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Families where cricket runs in the blood

Cricket runs in the blood. It really is true for so many of us who enjoy the game and the pleasure of following cricket has been passed down the generations. But its even more interesting when we see the cricketing skills being passed on in the family across generations and shared across siblings. Take a look at some of the most famous cricket families across the cricket playing countries. Team RetyrSmart

Families where cricket runs in the blood

In politics, establishing a dynasty is looked down upon due to the perception is that nepotism rather than ability that plays the prominent role.

However sport is democratic. Almost always ability decides whether someone can successfully go on to play Test matches.

A great player can be the son or father of an ordinary player. For instance Don Bradman’s father George was a club level cricketer while his son John played only schools cricket.

However cricket also has several instances of gifted bloodlines where more than one family member played at the highest level with distinction. Imran Khan, in the news currently as Prime Minister-elect of Pakistan, is part of one such gifted cricketing family. Let’s have a look.

Khans and Burkis

The Khans have three generations of Test Players. While Jahangir Khan played Test cricket for India, his son Majid Khan and grandson Bazid Khan played Test cricket for Pakistan.

The Burkis are a family who produced as many as 40 first class cricketers for Pakistan including three national captains, namely Javed Burki, Majid Khan and Imran Khan. All three are first cousins and their mothers, Iqbal Bano, Mubarak and Shaukat are sisters.

Three sisters becoming mothers of national captains is unique anywhere in the world.

Let’s also take a look at some more cricketing families with a slightly more detailed writeup about the most famous of them all- the Mohammed Family.

The Mohammad family

Four of the Mohammed brothers, Wazir, Hanif, Mushtaq and Sadiq played for Pakistan. The fifth brother, Raees too was 12th man in a Test match. The previous evening their dictatorial captain Kardar had said Raees was playing but the skipper changed his mind the next day. Interestingly the four brothers say that Raees was the most stylish batsman among the brothers.

Eldest brother Wazir was known as Wisden for his fascination for cricket trivia. He played 20 Tests. He scored a crucial 42 not out in Pakistan’s first win over England in England. Pakistan were just 85 ahead with eight wickets down.

Wazir’s 42 helped them set a target of 168 which was enough for their talismanic fast bowler Fazal.

The original ‘Little Master’ Hanif played 55 Tests and scored 3915 runs with 12 hundreds including a match saving 337 versus West Indies at Bridgetown which is the longest Test innings in history and the only second innings Test Triple century.

He also scored a 499 in first class, a record later broken by Lara with 501. Hanif’s son Shoaib too played Test cricket (45) with seven tons. His grandson Shehzar, at 26, has played First Class cricket for eight years now.

Mushtaq played 57 Tests in which he scored ten tons and also took 79 wickets. Supposedly the most talented of the brothers, Mushtaq was a very successful county cricketer with more than 30000 first class runs, 72 hundreds, and 900-plus wickets.

Sadiq was a right handed batsman who was converted to a left handed one to increase his chances of Test selection. He had five tons in his 41 Test matches. Being a short and compact left-hander Sadiq was compared to the great Neil Harvey

Incredibly, for 89 consecutive Tests (and 100 out of 101 consecutive Tests) and 27 years at least one family member was in Pakistan’s Test squad.

The Grace family

WG Grace and his Brothers Edward Grace and Fred Grace are called the ‘Three Graces’. All three brothers played Test cricket for England. However Edward and Fred played only one Test each.

WG of course is one of the greatest players in the history of the game and played first class cricket for 44 years. All three played in the same Test, and only the Mohd’s and Grace’s have achieved this rare distinction.

The Chappells

Ian and Greg both captained Australia with distinction. Ian played 75 Tests while Greg played 87. Greg retired at his peak, scoring 182 in his last Test innings, achieving the rare feat of a century on debut and in a farewell Test.

Trevor Chappell, their younger brother also played three Tests for Australia but is more famous for bowling the underarm delivery against New Zealand on the orders of his brother Greg.

Their grandfather Vic Richardson also played 19 Tests for Australia and is one of the few double internationals, having played baseball for Australia as well.

The Headleys

Known as Black Bradman, George Headley played just 22 Tests for West Indies but is widely regarded as one of the best batsmen of all time.

His son Ron Headley was a fairly successful first class cricketer but played just two Tests for West Indies. George’s grandson Dean was an useful quick bowler who played 15 Tests for England. Along with the khans they are the only family with three generations of Test players


Lala Amarnath who scored India’s first Test century (on his debut) is considered one of the legends of Indian cricket. A commentator referred to him and his batting as “Pure romantic, the Byron of Indian cricket”.

