October 1 down the years

Sparkling yet spiky

A brilliant player, a bitter end

Saeed Ahmed glances Ian Meckiff for a single to bring up his century in Lahore, 1959 © Associated Press

Birth of the maverick Pakistani Saeed Ahmed. A brilliant strokemaker at No. 3 or 4, the spiky Saeed is unfortunately best remembered for the undignified end to his Test career. He declared himself unfit for the third Test against Australia with a back injury, following a heated altercation with Dennis Lillee in the previous Test in Melbourne. But as Lillee was vowing revenge on a Sydney greentop, the Pakistan management was sceptical about Saeed's injury and sent him home for indiscipline. For all that, Saeed - the half-brother of Younis Ahmed - was a terrific player, as a Test average in excess of 40 suggests. He made 508 runs in his first Test series, in the Caribbean in 1957-58, and had a taste for big hundreds: three of his five at Test level were of 150 or more.

At the age of 28 Tom Goddard, who was born today, switched from fast bowling to offspin with devastating effect. He took 184 wickets in his first season as a twirler, and in all, took over 100 wickets on 16 occasions, finishing with 2979 wickets. His best returns were 248 in 1937 and 238 in 1947, when he was 46. He played only eight Tests, and though he took a hat-trick in Johannesburg in 1938-39, his best work was undoubtedly at county level. A Gloucester man through and through, his regular "How wer're it?" appeal was defined by its West Country inflection. And when he died in 1966, a road in Gloucester was named Goddard Way.

All sorts of shenanigans in Bulawayo, where the first ODI of the series between Zimbabwe and New Zealand ended in a tie. Chris Harris needed two off the last ball to win the match for the tourists, but as he drove it past the bowler, John Rennie, an over-exuberant crowd surged onto the field. Craig Evans beat the throng to the ball - had it reached them New Zealand would have won - and ran out Gavin Larsen as he attempted a second run. It sealed the 13th tie in ODI history.

Birth of the last wicketkeeper to make 100 dismissals in a season. Roy Booth was born in Yorkshire, but he achieved the feat twice for Worcestershire - in 1960 and 1964, their first championship season - and is one of only seven keepers ever to manage it. In all, Booth made 1125 first-class dismissals between 1951 and 1970, but never came close to Test selection. A batting average of 18.91 was largely responsible for that.

Pakistan allrounder Urooj Mumtaz, born today, played her only Test in March 2004, just days before she made her ODI debut, against West Indies in Karachi. She bagged a five-for, and her maiden Player of the Match award, in just her second ODI. Urooj captained her side in 26 of the 38 ODIs she played, including the 2006 and 2008 Asia Cups, and the 2009 Women's World Cup. She retired from cricket in 2009 to pursue a career in dentistry full-time, but returned to head the selection panel for women's cricket in Pakistan a decade later.

A week after winning the County Championship, Warwickshire made it a double, with an innings victory over Lancashire in the Bob Willis Trophy final at Lord's. The tournament, inaugurated in 2020 as a one-off after the County Championship was not held that year in the wake of the Covid pandemic, was retained in 2021. Lancashire were ripped out for 78 in under 28 overs on day one, after which Warwickshire piled up 518, with hundreds from Will Rhodes and Rob Yates. Lancashire made a better fist of their second innings but it was too little too late in the end.

One-cap wonder Mike Smith, who was born today, was supposed to hurry Australia to defeat in the pivotal fourth Test at Headingley in 1997, with his left-arm swing. But his deliveries hardly moved off the straight and it didn't help when Graham Thorpe grassed a sitter off Matt Elliott, on 29 at the time, in Smith's third over. Elliott went on to punish England for a further 170 runs, for which Smith, who never really came close to selection again, paid the heaviest price of all.

In the deciding ODI in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe beat New Zealand by six wickets in a thrilling match, to take the series 2-1. Alistair Campbell made an unbeaten 99 and Guy Whittall smacked 28 off 14 balls. The pair added 42 in four overs to take Zimbabwe past their target of 265 with 13 balls to spare.

While he had his lean spells in Tests, Sourav Ganguly's status as one of the world's best one-day batters was rarely ever in doubt. On this day in Nairobi he stroked India to a comprehensive victory over Zimbabwe in the LG Cup with a blistering 139 that included 11 fours and five sixes. It kickstarted a golden period for Ganguly, in which he made nine hundreds in 37 ODIs.

Other birthdays
1910 Alma Hunt (West Indies)
1943 Naushad Ali (Pakistan)
1953 Arshad Pervez (Pakistan)
1956 Marie Cornish (Australia)
1961 Corrie van Zyl (South Africa)
1970 Ajith Weerakkody (Sri Lanka)
1978 Amit Bhandari (India)
1978 Rizwan Ahmed (Pakistan)
1985 Nazimuddin (Bangladesh)
1990 Salma Khatun (Bangladesh)
1991 Asif Ali (Pakistan)