Cricket controversy erupts after unknown Namibian batter breaks T20 world record

Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton has set a new world record for the fastest ever T20 international century.

Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton, pictured here on the cricket field.
Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton is the proud new owner of the fastest century in a T20 international. Image: Cricket Nepal

Namibia's Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton has set a new world record for the fastest-ever century in T20 international cricket, needing just 33 balls to reach triple figures as he helped his side to a 20-run win over Nepal on Tuesday. The 22-year-old came to the crease with Namibia 3-62 in the 11th over, firing off 11 fours and eight sixes to finish with 101 off 36 deliveries.

His record-breaking knock was brought to an end by right-arm pacer Abinash Bohara just three balls after reaching 100. The flurry of boundaries off his bat saw Namibia end the innings 4-206. In reply, Nepal fought valiantly to chase down the mammoth total but ultimately fell short by 20 runs.

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Loftie-Eaton's century toppled the previous record of 34 balls held by Nepal's Kushal Malla, who scored a rapid-fire hundred against Mongolia last year. While South Africa's David Miller, India skipper Rohit Sharma and Czech Republic batsman Sudesh Wickramasekara have all managed to reach triple digits in 35 balls.

Chris Gayle's 30-ball century in a 2013 IPL match remains the overall record for the fastest century. Social media was abuzz with Loftie-Eaton's feat, however, some argued that matches against non-Test nations shouldn't count in the record books.

Fastest T20 hundreds (all matches)

  • 30 balls: Chris Gayle - Royal Challengers Bangalore v Pune Warriors 2013

  • 32: Rishabh Pant - Delhi v Himachal Pradesh 2018

  • 33: Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton - Namibia v Nepal 2024 and Wihan Lubbe - North West v Limpopo 2018

  • 34: Andrew Symonds - Kent v Middlesex 2004, Sean Abbott - Surrey v Kent 2023 and Kushal Malla - Nepal v Mongolia 2023

Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton.
Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton at the T20 World Cup in 2021. (GIUSEPPE CACACE via Getty Images)

Steve Smith set to miss out on T20 World Cup squad?

After a poor showing in Australia's T20 series against New Zealand, Steve Smith says he's "not too fussed" about whether or not he is selected for the T20 World Cup in June. Matt Short, Josh Inglis, Matthew Wade, Spencer Johnson, Nathan Ellis and Smith are all fighting for their place in the squad and had the opportunity to make their case in the series against New Zealand.

Short proved valuable in the middle order for Australia, whereas Smith ultimately underperformed. The Aussie wasn't able to get going in his two innings at the top of the order and Wade believes Short may have done enough to secure a position in the 15-man squad ahead of Smith.

And Smith is also of the belief that he might not have a role in the upcoming T20 World Cup. "I think they're pretty settled up top, to be honest, with (Travis) Head, Warner and (Mitch) Marsh in the top three," Smith told AAP.

"I'm not really sure what (selectors) want to do. I'm not really too fussed either way. If I'm there, I'm there. If I'm not, I'm not." Smith admitted he copped a number of good balls for his dismissal in New Zealand and was unfortunate not to showcase the skills Aussie fans know he has in the white-ball format.

"(Adam) Milne got one to take off in the second game, which was tough," Smith said. "Lockie, when that sun was setting, it was quite difficult to pick up and he gave me a nice in-swinger. Look, it wasn't ideal, but it is what it is and whatever will be will be from here."

with AAP

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