Michael Bevan was born on May 8, 1970, in Belconnen, Australian Capital Territory, and is generally regarded as one of the greatest finishers in ODI cricket. With his sluggish left arm chinaman spin, he had a ‘golden arm’ as a left-handed batsman.
He was an important part of Australia’s World Cup-winning teams in 1999 and 2003. In one-day internationals, he has the best batting average of any former player at 53.58.
Bevan used to play for New South Wales before switching to Tasmania in 2004. In List-A cricket, he has a batting average of 57.86. His performances in the game’s shorter style secured him a place in the Australian squad.
He has also represented South Australia, Sussex, and Leicestershire in cricket.
During his early career, he established himself as a dependable batsman who could get Australia out of trouble. One of his most well-known innings was against the West Indies on January 1, 1996.
He batted not out for 78 runs, leading the Australian ship to a 173-run win when they were 6/38 at one point.
In the Austral-Asia Cup match against Sri Lanka, Bevan made his ODI debut. In that game, he didn’t get to bat or pitch.
He scored 39 runs off 63 deliveries in his second match against New Zealand. It wasn’t the most impressive innings, but Bevan did what he does best: he ended the game when at the crease.
In his first ten matches, Bevan went undefeated four times, boosting his batting average to over 50.
Rise to glory
He has sailed the ship of Australian batting on several occasions, including the match-winning innings against the West Indies in 1996.
Bevan scored 103 against South Africa’s 284 at Centurion on April 10, 1997, to lead Australia to a 3/58 victory.
On the 29th of January 2002, Australia was struggling at 6/82 against New Zealand in Melbourne, chasing a record of 246. Bevan batted first and played his regular game, scoring 102 not out to help Australia cross the finish line.
His 74 not out against England in the 2003 ICC Cricket World Cup game when Australia was at 8/135 set the tone for Australia’s World Cup victory. When Australia was 7/84 in the World Cup Super Six match against New Zealand, his services were once again needed. With his 56 not out, he led Australia to victory for the second time.
He remained one of the most impactful members of the Australian batting line-up, which included Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist, and Matthew Hayden, with his match-saving innings every now and then.
Despite being a prolific one-day player, he only played 18 tests for Australia, scoring 785 runs at a strike rate of 29. His test career was cut short due to his lack of confidence against short-pitched deliveries.
On February 29, 2004, Bevan played his last One-Day International against Sri Lanka. Owing to a series of injuries, he declared his retirement from all aspects of cricket in 2007.