A verdict on spot-fixing
The ICC banned Pakistan's Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif after a tribunal found them guilty of spot-fixing during the Lord's Test in 2010. The sanctions against Butt (ten years) and Asif (seven) had five and two years suspended, so the two players, along with Amir (who received a five-year sentence), could hope to return to official, sanctioned cricket, international or domestic by 2015. All three appealed the bans. In November 2011 a London court handed out jail terms to the three: Butt was sentenced to two years and six months, Asif one year, and Amir six months. The player agent Mazhar Majeed, who was caught on tape discussing the no-balls to be bowled in the Test, was sentenced to two years and eight months. In early 2012, Amir was released after spending three months in the Portland Young Offenders Institution. In January 2015, he signed to play grade two cricket for a Karachi-based team after the ICC permitted him to play domestic cricket under the auspices of the PCB, eight months before the scheduled end of his ban. A year later he was playing for Pakistan once again while Butt and Asif returned to domestic cricket.
A cricketing Patsy is born. Middlesex's Patsy Hendren is the only (male) international cricketer with such a first name (although it wasn't his real name - Patsy was an alias for Elias), but there was nothing soft about him: he averaged 47 from 51 Tests and in all cracked 170 first-class centuries. A master against spin in particular, his top score in Tests was a match-winning, unbeaten 205 against West Indies in Trinidad in 1929-30, made on his 41st birthday. Hendren also played football for a number of clubs, including Manchester City. A favourite with spectators both in England and Australia, Hendren scored 57,611 runs in a 31-year career - only Hobbs (61,237) and Woolley (58,969) have scored more.
Perhaps England's most ignominious defeat after getting blown away for 46 by Curtly Ambrose. They were bowled out for 82 and 93 by New Zealand - Richard Hadlee being the destroyer. New Zealand got 307 in 72 overs on a substandard pitch; Hadlee was sensational: he walloped 18 boundaries in a 81-ball 99 (the only fifty of the match) then tucked rapaciously into England with 3 for 16 and 5 for 28. In all, the match lasted just 11 hours, 41 minutes. Tony Pigott, who postponed his wedding to play what was his only Test, must have wished he hadn't bothered.
An outstanding talent, Darren Lehmann, who was born today, always struggled to command a regular place in a strong Australian side. He scored three centuries in the space of five Tests in 2003 (though two of them came against Bangladesh) before being laid low by injury. He was more of a fixture in the one-day team and had the honour of hitting the winning runs in the World Cup final at Lord's in 1999. He was a key member of the side that defended the title four years later, although his entry into the tournament was delayed by a suspension for a racist dressing-room outburst. He played his final ODI in 2005 and retired from domestic cricket at the end of the 2007-08 season. He then worked as a coach in the IPL before being appointed the Australia coach just a few weeks before the start of the 2013 Ashes. Australia lost the urn 3-0 but won it back in astounding fashion six months later at home in a 5-0 whitewash.
A 74 in his first innings and two hundreds in his first four Tests: the England opener Brian Luckhurst, who was born today, had a near-perfect start to his Test career. And in a successful Ashes campaign too. But he never really hit those heights again and a working-over from Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson four years later was the last act of his Test career.
A first Test hundred for the great Barry Richards. He whacked 140 off only 164 deliveries against Australia in Durban, one of two three-figure scores he made at this level. There might have been many, many more but for the political situation in South Africa, which restricted Richards to just four appearances.
Australia regained the Ashes with a ten-wicket win in Adelaide, having to score just 35 after England followed on with a first-innings deficit of 236. Opener Colin McDonald scored a career-best 170 after Peter May made the bold move to put Australia in. Richie Benaud took nine in the match with his legbreaks, while debutant right-arm fast bowler Gordon Rorke took five. Australia finished the series 4-0 with a nine-wicket win in Melbourne.
Marlon Samuels, born today, was talented enough at the start of his career to be compared to Viv Richards, before he had played first-class cricket. He scored his maiden hundred in Kolkata in 2002 but struggled with his discipline off the field. In 2007, Samuels was embroiled in a match-fixing controversy after the Nagpur police alleged he had passed on match-related information to an alleged bookie. In 2008, after his bowling action was deemed illegal, Samuels was found guilty of match-fixing and banned for two years. He returned in 2011, and in England in 2012, against a top-class bowling attack in difficult conditions, Samuels scored 386 runs in five innings. Later that year his gutsy 78 in the World T20 final helped West Indies to their first world title since the 1979 World Cup. He made a Test-best 260 in November 2012 in Bangladesh, but was inconsistent thereafter, making only two 100-plus scores in 20 following Tests. In 2015 he was banned from bowling for a year when his action was found to be illegal once again.
It's a bit of a mystery that Ernest Tyldesley, who was born today, played only 14 Tests for England. He averaged exactly 55, with nine fifty-plus scores in 20 innings, but his stylish strokeplay was not to the selectors liking, despite Tyldesley later becoming the first Lancastrian to score 100 hundreds.
Birth of fast bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who, as a 19-year-old, dismissed Sachin Tendulkar for his first first-class duck in Indian domestic cricket. Shortly before his 23rd birthday, Bhuvneshwar made his India debut, in an ODI against Pakistan. His first six Tests - all wins - were at home, against Australia and West Indies, but he didn't make much of an impact, taking nine wickets at 37.88, despite bowling against weak batting line-ups. But he was much better on the tour of England in 2014, taking 19 wickets and making three half-centuries, outscoring some of the specialists.
Gordon White, born today, played 17 Tests for South Africa between 1906 and 1912 and scored 872 runs at 30.06 and took nine wickets. He toured England twice in his career but played them better at home - scoring two centuries and two half-centuries in nine Tests. He played Australia in two Tests as well in the Triangular Tournament in England in 1912. He died in Palestine during the First World War in 1918.
Tony Suji, younger brother of Martin, born on this day, had a longer international career than his stats would have you believe. In 60 ODIs he went past 50 only once. His hundred against Bermuda in the 2005 Intercontinental Cup semi-final was his first in competitive cricket, and only the second time he had passed 50 in 78 innings. He was a member of both the 1999 and 2003 World Cup squads.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Gary Wilson made his Ireland one-day debut after the 2007 World Cup, but was a regular member of the side by the time the next World Cup came along, featuring in the famous win over England and also over West Indies in 2015. Wilson made his maiden ODI century against Netherlands in 2010 and a half-century against West Indies in the 2011 World Cup.
1876 Sailor Young (England)