He had dominated his own era and opened for England even at the age of 50. At the age of 18, he had scored an unbeaten 224 for England, in a match which he left halfway through in order to win a quarter-mile hurdles championship at the Crystal Palace.

The legendary cricketer had two sons- - WG Grace Jr. and Charles Grace, who had also played first-class cricket. While Charles played his all games alongside his father, WG Grace Jr. too, played 46 matches, out of the 57 he managed throughout his career, with his father. Two of these games for London County in 1900 were truly a family affair, featuring all three.

3. George Gunn and George Vernon Gunn

Former England cricketer George Gunn, who played 15 Tests for England, has been credited as the greatest batsman ever to have represented famous English county Nottinghamshire. With an unbelievable match tally of 643, Gunn made the cricketing world take notice of him. 

Keeping the “like-father-like-son” adage intact, Gunn’s son George Vernon Gunn also played a respectable 266 first-class games. The duo played together in 34 first-class games, but the 1931 game for Nottinghamshire against Warwickshire stands out among that. In that match, Vernon scored an unbeaten century, while his 52-year-old father notched up an astonishing 183.

4. Maharaja of Patiala and Yuvraj of Patiala

Maharaja Bhupinder Singh, who was also known as Maharaja of Patiala, captained India in the tour to England in 1911 and played for the MCC when the club toured India in 1926-27. He was a leading cricketer and administrator of India- both before and after India started playing Test cricket. The Maharaja was the main protagonist in the formation of the Indian board, which later came to be known as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the Cricket Club of India (CCI). 

His son Yadavenadrasingh, who was known as the Yuvraj of Patiala, played his only Test against England at Madras in 1933-34 and scored 24 and 60. He had also led India in an unofficial Test match against Jack Ryder's Australian team in 1935-36 and was one of the candidates to lead India on their tour of England in 1936 as well. In his book 'Magic of Indian Cricket: Cricket and Society in India', famous cricket writer Mihir Bose has praised the Yuvraj and even went to the extent of calling him one of the finest cricketers of India.

The father-son duo played six first-class matches together.

5. Lebrun Constantine and Learie Constantine

Lebrun Constantine was a member of the first two West Indian teams that travelled to England in 1900 and 1906, and on the tour, he scored his first hundred (113). His Test career ended at The Oval in 1939, in which he took 5 for 75, then, he thrashed Nichols and Perks for 78 out of 103.

His son Learie Constantine also played 18 Test matches for West Indies, in which he scored 635 runs at an average of 19 while taking 58 wickets as well. In the year 1940, he was named as the Wisden Cricketer of the Year. Constantine Jr. had played only three first-class matches before he was chosen for 1923 West Indies tour to England where he distinguished himself with his brilliance at targeting the cover point region.

It was in 1923 that the two played a match for Trinidad against British Guyina at Georgetown.

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