On This Day On This DayRSS FeedFeeds

August 21 down the years

Who writes your scripts?

Botham comes back from a ban, and how

Text size: A | A

January |  February |  March |  April |  May |  June |  July |  August |  September |  October |  November |  December

August 22 | August 20

Ian Botham: back with a bang
Ian Botham: back with a bang © Getty Images

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.

Other birthdays
1905 Stan Worthington (England)
1905 Errol Holmes (England)
1935 Ken Taylor (England)
1961 VB Chandrasekhar (India)
1970 Keith Semple (West Indies)

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

It's a hit!

Clickbait: In our new photo blog, we look at old Hollywood stars messing about with cricket

    Ishant and Prasad turn lethal

Numbers Game: How the two seamers have become their teams' spearheads

Arthur Morris, my pen pal

How the Australian batsman touched the heart of a young Russell Jackson by responding to his letters

The death of Ankit Keshri

The Cricket Monthly: When the 20-year-old died after an on-field accident, it was the end of an Indian dream
TCM September issue

Were Indian batsmen of earlier eras better against spin?

Kartikeya Date: Quality spinners have always thrived in India, so it may be unfair to say that today's Indian batsmen are inferior

News | Features Last 7 days

The Ashwin show, and Ishant's second wind

R Ashwin and Ishant Sharma dismantled the the opposition, Amit Mishra came back strongly, and Virat Kohli grew as captain during the series win in Sri Lanka

Why is Pujara given short shrift?

He averages better than Rohit Sharma but still has to fight for a place in the Test side, mostly because he doesn't play ODIs

India's will to win tested by searing conditions

On a steaming Colombo day, victory did not come easily to India. But the team kept its focus, intensity and clarity of thought going, and reaped the benefits

All 60 wickets to India bowlers, and a rare comeback

Stats highlights from the third Test between Sri Lanka and India at the SSC where India completed a rare away series win

Another bowling display of two halves

For the fifth time in the last year and a half, India had their opponents five down for less than 100 only to let the lower order off the hook

News | Features Last 7 days