|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Shop||Mobile|
Botham comes back from a ban, and how
Nobody had a greater sense of theatre than Ian Botham. Restored to the England side after a ban for admitting to the use of marijuana, he took a wicket with his first ball against New Zealand at The Oval, having Bruce Edgar caught by Graham Gooch, whose remark said it all: "Who writes your scripts?" Botham had just taken his 355th Test wicket, equalling the then world record. Naturally, he soon got the 356th, Jeff Crowe lbw, and followed it up with a rapid fifty. Beefy was well and truly back.
Speaking of scripts, Yasir Hameed had the perfect one written for his Test debut, in which he scored a hundred in each innings in Karachi against Bangladesh. His first-innings 170 saved Pakistan from an embarrassing collapse (only one other batsman crossed 50) and in the second innings he added 134 with fellow debutant Mohammad Hafeez as Pakistan won by nine wickets. It was also a memorable debut for fast bowler Shabbir Ahmed, who took eight wickets, including five in the second, and a quiet one for Umar Gul.
Simon Katich, born today, was on the brink of a Test call-up in Sri Lanka when he contracted chicken pox and was quarantined. But after a stellar 2000-01 - 1282 first-class runs and a century against every state - he was picked for the 2001 Ashes tour. Replacing the injured Steve Waugh for the fourth Test, he made 15 and 0 not out on debut and had to wait two years for another opportunity. It came against Zimbabwe, against whom he took 6 for 65 with his chinamen in the second innings in Sydney. Returning to the SCG later in the summer against India, he registered his maiden Test century. He was in and out of the side in the next few years and was one of the casualties of the 3-1 Ashes loss in 2010-11 - despite missing three Tests due to injury - and was not given a Cricket Australia contract for the next season.
One of England's most prominent and controversial legspinners is born. Doug Wright was prominent because he took seven hat-tricks - still a record in first-class cricket - and had his moments in the Test team too, including 7 for 105 in Sydney in 1946-47. But controversial because his 108 Test wickets cost 39.11 each: he simply bowled too many bad balls. Against the strong Australian teams he faced, this was asking for trouble. He was on the winning side only once in 14 Ashes Tests.
Yorkshire beat Surrey by three wickets at Chingford to win the inaugural women's County Championship.
Birth of the first woman to captain England in a Test. In the inaugural match, in Brisbane in 1934-35, Betty Archdale hit an unbeaten 32, her highest Test score, out of an unexceptional total of 154 - which was enough to win the match by nine wickets. Australia made only 138 and lost the three-match series 2-0. Archdale went on to live in Australia, where she died in January 2000 aged 92.
Against Kent at The Oval, Surrey wicketkeeper Ted Pooley made his eighth stumping of the match, then a record in first-class cricket. Against Sussex on the same ground in 1868, he made 12 dismissals, another world record at the time and still the record for a first-class match in England. One of the best keepers of his day, he never won an England cap - although he would have played in the inaugural Test, in Melbourne in 1876-77, if he hadn't been in jail. He was arrested following a betting scam in New Zealand.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Ed Smith: Good performances make all plans look good. The better team on the day always wins, irrespective of what was strategised in the dressing room
ESPNcricinfo XI: A look at some of cricket's most memorable strokes - and their makers
Should India have practised slip catching in the nets? Who will play at the G?
Northamptonshire's David Willey picks his ideal partner for a jungle expedition, and talks about his famous dad
Jonathan Wilson: It's special not just for the cricket, but also because it satisfies one of the tenets of Christmas - bringing people together
Josh Hazlewood has been on Australian cricket's radar since he was a teenager. The player that made a Test debut at the Gabba was a much-improved version of the tearaway from 2010
Stats highlights from the first day of the second Test between Australia and India in Brisbane
Brisbane was hot and humid and the insides of the Gabba even more so. M Vijay battled the hostile conditions and a testing attack to make a memorable hundred
When Wasim Akram swung Pakistan to their first global title
A look at some of cricket's most memorable strokes - and their makers
It's just to say that while India don't stand a chance on normal bouncy pitches, the seaming tracks give their bowlers a chance to take 20 wickets
Stats preview of the second Test between India and Australia at the Gabba
He served the purpose of being the hero to Pietersen's antihero, but given his appalling one-day form, is it time to be disloyal and get rid of him?