On This Day On This DayRSS FeedFeeds

June 3 down the years

Mr Whippy

The 916-wicket man

Text size: A | A

January |  February |  March |  April |  May |  June |  July |  August |  September |  October |  November |  December

June 4 | June 2

 
 
Wasim Akram: probably the greatest left-arm fast bowler in history
Wasim Akram: probably the greatest left-arm fast bowler in history © Bob Thomas/Getty Images
Enlarge

1966
Birth of one of the greatest left-arm fast bowlers in history. Wasim Akram was at the top for almost 20 years, in which time his famous whippy action brought him a record 916 international wickets for Pakistan. In only his second Test, he took 10 for 128 in Dunedin in 1985. (He went one better on the 1994 tour, when he took 11 for 179 in Wellington.) He demolished England with two unforgettable deliveries, to Allan Lamb and Chris Lewis, in the World Cup final in Melbourne in 1992, each a definition of unplayable. For good measure, Akram and Waqar Younis - partners in crime but never great friends - then bowled England to defeat in the Test series that followed. Akram was also an attacking batsman lower down the order and had a double-century against Zimbabwe to prove his credentials. Chuck in the film-star good looks and he really did have it all. His great career, which also included sterling work for Lancashire, was tainted only by his alleged involvement in the match-fixing scandal.

1928
One of New Zealand's finest captains is born. John Reid was in charge for New Zealand's first three victories at Test level, but he was no Mike Brearley figure: Reid was well worth his place as his country's finest pre-Hadlee allrounder. His averages - 33 with bat and ball - are even more impressive given that New Zealand won only three of his 58 Tests. In the last of those wins, against South Africa in Port Elizabeth in 1961-62, Reid was heroic, with second-innings figures of 45-27-44-4, as New Zealand won a thriller by 40 runs to square the series. That was a landmark tour for Reid - he averaged 60 with the bat and 19 with the ball. A year later, batting for Wellington against Northern Districts, he whacked 15 sixes in his 296, a first-class record at the time. He later became an ICC match referee.

1906
Birth of Walter Robins, England's dynamic allrounder who played 16 Tests leading up to the Second World War, and was captain in his last three, against New Zealand in 1937. He made one Test century, against South Africa at Old Trafford in 1935, and two years later was one of the first legspinners to demolish West Indies, with 6 for 32 at Lord's, a ground on which he also took two first-class hat-tricks. He died in London in 1968.

1971
Many great players have had inauspicious Test debuts - Victor Trumper, Don Bradman, Martin Donnelly, Len Hutton, Graham Gooch, Michael Holding, Saeed Anwar, Shane Warne - and on this day Imran Khan kicked off his top-level career with 5 runs and 28 wicketless overs against England at Edgbaston.

1976
Thirty-four-year-old Mike Brearley was thrown to the West Indian wolves for his debut in the drawn first Test at Trent Bridge. Brearley spent the first two days watching Viv Richards belt 232... and then bagged a fourth-ball duck. His fellow new boy and former Middlesex colleague Larry Gomes, coming in at No. 7 for West Indies, also failed to score.

2000
The last international for Mohammad Azharuddin and Ajay Jadeja. While Azhar was dismissed for 1, Jadeja went on to top-score for his side with 93 off 103 balls. But Mohammad Yousuf's (then Yousuf Youhana) century and Abdul Razzaq's 4 for 29 ensured Pakistan won the Asia Cup match by 44 runs, in Dhaka. In December that year Azhar was handed a life ban and Jadeja suspended for five years from all cricket-related activities by the BCCI over allegations of match-fixing.

1960
Birth of Carl Rackemann, Australia's burly, balding fast bowler. He played 12 Tests and had a storming start with 11 wickets to demolish Pakistan on a Perth flyer in 1983-84. Rackemann liked Perth - against New Zealand there in 1989-90, he returned amazing second-innings figures of 31-21-23-1. His career at the top level was limited by injury and the decision to go on the 1985-86 rebel tour of South Africa.

1961
Birth of the first Zimbabwean to face a ball in a Test. Kevin Arnott's first innings - 40 off 176 balls against India in Harare in 1992-93 - said everything about a technically sound batsman who sold his wicket dearly. In one World Cup match against Pakistan in 1992, he made 7 off 61 balls. He played only four Tests, and in the second, against New Zealand in Bulawayo in 1992-93, became the second Zimbabwean to make a Test hundred. His father, Don, played for Rhodesia in the 1950s.

1998
Galle became Test cricket's 79th venue. Sri Lanka hosted New Zealand there on this day, and it quickly became a place where touring sides feared to tread. New Zealand were hammered by an innings - Mahela Jayawardene smacked 167 in a match where nobody else made over 53 - and Sri Lanka won six out of the first eight Tests here: three by an innings, two by 10 wickets, and the other by the small matter of 315 runs. However, the ground was ruined by the tsunami on Boxing Day in 2004 and underwent a large redevelopment before returning as a Test venue in late 2007.

Other birthdays
1906 Norman Gallichan (New Zealand)
1930 Michael Melle (South Africa)
1940 Richard "Prof" Edwards (West Indies)
1951 David Ogilvie (Australia)
1954 Terri Russell (Australia)
1956 Surinder Khanna (India)
1965 Helen Plimmer (England)
1972 Robert Kennedy (New Zealand)
1976 Cliodhna Sharp (Ireland)
1977 Hasibul Hossain (Bangladesh)
1977 Rachel Pullar (New Zealand)
1979 Neil Ferreira (Zimbabwe)

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

    'When I became an umpire, I didn't realise how complicated this game was'

Peter Willey on suiting up against '80s West Indies, and umpiring in England

    'Saqlain was like an English spinner with a subcontinental touch'

My XI: Erapalli Prasanna on a spinner whom even Sachin Tendulkar found hard to bat against

Anjum on the spot

How well does one of Indian women's cricket's leading lights know her career?

    Last ball, last wicket, and Northants' parched spell

Ask Steven: Also, Vijay Manjrekar's nickname, Abid Ali's no-ball, oldest double-centurions, and this decade's leading players

The thing about Australia's superiority to Pakistan

Ahmer Naqvi: Despite their record, the fact that they haven't played in Pakistan for 16 years weighs against them

News | Features Last 7 days

How India weeds out its suspect actions

The BCCI set up a three-man committee to tackle the problem of chucking at age-group and domestic cricket, and it has produced significant results in five years

A rock, a hard place and the WICB

The board's latest standoff with its players has had embarrassing consequences internationally, so any resolution now needs to be approached thoughtfully

Kohli back to old habits

Stats highlights from the fourth ODI between India and West Indies in Dharamsala

Twin Asian challenges await Australia

What Australia have not done since returning a fractured unit from India is head back to Asia to play an Asian team. Two of their major weaknesses - handling spin and reverse swing - will be tested in the UAE by Pakistan

West Indies go AWOL

West Indies may have formally played the fourth ODI in Dharamsala but their fielding suggested their minds were already on the flight back home

News | Features Last 7 days