April 28 down the years

The triple-decker

World Cup time. So it must be Australia winning

Australia win their fourth World Cup, and third in a row Hamish Blair / © Getty Images

Australia made it a hat-trick of World Cup wins with a 53-run victory over Sri Lanka in Barbados. Adam Gilchrist - with a squash ball in one of his gloves, he later revealed - led the way with a stunning 149 off 104 balls as Australia posted 281 for 4 in a rain-restricted 38 overs, and although Sri Lanka made a flying start, they were always behind the clock. The game ended in farce, however, after a mix-up over the rules, and the final overs were played out in almost total darkness. It was, perhaps, a fitting end to a tournament that had set new lows for maladministration.

Birth of a man with a degree in people. That's how Australian fast bowler Rodney Hogg described Mike Brearley, probably the finest captain England have ever had. His most famous triumph was in 1981, when he was brought back with England 0-1 down and in disarray, and inspired Ian Botham to a series of superhuman performances. In all, England won 18 and lost only four of Brearley's 31 matches as captain, although he never captained against West Indies - and was at the helm when England were trounced 0-3 by a full-strength Australian side in 1979-80, after Brearley's England pulverised the 2nd XI 5-1 a year earlier. His batting ability was modest: he averaged 22 and never made a century, but the fact that this was tolerated showed how invaluable his captaincy was. Brearley is now a psychologist and occasional journalist, and still inspires as much awe and reverence as any English cricketer of his generation.

Birth of the courageous Australian opener Jack Fingleton. "Fingo" made two centuries against England in 1936-37, the first of which was his fourth consecutive Test hundred (he had accumulated three in a row against South Africa in 1935-36). But despite that, Fingleton never fully established himself, and the last of his 18 Tests came at The Oval in 1938. His later career, as a cricket journalist of the highest quality, made him probably more famous than he was in his playing days. He died in his native Sydney in 1981.

That Andy Flower, born today, averaged 51.54 over a 63-Test career is all the more impressive given his regular role as wicketkeeper and his dalliances as captain. A tough, uncompromising character, and master of the reverse sweep, Flower hit his greatest heights between November 2000 and November 2001, making 1466 runs at an average of 133.27. That included one of the most heroic displays in Test history: 142 and 199 not out against South Africa in Harare, a match in which only three other Zimbabweans reached even 20. His brave act of defiance in the 2003 World Cup - when he donned a black armband to protest the "death of democracy" in his country - was inevitably followed by his retirement. Flower then took up coaching, and in his five years in charge of England, starting 2009, they won the Ashes at home and away, took their first ICC title (the World T20 in 2010), became the No. 1 Test side, and won a Test series in India for the first time in two decades.

Birth of fast bowler Shannon Gabriel, who made his Test debut for West Indies at Lord's in 2012, and will probably be remembered for his brain fade in Dominica in 2017, where with one over to play and Roston Chase at the other end batting on a century, he swung wildly at a ball from Yasir Shah and was bowled, giving Pakistan their first Test series win in the West Indies . Earlier in his career, despite a modest domestic season in 2014-15, Gabriel was recalled to the West Indies side to play England in Grenada, and took three wickets in the nine-wicket defeat. He had a good tour of the UAE in 2016, looking the most penetrative of West Indies' fast bowlers and taking a five-for in the second Test against Pakistan.

Birth of Alf Valentine, the West Indian left-arm spinner who came to England in 1950 with only two first-class matches under his belt and left a folk hero after he and his pal Sonny Ramadhin had bowled West Indies to a coming-of-age series victory. The bespectacled Valentine gave the ball a real rip, and in that 1950 series he took 33 wickets in only four Tests. But as his career progressed, Valentine increasingly managed thrift - his economy rate was 1.95 runs per over - but not penetration: he took seven five-fors in his first 16 Tests, and only one in his last 20. After his playing days, he lived in America, where he died at 74.

Once upon a time Jimmy Adams was Test cricket's most immovable object. On this day he scored an unbeaten 208 against New Zealand in Antigua, and took his average - in his 24th Test - up to a monstrous 68.33. But that was Adams' zenith: in 30 Tests that followed, he averaged a mere 25.

Clive Lloyd became the first West Indian to play 100 Tests, in the fifth Test against Australia that got underway in Jamaica on this day. Coincidentally, it was also the 100th Test to be played in the Caribbean. Lloyd was caught behind off Geoff Lawson for 20, but West Indies did breeze to a ten-wicket win that gave them a 3-0 series victory.

Siva's debut. The mysterious Indian legspinner Laxman Sivaramakrishnan was the fifth youngest player in Test history at the time - and the youngest non-Pakistani - at 17 years 118 days when he made his debut against West Indies in Antigua. He went wicketless, but when he reappeared against England two years later, he bamboozled his way to three consecutive six-fors. A star was born, or so it seemed, but Siva faded again and took only seven wickets in his last six Tests.

In his last Test on his home ground, Viv Richards recorded his first duck in Antigua, when he was pinned lbw by Craig McDermott in the fifth Test against Australia. Viv ended up averaging 61 in Tests on his own patch, but it was a pretty mixed bag: three centuries, a 26, and four scores between 0 and 2.

Other birthdays
1945 Ajit Pai (India)
1947 Hylton Ackerman (South Africa)
1947 Trevor Quirk (South Africa)