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April 4 down the years

Mind your head

An English beanpole is born

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Steven Finn: youngest player to make county debut since 1949
Steven Finn: youngest player to make county debut since 1949 © Getty Images

Birth of the 6ft 7in Steven Finn, who made his county debut at 16, the youngest to do so since Fred Titmus in 1949. Finn made his Test debut in Bangladesh in 2010 when called up as an injury replacement, and in his third Test, at Lord's against the same opposition, he took nine. After picking up 28 Test wickets that summer, Finn found himself in the Ashes squad in Australia, and he impressed with six at the Gabba and three more in the win in Adelaide. He became the youngest Englishman to 50 Test wickets in 2011, though he only played one Test that year and saw Tim Bresnan and Chris Tremlett move up the pecking order. It didn't help that he struggled with his habit of knocking the bails over during his run-up.

Jonathan Agnew's career as the BBC's cricket correspondent has been so successful, it's easy to forget that he ever played the game. As a thrusting seam bowler in the 1980s, he turned out in three Tests for England before taking up his position in the commentary box. Agnew embodies the authoritative but endearingly juvenile approach of the Test Match Special team.

The third part of Brian Lara's Australian trilogy, and in the best cinematic traditions it did not quite match up to the first two. This one, in Antigua, was a pretty maniacal affair. It came off just 82 balls (the second 50 from 21) and lacked the artistic integrity of his 213 in Jamaica and his unbeaten 153 in Barbados. And unlike those two, it could not provide a happy ending: Australia, despite dropping Shane Warne, won comfortably, by 176 runs, to square the series 2-2 and retain the Frank Worrell trophy.

Birth of Paul Downton, the England wicketkeeper whose career ended prematurely when a bail hit him in the eye in 1990, permanently impairing his vision, although by then he had lost his Test place to Jack Russell. The erudite Downton, who played 30 Tests, was earmarked for the top from a young age, and went on his first tour at the age of 20, to Pakistan and New Zealand in 1977-78. He made four Test fifties, including an important 74 in Delhi in 1984-85. He worked as a banker after retirement and was appointed the ECB's managing director in 2013.

India's answer to Trevor Bailey is born. Bapu Nadkarni was their jack of all trades in the 1950s and 60s: a dogged, dour left-handed bat, a metronomic left-arm spinner, and a brave close fielder. Nadkarni made one Test century - a match-saving 122 not out against England in Kanpur in 1963-64 - and with the ball he returned the sort of figures that would chill Steve Waugh to the bone: 34-24-24-1 and 52.4-38-43-4 (v Pakistan in Delhi in 1960-61), and 32-27-5-0 against England in Madras three years later, when he bowled 131 balls without conceding a run.

Opening batsman Easton McMorris, born today, played 13 Tests for West Indies between 1958 and 1966. He scored his only century against India in Kingston. He toured England in 1963 and 1966 but averaged 13.38 in his four Test appearances, struggling to come to terms with the slower, greener pitches. But McMorris continued to score heavily for Jamaica in the Shell Shield, in latter years as their captain.

Other birthdays
1895 Charlie Hallows (England)
1899 William Brann (South Africa)
1908 Vincent Valentine (West Indies)
1944 Arthur Barrett (West Indies)
1945 Bryan Andrews (New Zealand)

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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