March 4 down the years

Goodbye, Warnie

One of cricket's brightest lights winks out

Fans left tributes of balls, beer, cigarettes, pies and baked beans at the foot of Warne's statue outside the MCG © AFP

The cricket world was plunged into shock and grief with the sudden passing of one of its brightest lights, Shane Warne. Warne, 52, suffered a heart attack and was found unresponsive in his vacation villa in Koh Samui, Thailand, less than 12 hours after offering condolences on the death of former Australian wicketkeeper Rod Marsh, who died earlier in the day, at 74. Warne, credited for single-handedly revolutionising the art of legspin, remains the best legspinner in the history of the game, his tally of 708 Test wickets as yet unsurpassed.

With a Test average of 44 and all the shots in the book, Daryll Cullinan, who was born today, was ostensibly a batter of genuine world class. He left records in his wake throughout his career, including becoming the youngest South African to make a first-class hundred (aged 16). But Cullinan's average in Tests in Australia was pathetic, and his allergy to tubby blond Australian legspinners was legendary.

A terrifying display from Colin Croft, whose 8 for 29 against Pakistan in Trinidad are the best figures by a West Indian quick bowler, and were the best by any genuinely fast bowler until Devon Malcolm demolished South Africa with 9 for 57 at The Oval in 1994. Croft's performance is even more impressive given that this was only his second Test. For good measure, he forced Sadiq Mohammad to retire hurt after cracking him on the arm with a short one.

The day Javed Miandad and Kiran More cemented a burgeoning friendship. In the World Cup match at the SCG, which India won by 43 runs, an exasperated Miandad mimicked More's hyperactive form of appealing by repeatedly jumping up and down.

Allan Border became the fifth batter to score two hundreds in a match, in Christchurch. His 140 in the first innings prevented a collapse after Australia had fallen to 74 for 5. Then on the last day Australia, with six wickets gone, led by only 155 (only 48 minutes' play was possible on the fourth day) and Border scored an unbeaten 114. His efforts overshadowed Richard Hadlee's nine wickets, including seven in the first innings.

Graham Dowling was a regular in the New Zealand side throughout the 1960s, and a capable captain, who led his country 19 times. He made three Test hundreds, all against India, with the highlights his 143 in Dunedin, followed by 239 in 556 minutes in Christchurch to lead his side to their first win over the Indians (it was also his first game as captain). In 1969 he had to have half a finger amputated after an accident while keeping wicket, and his career ended when he was forced out of New Zealand's 1971-72 Caribbean tour with serious back trouble. He later became the CEO of New Zealand Cricket and was also an ICC match referee.

Birth of one of the fastest bowlers in women's cricket. Cathryn Fitzpatrick was the quickest woman to reach 150 ODI wickets and was the star of Australia's World Cup wins in 1997 and 2005, taking ten wickets at 17.10 in the latter, at the age of 37. In Tests she conceded an incredible 1.91 runs an over for her 60 wickets. After retiring in 2007, Fitzpatrick took up coaching roles in Australia.

Kieron Pollard become only the third batter to hit six sixes in an over in international cricket - and the second in T20Is - after Herschelle Gibbs in the 2007 World Cup and Yuvraj Singh in the 2007 T20 World Cup. Pollard's feat came in a manic chase against Sri Lanka in the first T20I, in Antigua. Bowler Akila Dananjaya had just rocked West Indies with a hat-trick in his previous over, before Pollard laid into him. He slogged the first ball over long-on, dispatched the second delivery into the sightscreen, and sent the third and fourth over the long-off and deep midwicket boundaries. The fifth ball was launched over the bowler's head and the carnage sealed with a chip over deep midwicket. Pollard was out lbw in the next over but the damage had been done, as Jason Holder calmly steered West Indies to a four-wicket win.

In his penultimate Test, Alan "AC" Smith added an unbroken 163 for the ninth wicket, in just 161 minutes, with Colin Cowdrey in Wellington. It was a Test record at the time, and remains an English record. Smith made 69, Cowdrey 128, and England went 2-0 up in the series with their second innings victory.

A day to remember for West Indian quickie Herman Griffith, who inflicted the first duck of Don Bradman's Test career at the SCG. Griffith bowled the Don to help West Indies - who had lost three matches by an innings and another by ten wickets in their inaugural series against Australia - to a surprise 30-run victory, their first against Australia.

An Irish allrounder is born. Kevin O'Brien wrote his name into Irish cricketing lore with a magical World Cup innings against England in Bangalore in 2011. Entering the fray with his team in a perilous position chasing a mountainous 327, he smashed a 50-ball century - the fastest in World Cup history - to set up a historic three-wicket win. O'Brien first made a name for himself when he racked up 241 runs in the Under-19 World Cup in 2004. He was consistent with the bat and resourceful with the ball during the 2007 World Cup, when Ireland took some giant strides.

Other birthdays
1968 Shafiek Abrahams (South Africa)
1978 Balaji Rao (Canada)
1981 Greg Lamb (Zimbabwe)