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April 30 down the years

Born to keep

Heals makes a start

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Ian Healy: one of the greatest to don the wicketkeeper's gloves
Ian Healy: one of the greatest to don the wicketkeeper's gloves © PA Photos
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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.

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.

1987
Classy at No. 3 in the 2006 Under-19 World Cup, Rohit Sharma, born today, showed immense talent in the national one-day side in Australia two years later - he scored two fifties, including a vital 66 in the first final of the CB Series in Sydney. He was bought for US$750,000 by the Deccan Chargers in the IPL, and paid it back in full over the first three seasons when he became one of a handful of batsmen to score over 1000 runs. But inconsistent form - in 13 ODI innings in 2012 he averaged 13, with one one half-century - and a tag of "talented but casual" forced selectors to overlook him for promotions to Tests. It all finally came together in 2013, when Rohit was promoted to open the innings in ODIs. He found form in the Champions Trophy, and then went into overdrive against Australia, scoring two centuries, including 209, only the third double-hundred in ODI cricket. That led to a place in the Test team, and Rohit celebrated by scoring centuries in his first two Test innings.

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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