I recently stood in some T20 matches in a tournament in Oman. Please could you confirm that I was the first woman to umpire a men's international match? asked Shivani Mishra from Qatar
It's always nice to get a query from the person concerned, Shivani Mishra. And it's even nicer to be able to confirm that you are, as far as I know, the first woman to umpire an official men's international. The matches in question came during the recent Asian Cricket Council Western Region T20 tournament in Oman. It was won by Saudi Arabia, who beat Qatar in the final in Al-Amarat. It was the first men's tournament to benefit from the ICC's decision last year to extend T20 status to representative teams of all member countries, which came into force on January 1.
There have been female umpires in senior men's cricket before, but none at full international level. To name a few, Pat Carrick stood in 15 first-class matches in New Zealand in the 1980s, while more recently another New Zealander Kathy Cross, Australia's Claire Polosak, and Jacqueline Williams from Jamaica have also umpired men's matches. One interesting case is the current Ireland international wicketkeeper Mary Waldron, who is also a qualified umpire: she stood in a men's match between Ireland Wolves (their A team) and Bangladesh A in Dublin last August.
Angelo Perera just scored two double-centuries in a first-class match. Apparently this has happened only once before. Who did it? asked Hemachandra Silva from Sri Lanka
That remarkable feat by Angelo Perera - who's known as "Little Angelo" to distinguish him from "Big Angelo" Mathews - came while he was captaining Nondescripts against the Sinhalese Sports Club at the P Sara Oval in Colombo last week. Perera, who played six white-ball internationals for Sri Lanka between 2013 and 2016 but didn't reach double figures in any of them, followed 201 in the first innings against SSC with 231 in the second as Nondescripts batted out time for a draw.
The only other man to achieve the feat did so a long time ago. In England in July 1938, Kent's Arthur Fagg made 244 and 202 not out in a County Championship against Essex in Colchester. Fagg, who later became a Test umpire, nearly pulled off another remarkable double in that match: he scored a century before lunch on the first day, and 98 in 90 minutes before lunch on the third.
No one repeated Fagg's feat until Perera managed it, although we should perhaps mention Graham Gooch (for England against India at Lord's in 1990) and Kumar Sangakkara (for Sri Lanka v Bangladesh in Chittagong in 2013-14), who both made a triple-century and a (single) hundred in the same Test match.
When was the last time a Test team was made up of 11 right-hand batsmen? And have there ever been 11 left-handers in a team? asked Michael O'Rourke from England
The last Test team entirely made up of right-hand batsmen was fielded by India against West Indies in Port-of-Spain in 2016: Shikhar Dhawan, a left-hander, played in the first three Tests but missed this one. India had also done this in two Tests in Sri Lanka the previous year; Pakistan played eight Tests around this time with 11 right-handers in the side. It was more common in years gone by: in all, there have been 323 Test teams in which all 11 players were right-hand batsmen.
There hasn't yet been a Test side in which all 11 players batted left-handed. The record is eight, which has happened three times: by West Indies against Pakistan in Georgetown in 1999-2000, and a few months later against England at The Oval; and by England against Australia in Sydney in 2013-14.
I noticed that Tabraiz Shamsi has played 12 T20Is so far without scoring a run. Is this a record? asked Dinesh Manraj from the West Indies
The South African left-arm wristspinner Tabraiz Shamsi has indeed played a dozen T20Is so far without scoring a run (mainly because he's only been needed to face five balls so far. Four other players didn't score a run in their first 12 matches: Jasprit Bumrah of India, Krishmar Santokie of West Indies, Ish Sodhi of New Zealand and Umar Gul of Pakistan.
Santokie only ever played 12 matches, so never did get off the mark. Sodhi opened his account in his 13th match, and now has a princely 50 runs from 33 games, while Gul also scored his first runs in his 13th game, and ended up with no fewer than 165 (from 60 appearances). The record is held by Bumrah, who finally got off the mark in his 27th match, in which he amassed 7 against Australia, in Guwahati in October 2017.
Shamsi has also failed to trouble the scorers in his 13 one-day internationals. He's one of seven to get that far without troubling the scorers (Bumrah is another). The record is held by the Australian fast bowler Doug Bollinger, who didn't score his first run until his 20th ODI.
Waqas Maqsood of Pakistan recently made his T20I debut on his birthday. Has anyone else ever done this? asked Qamaruddin Sadiq from Pakistan
The Pakistan left-arm seamer Waqas Maqsood played his first T20I - against New Zealand in Dubai - on November 4 last year, which was his 31st birthday. He's actually the first player to make his T20 debut on his birthday (it was his overall international debut too).
There have been 12 men who made their Test debut on their birthday, including another current Pakistan player, Shan Masood, in 2013-14. And 14 men have marked their birthday by making their one-day international debut, the most recent being Binod Bhandari of Nepal (against UAE in Dubai last month, and New Zealand's George Worker (against South Africa in Potchefstroom in August 2015). Both Bhandari and Worker had previously appeared in T20Is.