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April 16 down the years

Forever tainted

The first player to be banned for life for match-fixing

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Saleem Malik: a wonderfully attractive batsman, but one who will be remembered for the wrong reasons
Saleem Malik: a wonderfully attractive batsman, but one who will be remembered for the wrong reasons © PA Photos

The luscious strokeplay of Saleem Malik, born today, was irrevocably tarnished when he became the first person to be banned for life for match-fixing - though the ban was lifted after eight years, in 2008. In his day Malik was a wonderful, wristy batsman. He made 15 Test hundreds, although oddly, seven of them were between 100 and 102. His finest hour with the bat came in 1994-95 - ironically, the series in which he was first accused of match-fixing - when he made two majestic centuries (one of them a double) to deny Australia victory in Rawalpindi and Lahore and give Pakistan a fraught series win. Malik was also the master of the Headingley terror track: he top-scored with 99 in 1987, and five years later, with Neil Mallender wreaking such havoc that only one other Pakistani passed 25, he played imperiously for 82 and 84, both not out.

Birth of the only man to captain England at football and cricket. RE "Tip" Foster played only eight Tests, but he certainly made his mark with comfortably the highest score by a Test debutant, a mighty 287 in Sydney in 1903-04. It also remains the highest score by an Englishman in Australia. Foster was a refined middle-order batsman with a touch of the Dexters, who graduated to the captaincy against South Africa in 1907. He won six football caps, and he and all six of his brothers played for Worcestershire. He suffered from diabetes and was just 36 when he died in 1914.

The West Indian allrounder David Holford, who was born today, was a handy lower-order batsman and a tidy, if anodyne, legspinner. In his second Test, at Lord's in 1966, he saved the match by adding 274 for the sixth wicket with Garry Sobers, his cousin. Holford's 105 there was his sole Test century, and he only took one five-for, a match-winning effort against India in Barbados nearly ten years later. He later managed West Indies and was also chairman of selectors for a time.

A sensational start to the unofficial world championship showdown, in which West Indies crumbled from 63 for no loss to 127 all out on the first day of the first Test against Pakistan in Trinidad. But in the last hour Pakistan themselves slid from 100 for 2 to 113 for 7, and their lead was eventually restricted to 13. It was all over inside three days, when Carl Hooper spun Pakistan to defeat in their second innings.

Fast bowler Tawanda Mupariwa, born today, was fast-tracked into the Zimbabwe side in 2004 when the rebel players withdrew from the squad. In 2008 he was the fastest Zimbabwe bowler to 50 ODI wickets, getting there in 28 games. But Mupariwa was subsequently overlooked as Zimbabwe searched for faster bowlers in the lead-up to their return to Test cricket in 2011. His domestic form finally paid off with a call-up to the squad for the 2015 World Cup, where he took one wicket in three matches.

The early days of birthday boy Daniel Flynn's international career will be most remembered for him walking off the ground at Old Trafford after a tooth-shattering bouncer that bloodied his mouth. But he bounced back and scored 49 in the next Test. He made 95 against West Indies in Dunedin and followed it with another half-century in the next Test, but was dropped after a string of low scores. He made a brief comeback in 2012 and scored a half-century in New Zealand's historic win in Colombo, but was dropped after poor scores in two Tests in South Africa.

Other birthdays
1871 John King (England)
1890 Fred Root (England)
1943 John Watkins (Australia)
1958 Raghuram Bhat (India)
1968 Manzoor Akhtar (Pakistan)

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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