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October 8 down the years

The elegance of youth

Australia's youngest century-maker is born

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Neil Harvey: one of Australia's finest
Neil Harvey: one of Australia's finest © Getty Images

One of Australia's greatest batsmen is born. Neil Harvey was a gloriously elegant left-hander who remains his country's youngest centurion - he was 19 years and 121 days old when he stroked 153 against India in Melbourne in 1947-48. He followed up with 112 in his next Test innings, at Headingley the following summer, when the Wisden Almanack said he and Keith Miller "scattered England's attack in a hurricane assault". It was a taste of things to come. In his first 13 Test innings, before he had turned 22, Harvey hit a remarkable six centuries. Another left-hander, Neil Harvey Fairbrother, was named after him. The original Neil Harvey went on to become a Test selector, and was awarded the MBE for his services to cricket.

A couple of notable Test firsts on a frustrating day for South Africa in Rawalpindi. Ali Naqvi and Azhar Mahmood became the first pair of debutants to score centuries in the same innings, and Azhar added 151 for the last wicket with Mushtaq Ahmed, equalling the Test record set by Brian Hastings and Richard Collinge for New Zealand against Pakistan in Auckland in 1972-73.

Albert Knight, who was born today, would pray before going in to bat - and even at the wicket on occasion. He was a Methodist whose predilection for prayer once apparently made Walter Brearley consider reporting him to the MCC. Knight only played three Tests, but he was an outstanding hard-wicket batsman, who made almost 20,000 first-class runs with Leicestershire. He died in Edmonton, London in 1946.

The fourth World Cup got underway in Hyderabad. Co-hosts Pakistan began with a tight victory over Sri Lanka. Javed Miandad's 103 took him past 4000 one-day runs. Despite 89 from Roshan Mahanama and a rapid 42 from Aravinda de Silva (batting at No. 7), Sri Lanka fell 15 runs short of Pakistan's 267 for 6.

A series of niggling injuries meant that Kent's lively seamer Alan Igglesden, who was born today, played only three Tests. In 1993, Igglesden was picked for the first Test against Australia but a groin injury and a side strain ruled him out for the summer. He played twice in the Caribbean the following winter but took only three wickets and was not picked again. Igglesden suffered an epileptic fit while playing for Berkshire in 1999. Doctors found a non-cancerous brain tumour that was successfully treated by medication.

The birth of Raqibul Hasan, who bizarrely announced his retirement from international cricket at the age of 22 in 2010, presumably in a fit of pique after being excluded from the one-day and T20 squads, only to reverse his decision a week later - for which he was handed a three-month suspension. Raqibul took the Under-19 route to the Bangladesh national side, and his 65 in Grenada in 2009 helped them win their first Test, against a second-string West Indies side.

India got a dose of their own medicine in Nagpur. New Zealand took just 40 minutes on the final morning to wrap up a 167-run victory, their first on the subcontinent. It was the spinners who did the damage on a raging turner: Hedley Howarth took 5 for 34 and Vic Pollard 3 for 21 as India collapsed for 109.

Birth of left-hand Pakistan batsman Fawad Alam, who started his international career with a first-ball duck in an ODI against Sri Lanka, but more than made up for it with 168 on Test debut two years later in 2009 against the same side. However, the selectors then looked at him as a limited-overs option. Dropped from the one-day side after the home series against South Africa in UAE in 2010, he waited nearly four years for a comeback, and made a statement in his first series on return with a century in the Asia Cup final against Sri Lanka.

Other birthdays
1890 Cyril Browne (West Indies)
1919 Mac Anderson (New Zealand)
1958 Shona Gilchrist (New Zealand)
1968 Sameer Dighe (India)
1972 Justine Fryer (New Zealand)
1976 Mohammad Hussain (Pakistan)
1977 Heather Whelan (Ireland)
1979 Dave Mohammed (West Indies)

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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