WHAT a sensational season David Hookes is having. Centuries and half-centuries flowed from his bat; he earned plaudits for requesting that the obstructing-the-field decision against Ian Botham be reversed, and fell foul of the umpires in a club match when he became involved in some fisticuffs. Recalled to Test cricket after a wilderness period of 32 months (having ‘bagged a pair’ at Karachi in his last Test match), he celebrated by having his beard shaved off.
The gesture earned him $2000, and his manager, one Milos Sulicich, had the brainwave of tucking clippings of Hookes’s fair locks into envelopes and distributing them among the ardent spectators in the Adelaide department store. Bets are now being taken on what one of these magic envelopes will fetch at auction some years hence.
The fun and frivolity behind him, David Hookes, 27, had to have treatment for eye discomfort — only to discover that he has a pterygium (a skin growth) near the pupil of his left eye, a problem experienced recently by Viv Richards. Hookes also has a cyst in his right eye. Operations will be performed when his cricket schedule permits.
Back in the Test team, Hookes made a valuable 56 in the Perth Test and showed every sign of realizing the huge potential observed in his maiden Test match, when he hit a memorable 56 in the second innings, taking five successive fours off Tony Greig. It was recalled then that the young left-hander had once hit all six balls of an over for six while playing in a club match in England.
David Hookes Fastest Hundred Terms of Balls Received in First-Class Cricket
Against this backdrop, it should have been no more than a mild surprise that Hookes came to score the fastest hundred, in terms of balls received, ever recorded in first-class cricket. We reported on this last month. Now we have further details of this astonishing knock. He reached his hundred off only 34 balls, as follows: 16044404244024644444406 44244110403=102 His fifty came off 17 balls in 17 minutes, his century in 43 minutes.
It might have been faster but for Victorian fast bowler Rod McCurdy’s need to remove a boot to attend to a bloodstained sock when Hookes was in sight of his century. The batsman, still seething at Graham Yallop’s delayed declaration on this final day, was further displeased at the slowing-down tactics in the field. Some of his anger was expressed in a six which landed on the roof of the members’ grandstand. This was one of three sixes that accompanied 18 fours in his score of 107, which closed after 55 minutes. The ‘hottest cricket in a hundred summers’, as the publicity and promotion people have dubbed it, was well and truly alight.