Dynasty politics is looked down open, since it the perception is that nepotism, rather than ability plays the prominent role. However sport is democratic and almost always ability decides whether someone can successfully go on to play Test matches.
A great player can be the son or father of an ordinary player. For instance the greatest batsman of all time Don Bradman’s father George was a club level cricketer while his son John played only schools cricket. However Cricket also has several instances of gifted families where more than one family member played at the highest level with distinction.
Lets take a look at some of them with a slightly more detailed writeup about the most famous of them all- the Mohammed Family, and a brief mention of a few more.
1 The Mohammad Family
Incredibly, 4 brothers, Wazir, Hanif, Mushtaq and Sadiq played for Pakistan. The 5th brother, Raees too was 12th man in a Test match. The previous evening their dictatorial Captain Kardar had said Raees was playing but the skipper changed his mind the next day. Interestingly the 4 brothers say that Raees was the most stylish batsman among the brothers.
Eldest brother Wazir known as Wisden for his fascination for cricket trivia played 20 Tests. He scored a crucial 42 not out in Pakistan’s 1st win over England in England. Pakistan were just 85 ahead with 8 wickets down. Wazir’s 42 helped them set a target of 168 which was enough for their talismanic fast bowler Fazal.
The original “Little Master” Hanif played 55 Tests and scored 3915 runs with 12 hundreds including a match saving 337 vs West Indies at Bridgetown which is the longest Test innings in history and the only second innings Test Triple century. He also scored a 499 in 1st class, a record later broken by Lara with 501. Hanif’s son Shoaib too played test cricket (45) with 7 tons. His grandson Shehzar, at 25 has played 1st class cricket for 7 years now.
Mushtaq played 57 Tests for 10 tons and also took 79 wickets with his legbreak spin. Supposedly the most talented of the brothers, Mushtaq was a very successful county cricketer with more than 30000 1st class runs, 72 hundreds, and 900 plus wickets.
Sadiq was a right handed batsman who was converted to a left handed one to increase his chances of Test selection. He had 5 tons in his 41 Test matches. Being a short and compact left-hander Sadiq was compared to the great Neil Harvey
Incredibly, for 89 consecutive Tests ( and 100 out of 101 consecutive Tests) and 27 years at least one Mohd family member was in Pakistan’s Test squad.
2 Grace Family
WG Grace and his Brothers Edward Grace and Fred Grace who are called the “Three Graces” played Test cricket for England. However Edward and Fred played only one Test each. WG of course is one of the greatest players in the history of the game and played 1st class cricket for 44 years. Incredibly all three played in the same Test, and only the Mohd’s and Grace’s have achieved this rare distinction.
3 Chappell Family
Ian and Greg both captained Australia with distinction. Ian played 75 Tests while Greg played 87. Greg retired at his peak, scoring 182 in his last test innings and being a rare player to score a century on debut and in farewell Test. Trevor Chappell , their younger brother also played 3 Tests for Australia but is more famous for bowling the underarm delivery to Brian Mckechnie on the orders of his brother and Skipper Greg.
Their grandfather Vic Richardson also played 19 Tests for Australia and is one of the few double internationals, having played baseball too for Australia.
4 The Headley’s. Known as Black Bradman, George Headley played just 22 Tests for West Indies but is widely regarded as one of the best batsmen of all time. His son Ron Headley was a fairly successful 1st class cricketer but played just 2 Tests for West Indies. George’s grandson Dean was an useful quick bowler who played 15 Tests for England.
5 Khans and Burkis. Along with the Headley’s the Khans are the only other 3 generation Test Players. While Jahangir Khan played Test cricket for India, his son Majid Khan and gradson Bazid Khan played Test cricket for Pakistan.
The Burkis are a family who produced as many as 40 First class cricketers for Pakistan including 3 national captains, namely Javed Burki, Majid Khan and Imran Khan. All 3 are first cousins and their mothers, Iqbal Bano, Mubarak and Shaukat are own sisters. 3 sisters becoming mother of National Captain is unique , not just for Pakistan but for any country .
Lala Amarnath who scored India’s 1st Test century ( on his debut) is considered one of the legends of Indian cricket. A commentator referred to him and his batting as “Pure romantic, the Byron of Indian cricket”.
Two of his sons Mohinder and Surinder played Test Cricket for India. Mohinder or Jimmy Amarnath is considered one of India’s most gutsy batsmen against fast bowling. He had back to back Man of the match performances in the semi final and final of India’s 1983 World Cup winning campaign. Surinder is considered one of the most talented batsmen with unfulfilled potential. Another son, Rajinder also played 1st class cricket but not with much success. Surinder’s son, Digvijay at 24 is a current 1st class player.
7. Marsh’es. Geoff Marsh was a gutsy opening batsman who also played an important role in Australia winning the 1987 Cricket world Cup. His two sons Shaun and Mitchell are currently playing Test cricket for Australia.
Mention must be made also of Legendary wicketkeeper Ian Healy whose niece Alyssa is currently the Aussie Women’s team wicketkeeper and is married to Australia’s premier fast bowler Mitchell Starc. There are many other brothers who have played together like Michael and David Hussey, Brett and Shane Lee, Mark and Steve Waugh, Some famous father son pair to play Test cricket are Vijay and Sanjay manjrekar, Chris and Stuart Broad, Peter and Shaun Pollock, Mickey and Alec Stewart, Walter and Richard Hadlee , Vinoo and Ashok Mankad, Lance and Chris Cairns
Can add to the List?. Looking forward to your inputs.