Allan Donald

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This article is about the South African cricketer. For the British diplomat, see Alan Donald.
Allan Donald
Allan Donald.jpg
Personal information
Full name Allan Anthony Donald
Born (1966-10-20) 20 October 1966 (age 48)
Bloemfontein, Orange Free State Province, South Africa
Nickname White Lightning
Batting style Right-handed
Bowling style Right arm fast
Role Bowler, now coach
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 238) 18 April 1992 v West Indies
Last Test 24 February 2002 v Australia
ODI debut (cap 2) {{{odidebutdate}}} 1991 v India
Last ODI 27 February 2003 v Canada
Domestic team information
Years Team
1985–2004 Orange Free State/Free State
1986–1987 Impalas
1987–2000 Warwickshire
2002 Worcestershire
Career statistics
Competition Test ODI FC LA
Matches 72 164 316 458
Runs scored 652 95 2,785 544
Batting average 10.68 4.31 12.05 7.88
100s/50s 0/0 0/0 0/1 0/0
Top score 37 13 55* 23*
Balls bowled 15,519 8,561 58,801 22,856
Wickets 330 272 1,216 684
Bowling average 22.25 21.78 22.76 21.84
5 wickets in innings 20 2 68 11
10 wickets in match 3 n/a 9 n/a
Best bowling 8/71 6/23 8/37 6/15
Catches/stumpings 18/– 28/– 115/– 74/–
Source: Cricinfo, 4 July 2009

Allan Anthony Donald (born 20 October 1966) is a former South African cricketer and one of their most successful pace bowlers.

In his prime, he was one of the best fast bowlers ever seen in Test cricket, reaching the top of the ICC Test rankings in 1998 and peaked with a top ICC ranking of 895 points the next year, the 25th best ranking ever. In ODIs, he reached 794 points in 1998, second place to his teammate Shaun Pollock, the 28th best ranking ever. In the early 1990s, he was arguably the only world-class bowler in the South African team, until the emergence of Pollock, with whom he made a healthy new-ball partnership from the 1996/1997 tour of India until his retirement in 2002.

He made his Test debut on 18 April 1992 in South Africa's first test since their return to world sport after the abolition of apartheid. South Africa lost to the West Indies in Barbados by 52 runs, but Donald took 2–67 and 4–77, including the prized wicket of Brian Lara.

Known as 'White Lightning', he is remembered as a fearsome fast bowler, scowling and aggressive, with a circular white area of zinc cream across his cheeks and nose. When he retired, he was South Africa's record wicket-taker with 330 Test wickets at an average of 22.25, and claimed 272 One Day International wickets at an average of 21.78. Both of these records have now been overtaken by Shaun Pollock.

Incidents[edit]

1992 Cricket World Cup[edit]

South Africa's first game in the 1992 Cricket World Cup was against Australia. From his first ball, Donald got a noticeable edge off Geoff Marsh to the keeper, but the umpire Brian Aldridge didn't give the decision.

1997 racism allegations[edit]

In 1997 he came under intense scrutiny from the international cricket media after he was alleged to have used racially abusive language against India's Rahul Dravid in the finals of a one-day series. Allan Donald mentioned this incident in his autobiography, White Lightning:

"in the middle of a noisy, partisan atmosphere, with the final in the balance, ...I got involved in an incident that has since caused me a lot of grief, leading to accusations that I am a racist.

"I was really pumped by the time Tendulkar and Dravid came together, but they soon got after me. Tendulkar pulled me for a flat six over midwicket, a wonderful shot...but when Dravid smashed me for six and four, I got carried away in typical fast bowler's fashion. I walked right up to him, face to face, and snarled, 'This isn't such a fucking easy game' and the TV cameras had me in close-up, with everyone lip-reading my words. Dravid's eyes lit up when he saw me standing so close, and the Durban crowd absolutely loved it."

He continues:

"In the end, they [The Indians] folded, we won the Final after looking out of it, and I thought no more about it, to me it was just a high-octane period of a match that we desperately wanted to win, and we did because we had the bottle to do so. Straight afterwards, I went to Dravid and told him my words weren't meant to be personal, that it was all in the heat of the moment, it should stay out in the middle and shouldn't be a problem between us. He gave me a hard look, and left it at that. I thought no more of it."

A graph showing Donald's test career bowling statistics and how they have varied over time.

1998 Test Match at Trent Bridge[edit]

Donald had a now famous duel with the English batsman Mike Atherton during the Trent Bridge Test Match of 1998. This duel has since gone down as one of the most electrifying and intense periods of Test match cricket in history.

South Africa batted first, scoring 374 in their first innings. England responded with 336, Donald taking 5 wickets, giving South Africa a slender lead of 38 runs. In their second innings, South Africa were undone by the English bowling attack, scoring 208, with Angus Fraser taking five wickets. This left England with a target of 247 to win the match. Note that England had not successfully chased down a target this big in the 4th innings at home to win a match since 1902.

The final innings of the game began on the fourth day, 12 overs before tea. Butcher scored 22 before falling to Shaun Pollock with the score at 40–1, and Atherton was joined by Nasser Hussain. Hussain and Atherton comfortably negotiated the other bowlers, Elworthy, Cronje and Kallis, and Pollock was unable to follow up on his earlier success.

