‘A mirror image of Allan Donald’: Glenn McGrath’s 2003 prophecy incredibly comes true
Former Australia fast-bowler Glenn McGrath made a bold prediction in 2003 and it has certainly aged well. During the ICC World Cup 2003 in South Africa, then Aussie pacemen McGrath, Brett Lee and Jason Gillespie were asked to coach few youngsters in Pretoria. McGrath was fascinated by one of the bowlers and in his book titled ‘World Cup Diary’, he mentioned a 17-year-old pacer as the player to watch out for in the future.
“There are some promising fast bowlers among them, they all have good action and bowl with some pace,” McGrath had written in his book.
“The one standout is a left armer, whose hero is Allan Donald — you can tell by the way he follows through, a mirror image of AD. His name is Neil Wagenaar and he’ll be someone to look out for it the future.”
Despite the spelling, McGrath’s prophecy has incredibly come true as Wagner is currently the second-ranked bowler in Test cricket. Wagner migrated from South Africa to New Zealand in 2008 and made his debut for Kiwis in 2012.
Wagner took note of a picture on social media, which had excerpts from McGrath’s book and he wrote: “Didn’t know this!Amazing and extremely kind! Remember how awesome @glennmcgrath11 @BrettLee_58 was!Carried my bag back to my parents car!Feels like yesterday!!Pretty awesome memory and so cool to see them both a month ago in the middle of the SCG!”
Wagner has been a revelation for New Zealand in the longest format recently and that has helped him become one of the best pacers in the world. The Black Caps were blacked in Test series in Australia, however, Wagner was one of the few bright spots for the Kiwis as he scalped 17 wickets in the series.
Overall, he has scalped 204 wickets in 47 Tests for the Kiwis and is yet to make his ODI and Test debut for New Zealand. The left-arm pacer will be seen in action in the two-match Test series against India where he is expected to trouble their star-studded batting line-up.