The Numbers Game: Five of the Most Unlucky Numbers In Cricket

Dann KhanAnalyst IMarch 8, 2009

Who can ever ignore these numbers. Cricketers claim they don't care very much about them but deep down inside they know how much they are affected.

For fans like us these numbers often mean the crossing of landmarks or who has got a higher average. More than anything else, these numbers give us a chance to assess any player we don't know much about.

But there are some other kind of numbers. They are the ones which most batsmen want to stay away from.

The bad omens. Though 7/10 times they do not make a difference, but still they are deadlier than other numbers.

So I, another person looking for numbers (Not in Cricket but in exams) look at the five unluckiest numbers or five of the worst omens in cricket.



Dear Jesus Christ has left his mark on cricket too. 13 is considered to be an unlucky number as one of Christ's 13 disciples betrayed him.

In cricket, we often see batsmen getting out on 87 which is 13 short of a hundred. We also see teams getting out on multiples of 13. More often than not, it is 169 (13 squared).

Also the smallest first class score is 13 all out.


Nelson (111)

Nelson was French general who did not have an eye, an arm, and a leg (the leg part is only a myth). These three constitute 111.

Also, something I recently got to know from a fellow bleacher writer (Vishrut Aggarwal) is the fact about 111 looking like stumps without bails which means a batsmen is bowled.

The effects of this can be a double nelson (222), triple nelson (333) and so on.

Graham Gooch's 333 is a perfect example on the Nelson effect. He could have gotten a lot more if it weren't for Mr. Nelson.



I doubt if a batsman is ever happy after getting out on 99 or when he is stranded on 99. This is a number which is only a run away, but yet so far from the magical three figure score.

Shane Warne always remembers how close he was to getting that hundred.

Sachin Tendulkar himself has often got edgy on 99. It is a number that makes even the best batsmen do silly things.


The Duck (0)

"Quack Quack" is a sound no batsmen likes to hear. Though Channel 9 is the only one which does it on the screen, each batsmen hears it in his mind at the time of getting out.

The person who would be hating the number 0 is Marvan Attapatu. I am sure he knows how he was denied a test average of 40 due to 5 ducks in the first six innings of his like.

A pair is when a person gets out on zero in both innings and a king pair is when he gets out first ball both times.



This last bad omen is the series of numbers from 60-69. More than an omen, it is a syndrome batsmen suffer with. The syndrome of not being able to go on and get a big one after reaching the 60s.

These are the numbers that mark the distinction between a good and a great batsmen.

I don't think I really need to name people in this category. You see this lapse of concentration so often.


But this is not where I end. Something more interesting is the fact that these are bad omens only for the batsmen.

For the bowlers, these are the few lucky numbers when they get a wicket. Infinite numbers and so few chance for the bowlers. Cricket is so unfair.