Donald, sensing that the match was on the line, proceeded to bowl a fast, fearsome spell. Bowling from the Pavilion End of the ground, he sought to extract the extra bounce that Angus Fraser had used. One delivery towards Atherton appeared to catch the glove on its way past his chest; the South Africans roared an appeal for caught behind, supported by the television commentators, which was rejected by the umpire. Donald was incensed, calling Atherton a "fucking cheat", raising the tension further.

Donald proceeded to hurl three bouncers from around the wicket, at close to 90 mph, but Atherton was immovable. Both cricketers have described this vignette in their respective autobiographies, Donald's White Lightning and Atherton's Opening Up, and both regard it as one of the most intense periods of Test Match Cricket they ever played. Donald speaks of the electric atmosphere in the crowd surging him on. Atherton mentions that the ball is a blur, but he is playing well. In the next over, Donald continued in the same manner to Atherton, who eventually top-edged him just over Paul Adams at square-leg.

Soon after this, the crucial moment occurred. Donald enticed an edge from Hussain to give an apparently simple catch to the keeper, Mark Boucher. Both Donald and the nearby fielders had started to celebrate when they heard the edge. However, the ball bounced out of Boucher's gloves, and the celebrating Kallis at slip was in a poor position to take the rebound. Boucher appeared distraught, and Donald was furious. With a small amount of luck, England finished the day on top.

The following day, Pollock and Donald again came out firing. Pollock had a couple of chances but the edges didn't reach the keeper. Donald had another attempt at bouncing out Atherton from around the wicket, but couldn't make the breakthrough. Although Hussain was dismissed shortly after lunch, the new batsman Alec Stewart batted aggressively, and took England home by 8 wickets, with Atherton finishing on 98.

This intense period of play, which captivated audiences in the ground and on TV, remains in Test Match folklore. Nonetheless, at the end of the day's play, the protagonists were sharing a beer in the dressing room. Several years later, Atherton gave Donald the gloves he wore on this occasion for Donald's benefit year auction.[1] According to Atherton's autobiography, the red mark where the ball struck was clearly visible, which he duly circled and autographed.

1999 Cricket World Cup semi-final[edit]

In what is often referred to as "the greatest one-day match in cricket",[2] between South Africa and Australia, Donald was the last batsman on the South African team, and is often held responsible for their exit from the tournament. Although the match technically ended in a tie, South Africa had previously lost to Australia in the Super-Six phase, and needed to win outright to progress to the final.

With Australia batting first, Donald and Pollock were the most successful bowlers in the South African team, and restricted Australia to 213, Donald taking 4–32, and Pollock 5–36. Donald picked up the wicket of Ponting with his first ball, in the 14th over, and another wicket with the last ball of the same over, Darren Lehmann caught whilst trying to deal with a bouncer. In the penultimate over, Donald clean-bowled Paul Reiffel and Damien Fleming, with Australia slipping from 207–6 to 213 all out.

South Africa's reply began well, going to 48–0 off 12 overs. The introduction of Shane Warne had immediate effect, as South Africa slipped to 61–4, Warne taking 3 wickets. Kallis and Rhodes took the score to 145–4, before both fell in the space of a few overs. At 183–6 with 4 overs remaining, chasing 214 to win, South Africa appeared to be slightly on top. However, good bowling and fielding restricted South Africa, and with the run-out of Steve Elworthy, they needed to score 16 off the last 8 balls to win without losing a wicket, with Lance Klusener and Allan Donald at the crease. Klusener hit McGrath in the air towards Paul Reiffel on the boundary, who unluckily parried it for 6, and ran a single on the last ball to keep the strike for the final over.

Klusener hit Damien Fleming for consecutive fours off the first two balls of the last over. With the scores level and 4 balls to go, it appeared South Africa would be victorious, needing only a single for victory. Klusener mis-hit the next ball to Lehmann at mid-on, and Donald, who had "backed-up" down the crease, narrowly escaped being run-out as he turned to go back. The next ball, Klusener hit the ball straight down the wicket and set off immediately, probably assuming Donald would be backing up. Instead, Donald was watching the ball, and missed the call to run. Both batsmen were at the bowler's end before Donald started running, having dropped his bat. The ball was thrown to the bowler, then to Gilchrist, who broke the stumps at the other end, with Donald only halfway down the pitch.

Outside International Cricket[edit]

In English county cricket, Donald enjoyed a long and highly successful career with Warwickshire. He also played a single match for Worcestershire in 2002. Having retired from playing, he now commentates for South African Broadcast Corporation (SABC) in their coverage of South Africa's home Tests, alongside former teammate Daryll Cullinan. In May 2007, Allan Donald was appointed as a temporary bowling consultant for the England cricket team. His involvement impressed many, and was praised by several players. Donald's original brief contract was extended until September 2007. Donald decided not to continue with his coaching role at the end of September 2007 citing the strain of touring and his wish to be with his family.[3] Donald was a coach at Warwickshire County Cricket Club, and in partnership with fellow coach Ashley Giles helped the county to win the Second Division of the County Championship in 2008.

Allan Donald coached the reigning domestic champions, Mountaineers, (a franchise team) in Zimbabwe[4] and is the bowling coach for the New Zealand cricket team for the ODI series against Pakistan and the 2011 Cricket World Cup.[5] New Zealand team beat South Africa in the quarter final match of the World Cup. Now Donald is the coach of Royal Challengers Bangalore franchise in the Indian Premier League.[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]