Sir Richard John Hadlee, a former New Zealand all-rounder, celebrates his 69th birthday on July 03, 2020 (Friday). Hadlee is regarded as one of the greatest ever pace bowlers and is also among New Zealand’s finest cricketers of all-time. He was the first bowler to complete 400 Test wickets and was a master of swing bowling. Hadlee finished his career with 431 Test wickets, a record when he retired against England in 1990. He still is the 11th highest Test wicket-taker and is one of only five cricketers to score over 3000 Test runs and also claim 400-plus Test wickets in the game’s history.  New Zealand Cricket Awards 2020: Ross Taylor Wins Richard Hadlee Medal for 3rd Time in Career.

Born in Christchurch, Hadlee made his Test debut for New Zealand on February 2, 1973, against Pakistan and has gone on to represent the country in 86 Test matches. He took 431 Test wickets and has the most five and ten-wicket hauls in Test cricket for a fast bowler.

Hadlee is only behind spin wizards Muttiah Muralitharan and Shane Warne in both the lists. As Richard Hadlee celebrates his 69th birthday, take a look at some lesser-known and interesting facts about one of New Zealand’s finest.

  • Sir Richard John Hadlee was born in St Albans, Christchurch on July 3, 1951
  • His parents Watler Hadlee and Karen are former international cricketers for New Zealand as were his brothers Dayle and Barry
  • Hadlee was the first bowler in cricket’s history to take 400 Test wickets and his victim for the milestone was Sanjay Manjrekar
  • Richard Hadlee holds the record for most fifers (36) and Ten-wicket (9) hauls in Test cricket among fast bowlers
  • He is one of only five cricketers to take 400 or more Test wickets and also score over 3000 Test runs. Hadlee was the first man to reach the landmark. Kapil Dev, Shaun Pollock, Shane Warner and Stuart Broad are the others
  • Richard Hadlee is the first cricketer to complete 1000 runs and take 100 wickets in ODIs
  • Hadlee also has the second most five-wicket hauls in overseas Test matches. His record of 21 fifers away from home is only behind Muttiah Muralitharan
  • Richard Hadlee holds a rare record of scoring a half-century and taking a five-wicket haul in his final Test
  • Hadlee is also among select few to take a wicket with the last delivery of his cricket career
  • He is one of 22 cricketers to receive a knighthood for his services to cricket
  • Richard Hadlee was inducted into ICC Cricket Hall of fame in 2009

In his peak years, Hadlee was one of world’s four best cricket all-rounders – the other three being Imran Khan, Kapil Dev and Ian Botham. Hadlee was a tremendous match-winner for New Zealand and led them to magnificent series wins against England, Australia, helped pull off a series draw in India under extreme pressure and also a Test win against the West Indies when the Caribbean side were called ‘mighty men’ due to their overwhelming records.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jul 03, 2020 08:30 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website