Ian David Craig
(born 12 June 1935 in Yass, New South Wales
) is a former Australian Test cricketer
who represented Australia
in 11 Tests between 1953 and 1958. A slightly built right-handed batsman
, Craig holds the record for being the youngest Australian to make a first-class
, gain Test selection and captain
his country. Burdened by the public expectation of being the "next Bradman
", Craig's career did not fulfil its early promise. In 1957, he was appointed captain of a young team as part of a regeneration plan following the decline of the national team in the mid-1950s, but a loss of form and illness forced him out of the team after one season. Craig made a comeback, but work commitments forced him to retire from first-class cricket at only 26 years of age.
A teenage prodigy, Craig made his first-class debut for New South Wales
in the last match of the 1951–52 Australian season, aged only 16. The following summer, Craig earned comparisons to Don Bradman
, widely regarded as the greatest batsman of all time, after becoming the youngest player to score a first-class double century with an unbeaten
213 against the touring South African cricket team
. The innings secured Craig's Test debut in the final match against South Africa, making him the youngest player to represent Australia in a Test, aged 17 years and 239 days. Craig started his Test career well, scoring 53 and 47 to ensure his selection for the 1953 Ashes......