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June 23 down the years

The man who retrieved the Ashes

The great Len Hutton is born

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Len Hutton: equally adept in both attack and defence
Len Hutton: equally adept in both attack and defence © Getty Images

In Pudsey, one of England's greatest batsmen is born. Len Hutton will always be remembered for his 364 against Australia at The Oval in 1938 - the highest score in Ashes Tests, and the highest in any Test at the time. He was a stylish, technically impeccable opener who could switch easily between attack and defence as the situation demanded. He established himself after a poor start - 0 and 1 on debut - and played arguably his finest innings at Lord's in 1953, a flashing 145 against Australia. That summer Hutton led England to regain the Ashes, in coronation year as well, and he was the first professional to be regularly appointed as England captain. In 1956 he became only the third cricketer (after Jack Hobbs and Don Bradman) to be knighted for services to the game as a player. In the first innings of a Test he averaged a mighty 65, with 17 of his 19 centuries. Hutton injured his left arm badly during the Second World War, spending eight months in hospital and emerging with one arm two inches shorter than the other. He later became an England selector. He died in Kingston-upon-Thames in 1990.

A World Cup final at Lord's - and an unforgettable toe-crushing interrogation from Joel Garner. West Indies retained their crown with a 92-run victory over England, with Garner wrapping things up in blistering style with a spell of 5 for 4 in 11 balls. Four were bowled, three yorked, and four of them also bagged ducks. Geoff Boycott and Mike Brearley had laid a platform with an opening partnership of 129, but they did so too slowly, and England crumbled from 183 for 2 to 194 all out. Earlier Viv Richards had lashed a regal 138 and Collis King had had his moment in the sun with a thumping 66-ball 86.

A thrilling end to a damp day at Edgbaston as India held their nerve to overcome England in the final of the last edition of the Champions Trophy. In a match reduced to 20 overs, India were kept down to 129 thanks to Ravi Bopara's 3 for 20 with his dibbly-dobbly medium-pace. Bopara was in fine nick with the bat too and took England to a point when they needed 28 off the last three overs. But Ishant Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, and R Ashwin turned the tables at the death. Leading them was the ice-cool MS Dhoni, who became the first captain to win all ICC trophies.

Zimbabwe's first captain is born. Dave Houghton was also their first centurion, after making a painstaking 121 against India in Zimbabwe's inaugural Test, in Harare in 1992-93. Then his approach was dictated by the weight of the occasion, but ordinarily he was an attacking batsman of real quality. Against Sri Lanka in Bulawayo two years later, he smashed a massive 266, but his most famous innings came before Zimbabwe were granted Test status. In the 1987 World Cup, Houghton made a glorious 142 against New Zealand in Hyderabad - only one other Zimbabwean scored more than 12 - and led his side from 104 for 7 to within three runs of the Kiwis' 242 for 7. He later became national coach, and he is now a TV commentator.

A massive partnership at Lord's, as Bill Edrich and Denis Compton, in the middle of their greatest year, punished a modest South Africa attack. The pair added 370, with Edrich cracking 189 and Compton 208. At the time it was the highest partnership for the third wicket in a Test. It remains England's highest for the third wicket, and is the highest for any wicket in a Lord's Test.

Ramnaresh Sarwan's maturity and the serenity of his strokeplay have been in evidence since his debut at 19, when he made a cool, classy 84 not out against Pakistan. It took Sarwan, who was born on this day, 49 innings to post his maiden Test century, and that was against Bangladesh, against whom he also got a double-century in 2004. Following Brian Lara's retirement after the World Cup in 2007, Sarwan was appointed captain for the tour of England, but a shoulder injury ruled him out and he lost the captaincy to Chris Gayle. The dip in form didn't come immediately - he made 291 against England in Barbados in 2009 - but he didn't play any Tests in 2010 and was excluded from the contracts list. He played the 2011 World Cup but was dropped again because of what the selectors said was a "focus on youth".

The beginning of West Indies' life as a Test-playing nation. They were crushed by England by an innings, with Ernest Tyldesley hammering 122 in his only innings at Lord's. But they proved to be quick learners. In their sixth Test, the following winter, they recorded their first win.

The first Twenty20 hundred was scored on this day. In the first season of England's Twenty20 Cup, Ian Harvey smashed an unbeaten 100 off 50 balls for Gloucestershire as they chased Warwickshire's 134 in just 13.1 overs at Edgbaston. Seventy-six of Harvey's runs came off boundaries (in 17 balls). In 2004, Harvey moved to Yorkshire and scored hundreds for them in that season and the next.

Nineteen Tests for Bob Blair, the Wellington fast bowler who was born today, but he played in a poor New Zealand side. They lost 13 and won none of those 19 Tests, and Blair failed to take a five-for. As a lower-order batsman he was extremely erratic. He bagged three pairs, reached double figures in only two of his 34 Test innings, but managed to slap 64 not out against England in Wellington in 1962-63. Blair also famously held up an end against South Africa in Johannesburg in 1953-54, just after hearing that his fiancée had been killed in a train crash.

Though he made his debut in 2003, Carlton Baugh really got his break in 2010 after the West Indian selectors gave up on Denesh Ramdin. Baugh does not meet modern-day cricket's requirement of wicketkeeper-batsman, but he did well to get a half-century in Colombo in 2010 and another against India at home a few months later.

Birth of Quintin McMillan, the South African legspinner who played 13 Tests between 1929 and 1932. After 20 wickets in 11 Tests he took 16 in his last two, including two five-fors as South Africa beat New Zealand in Christchurch and Wellington. McMillan then retired to pursue a business career. He was only 44 when he died in his native Transvaal in 1948.

Other birthdays
1849 Edmund Tylecote (England)
1890 Tich Richmond (England)
1925 Trevor Barber (New Zealand)
1940 Mike Shrimpton (New Zealand)
1986 Shaminda Eranga (Sri Lanka)

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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