Peter Siddle was included in the Australian cricket team for the first game against India at the Sydney Cricket Ground. His first delivery to MS Dhoni was an excited LBW appeal against MS Dhoni, who had come in after the fall of Shikhar Dhawan (0), Virat Kohli (3) and Ambati Rayudu (0). Although the appeal was turned down, the excitement and energy posed by Siddle was a sight for sore eyes. The right-arm pacer had every reason to be excited as this was his first ODI after eight years and 68 days. His last ODI was at the same venue in 2010, against Sri Lanka. It was a game which had Shane Watson, Steve Smith and Michael Clarke all playing.
Siddle’s gap of eight years and 68 days is the most for an Australian player in ODIs, going past the mark of six years and 282 days set by Tim Zoehrer between 1986 and 1994. In this interim, he missed 169 games for Australia. The longest gap in ODIs is held by New Zealand’s Jeff Wilson, who played an ODI in March 1993 before playing his next 11 years and 331 days later in February 2005. Wilson had a very interesting story. He quit cricket and played Rugby for the legendary All Blacks side. He achieved great success as well, scoring 44 tries in 60 Rugby games for the New Zealand Rugby team.
The longest gap when it comes to Test matches is a massive 22 years and 222 days, held by John Traicos. He played the last Test series for South Africa in the 1969/70 series which South Africa whitewashed Australia 4-0. Traicos played in the last Test but his further opportunities became limited as South Africa was isolated from sporting competitions for 22 years due to their policy of Apartheid.
However, he made a grand comeback in the 1992 Test against India, which was Zimbabwe’s first Test match. He ended up with figures of 5/86 in 50 overs. He took the wickets of Sachin Tendulkar for 0, Mohammad Azharuddin for 9, Kapil Dev for 60, Venkatapathy Raju for 7 and Manoj Prabhakar for 14.