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January 17 down the years

The third of three

Clyde Walcott is born, and Gavaskar and Solkar open with the ball

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Clyde Walcott: the third W
Clyde Walcott: the third W © Getty Images
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1926
One of the Three Ws was born. A glorious batsman with a stunning square-cut, Clyde Walcott, with Everton Weekes and Frank Worrell, took West Indian cricket to a new level in the 1940s and '50s. Between 1953 and 1955 he made an astonishing 10 centuries in 12 Tests, five of them in one series against Australia - but only one of them came in a winning cause. That was his mighty 220 in Bridgetown which saw off England. He later became an ICC match referee, but had the misfortune to kick off (and, as it transpired, end) his second career with the fractious denouement to the England-Pakistan series in 1992. He died in 2006, aged 80, and was buried alongside Frank Worrell at a site which overlooks the cricket ground named in their honour.

1973
When you're playing India away, and the new ball is taken by Eknath Solkar (18 Test wickets at 59) and, for the first time, that express quickie Sunny Gavaskar (one wicket at 206), it's a fair bet the pitch is going to turn square sooner rather than later. And so it proved: Solkar and Gavaskar bowled only five overs in the match, and Bishan Bedi, Bhagwath Chandrasekhar, Erapalli Prasanna and Salim Durani shared all 20 wickets in India's four-wicket win over England. The match also marked the return to Test cricket of the Nawab of Pataudi Jr, now known as Mansur Ali Khan - he had been stripped of his royal title by the Indian government since his last Test appearance in 1969.

1925
Pakistan's first Test captain is born. An attacking left-hand batsman and tidy slow left-armer, Abdul Kardar held the post in Pakistan's first 23 Tests, having already played three Tests for India as Abdul Hafeez. He led Pakistan to a famous victory at The Oval in 1954, and went on to become a respected if somewhat dictatorial figure of authority as president of the PCB. He died in Islamabad in 1996.

1912
A second consecutive century from Jack Hobbs - this one a massive 187 - set up England for a seven-wicket win over Australia in Adelaide, putting them 2-1 up in a series they would eventually cruise 4-1. It was a match in which Joe Vine, the Sussex allrounder, who would make his England debut in the next Test, substituted for the injured Australian Victor Trumper and caught his team-mate "Tiger" Smith.

1908
An Englishman with a Test average of 64 is born. Bryan Valentine only played seven matches for his country, but he found time for two centuries - one on debut, in Bombay in 1933-34 - and a 97. His average was rather deceptive, though, as it more than doubled his first-class one. He died in Otford, Kent in 1983.

1928
The crossover between cricket and baseball is often discussed, but Australia's Ken Archer - who was born today - is one of the few cricketers to be offered a baseball contract in America. He didn't take up the chance, but he did play five Tests for Australia between 1950 and 1951, making three scores in the 40s but no half-centuries. His brother Ron also played for Australia.

1999
A classical 108 gave Graeme Hick the Man-of-the-Match award in England's World Series win over Australia at the SCG. It started Hick off on a storming run of form, in which he made scores of 108, 66*, 126* and 109, but he shot his bolt, and by the time of the World Cup four months later he was back to his lame worst. Typical Hick really, who apart from 83 in the 1992 semi-final never really delivered in the big tournaments: his only World Cup hundred came against the Netherlands in Peshawar, and he made 17 in the final of 1992, 8 in the quarters in 1996, and a first-baller in the winner-takes-all showdown against India in 1999.

2008
Wicket no. 600 for Anil Kumble, with the dismissal of Andrew Symonds on the second day of the Perth Test. Kumble joined two other spinners, Muttiah Muralitharan and Shane Warne, when he reached the mark.

Other birthdays
1913 Yuvraj of Patiala (India)
1939 Antao D'Souza (Pakistan)
1977 Matthew Walker (New Zealand)

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