Take up thy bed and bat
Boy's Own stuff in Brisbane, where Eddie Paynter left his hospital bed to come to England's aid as they struggled in the fourth Test of the Bodyline series. Laid low by acute tonsillitis, Paynter heard of England's plight on the radio, and with the Ashes in the balance, grabbed a taxi and arrived at the ground in his pyjamas. He stopped the rot, finishing the day on 24 not out, returned to hospital, and then extended his innings to 83 the following morning.
In a situation reminiscent of the Sabina Park farce in 1997-98, the second Test between West Indies and England at the new Sir Vivian Richards Stadium was abandoned after just ten balls. The outfield was sandy and there was a lack of firmness underfoot while bowling. Jerome Taylor failed to deliver his first ball at the first attempt, and then completely lost his run-up. Fidel Edwards was frustrated with the sand being kicked up as he ran in. International cricket was suspended at the stadium for 12 months.
A famous victory for New Zealand, in a cranky match that left a bad taste in the mouth. Their last pair of Gary Troup and Stephen Boock scrambled a leg-bye to give them a one-wicket victory over West Indies in Dunedin - it ultimately gave them the series too, the last West Indies lost for 15 years - after it had looked all over with the Kiwis at 54 for 7, chasing 104. But it's the other stuff that the match is remembered for: Michael Holding infamously hoofed the stumps down when a caught-behind appeal was turned down (his apoplexy was partly the result of an earlier incident when he clipped Lance Cairns' off stump without the bails being dislodged), and there was a series of West Indian complaints about the umpiring. With the exception of Desmond Haynes, who was last out in both innings for 55 and 105, and would have been the first West Indian to be on the field throughout a Test had he fielded in the second innings, none of the team attended the presentations.
A Wellington massacre. West Indies, and Courtney Walsh in particular, pummelled New Zealand by an innings and 322 runs in the second Test, the fourth-biggest victory in Test history at that time. After West Indies smashed 660 for 5 - including an 88-ball hundred from Junior Murray - Walsh got blood out of a fairly lifeless stone to take 13 wickets for just 55 runs.
A blistering 137 from Graeme Pollock against England in Port Elizabeth made him only the second man after George Headley to hit three Test hundreds before the age of 21. Pollock added 77 not out in the second innings to boost his average to 53.58 from 11 Tests. Manhood made him an even better player - in 12 further Tests he averaged 67.
When South Africa were 21 for 5 in the Standard Bank one-day final against England in Johannesburg today, it seemed there could only be one winner. It wasn't England. The soon-to-be-disgraced Hansie Cronje led South Africa back from the brink, and even though they mustered only 149, it was more than enough. Only extras passed 20 for England.
Poor Andy Ganteaume. The West Indian opener hit 112 against England in Trinidad today, in what turned out to be his only Test innings. However freakish, an über-Bradman average of 112 is some consolation. In this match, a high-scoring draw, all four openers - Ganteaume, George Carew, Jack Robertson and Billy Griffith - got hundreds.
Birth of a bright spark. Australian quick bowler Len Pascoe, of Macedonian descent and born Len Durtanovich, was blessed with the ability to bowl fast and straight, and took a flurry of three- and four-fors in 14 Tests. His only five-wicket haul came at Lord's in the Centenary Test of 1980, where his 5 for 59 included four lbws. But injury forced him to miss the England tour a year later, and despite a perfectly acceptable record of 64 wickets at 26, his last Test came against West Indies in Adelaide in 1981-82.
England regained the Ashes with an innings victory in the fourth Test, in Melbourne. Johnny Douglas took 5 for 46 after Jack Hobbs (178) and Wilfred Rhodes (179) provided the platform with a 323-run opening stand.
The birth of the controversial and colourful Ted Pooley, one of the best wicketkeepers of his era but a man who attracted trouble and some. He was suspended by Surrey in 1873 over allegations that he didn't try in a match, and missed the first Test of all, in 1877, as he was under arrest in New Zealand after an unsuccessful betting scam during a tour match. He died broken and bankrupt in a London workhouse in 1907.
Over 500 players went under the hammer in the IPL's biggest auction, in Bangalore. There were five million-dollar buys - Yuvraj Singh, Dinesh Karthik, Kevin Pietersen, Mitchell Johnson and Glenn Maxwell - but the overall mood was less dramatic than in previous auctions, with the franchises looking at team-building over branding. Seventy players were bought for a total of Rs 212.35 crores (approx. US$35 million).
1858 Harry Moses (Australia)
1904 Eddie Dawson (England)
1957 Thelston Payne (West Indies)
1969 Subroto Banerjee (India)
1981 Nooshin Al Khadeer (India)
1970 Pauline te Beest (Netherlands)