An enigma with a tragic end
The dazzling Australian left-hander David Hookes, born today, looked like he had it all. Before he'd even played first-class cricket, he whacked six sixes in an over in a club game for Dulwich. At the age of 21 he hit five centuries in six innings for South Australia. And in 1982-83 he creamed the fastest authentic century in cricket history, pasting a furious hundred off just 34 balls for South Australia against Victoria in Adelaide. But his Test career was frustratingly unfulfilled. He thrillingly smashed five successive fours off Tony Greig on debut, in the Centenary Test of 1976-77, but his only hundred in 23 appearances came against a poor Sri Lankan side, in Kandy in 1982-83. Hookes' life ended in tragic circumstances in January 2004, at 48, when he succumbed to his injuries after he was assaulted following an altercation outside a Melbourne hotel. At the time he was enjoying a successful stint as Victoria's coach.
In three days, Pakistan recorded the fifth-biggest victory in Test cricket, against New Zealand in Lahore, thanks to two outstanding performances: a triple-century from Inzamam-ul-Haq, and a career-best 6 for 11 by Shoaib Akhtar. Inzamam gave only one chance in his innings; his first 100 came in 191 balls, the second in 132, and the third, which contained seven fours and four sixes, at a run a ball, as he became the second Pakistani after Hanif Mohammad to make 300. That set the stage for Shoaib to steam in to take four in 25 balls. He sprained his ankle when he tripped over in his follow-through and had to retire, but he returned on the third day to take two more and New Zealand were bowled out for 73 - the lowest innings total in Lahore - and for 246 in the second dig.
With Australia about to win the fifth Test in Jamaica, it wasn't rain that saved West Indies, but a riot. In Bob Simpson's last Test, the Aussies needed just one more wicket with 38 balls left when the crowd took matters into their own hands after Vanburn Holder was given out caught behind. The match could have been finished the next day, but one of the umpires, Ralph Gosein, refused to stand.
A series-levelling win for West Indies over England in Barbados. It came on the back of a lacklustre away season and World Cup for West Indies, and the incoming ECB chairman, Colin Graves, had described the hosts as "mediocre" before the series began. They were trailing 0-1 coming into Barbados, where they restricted England to 257 in the first innings. Then, though they folded for 189 (featuring an attacking 85 by Jermaine Blackwood) themselves, England's second-innings collapse to 123 left West Indies chasing a tricky 192. They got there thanks to Blackwood and Darren Bravo. For England it was an extension of their inconsistent away form. Jonathan Trott, recalled to the side, announced his retirement from international cricket after his failures in the series.
Cricket Australia thought so highly of fast bowler James Pattinson, born today, that they gave him a central contract in 2011 and picked him for the tour of Sri Lanka when he had only played six first-class matches. Pattinson only made his Test debut against New Zealand in Brisbane later that year, but the talent was evident when he took 5 for 27 in the second innings. He took two more five-fors in his next nine Tests, though, like many modern fast bowlers, he was in and out of the side due to injuries. On Australia's 2012-13 tour of India, Pattinson was one of four players axed from the Mohali Test for disciplinary reasons. Injuries continued to plague him - especially a recurring shin problem - but he managed to play a full series against West Indies at home in 2015-16 in which he took 13 wickets.
Only three bowlers have ever taken more first-class wickets than Middlesex and England's JT "Old Jack" Hearne, who was born today. A fast-medium bowler with a textbook action, he took 3061 wickets in all. Three of them gave him England's first hat-trick against Australia, at Headingley in 1899, and it was a seriously illustrious trio: Clem Hill, Syd Gregory and Monty Noble. Three of his cousins and two of his brothers played for Kent, while Young Jack Hearne - who was said to be a distant cousin - also played for England. Old Jack died in Buckinghamshire in 1944.
Birth of the youngest of the famous Pakistani Mohammad brothers. Sadiq Mohammad was a wristy left-hand opener with a full complement of strokes all round the wicket. He was generally a dasher, but one of his finest innings owed more to restraint - a six-hour 97 on a dodgy Headingley wicket in 1978. He also made 69 and 37 on his debut, against New Zealand in Karachi in 1969-70, when, for the only time in a Test, he opened with his brother Hanif. Along with Zaheer Abbas, the stocky Sadiq also gave great service to Gloucestershire.
Stuart Matsikenyeri, born today, made his debut as an opener against Pakistan in Bulawayo in November 2002. He played one match in the 2003 World Cup, and played in the NatWest Series in England later that year, scoring a vital 44 at Trent Bridge in a four-wicket win. He got his first one-day half-century in 2004 against England in Bulawayo, in a game Zimbabwe lost. The year 2007 was especially productive for Matsikenyeri - he made three half-centuries and averaged 32.11 from ten matches.
In the 11 Tests he got to play, many as an injury replacement for Matthew Hayden or Justin Langer, Phil Jaques, born today, averaged 47 and scored three hundreds, the best being 150 against Sri Lanka in Hobart in 2007. Persistent back trouble cut short his Test career, though he remained a domestic giant. In 2012, Jaques announced his retirement from Australian first-class cricket to continue his career with Yorkshire, whom he helped win promotion to Division One for the second time.
Some debut for Cambridge University's Hubert Doggart, who made 215 against Lancashire at Fenner's in his maiden first-class innings. Doggart went on to play twice for England against West Indies two years later, while still captain of Cambridge, but with less success, and he was dropped after England's infamous Lord's defeat in 1950.
Birth of Bert Hopkins, Australia's gentle, slow-medium swing bowler. His first Test wickets were a distinguished pair: CB Fry and Ranjitsinhji, when Hopkins surprisingly opened the bowling at Lord's in 1902 and reduced England to 0 for 2. He didn't take another wicket in the series, though. Hopkins could bat too, and often opened for his state, New South Wales. It's a good thing he did, because in a quarter of his 20 Tests, he did not get a bowl at all.