First-class giant, Test Lilliputian
Birth of Mark Ramprakash, whose 133 against Australia at The Oval in 2001 suggested that he might be about to translate his talent into figures. But sadly it didn't happen and he was dropped yet again after the tour to New Zealand. His first "breakthrough" innings - a brilliant 154 in Bridgetown in 1997-98 - also proved to be a false dawn. He seemed to be made of the right stuff in his debut series, against West Indies in 1991. He flourished on the county circuit, averaging over 100 in both the 2006 and 2007 seasons, and joined the exclusive club of players to have scored a hundred hundreds, in 2008. He retired in 2012, after 25 years of first-class cricket.
The great Garry Sobers scored 8032 runs in Tests - 8032 more than he made in one-day internationals. In his only match of that type - West Indies' first ODI - at Headingley in 1973, he was caught at the wicket off Chris Old for a duck. Sobers did manage one ODI victim, but West Indies lost by one wicket.
Birth of a small but decidedly dangerous round-arm bowler. Playing for the North against the South in 1850, he bowled all ten batsmen in an innings. That would have been enough of a claim to fame for anyone, but in 1864 he published a book that went on to become cricket's most famous annual. John Wisden's Almanack has appeared every year since 1864.
A brilliant batsman was born; one who died young. Archie Jackson was only 19 when he scored 164 on his debut for Australia, against England in Adelaide in 1928-29. It was his only Test hundred but he averaged 47.40 in his eight matches before tuberculosis took hold. He was still only 23 when he died in 1933, on the day Australia lost the Ashes to Jardine's Bodyline team.
The most exciting day in Sunday League history. On the last day of the season, five counties were in with a shout of winning the title. The leaders, Somerset, who had yet to win a major trophy, chased Glamorgan's 191 for 7 in Cardiff. Needing three runs off the last ball to tie and lift the trophy, Somerset fell agonisingly short. Colin Dredge was run out by inches and Kent took the title. Somerset consoled themselves by winning it two years later.
Birth of Surrey's captain when they won the County Championship in 1999 and 2000. When Adam Hollioake played in his first Test for England, against Australia at Trent Bridge in 1997, his younger brother Ben was also making his debut. They were the first brothers to bowl in the same Test for England (at one point they were bowling at the Waugh twins). Although Adam averaged only 10.83 in his four Tests, he captained England when they won the Champions Trophy in Sharjah in 1997-98, and might have led them in the 1999 World Cup if Alec Stewart hadn't been picked.
Birth of the first Bangladesh bowler to take 100 Test wickets. Mohammad Rafique, a left-arm spinner, was also the first from his country to achieve the double of 1000 runs and 100 wickets in both Tests and ODIs, and he played in their inaugural Test too. In 2003 he took his best figures, of 6 for 77, against South Africa. He played in the 1999, 2003 and 2007 World Cups - taking three wickets in the famous win over India in Port-of-Spain, and reluctantly announced his retirement in 2008 after he was not picked in the one-day side.
Birth of another subcontinental left-arm spinner, this time from India. Pragyan Ojha's one-day career began haltingly, but in Tests he soon established himself as the team's second spinner - first pairing up with Harbhajan Singh and then with R Ashwin. Ojha took nine wickets in his debut series, against Sri Lanka in 2009-10, and nine more when Australia toured next year. Though Ashwin stole the spotlight against West Indies in Delhi in 2011, with nine wickets, Ojha wasn't far behind with seven. In 2013, against West Indies in Mumbai, Ojha took a ten-wicket match haul in an innings win.
Birth of Zimbabwe allrounder Guy Whittall, who made a number of big not-out scores in Test cricket, including 113 against Pakistan in Harare in 1994-95, and two against New Zealand: 203 in Bulawayo in 1997-98 and 188 in Harare in 2000-01. In another Test of that 1997-98 series, Zimbabwe created a Test first by fielding three sets of brothers (Andy and Grant Flower, Gavin and John Rennie, and Bryan and Paul Strang). Whittall also played - and his cousin Andy was 12th man.
Birth of that rare breed, an Australian offspinner who took 100 Test wickets. Bruce Yardley finished with 126 wickets in 33 matches and was particularly successful in the early 1980s, especially at home. In 1981-82 he took seven-fors against West Indies and Pakistan, including his Test-best 7 for 98 against West Indies in Sydney. He and Bruce Reid are the only two bowlers to take 100 wickets for Australia without playing a Test in England.
One of the most ineffective bowlers in Test history was born. In his first three Tests for West Indies, legspinner Rawl Lewis bowled 97.3 overs. Of those 585 balls, only one brought him a wicket, of South Africa's wicketkeeper Mark Boucher, caught by Brian Lara in Johannesburg in 1998-99. At that point in his career Lewis averaged 318 for his solitary wicket, but he managed to reduce that figure to 114 after two more chances at the highest level.
Birth of South African batsman Colin "Tich" Wesley, who didn't have a particularly distinguished first-class career, scoring only two centuries in his nine seasons. His international career was even worse: in his only Test series, in England in 1960, his highest score was 35 and he averaged only 9.80. He gets in the record books (and on this page) for the rare feat of suffering a king pair in a Test match. Brian Statham dismissed him twice for 0 for at Trent Bridge.
A century comes to an end. Edward Aspey English was once the longest-lived first-class cricketer. He played 18 matches for Hampshire from 1898 to 1901 and died today at the age of 102 years and 247 days.
1867 John Cottam (Australia)
1910 Phiroze Palia (India)
1912 Derrick de Saram (Sri Lanka)
1923 Ken Meuleman (Australia)
1931 William Bell (New Zealand)
1954 Richard Austin (West Indies)
1967 Saibh Young (Ireland)
1978 Sylvester Joseph (West Indies)