Graham Thorpe, one of the few English batsmen who Australia would once have had in their team, has just 2 Tests to go in making a century of appearances for England – something his former captain and best mate Nasser Hussain didn’t quite manage.
I first saw Thorpe in the 1993 Ashes series where he made 114 on debut, and many thought a gem had been found. But although he was reasonably consistent, hundreds didn’t come frequently – often making attractive 50s, and being dismissed in the 70s. His next hundred was again in another Ashes series, making 123 – and I think I’m right in saying he suffered from heatstroke or exhaustion during it. It was a fantastic knock.
That same Test also saw Blewett make his second Test century in as many matches. I really thought Australia had found someone special – his pulling and off-side driving in particular were absolutely outstanding, and it’s always confused me why he never “made it.”
So Thorpe could theoretically make his 100th Test appearance at The Riverside, Jun 3-7, against the might of Bangladesh. And, again theoretically, he could end his Test career at his beloved and home ground, The Oval, Sept 8-12…let’s hope he joins his team-mate and friend, Alec Stewart, in making a hundred in his hundredth Test match. (shall never forget when Stewart did that – one of the finest hundreds I’ve seen, and the longest & most warm standing ovation)