The most expensive dropped chances in all forms of cricket
- The dropped catches that found a place in the history of the game.
John Benaud never caught the attention as much as his illustrious elder brother did. He was a decent cricketer and a very articulate cricket writer. Prior to the 1999 World Cup final, it was he who first wrote the now famous 'You dropped the World Cup' bit. Frank Keating repeated it the very next day and then it became part of cricket folklore.
'Catches win matches', the age-old adage has proved to be true on numerous occasions. Some of the more famous innings in the history of the game would not have happened if the catches were taken.
Virat Kohli missed a chance offered by Brendon McCullum when the latter was on 9 in the second innings of the Wellington Test in 2014. McCullum went on to score 302, thus denying India a win.
The results of the epic 2005 Ashes series could well have been very different if Shane Warne could hold on to the chance Kevin Pietersen offered when he was on 15 in the second innings of the final Test match of the series. Pietersen went on to add another 143 runs to his score, thus saving the match for England.
The result of the 1997 Ashes series could well have been different if Graham Thrope had managed to take the chance offered by Matthew Elliott, early in the innings. Elliott scored a match-winning 199 which eventually led Australia to a series win.
Australia's famous win in Adelaide in the 2006-07 Ashes series would have probably not happened if Ashley Giles could take the catch of Ricky Ponting when the Aussie skipper was on 35. Ponting went on to add more than 100 runs to set up a memorable victory.
Kiran More dropping Graham Gooch when he was on 36 is still fresh in the memory of the middle-aged Indian cricket fans. Gooch went to add another 297 runs as England won the match easily. Sanjeev Sharma, the unfortunate bowler, didn't play another Test match.
Drop catches have played a role in shaping up the history of the game.
Let's take a look at the most expensive ones in each form of the game.
Brian Lara hit a purple patch in the 1994 season. The centuries were coming thick and fast, in most matches, he was batting, and Durham's bowling didn't have the sharpness to contain Lara in prime form.
It didn't start well for Lara, though. He was dismissed bowled by his West Indian teammate Anderson Cummins but it was a no-ball. Then, when on 18, wicket-keeper Chris Scott missed Lara's catch off Simon Brown's bowling. Scott, knowing Lara's form, allegedly turned to the first slip fielder and said, " I suppose he'll get a hundred now".
Well, he did. On 497, he was hit on the head by a John Morris bouncer but quickly got up to complete the first five-hundred in first-class cricket's history.
Chris Scott played top-level cricket for over a decade but never became an indispensable member of the team. He always had one or two-year contracts and led the life of a typical insecure county cricketer. He has been, rather, unfortunately, remembered from dropping Lara in this match.
He later became the coach of the Cambridge University cricket team.
The most expensive dropped catch in the first-class history cost the team 483 runs. Mind boggling!