When Glenn “on-no-legs” Maxwell clobbered Mujeeb-ur-Rahman for a six over deep midwicket to win the ICC Cricket World Cup match against Afghanistan and finish his innings on 201 runs not out, he etched his name in history books with the highest-ever one-day international (ODI) score by an Australian batter.
Hobbling and grimacing with pain from the cramps in his entire body during the match in Mumbai on Tuesday evening, Maxwell pulled off a scarcely believable feat as he also broke the record for the highest score, and the only double hundred, in an ODI run-chase.
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Afterwards, Maxwell said his entire body was in pain and that he almost retired during his epic match-winning innings that is being hailed as the greatest one-day knock of all time.
But it came at a price, with Maxwell riddled by severe cramps. He collapsed in agony at one stage, barely able to walk as he limped between the wickets.
“I don’t know if there are any other cricketers in the world that could do what he did,” former New Zealand cricketer Ian Smith, who was on commentary during the last few moments of the match, said afterwards.
“At one stage, he played like he had no legs – he just had arms and a will.”
Against the odds 🙌
— ICC Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) November 8, 2023
‘Full body in pain’
Maxwell admitted discussing with Australian physio Nick Jones whether he should retire after his body gave up and he sank to the ground while on 147 and with 55 runs still needed to win.
But with a place in the World Cup semifinals at stake and Maxwell leading the recovery after Australia had slumped to 91-7, he defied the discomfort.
“It was a strange one, because I was cramping in one of my toes, which was sort of going up the front of my shin. And then as I set off to try and get down the other end, I cramped in that calf as well,” he told Australian media after the match.
“So I was cramping both sides of my lower leg. And as I went ‘Oh no, I’m cramping,’ I cramped in my left hamstring at the same time. So I was like, ‘I’ve got both legs.’ And then I had a back spasm when I hit the ground.
“So I was just like full body in pain.”
Maxwell went on to build a record 202-run eighth-wicket stand with captain Pat Cummins, who contributed just 12 in the partnership.
Cummins called it the “greatest ODI innings that has ever happened”, sealing Australia’s spot in the last four.
“We were just chatting about it, all the players, and we’ve decided it’s one of those days where you just go, ‘I was there in the stadium the day Glenn Maxwell chased down that total by himself’,” Cummins told Cricket Australia’s website.
Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting, who was also commentating at the end of the innings, said Maxwell played the inning “on no legs”.
“I have played a lot of cricket, and I have watched a lot of cricket, but I have never seen anything like this,” a stunned Ponting said, adding, “It is something you will never, ever see again in international cricket.”
Cricket writer Geoff Lemon said the conditions under which Maxwell pulled off the feat made him a “sporting genius.”
With a few hours to think – that is the best one-day innings ever played. Chasing, team position, physical conditions, stakes, momentum, quality and variety of bowling. You’ll never see anything like it.
Glenn Maxwell today was sporting genius.
— Geoff Lemon Sport (@GeoffLemonSport) November 7, 2023
The sentiment was shared by some of the world’s cricketing greats, who were also left stunned.
“From Max pressure to Max performance! This has been the best ODI knock I’ve seen in my life,” Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar said on X, formerly Twitter, while ex-India coach Ravi Shastri called it “stunning”.
England’s Ben Stokes simply said: “My goodness Maxi”, while former West Indies fast bowler Ian Bishop hailed it as a reminder of “the intrinsic beauty, unpredictability and inspiring drama of this wonderful game”.
Pakistan women’s cricketer Javeria Khan called Maxwell “an alien with supernatural powers”.
An ALIEN with super natural powers came today to win for Australia. Wow Glenn Maxwell 🔥
Unbelievable scenes … I have never seen a player show so much character. This will go down in history as one of the finest innings. And look at Cummins – such a valuable knock 👏#CWC23 |… pic.twitter.com/xVFzufa5Ib
— Javeria Khan (@ImJaveria) November 7, 2023