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April 30 down the years

Born to keep

Heals makes a start

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1964
The day Ian Healy chirped into the world. The unbelievable savagery of Adam Gilchrist has tended to obscure Healy's outstanding contribution to Australia's resurgence in the late 1980s and 1990s. A wicketkeeper of the highest quality, particularly to Shane Warne, Healy was also a fiercely irritating counterattacker at No. 7. He retired in 1999 (after the selectors indicated that Gilchrist was going to take over his role in the Test team) to pursue a career as a forthright, insightful TV commentator. He made it to the team of the century named by the Australian board.

1987
Birth of the man who has scored two one-day double-centuries. Rohit Sharma holds the record for the highest individual one-day score - 264, against Sri Lanka in 2014 - but has struggled to translate that appetite for runs in Tests. His start was promising, scoring centuries in his first two Tests, at home, but in his next 16 innings he crossed fifty only twice. In ODIs, he flourished once he was promoted up the order in 2013, scoring two half-centuries in the Champions Trophy and 209 against Australia later that year. In 2015, he scored his maiden T20I century, against South Africa.

1983
A tragic century in Antigua. Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes had added 296 in the fifth Test against India, and Greenidge was on 154 when he had to retire to visit his sick daughter in hospital. Sadly, she died two days later, and Greenidge was eventually adjudged to have retired not out, the only such scorecard entry in Test history.

1922
Birth of the South African allrounder Anton Murray, a sound lower-order batsman and metronomic slow-medium bowler. In only his second Test he made a crucial 51 batting at No. 9 in their shock victory in Melbourne in 1952-53. His finest hour was in South Africa's monumental innings-and-180-run victory over New Zealand in Wellington that same season. As well as making his only Test hundred, Murray took 5 for 49 off 51 overs in the match. He died in Cape Town in 1995.

1988
Graeme Hick plunders a modest county attack. No shock there, but the 86 and 14 he got against Nottinghamshire in Worcester took him to 410 first-class runs by the end of April - at the time an English record. As if that wasn't good enough, Hick got almost as many again in his next innings: that famous 405 not out against Somerset in Taunton.

1905
Birth of the Nottinghamshire stalwart Walter Keeton, who made over 20,000 first-class runs and played two Tests for England. A classy, fleet-footed opener, he made his debut against Australia at Headingley in 1934, and returned against West Indies at The Oval five years later. In the same year, on the same ground, he made his highest first-class score: 312 for Notts against Middlesex, at a time when Lord's was being used for war purposes. Keeton was a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1940, and also played football for Sunderland and Nottingham Forest. He died in Nottinghamshire in 1980.

Other birthdays
1923 Alan Wharton (England)
1977 Ashley Noffke (Australia)
1981 Gerrie Snyman (Namibia)
1991 Danny Briggs (England)

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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