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Bill Edrich and Denis Compton on their way out to bat against Sussex

The summer of a man's life

The summer of 1947 was the zenith for the County Championship, and of Denis Compton and Bill Edrich

Sunil Gavaskar raises a stump after India's unsuccessful run chase


When Sunny made 438 look gettable

Had India pulled off a remarkable victory at The Oval in 1979, Sunil Gavaskar's 221 would be up there as the greatest Test innings

Oval groundsman Bosser Martin poses with his four-ton roller

The Oval grind of 1938

Playing a Test to the finish, however long that might take, seemed a good idea once upon a time. But a 900-plus total showed why that wasn't the case

Ian Botham races back to the pavilion with a souvenir stump


Beefy's 28-ball Ashes broadside

Ian Botham had had a quiet match at Edgbaston in 1981, until he was summoned into the attack for one last burst at the Australians

Derek Underwood looks at photographs of his ten wickets


The fungus that floored the Aussies

Australia's 1972 tourists were fuming after the pitch at Leeds was left bare, slow and perfectly suited to the bowling of England's Derek Underwood

Jim Laker walks back after taking all ten wickets


When Laker skittled the Aussies

Jim Laker's 19 wickets at Old Trafford in 1956 came close to being overshadowed by a row over the Old Trafford pitch

Vallance Jupp


Absent... in prison

The England allrounder who missed a summer after being sent down