And then there was Bodyline
Birth of the man who championed Bodyline. England captain Douglas Jardine perfected a strategy that had been around for a few years, which involved short, fast bowling aimed at the body, with a ring of fielders on the leg side. The main idea, which relied on a battery of accurate quick bowlers led by Harold Larwood, was conceived to counter Don Bradman's phenomenal scoring and to bring back the Ashes on England's tour of 1932-33. And it worked: England won 4-1 and Bradman averaged a below-par (for him) 56. The tactic was hugely controversial, however (Bert Oldfield suffered a fractured skull when he mishooked, and several others took nasty blows), and Jardine was loathed in Australia. But he insisted it was not unfair, and when West Indians Learie Constantine and Manny Martindale gave England a taste of their own medicine at Old Trafford the following summer, the "Iron Duke" practised what he preached with a brave 127, his only Test hundred. Jardine died in Switzerland in 1958.
Birth of Colin Milburn, the genial Geordie whose career was tragically cut short when he lost his left eye in a car accident in 1969. He was seen by some as a glorified biffer, but Milburn was basically an orthodox batter who had enough meat (18 stone of it, sometimes more) to hit the ball many a mile. "Ollie" made a splendid, match-saving 126 against West Indies at Lord's in 1966, but he played only nine Tests - the last of which, in Karachi in 1968-69, saw him blitz a scorching 139 - before catastrophe struck. He also played with distinction for Northants and Western Australia, for whom he creamed 243 in Brisbane in 1968-69, including 181 in the two hours between lunch and tea. He made an attempted comeback but it was not a success. He drifted thereafter, and died of a heart attack, aged 48, in 1990.
In front of a Hyderabad crowd, New South Wales beat Trinidad & Tobago to win the inaugural Champions League Twenty20 and with it pocket US$2.5million. Local enthusiasm toward the competition was dampened by the capitulation of the IPL teams, and there were hardly any spectators in Delhi for the first semi-final, but the turnout was more impressive in Hyderabad, and fans were treated to a NSW victory over a side that had gained superb momentum by winning five games in a row. In the end, however, T&T were undone by Brett Lee, who scored 48 and took two early wickets to finish Man of the Match and Series.
Brad Haddin, born on this day, was the successor to Adam Gilchrist in the Australian team. Haddin, who starkly resembles Ian Healy, made his international debut as early as January 2001, but only made an impression in his first Test series, in West Indies in 2008, playing through the pain of a broken finger. He soon became indispensable, adding solidity to the middle order in the longer version and successfully adapting to different positions in ODIs. He made a century in the first Ashes Test in Cardiff in 2009 and remained in form with the bat and gloves during the 2009-10. But after he pulled out of the 2012 tour to West Indies, because his daughter Mia was diagnosed with cancer, Haddin had to compete for the keeping spot with Matthew Wade. He came back for the 2013 Ashes in England and nearly pulled off a thrilling chase with a three-and-a-half-hour 71 at Trent Bridge. Haddin kicked off the return series six months later with a hundred in Adelaide. He pulled out of the 2015 Ashes after the first Test for family reasons and announced his retirement after the series.
With his lethal combination of height, pace, bounce and lateral movement, Steve Harmison, born on this day, possessed every attribute to be an all-time great - except, unfortunately, the requisite desire. In March 2004 at Sabina Park, he scattered West Indies with the incredible figures of 7 for 12, but the menace he produced on that day was rarely seen thereafter, and his entire England career was encapsulated by his opening gambits from successive Ashes series - his ferocious first-morning onslaught at Lord's in 2005, and his pitiful wide to second slip in Brisbane 18 months later.
An outstanding feat of endurance from Ray Lindwall led Australia to an innings victory over India in the first Test in Madras. In stifling heat, and having been sidelined for most of the first innings by a stomach complaint, Lindwall took 7 for 43 in the second innings, the best figures by an Australian in India till Jason Krejza bettered it with eight (but for 215 runs) in 2008-09. The previous best was 7 for 72 - by Richie Benaud in the first innings.
England fell to their biggest ODI defeat - in terms of runs - when they lost by 219 to Sri Lanka in a dead rubber in Colombo. Having already won the series, England experimented with their XI, leaving out captain Eoin Morgan among others. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka's batting finally clicked and their top four all made half-centuries - the first time since 1998 that that had happened - in a total of 366. England's D-L target of 352 in 26.1 overs looked ungettable in the best of circumstances, but the contest was over when they fell to 4 for 3 in the second over.
New Zealand were Waqar-ed in the second Test in Lahore. Having lost the first match by an innings they went down by nine wickets here, with Waqar Younis adding ten wickets (eight of which were bowled or lbw) to the seven he took in the first match. He took 3 for 20 in the first innings (when extras, with 38, top-scored) and 7 for 86 in the second. This rendered futile the brave efforts of Martin Crowe, who made an unbeaten 108 in nearly ten hours.
An improbable all-round performance from Viv Richards led West Indies to a 20-run victory over India in a low-scoring Nehru Cup match in Delhi. Richards belted 44 off 42 balls and then spun India to defeat with his best international figures of 6 for 41, including three wickets in four balls.
Fast bowler Alex Tudor, born today, was controversially picked ahead of Andy Caddick for the 1998-99 Ashes. He took four wickets on debut in Perth, but importantly scored an unbeaten 18 that ensured England weren't bowled out for under 100. Two Tests later, Tudor made an unbeaten 99 - then the highest Test score by an English nightwatchman - in England's seven-wicket win against New Zealand. Injuries kept him out for some time and he went on to play another seven Tests, in which he took one five-for, against Australia at Trent Bridge in 2001.