Published in The News, Aug 1st, 2018
England are playing their 1,000th Test match from August 1 at Edgbaston in Birmingham. They have become the first country to reach this milestone in the 142-year history of Test cricket.
England along with Australia are the pioneers of Test cricket as both countries began playing in this format of the game from 1877. The first ever Test match was played between the two countries on March 15-19, 1877 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in the Australian city of Melbourne.
The first ever English captain was James Lillywhite, who led the team in the first two Test matches against Australia in 1877.
Now England are playing their 1000th Test under the captaincy of Joe Root, who has so far led his team in 17 Test matches.
In between, 78 players captained England during the period of more than 140 years. Among them, four players led the team in 50 or more Test matches with Alastair Cook on top with 59 Tests, followed by Mike Atherton (54), Michael Vaughan (51) and Andrew Strauss (50).
In all, twelve teams have so far played 2,314 Test matches, including the present Test. After England, Australia have played the most Test matches (812), followed by West Indies (535), India (523), South Africa (427), New Zealand (426), Pakistan (415), Sri Lanka (274), Bangladesh (108), Zimbabwe (105).
One Test was played by the ICC World XI and new comers Ireland and Afghanistan have played one Test each. England who earlier played 999 Tests, have won 357 and lost 297 while 345 Test matches ended in draw. Their winning percentage is 35.70 per cent.