April 25 down the years

A Boy's Own tale

A jack of all trades makes his first appearance

CB Fry wore many hats © Getty Images

1872
Birth of probably England's greatest all-round sportsman, and a man whose life was like a Boy's Own story. The legendary CB Fry received an Oxford Blue for football, cricket and athletics (he broke the British long-jump record, and equalled the world record), and as well as playing football for his country (and making the FA Cup final with Southampton in 1902) he won 26 Test caps. He was a princely batsman, who did most of his work off the back foot and on the leg side; he and Ranjitsinhji, his great friend, were cornerstones of Sussex cricket, and Fry scored 2000 runs in a season six times. He later stood as a Liberal candidate for Parliament, became a successful journalist and author, and was offered the Kingdom of Albania. He died in Hampstead in 1956.

1976
Fractious, farcical fare in Jamaica, where India lost the deciding fourth Test to West Indies by 10 wickets, even though India only lost 11 wickets themselves in the whole match. That's because a series of batsmen were forced to retire hurt because of some venomous short-pitched bowling from Michael Holding and Wayne Daniel. Injuries to Anshuman Gaekwad, Gundappa Viswanath and Brijesh Patel meant that, in the second innings, Srinivas Venkataraghavan (Test average: 11) came in at No. 5. India used all 17 members of their touring party at some stage of the match. Just to rub salt in their wounds, one of the subs, Surinder Amarnath, had to be rushed to hospital with appendicitis on the fourth day.

1886
Cricket's Rock of Gibraltar is born. Australian Charles Kelleway's unyielding staying power earned him that nickname, and he batted everywhere from No. 1 to No. 9 in Tests. He was a bit of a lucky charm: he averaged 45 when Australia didn't lose, 22 when they did. Kelleway also bowled fast-medium with enough nip to take a five-for against South Africa at Old Trafford in 1912, the match in which he made his first Test hundred. Kelleway made another hundred against South Africa in the Triangular Tournament of 1912, and then 147 against England in Sydney in 1920-21. He died in New South Wales in 1944.

1948
A seamer-turned-journalist is born. Mike Selvey was an old-fashioned English seamer, tall and chunky with an open-chested action, who formed a fearsome new-ball partnership with Wayne Daniel at Middlesex. He had the misfortune to begin his short Test career against the rampant 1976 West Indians, but he did snare Roy Fredericks, Viv Richards and Alvin Kallicharran in his first four overs on debut at Old Trafford. Selvey is now cricket correspondent of the Guardian.

2004
The lowest total in ODIs was set today by Zimbabwe when Sri Lanka bowled them for 35. It took them 18 overs. The highest score of the innings was Dion Ebrahim's 7, same as the number of extras. Chaminda Vaas took 4 for 11 and Farveez Maharoof took 3 for 3. Sri Lanka chased the target in 56 balls.

1982
The birth of left-arm spinner Mudhsuden Singh Panesar, affectionately known as Monty, whose black patka, wide eyes and eager fielding turned him into a fan favourite. In his first Test, in Nagpur, he claimed his boyhood hero Sachin Tendulkar as his first wicket. Panesar spun England to a series win against Pakistan that summer, and he was one of the few England players to return with reputation intact from the Ashes rout of 2006-07. A three-year lean period followed, but a strong 2010 season helped him return to the national squad. He played a leading role, with 17 wickets in three Tests, in England's first series win in India in 28 years. But controversy dogged him in 2013 when he left Sussex under a cloud - after urinating upon a nightclub bouncer - and joined Essex in a bid to revive his faltering career.

1930
Only four Tests for the scholarly, bespectacled West Indian opener Roy Marshall, but he would have played many more had he not moved to Hampshire at the age of 21. Those four Tests were in Australia and New Zealand in 1951-52, when Marshall got a series of starts but failed to pass 30. He was a huge success at Hampshire, though, capable of destroying even the best attacks, and in all scored over 35,000 first-class runs. Over 1000 of those came on West Indies' 1950 tour of England, when Marshall did not play in a Test. He later became chairman of Somerset's Cricket Committee, and died in Taunton in 1992.

1953
Birth of the bulky, red-headed Australian batsman Gary Cosier, who made a century on his Test debut against West Indies in Melbourne in 1975-76. In the Melbourne Test against Pakistan a year later Cosier trumped that with a brutal, Test-best 168. But he sometimes struggled to control his shot-playing instincts, and faded badly towards the end of his Test career, making seven single-figure scores in his last eight innings.

1964
Jamie Siddons, born today, played only one ODI for Australia but his involvement with the national team increased substantially since his retirement. Siddons was an assistant coach of the Australian team after being appointed as a senior coach at the Centre of Excellence before the 2005 Ashes. Then in October 2007 he accepted an offer to coach Bangladesh. He was prodigious in first-class cricket and ended his career with 10,643 Sheffield Shield runs, which was then a record.

Other birthdays
1848 Tom Armitage (England)
1902 Fred Price (England)
1938 John Nagenda (East Africa)
1969 Glen Bruk-Jackson (Zimbabwe)
1969 Sanjeeva Ranatunga (Sri Lanka)
1969 Jo Chamberlain (England)
1980 Bruce Martin (New Zealand)