Cricket as a sport is an enigma in itself. It has laws and not rules. It’s simple in its core but complex overall. It has evolved more than any other sport and still, there is a lot to explore.
However, just like any other sport, it has its anecdotes, legends, stories which defy logic but still finds its way into the game. From the club level to the highest stage. Nelson is one of such anecdotes.
Origin of Nelson:
It is coined after Admiral Horatio Nelson. He was a flag officer in the Royal Navy. Known as a fighter he lost one eye, one arm, and one leg. And that’s how the one-one-one became a Nelson.
Origin of the Nelson in Cricket:
The cricketing fraternity has different opinions about who brought the Nelson term in cricket. New Zealand had a first-class team named Nelson from 1874 to 1891. The poetic justice struck as they were bowled out on 111 in their first inning in their first match as well as in the last inning of their final match.
The Legend or myth of Nelson in cricket continued to grow and transcended generations from thereon. However, it was umpire David Shepherd who made it famous.
The England-born umpire was as good as it gets. An outstanding umpire who was gentle and witty in general but knew when to step in and play hardball. He stood in 92 test matches & 172 ODI’s but many of us remember him for the Nelson act.
He would raise his foot off the ground whenever the score would be 111 or in multiples of it. Watching him hopping on one leg when the score was 111 or multiples of it was a sight to behold.
The Mother of All Nelson in cricket
In November 2011, a test between South Africa and Australia had a bizarre part of the play. The Protea team needed 111 at 11.11 on the clock. The month was 11 and the year was 2011. The Broadcasting team asked the fans in the stadium to hop on one leg. The on-field umpire Ian Gould joined the party as well.
Here is a sport, game where the technology has stormed in from every angle, the game is getting modern on each possible turn and still the anecdotes and parts like Nelson in cricket keep it humane.
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