In the wonderful world of sport, there are occasional moments that transcend the ordinary, leaving fans and players alike, in awe of an incredible feat achieved. One such recent instance has defied the cricketing gods. Gareth Morgan, an amateur Australian player has taken six wickets in the last six balls of a game. You can read about Gareth’s remarkable game here. Naturally this gives me an excuse to ask, what was your favourite sporting miracle? writes David Little, a Partner in our Corporate and Commercial department who increasingly handles Sports Law cases too.
Cricket has witnessed its fair share of breath-taking performances over the years, but the six-wicket over is undoubtedly a rarity. The recent Australian amateur’s accomplishment adds a new chapter to the sport’s folklore, reminding us of other instances where athletes defied the odds and achieved the seemingly impossible.
In 1956 Jim Laker, an off-spin bowler, accomplished the extraordinary by taking all ten wickets in an innings for England during a Test match against Australia at Old Trafford. His remarkable bowling figures of 10 for 53 remain etched in cricketing history as a testament to individual brilliance. The feat remains unparalleled, with no other bowler replicating such dominance in a single innings.
West Indian batsman Brian Lara’s monumental 400 not out in 2004, playing against England, remains the highest individual score in Test cricket. Lara’s marathon innings showcased a rare blend of skill, endurance, and mental fortitude, leaving cricket fans marvelling at the sheer audacity of the achievement.
Moving beyond the cricket pitch, athletics has also witnessed its fair share of miraculous moments. Usain Bolt’s electrifying performance in the 2009 World Championships in Berlin is a prime example. The Jamaican sprinter not only shattered the world record in the 100 meters but did so with a nonchalant ease that left spectators in disbelief. Clocking an astonishing 9.58 seconds, Bolt showcased the epitome of human speed and athleticism, solidifying his status as one of the greatest sprinters of all time.
For Americans the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” during the Winter Olympics stands out as an iconic moment in ice hockey history. The United States, comprised of amateur and collegiate players, faced off against the heavily favoured Soviet Union in the semi-finals. Against all odds, the U.S. team secured a 4-3 victory, a result considered one of the greatest upsets in the sport’s history. The image of the jubilant American players celebrating their improbable triumph is forever etched in the collective memory of most sports enthusiasts.
Also in the realm of team sports, Leicester City’s triumph in the 2015-2016 English Premier League season is a modern-day fairy tale. A team that started the season as 5000-1 outsiders defied all expectations to clinch the title, beating football giants with a brand of football that captured the hearts of fans worldwide. The resilience and teamwork displayed by Leicester City serve as a reminder that in sports, the underdog can emerge victorious against all odds.
If you like your odds long, and prefer your sportsmen sitting, down the odds of jockey Frankie Dettori winning all seven races on the card at Royal Ascot on 28 September 1996 were 25,051 – 1.
It’s not often I can remember the date of an actual event. So for that reason perhaps Frankie Dettori’s remarkable winning streak is my miraculous sporting moment.
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David Little, is a Partner in the Corporate & Commercial team and also Head of Sports Law for the firm. If you would like to contact him please quote Ref CB431 on either 07968 027343 or 020 7631 4141 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The above is accurate as at 14 November 2023. The information above may be subject to change.
The content of this note should not be considered legal advice and each matter should be considered on a case-by-case basis.