Two of his sons Mohinder and Surinder played Test Cricket for India. Jimmy is considered one of India’s most gutsy batsmen against fast bowling.

He had back to back man of the match performances in the semi final and final of India’s 1983 World Cup winning campaign.

Surinder is considered one of the most talented batsmen with unfulfilled potential. Another son, Rajinder also played first class cricket but not with much success. Surinder’s son, Digvijay at 24 is a current first class player.

The Marsh family

Geoff Marsh was a gutsy opening batsman who also played an important role in Australia winning the 1987 Cricket world Cup. His two sons Shaun and Mitchell are currently playing Test cricket for Australia.

Shaun and Mitchell Marsh. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

The Currans

Kevin Curran played 11 ODIs for Zimbabwe including the 1983 and 1987 World Cups. He could have played Test cricket for Zimbabwe too but by then he had completed his ten year residency for English citizenship and declined the opportunity.

Later he became the coach of the Zimbabwe cricket team. His sons Tom and Sam are current English cricketers. Tom is a bowling allrounder while Sam is a batting allrounder. Their brother Ben is a left handed bat and is tipped as a future England player as well.

The Hadlees

Walter Hadlee captained New Zealand. Three of his five sons played for New Zealand as well. Dayle was a fast bowler, Barry a batsman who played in the 1975 World Cup and Richard Hadlee of course is one of the greatest cricketers the game has seen.

Another son Martin played club cricket as well. Richard Hadlee’s wife Karen also played cricket for New Zealand.

The Cowdreys

Colin Cowdrey is one of the greatest cricketers to play the game. He was the first 100 Test man and Captained England for 27 Tests. He scored over 7500 Test runs and he had 22 Test tons.

Colin was born in Bangalore while his father Ernest was born in Kolkata. Ernest too was a first class player but played only one first class match.

Colin had two sons, and one of them Chris played both Test and ODI cricket for England. The other son Graham was a dependable first class player for Kent for over a decade. Fabian Kruuse Cowdrey, son of Chris, is a current first class player for Kent.

The Symcoxs

Pat Symcox was a Test player for South Africa. He started as an opener but then became a spinner and a pinch hitter in ODIs. He had a Test ton batting at Number 10.

His father Rodger and his son Russell both have played first class cricket and so has his uncle Claude.

The Pollock family

Andrew Pollock played first class cricket for Orange Free State and both his nephews RM Nicholson and CR Nicholson and brother-in-law Robert Howden were first class cricketers as well. However Andrew’s sons were stars.

Graeme Pollock was a wonderful left handed batsman who though played only 23 Tests is reckoned by many as among the best batsmen of all time.

His brother, Peter Pollock, was a leading fast bowler who played 28 Test matches for South Africa. Peter’s son Shaun is not just a 100 Test man, but a Captain and one of the best allrounders to play the game.

Shaun had two cousins Anthony and Andrew who played first class cricket as well.

Mention must be made also of legendary wicketkeeper Ian Healy whose niece Alyssa is currently the Aussie Women’s team wicketkeeper and is married to Australia’s premier fast bowler Mitchell Starc – surely a good sign for the next generation.

Zimbabwe at one point of time had many pairs of brothers playing at the same time. Andy and Grant Flower were a tremendous pair. Paul and Andy Strang were regulars.

Guy and Andy Whitall were cousins who had an illustrious career in both Test and ODI Cricket. John and Gavin Rennie too played both Test and ODI cricket

There are many other brothers who have played together like Michael and David Hussey, Dwayne and Darren Bravo, Brett and Shane Lee, Mark and Steve Waugh and Irfan Pathan, Yousuf Pathan.

Some famous father-son pairs to play Test cricket are Vijay and Sanjay Manjrekar, Chris and Stuart Broad, Peter and Shaun Pollock, Mickey and Alec Stewart, Vinoo and Ashok Mankad, Lance and Chris Cairns, Roger and Stuart Binny.

In addition, Peter Willey played Test cricket for England and went on to become a Test umpire while his son David Willey is a current ODI PLayer.

For India, Sunny Gavaskar is one of the greatest ever Test players while his brother in law Gundappa Vishwanath too is one of our finest and son Rohan has played ODI for India.

Roarers, can you add to the list?..... ...