‘He has taken a yard!’
Incidentally, June 29 marked the feast of Saint Peter, who is considered to be the patron saint of popes. A good number of Peters have plied their trade at the highest level, and after taking into account international stats and team balance, here’s presenting the international Peter XI.
Peter Fulton (New Zealand)
Nicknamed ‘Two-Metre Peter’ due to his height, Fulton converted his maiden first-class ton – for Canterbury against Auckland in 2002-03 – into 301 not out, and first played for the Black Caps in an ODI in Bangladesh in 2004-05. The high point of his 23-match Test career was against England in Auckland in 2012-13, when he became the fourth New Zealander to score twin centuries in a Test with knocks of 136 and 110.
Peter Richardson (England)
Richardson impressed on debut against Australia at Trent Bridge in 1956, scoring 81 and 73. The southpaw’s first century (104) followed later in the series, in Jim Laker’s match at Old Trafford. He continued in the same vein against the West Indies in 1957, scoring two centuries, including a career-best 126 at Trent Bridge. He left Worcestershire to join Kent as a professional in 1958, and his last Test was in 1963.
Peter May (England, captain)
Captaining the team is May, under whom England won 20 out of 41 Tests from 1955 to 1961. The stylish Surrey batsman scored 138 on debut, against South Africa at Headingley in 1951, and finished with a Test average of 46.77. His career-best, a match-saving 285 not out, was made against the West Indies at Edgbaston in 1957, during which he shared 411 (an English record) for the fourth wicket with Colin Cowdrey.
Peter Burge (Australia)
Burge first played for Australia against England in Sydney in 1954-55. His maiden Test hundred was a career-best 181, at the Oval during the 1961 Ashes. Three years later, he struck a crucial 160 at Headingley to pave the way for Australia’s seven-wicket win, a result that duly led to a 1-0 series triumph for the visitors. His other two Test hundreds also came against England. He later became a match referee.
Peter Handscomb (Australia)
Having made his international debut against South Africa in Adelaide in 2016-17 (he scored 54 in his first innings), Handscomb has so far played 16 Tests and 22 ODIs. He scored two hundreds in his second series against Pakistan – 105 in Brisbane and 110 in Sydney. His first and only ODI hundred (117 against India in Mohali in 2018-19) was significant, as it contributed to Australia’s highest successful chase.
Peter Parfitt (England)
The all-rounder’s spot in our team is occupied by Parfitt, who scored seven centuries in 37 Tests from 1961-62 to 1972. He reserved his best for Pakistan, against whom he scored four centuries in seven innings and averaged 92.00. The Middlesex left-hander’s highest score of 131 not out was achieved against New Zealand in Auckland in 1962-63. Besides, he was a handy off spinner, with a first-class average of 30.32.
Peter Nevill (Australia, wicketkeeper)
Though Handscomb too is a wicketkeeper, the gloves in our team are taken by his compatriot Nevill, who took seven catches on Test debut at Lord’s in 2015. Nevill’s highest score of 66 came in the inaugural day-night Test against New Zealand in Adelaide in 2015-16. He led New South Wales to the Sheffield Shield title in the 2019-20 season. While he has played 17 Tests and nine T20Is, he is yet to win an ODI cap.
Peter Pollock (South Africa)
Leading the pace attack is Pollock, who captured 116 wickets in 28 Tests. Hailing from a family of cricketers, he took 6-38 in the second innings on debut against New Zealand in Durban in 1961-62, and went on to spearhead the South African bowling until the team’s banishment in 1969-70. His most significant performance was a match-winning 10-87 (5-53 and 5-34) against England at Trent Bridge in 1965.
Peter Siddle (Australia)
Siddle is one of the ten Australian fast bowlers to have taken more than 200 Test wickets – he currently has 221 scalps. In 2010-11, he memorably recorded a hat trick on his 26th birthday, on what was the opening day of the Ashes in Brisbane, en route to career-best figures of 6-54. In 2018-19, he made an ODI comeback after more than eight years. He recently switched to Tasmania after 15 years of playing for Victoria.
Peter Heine (South Africa)
Heine narrowly edged out England’s Peter Loader to claim the last fast-bowling berth. Though he played only 14 Tests between 1955 and 1961-62, he had the satisfaction of taking 5-60 in his debut innings at Lord’s. In his second Test at Old Trafford, he had career-best match figures of 8-157 (5-86 in the second dig) as South Africa won by three wickets. He formed a potent and productive new-ball pair with Neil Adcock.
Peter Such (England)
Such prevailed in a three-way battle to take the spinner’s spot, with the Australian duo of Taylor and Sleep being the other contenders. The Scotland-born off spinner had a promising Test debut, with 6-67 against Australia at Old Trafford in 1993. His only other five-wicket haul was in Sydney in 1998-99. In the last of his 11 Tests, against New Zealand at Old Trafford in 1999, he made a duck that took 72 minutes.