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May 24 down the years

Poacher-turned-gamekeeper

The birth of Ali Bacher

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Ali Bacher headed the South Africa board from 1991 to 2000
Ali Bacher headed the South Africa board from 1991 to 2000 © Getty Images
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1942
Birth of the godfather of South African cricket. Ali Bacher was a chunky No. 3 batsman who captained one of the finest Test teams in history - the 1969-70 side, which included such luminaries as Graeme Pollock, Barry Richards and Mike Procter, and beat Australia 4-0 in South Africa's final series before isolation. Bacher played 12 Tests in all, with a highest score of 73 in Port Elizabeth in the final match of that series, but he is best known for his work as an administrator - both before and after South Africa's return to the fold in 1991. He organised numerous rebel tours - his chief motivation was to provide spectators with high-quality cricket - introduced coaching courses to black townships, and was managing director of the UCB from 1991 to 2000.

2004
The perfect finish for Nasser Hussain at Lord's in the first Test against New Zealand. On the final day England were 35 for 2 chasing 282 when Hussain, whose place was under scrutiny, came to the crease. He ran out Andrew Strauss to deprive him of twin hundreds on debut, but saw England past the winning post. Hussain smashed consecutive fours to bring up his hundred, then spanked the winning runs through the covers as England made a daunting run-chase look easy. Two days later he announced his retirement from all cricket.

2009
An IPL final... in Johannesburg between Deccan Chargers and Royal Challengers Bangalore. Herschelle Gibbs made an unbeaten 53 but Anil Kumble took 4 for 16 (including the wicket of Adam Gilchrist in the first over), to keep Deccan Chargers to 143 - a total three fewer than Bangalore had chased easily in the semi-final. However, Deccan returned to bowl with aggression and energy - Andrew Symonds took two in two balls, to go with his crucial 21-ball 33 earlier in the day - and clinched the title by six runs.

1877
The lowest total in first-class history. Oxford University were sent tumbling for just 12 by MCC at Oxford, a nadir that was replicated by Northants 30 years later. There was one crucial difference, though: Northants had a full complement of batsmen, Oxford had one missing.

1988
England 3 West Indies 0. It doesn't happen too often, but on this day England completed their very own Caribbean one-day whitewash. It wasn't exactly payback time for the Test blackwashes of 1984 and 1986 - or consolation for the 0-4 thumping England would get in the Test series that followed - but it was still pretty impressive nonetheless. In this Lord's match West Indies stuttered lamely to 178 for 7 - Desmond Haynes made 10 off 50 balls and Richie Richardson 13 off 46; even Neal Radford had figures of 11-2-29-0 - and England breezed home with five overs and seven wickets to spare.

1900
Johnny Briggs took 10 for 55 in an innings against Worcestershire at Old Trafford on this day. Worcestershire were bowled out for 106 and Briggs scored 33 in Lancashire's reply before taking two more in the second innings. Lancashire won by five wickets.

1923
A day for ten-fors, as Harry Howell became the first Warwickshire bowler to take the perfect 10 when he skittled out Yorkshire single-handed at Edgbaston, finishing with 10 for 51.

1991
Three years to the day that they completed one West Indian one-day whitewash, England gained the first victory of another. This match at Edgbaston, which went to a second day, was a thriller: England were 152 for 9 chasing 174 when Richard Illingworth, on debut, joined Mike Atherton. Viv Richards gambled and bowled his four quicks through, and Atherton and Illingworth eked England home against the gentle offspin and medium-pace of Carl Hooper and Phil Simmons. Atherton's masterly 69 not out - nobody else exceeded 30 - showed again what an underrated one-day player he was.

1969
Birth of the rat who joined a sinking ship. That's what the Australian newspapers called Martin McCague - who was born in Ulster and raised in Australia - when he made his debut for England against Australia at Trent Bridge in 1993. McCague became a bit of a watchword for incompetence, especially after his nervy horror show in Brisbane in 1994-95, but it's easy to forget just how well he bowled on his debut. He suffered from injury, and he was spanked all round Headingley on his second outing, and his next, and last, Test was that Brisbane shocker 18 months later.

1927
The end of an era. Yorkshire lost by eight wickets to Warwickshire at Hull, their first defeat in the County Championship for a record 71 matches and almost three years.

Other birthdays
1895 Stork Hendry (Australia)
1917 Ruby Monaghan (Australia)
1926 Len Maddocks (Australia)
1933 Bal Dani (India)
1938 Glen Hall (South Africa)
1956 Ijaz Faqih (Pakistan)
1965 Rajdeep Sardesai (India)

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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