Allan Donald

Last updated

Allan Donald
Allan Donald.jpg
Personal information
Full nameAllan Anthony Donald
Born (1966-10-20) 20 October 1966 (age 54)
Bloemfontein, Orange Free State Province, South Africa
NicknameWhite Lightning
Height1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)
BowlingRight-arm fast
Role Bowler
International information
National side
Test debut(cap  238)18 April 1992 v  West Indies
Last Test24 February 2002 v  Australia
ODI debut(cap  2)10 November 1991 v  India
Last ODI27 February 2003 v  Canada
ODI shirt no.10
Domestic team information
1985/86–2003/04 Orange Free State/Free State
1985/86–1986/87 Impalas
1987–2000 Warwickshire
2002 Worcestershire
Career statistics
Competition Test ODI FC LA
Runs scored652952,785544
Batting average 10.684.3112.057.88
Top score371355* 23*
Balls bowled15,5198,56158,80122,856
Wickets 3302721,216684
Bowling average 22.2521.7822.7621.84
5 wickets in innings 2026811
10 wickets in match3090
Best bowling8/716/238/376/15
Catches/stumpings 18/–28/–115/–74/–
Source: Cricinfo, 4 July 2009

Allan Anthony Donald (born 20 October 1966) is a former South African cricketer who is now a cricket coach. Often nicknamed 'White Lightning', he is considered one of the South Africa national cricket team's most successful pace bowlers.


Donald was one of the top fast bowlers in Test cricket, reaching the top of the ICC Test rankings in 1998, peaking with a ranking of 895 points the next year. In One Day Internationals (ODIs), he reached 794 points in 1998, ranked second behind teammate Shaun Pollock. He shared the new ball with Pollock from the 1996/1997 tour of India until his retirement in 2002. Since retiring Donald has been a coach with a number of teams, including international sides. From 2018 to 2019 he was the Assistant Coach at Kent County Cricket Club in England.

In 2019, Donald was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. [1]

International career

A graph showing Donald's test career bowling statistics and how they have varied over time. ADonaldBowling.png
A graph showing Donald's test career bowling statistics and how they have varied over time.

He made his Test cricket debut on 18 April 1992 in South Africa's first test since their return to world sport after the abolition of apartheid. South Africa lost to the West Indies in Barbados by 52 runs. Donald took 2–67 and 4–77, including the wicket of Brian Lara. When he retired, he was South Africa's record wicket-taker with 330 Test wickets at an average of 22.25, and claimed 272 One Day International wickets at an average of 21.78. Both of these records have now been overtaken by Shaun Pollock.

In 1997 Donald "got involved in an incident that has since caused [him] a lot of grief", Donald was being hit around the park by Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid in the finals of a one-day series. Donald says he got carried away and confronted Dravid face-to-face saying "This isn't such a fucking easy game". [2]

During the Trent Bridge Test Match of 1998 South Africa batted first, scoring 374 in their first innings. England responded with 336, with Donald taking 5 wickets. In their second innings, South Africa only scored 208 leaving England a target of 247 to win the match. Michael Atherton was at the crease when Donald began a spell of bowling both would later describe in their respective autobiographies as one of the most intense periods of Test Match Cricket they ever played. [3] [4] Donald bowled multiple bouncers to Atherton, but he survived several close chances to remain not out at the end of the day. [5] The next day Atherton along with Alec Stewart were able to score the remaining runs, with Atherton finishing on 98. Several years later, Atherton gave Donald the gloves he wore on this occasion for Donald's benefit year auction. [6]

In the 1999 Cricket World Cup semi-final between South Africa and Australia Donald was the last batsman on the South African team. [7] Australia batting first making only 213, Donald taking 4–32 and Pollock 5–36. The game swung back and forth with South Africa eventually needing to score 16 runs off the last 8 balls to win with only one wicket remaining. Lance Klusener and Allan Donald were at the crease. Klusener hit a six and then a single to keep the strike, followed by two fours. The scores were level with four balls left in the game. The next ball resulted in no run. Klusener hit the ball after that straight down the ground and set off for a single, but Donald was watching the ball, and missed the call to run. Both batsmen were at the bowler's end before Donald started running, having dropped his bat. The ball was thrown to the bowler, then to Gilchrist, who broke the stumps at the other end, with Donald only halfway down the pitch. Although the match technically ended in a tie, South Africa had previously lost to Australia in the Super-Six phase, and needed to win outright to progress to the final.

