A Pakistani whirlwind
The birth of one of the most exciting and productive opening batsmen. Several of Saeed Anwar's Test centuries for Pakistan turned into big ones, often away from home. His first Test ton, for instance, was 169 against New Zealand in Wellington in 1993-94. He also belted 176 against England at The Oval in 1996, as well as an unbeaten 188, his highest Test score, in Calcutta in 1998-99. But it's Anwar's style and speed of scoring that will stay in the memory: according to the Almanack, his runs at Lord's in 1996 "typified the uninhibitedness of modern Pakistani batting". His one-day international record is one of the very best and his 20 hundreds included the then highest score by any batsman: 194 against India in Chennai in 1996-97.
On the first day of Test cricket in England, it was absolutely fitting that England's first century should be scored by WG Grace. His 152 was the bulwark of a total of 410 for 8. On the second day, the good doctor ended Australia's first innings with a wicket off the first ball of his second over. Following on, Billy Murdoch hit an unbeaten 153 for Australia but could only set England a target of 57. They lost five wickets in reaching it. September 8 was the latest date on which Test cricket had been played in England - until 2002, when India stretched the season by a day.
Birth of left-arm fast bowler Mustafizur "The Fizz" Rahman, who burst into prominence with 11 wickets in his first two ODIs for Bangladesh, against India. In his first year in international cricket, Mustafizur took 36 international wickets at 13.63 with a combination of hard-to-pick slower balls, offcutters and traditional left-arm deliveries, and was subsequently named the ICC Emerging Player of the Year in the 2016 awards. In the 2019 World Cup, he took back-to-back five-fors, against India and Pakistan - but too late for Bangladesh, who did not make it to the semi-finals.
Australia broke the record for the highest total in T20Is when they scored 263 against previous record-holders Sri Lanka (who made 260 v Kenya in 2007), in an 85-run win in Pallekelle. Glenn Maxwell made 145 not out off 65 balls, 110 of which came via boundaries and sixes.
In the last Gillette Cup final before it changed its name to the NatWest Trophy, Middlesex beat Kent by seven wickets. The Wisden Almanack quoted adjudicator Ian Botham as saying that Roland Butcher's unbeaten 50 was "one of the most exciting Gillette Cup innings I have seen". But he gave the Man of the Match award to Mike Brearley, who showed that he was more than just a formidable captain by top-scoring with 96 not out.
After narrowly missing the County Championship title a year before, Warwickshire won it stylishly in 2012, with only one defeat from 16 matches. The trophy-clinching effort was a fitting display of their dominance - they bowled Worcestershire out for 60 and 209 to win by an innings and 202 runs. Fast bowler Chris Wright, who took nine in the match, was second on the wicket-taking list, with 62, while Varun Chopra, whose 195 anchored the Warwickshire innings, was among four batsmen who crossed 1000 runs in the Championship. A week later, Warwickshire narrowly missed taking the 40-over title after tying the final (but conceding it on number of wickets lost) with Hampshire.
In the Gillette Cup final at Lord's, Yorkshire were put in to bat because Geoff Boycott was out injured. But another opener, Barrie Leadbeater, top-scored with 76, and Yorkshire's total of 219 was more than enough to win the cup for the second time. With Brian Close and spinner Don Wilson taking three wickets apiece, Derbyshire were bowled out for 150.
A son of a famous father was born. There was never any chance of Richard Hutton living up to the exploits of his dad, Len - who incidentally died on his son's 48th birthday - but he did some useful things for Ray Illingworth's England team in 1971. A tall allrounder, he hit an unbeaten 58 in his first Test innings, against Pakistan at Headingley, and 81 and 13 not out against India in his last Test, at The Oval. His useful medium pace brought him nine wickets at 28.55 in 123 economical overs. He later edited the Cricketer magazine.
Fast left-armer Brett Schultz achieved his best Test figures of 5 for 48 to help dismiss Sri Lanka for 168 at the Sinhalese Sports Club in Colombo. It set South Africa on the way to their first Test win abroad since 1965.
The birth of William Porterfield, a left-hand batsman who was a key part of Ireland's rise to the top of Associate cricket, and a key presence all through their time in the top rank. He began his one-day career with two early hundreds and smashed 85 in a 2007 World Cup match when Ireland beat Bangladesh. He also played key roles in Ireland's win over Bangladesh in the 2007 World Cup, and the one over Netherlands in the next edition.