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Wisden CricInfo staff
July 7, 2003
All Today's Yesterdays - July 7 down the years
The end of an era. That might be over-egging it slightly, but it felt as if Steve Waugh had been batting forever when he was finally dismissed for the first time in the series, bowled by England's debutant seamer Angus Fraser third Test at Edgbaston. It ended 13 hours, four minutes and 393 runs of sheer pain - those 393 runs are an Ashes record. Wisden Cricket Monthly said it was like "watching the final episode of a very long-running serial, the end of which had never realistically been forecast." Sadly for England, Waugh commissioned umpteen sequels.
The end of another painful era for English cricket - and the beginning of a glorious one. Ian Botham's reign as England captain encompassed no wins in 12 Tests, and reached a nadir when he bagged a pair against Australia at Lord's. Botham resigned - in a classy touch, the chairman of selectors Alec Bedser later told the world he'd have been sacked anyway - and vowed never again to raise his bat to the Lord's members. They'd blanked him when he was bowled round his legs by Ray Bright for his second duck. England were in disarray, but within two months they were celebrating perhaps the greatest summer in English cricket history.
Birth of George Hearne, the oldest of the three Test-playing Hearne brothers (Frank and Alec were the others), and cousin of the famous JT Hearne. He played only one Test, against South Africa at Cape Town in 1891-92 - Frank was on the opposite side - a match in which he scored 0 and didn't bowl. But he did take 686 first-class wickets for Kent, at an average of just 17. He died in London in 1932.
A debut century. Gloucestershire opener Arthur Milton made a chancy 104 not out for England against New Zealand at Headingley, and England lost just two wickets in winning the match by an innings. Tony Lock and Jim Laker shared 19 wickets as the Kiwis were swept away for 67 and 129. In between England declared on 267 for 2. But Milton played only six Tests, never again making more than 36. He also played one match for England's football team, after only a few league appearances.
In Mumbai, an English left-arm spinner is born. Kent's Min Patel was the victim of a classic piece of nonsense selection. In 1996 he was given his Test debut - against India, whose batsmen are imperious players of spin. On a green seamer at Edgbaston Patel hardly got a bowl, and then was cuffed around on a Trent Bridge shirtfront. Shane Warne probably knows how he felt. Two years earlier, when New Zealand were in town, Patel had been taking wickets for fun in county cricket, but didn't get picked. Whether he was Test-class is a moot point; it would have been nice if he'd been given a proper chance to find out.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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