A short history of cricket hat-tricks: from Sheffield’s hills to Naseem Shah

A short history of cricket hat-tricks: from Sheffield’s hills to Naseem Shah

The Guardian

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Hat-tricks are as magical as they are fleeting. There have only been 48 in Test cricket and each has its own tale to tell

By James Wallace for Wisden Cricket Monthly

Sheffield, as the locals will proudly tell you, is surrounded by hills. There are seven of the things, each looming over the steel city, hinting at the greenery of the Peak District just beyond. On one such hill, dominating the skyline behind the train station, is the brutalist Park Hill Estate, nowadays an emblem of gentrification while also serving as a backdrop for TV series such as This Is England and in music videos for the city’s most famous musical sons, Arctic Monkeys.

Above Park Hill lies Skye Edge Fields, a hilly green expanse offering views over the city, its tranquillity today at odds with its 1920s nickname of Little Chicago, named because of the number of gangs that operated in the area. Today you are more likely to find picnickers armed with a lunch box in search of a scenic snack than a Don Valley Al Capone tooled up with a switchblade. On the north-eastern cusp of Skye Edge Fields is Manor Oaks Road, an area of winding streets and newly built houses that stand on the site of cricketing history.

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