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June 19 down the years

An Olympian aloofness

The great Wally Hammond is born

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Hammond enjoyed some frightening sprees of run-scoring
Hammond enjoyed some frightening sprees of run-scoring © Getty Images
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1903
One of the greatest of all batsmen is born. Walter Hammond's career was notable for some frightening periods of run-scoring, most notably 251, 200, 32, 119* and 177 in Australia in 1928-29, and 227 and 336* in New Zealand in 1932-33. (Unsurprisingly, his average of 563 is a record for a series.) In all, he made back-to-back Test centuries no fewer than five times, and his record of seven double-hundreds is fourth only to Don Bradman, Brian Lara and Kumar Sangakkara. Hammond made over 50,000 first-class runs, and his medium-pacers were penetrative enough to bring 732 first-class wickets - and two Test five-fors. For good measure, he was one of the finest slip fielders in history, and played football for Bristol Rovers.

1978
The finest all-round performance of Sir Ian Botham's career. Not content with a first-innings century, Botham took 8 for 34 in the second innings as Pakistan were demolished by an innings in the second Test at Lord's. With the ball swinging all over the place, Botham was close to unplayable. Haroon Rashid was bowled through the gate by an inswinger that Botham rated as one of the best balls he bowled in his career. His figures remain the best in any Lord's Test. This was only Botham's seventh Test; his record after it was 445 runs at an average of 56, 36 wickets at 18, and a star was well and truly born.

2002
One of the most gobsmacking run-feasts in one-day cricket. Surrey and Glamorgan went at it hammer and tongs in their C&G Trophy encounter at The Oval, taking advantage of a short leg-side boundary to batter an eye-popping 867 runs between them. Ali Brown, stole the headlines by pounding 268 from 160 balls in Surrey's monolithic total of 438 for 5 - both world records at the time. Robert Croft did his utmost to steal them back - his 119 from 69 balls launched the most improbable run-chase but they were to eventually fall nine adrift.

1870
The death of George Summers, a young Nottinghamshire professional, at the age of 23, following a blow received while batting at Lord's four days earlier. Summers was struck on the temple by a ball which reared off a length (Lord's was a notoriously bad surface at the time) and although he recovered enough to watch the match from the pavilion the next day, he died on his return to Nottingham. A post-mortem revealed that he had fractured his skull.

1851
Birth of a man who played Test cricket for both England and Australia. Billy Midwinter, a sound batsman and useful medium-pacer, was born in Gloucestershire, but after emigrating he made his Test debut against England, in the inaugural Test, in Melbourne in 1876-77. He played eight Tests for Australia, either side of his four appearances for England, which came in Australia in 1881-82. Midwinter was famously kidnapped by WG Grace in 1878, when he was due to play for Australia against Middlesex, but was instead taken to play for Gloucestershire against Surrey at The Oval. He suffered mental problems after the death of his wife and two children, and died in an asylum in Melbourne in 1890.

1980
Throughout his career, Graham Gooch had an almost masochistic zeal for facing the West Indian pacemen, and on this day he played one of his best innings. It wasn't quite up there with his 154 not out at Headingley in 1991 but this 123 in the drawn second Test at Lord's was a cracker. Against Holding, Roberts, Garner and Croft, and in a match where no other Englishman reached 50, Gooch smacked 17 fours and a six in a rollicking 162-ball innings, with the runs coming out of a score of 165 while he was at the crease. It was also - finally - Gooch's first Test century, after 22 Tests that included a pair on debut and being run-out for 99.

1868
Playing for Cambridge University against Surrey at The Oval, Charlie Absolom became the first man to be given out obstructing the field in first-class cricket.

1867
In 14 Tests for Australia, New South Welshman Frank Iredale, born today, scored 807 runs at 36.68. He racked up over 1000 runs in both his tours of England - in 1896 and 1899. From early in 1922 until his death he was secretary of the NSW Cricket Association, and he also did much journalistic work besides being the author of Thirty-three Years' Cricket.

Other birthdays
1912 Dick Pollard (England)
1934 Hammond Furlonge (West Indies)
1959 Lennie Louw (Namibia)
1974 Feiko Kloppenburg (Netherlands)

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