Cricket

Video: Chris Martin - the worst batsman ever?

Martin makes rare contact with the ball. (©GettyImages)
Martin makes rare contact with the ball. (©GettyImages).

There has never been a player in the history of Test match cricket to embody the phrase 'genuine number 11' more appropriately than Chris Martin, whose inability to effectively wield his bat will, unfortunately, be remembered more vividly by some than his fine seam bowling.

Martin is behind only esteemed duo Daniel Vettori and Sir Richard Hadlee in terms of most Test match victims for New Zealand, having claimed 233 wickets over a career spanning 13 years, but it is the 38-year-old's batting that has afforded him cult hero status.

The lanky right-arm-fast-medium paceman has more ducks than any New Zealand player (36) - with only Courtney Walsh ahead of him in the overall rankings - and did not record a score in the double-figure region until his 36th Test for the Black Caps.

With all the foot movement of the Statue of Liberty, Martin has lumbered his way to a Test total of 123 runs from 71 matches at an average of a measly 2.36 and, were it not for 52 non dismissals, the Christchurch-born veteran's record would be even more humiliating.

His ineptitude with the willow can be partly attributed to his days as a club cricketer when, unable to drive a car, Martin would attend net sessions on his bicycle, which left him incapable of lugging his batting gear along with him.

This led to Martin concentrating more specifically on his bowling, and to some reward, although his ability as a batsman suffered severely as a consequence.

Martin spends as much time strapping his pads on as he does out in the middle, and his position as the worst batsman of the modern era - if not ever - appears to be under little threat, giving the scale of his incompetence.

He is, however, a well liked professional both among fellow players and with supporters, and his record with bat in hand will be recalled upon fondly rather than cruelly when Martin eventually retires.

One loving soul has patched together a tribute of sorts to Martin on YouTube, with the video an unrelenting 11 minute reel of Martin having his furniture rearranged across the world's Test match pitches. Enjoy.

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