June 2 down the years

Twin princely entrances

The Waughs make their mark

Mark and Steve: the first twins to play in a Test together © Getty Images

A great few minutes for Australian cricket, as the Waugh brothers are born in the Sydney suburb of Bankstown. Steve, about four minutes older than Mark, made his Test debut five years before his brother lit up Adelaide with a dreamy 138 in 1990-91. Mark had been called up to replace Steve, but they eventually became the first male twins to play in a Test together; in all they did it 108 times.

Birth of Steven Smith, who started out as a legspinner who was handy with the bat but then turned into batter extraordinaire. After a false start in Tests in 2010, his first hundred came in the 2013 Ashes, and he followed it up with two more in the return series, which Australia won 5-0. The following home season, against India, Smith, temporarily in charge of the team in the absence of the injured Michael Clarke, made a century in each of the four Tests - the only batter after Jacques Kallis to do so in a series of four matches or more. He carried the form into the World Cup that followed, making 105 off 93 in the semi-final before hitting the winning runs in the course of an unbeaten 56 in the final, against New Zealand. He became Australia's full-time captain after the 2015 Ashes. Even through series defeats in Sri Lanka and India, and at home against South Africa, Smith's own form remained incandescent. And his scores in the 2017-18 Ashes, which Australia swept 4-0, were 141 not out, 40, 6, 239, 76, 102 not out, and 83. Shortly after, came the fall: in Cape Town in March 2018, with the series tied 1-1, Australia were caught tampering with the ball; Smith and vice-captain David Warner were banned for a year for the transgression.

With the inaugural World Cup looming, snow swept across England, causing widespread disruption and the abandonment of play in two County Championship matches, while several others were prematurely ended as players shivered in temperatures of around 50 Fahrenheit. A letter in the Times warned that we were entering a new ice age. Five days later the tournament began... in temperatures in the high 70s as spectators sweltered in the heat.

Birth of Sri Lankan allrounder Angelo Mathews, who blew India away with 6 for 19 in a one-dayer at the Premadasa in 2009. A year later, he was the driving force in the world-record stand of 132 for the ninth wicket with Lasith Malinga in an ODI that Sri Lanka won by one wicket at the MCG. In February 2013, he became Sri Lanka's youngest Test captain, at 25. In June the next year, Mathews led them to their first series victory in England, scoring hundreds in both Tests. But as Mahela Jayawardene's and Kumar Sangakkara's careers came to a close, Sri Lanka struggled to establish their dominance under Mathews, even at home, losing Test series to India and Pakistan in 2015, and failing to defend their World T20 title in 2016. They swept Australia at home later in the year but went down 3-0 in South Africa. Mathews stepped down from the captaincy in 2017 after Sri Lanka lost an ODI series at home to Zimbabwe, but was named the limited-overs captain once again six months later - only to be given the chop again in September 2018.

Birth of one of the greatest bowlers of all time - George Lohmann. His stats are jaw-dropping: in 18 Tests he took 112 wickets at the average of 10.75. To put that in context: nobody else with 70 Test wickets has an average below 15. Lohmann took a wicket every 34 balls, and conceded just 1.88 runs per over. It was stealth and cunning that brought him his wickets rather than pace: he was little more than medium. In South Africa in 1895-96 he was utterly devastating, albeit against an extremely poor side. Lohmann took 35 wickets in three Tests at the average of 5.80. His strike rate was a wicket every 14 balls - just over two overs. It was in South Africa that he died of tuberculosis in 1901, aged only 36.

At Headingley, Brendon McCullum's New Zealand completed a famous win to square the Test series against England 1-1. The 199-run victory was New Zealand's second largest in terms of runs in Test cricket, their first in the 21st century in England, and it kept them undefeated in a seventh straight Test series. At the heart of the victory was their bold new brand of cricket: they made 804 runs at almost five an over and won comfortably despite the weather taking almost a day out of the game. On the final day it was spin that sealed the deal for them: offspinner Mark Craig and part-timer Kane Williamson picked up three apiece on the visibly wearing surface.

Birth of a man who went on to become the oldest living Test cricketer. New Zealand batter Lindsay "Dad" Weir inherited the title when England's Alf Gover died in October 2001, and held it until his death in October 2003, aged 95. Weir played 11 Tests, none of which his side won, and top-scored with 74 not out against South Africa in Christchurch in 1931-32, an innings in which nobody else made more than 17.

Opening bowler Martin Suji, born today, played in three World Cups and three ICC Trophy competitions for Kenya. His finest moment in international cricket came in the 2003 World Cup Super Six match against Zimbabwe. Suji took 3 for 19 to catapult his side into the semi-final. But he was forced to sit on the sidelines as Kenya's infighting led to them being isolated from international cricket, and when they did eventually return in 2006, a serious knee injury ended his international career.

Birth of Jayantha Silva, the Sri Lankan left-arm spinner whose seven-Test career split into two distinct segments. Serve up Zimbabwean prey and he was lethal: in three Tests against them he took 16 wickets at an average of 10.12, including a couple of match-winning hands in Colombo in 1996-97. But in four Tests against India, Australia and Pakistan, Silva was plundered for four wickets at an average of 121.25.

Other birthdays
1917 Peggy Antonio (Australia)
1929 June Bragger (England)
1948 Trevor Jesty (England)
1955 Gerald Peckover (Zimbabwe)
1967 Clare O'Leary (Ireland)
1967 Alan Rutherford (Ireland)