After retirement

Having retired from playing, Donald now commentates for South African Broadcast Corporation (SABC) in their coverage of South Africa's home Tests, alongside former teammate Daryll Cullinan. In May 2007, Donald was appointed as a temporary bowling consultant for the England cricket team. His involvement impressed many, and was praised by several players. Donald's original brief contract was extended until September 2007. Donald decided not to continue with his coaching role at the end of September 2007, citing the strain of touring and his wish to be with his family. [8] Donald was a coach at Warwickshire County Cricket Club, and in partnership with fellow coach Ashley Giles helped the county to win the Second Division of the County Championship in 2008.

Donald coached the reigning Zimbabwean domestic champions, Mountaineers, in 2010. [9] He served as the bowling coach for the New Zealand cricket team for the ODI series against Pakistan, and the 2011 Cricket World Cup. [10]

In July 2011 Donald was drafted into Gary Kirsten's coaching team as bowling coach to the South African cricket team. Kirsten left his post in May 2013, and Russell Domingo was appointed as his replacement. Donald was the bowling coach of South Africa under head coach Domingo; he was replaced by Charl Langeveldt. Donald was also the bowling coach of Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League. [11]

Donald was appointed assistant coach at Kent County Cricket Club in early 2017. He was expected to join the county at the start of the 2017 season but was denied a work permit as he did not, at the time, hold a suitable coaching qualification. [12] As a result, in April 2017, Sri Lanka hired Donald as bowling consultant for the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 [13] and Donald did not work with Kent during the 2017 season. He was successful in obtaining his Level 3 coaching qualification during 2017 and formally joined Kent in early 2018, leading the team during the 2017–18 Regional Super50 competition ahead of the 2018 English season. [14] [15] In July 2019, Donald was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.

In February 2020, he was appointed head coach of the Knights franchise for the upcoming 2020/21 season. [16]

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  1. Cricinfo (19 July 2019). "Sachin Tendulkar, Allan Donald, Cathryn Fitzpatrick inducted in ICC Hall of Fame". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 19 July 2019.
  2. Allan Donald (1999). White Lightning. CollinsWillow.
  3. Lamb, Stephen (3 September 2002). "Opening Up - my autobiography by Mike Atherton". ESPN Cricinfo. Archived from the original on 4 November 2020. Retrieved 4 November 2020.
  4. Marks, Vic (6 December 2009). "Michael Atherton's Johannesburg epic belongs to another Test era". The Guardian . Archived from the original on 29 July 2020. Retrieved 4 November 2020.
  5. Williamson, Martin (16 April 2005). "The gloves are off". ESPN Cricinfo . Archived from the original on 9 March 2020. Retrieved 4 November 2020.
  6. Cricinfo report
  7. "The greatest one-day match". Cricinfo. 17 June 2006. Retrieved 4 November 2020.
  8. Donald gives up England team role,
  9. "Allan Donald to coach Mountaineers". ESPN Cricinfo. 12 August 2010. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  10. "Donald to join New Zealand as bowling coach". ESPN Cricinfo. 17 January 2011. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  11. "Allan Donald joins Pune as bowling coach". Daily News and Analysis. 21 January 2012. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  12. Fordham J (2018) Allan Donald starts role as Kent Cricket assistant coach after being granted UK work permit, Kent Online , 2018-01-31. Retrieved 2018-01-31.
  13. "Sri Lanka rope in Donald as bowling consultant for Champions Trophy". Cricbuzz. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
  14. Fordham J (2018) Kent Cricket head coach Matt Walker talks about being in Australia with the England T20 squad, Kent Online , 2018-02-02. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  15. Gardner A (2018) Kent enjoy Caribbean success after difficult winter, ESPN, 2018-02-21. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  16. "Knights name Allan Donald as new head coach". Sport24. 18 February 2020.