By Ashok Kumar
In a cricket match, a no-ball can win the match or becomes a reason for losing the match. A no-ball does not mean an extra run or extra ball for the opposing team but can cost any team the championship or a tournament as was in the final of the Champions Trophy earlier this year. There was a test match between India and West Indies when India won following a no-ball. India required only one run to win the Test match and the bowler bowled a no-ball conceding the required one run. But no one will forget when Jaspreet Bumrah got the wicket of Pakistan opener but was declared having bowled a no-ball.
Cricket history has witnessed 5 international bowlers who have never bowled a single no-ball in their cricket career. They include, Kapil Dev, Sir Ian Botham, Dennis Lillee, Imran Khan and the only spinner Lance Gibbs.
Haryana Hurricane, Kapil Dev had several records to his name like taking nine West Indies wickets in an inning when they were at their peak. He scored 175 (a record at that time) against Zimbabwe when his tream had lost five wickets for 17 runs. Nobody discussed or never highlighted that he had never bowled a single no-ball in his entire 131 test match and 225 ODIs career. He was the first Indian player to have crossed 400 wickets.
Sir Ian Botham, one of the greatest all-rounders, the cricket has produced and who has decimated many a fearsome attacks either with his bat or ball. He too never bowled a single no-ball in his 102 tests and 116 ODIs long career.
Flamboyant, Imran Khan who too, like Kapil, won the World
Cup for his country is credited with not bowling a single no-ball in his career. He played 88 tests and 175 ODIs in his cricket career.
Australian speedster, Dennis Lillee with 70 tests and 63 ODIs is too credited with a disciplined bowling for his country and not bowling a no-ball.
Lance Gibbs, the West Indies spinner known for accuracy is the only spinner
to have not bowled a no-ball. He was the only spinner before Shane Warne, Mutthah Murlidharan and Anil Kumble to have taken more than 300 wickets, the only spinner after fast bowler Freddie Trueman to pass that mark. He had an exceptional economy rate of 2 runs per over.
(Inspired by Saika Mazumdar of The Cricket Lounge)