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April 24 down the years

Tendulkar is born

A legend arrives

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Sachin Tendulkar: arguably the best batsman of his era
Sachin Tendulkar: arguably the best batsman of his era © AFP
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1973
Few players have been so destined for greatness from such an early age as Sachin Tendulkar, who was born today: at 12 he eased to a century for his school in the Under-17 Harris Shield; at 14 he added a world-record 664 with Vinod Kambli (in the course of a run of scores of 207, 329 and 346, all not out); at 15 he made a century on his first-class debut for Bombay; at 16 he made his Test debut, against Pakistan in Karachi in 1989-90; at 17 he stroked a sublime maiden century to save the Old Trafford Test of 1990. Tendulkar has gone on to fulfil all the promise of his youthful talent. In 2000 he became the first batsman to have scored 50 international hundreds; in 2003 he aggregated 673 runs in the World Cup, the most in the tournament's history; in 2008 he went past Brian Lara as the leading Test run-scorer; and in the following years he crossed 14,000 Test runs, 30,000 international runs and 90 international hundreds. At well over 36 years of age he broke a 40-year-old barrier by scoring the first double-century in one-day cricket. He holds the records for most runs and hundreds in both Tests and ODIs - a format he retired from in December 2012 - and is the only batsman to make a hundred international centuries, marks that look set to stand forever. He retired from Tests in November 2013 after an emotional farewell at his homeground, the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

1905
On the day the Little Master was born, the original Master, Jack Hobbs, made his first-class debut. Batting for Surrey against the Gentlemen of England at The Oval, Hobbs made 18 and 88, top-scoring in both innings. It was the start of something beautiful: Hobbs went on to make 61,237 first-class runs, a record that will surely never be broken.

1970
If he was born anywhere but Australia, Damien Fleming might have made three or four times his 20 Test appearances. A high-quality swing bowler, he took a hat-trick in his first Test, in Rawalpindi in 1994-95, and in the same winter displaced Glenn McGrath in the national team. As well as being the joker of the Australian squad, Fleming was a useful tailender, and spanked 71 not out against England in Brisbane in 1998-99, his highest first-class score.

1978
An innovator is born. Whatever he does during the rest of his career, Zimbabwe allrounder Doug Marillier will be known for the Marillier shot, a lap-scoop over the wicketkeeper off the quicker bowlers that he used to devastating effect in a famous one-day victory in Faridabad during the 2001-02 tour.

1971
A Sri Lankan World Cup-winner is born. Kumar Dharmasena was a key component of the 1996 side, strangling the life out of teams along with Muttiah Muralitharan in the middle overs, and in the final he grabbed the crucial wicket of Steve Waugh. It's an irony that Dharmasena, a bowler who batted, only ever really won a Test with the bat: in Sri Lanka's famous series win in Pakistan in 1995-96, he played crucial innings of 49 and 62 not out in their victories in Faisalabad and Sialkot. He retired from competitive cricket in November 2006 to pursue a career in umpiring.

1940
In Inverness, Scotland, an England seamer was born. Northamptonshire's 6ft 7in David Larter had an outstanding Test debut when he took nine Pakistan wickets at The Oval in 1962. He never really reached those heights again, though, and his second five-for came in the last of his 10 Tests, the defeat to South Africa at Trent Bridge in 1965. Injuries plagued his career and he retired before he turned 30, ending with the unfortunate total of 666 first-class wickets.

1979
The end of World Series Cricket, effectively, as this was the day that the Australian Cricket Board granted Kerry Packer exclusive rights to show matches organised by them for the next 10 years.

1954
An Edgbaston folk hero is born. The meaty Warwickshire wicketkeeper Geoff Humpage was a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1985, and a popular figure throughout his career. He played three one-day internationals against Australia in 1981 but managed only 11 runs. This was out of character, because Humpage could certainly bat: he had a first-class average of 36 and a top score of 254. He also went on the rebel tour to South Africa in 1981-82. He became a police constable after his retirement.

Other birthdays
1934 Allen Aylett (Australia)
1940 William Lawry (England)
1966 Margasaghayam Venkataramana (India)
1975 MSK Prasad (India)

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