England win the Ashes after close to two decades
"Is it the Ashes... yes, England have won the Ashes." So blurted Brian Johnston as, after a record wait of 18 years 362 days, and despite losing the toss in all five Tests, England regained the ultimate Anglo-Australian prize. Fittingly, famous Middlesex partners Denis Compton and Bill Edrich were at the crease when the winning runs were hit at The Oval, a boundary off part-time bowler Arthur Morris. It was the first Ashes series to be won by a professional captain (Len Hutton) - and the last Test appearance of Australia's captain Lindsay Hassett, who first played against England in 1938.
Quite a memorable day in Test cricket - considering no play was possible. What promised to be an exciting final day of the Ashes Test didn't take place after the Headingley pitch was vandalised by supporters of prisoner George Davis. Australia needed 225 to win with seven wickets left. The draw, and another in the next Test, gave them the series 1-0.
John Brown and John Tunnicliffe set a new world-record opening stand of 554 for Yorkshire against Derbyshire in Chesterfield. Resuming on 503 for 0, the pair added another 51 before Tunnicliffe, who had been dropped in the first over, was caught in the slips. The stand took only five hours and five minutes.
The tragic death from skin cancer of Ken Wadsworth, who was only 29. Fair-haired and talented, he kept wicket in 33 Tests for New Zealand, making 96 dismissals. He averaged 59 with the bat in the Caribbean series of 1971-72, when New Zealand surprised everyone by drawing all five Tests. But his crucial dropped catch cost New Zealand their first ever win over England, at Lord's in 1973. Sadly, by the time New Zealand achieved that long-awaited victory, in 1977-78, Wadsworth wasn't around to share in the joy.
Opening batsman Tim Robinson (148) and his captain, David Gower, (215) completed their partnership of 331 in only 343 minutes at Edgbaston. Gower, enjoying the high summer of his Test career, hit the highest score by an England captain against Australia since Wally Hammond's 240 at Lord's in 1938. England won by an innings to take a 2-1 lead in the series.
Three players hit hundreds on the same day before Sri Lanka declared at 547 for 8 against Australia at Colombo's Sinhalese Sports Club. Asanka Gurusinha made 137, captain Arjuna Ranatunga 127, and new cap Romesh Kaluwitharana 132 not out. But in the second innings Sri Lanka's last eight wickets fell for 37 runs and they lost the match by 16.
Johnny Wardle's invitation to tour with MCC to Australia was withdrawn following a number of articles he wrote criticising the running of Yorkshire, their captain, and several of their players. Yorkshire announced that Wardle would be sacked at the end of the season, and MCC subsequently threw him off the tour, citing the "grave disservice" he had done to the game. Wardle admitted that he was to blame, and despite offers from several other counties, he withdrew to the Lancashire leagues.
Birth of Ian Gould, who kept wicket for England in the 1983 World Cup. Although he never won a Test cap, he did have one moment of glory at that level, coming on as substitute in Melbourne in 1982-83 and taking the catch that removed Greg Chappell for two. England sealed a famous victory by just three runs. Gould captained Sussex when they won the 1986 NatWest Trophy. After the final, his winning speech consisted of "Watch out, Soho". He joined the first-class umpires panel in 2002, and was promoted to the International Umpires Panel in April 2006.
Birth of Hampshire's Dutch seamer Paul-Jan Bakker. His best moment came in the 1996 World Cup, against England in Peshawar, when he bowled Alec Stewart for five. Holland weren't disgraced in a 49-run defeat.