At the age of 32, and just 26 months after his dramatic fall from grace, Hansie Cronje died in a plane crash near George, a town in South Africa's Western Cape. Cronje, who captained South Africa in 53 matches - and would surely have done so in many more - and two World Cups, shook the cricket world to its foundations in April 2000, when he admitted taking money from a bookmaker to influence the results of matches, and invited ridicule by blaming Satanic influences for his deception. But at the time of his death, in South Africa at least, he was beginning to win back public support despite this notorious lack of repentance. Away from cricket, he had been rebuilding his life as a financial manager for a Johannesburg company. More than 2000 mourners attended his funeral.
The greatest day of Chris Old's career. Against Pakistan at Edgbaston, Old took 7 for 50, including four wickets in five balls. Agonisingly, this spell did not include a hat-trick: worse still, the two sets of two wickets sandwiched a no-ball. Old is one of only three men to achieve the feat in a Test (Maurice Allom and Wasim Akram are the others). Pakistan were blown away for 164, and England went on to win by an innings inside four days. This Test also marked the debut of David Gower, who Wisden said "played with the assurance of a Test veteran". Gower made another fifty in his second innings, a century in his fourth, and a double-century within a year.
At Taunton, Viv Richards became the first West Indian to make 300 runs in a day. He creamed 322 against Warwickshire, back then the highest score in Somerset's history, and it was brutal stuff. Richards reached 300 off only 244 balls - he went from 100 to 300 in 130 deliveries - and in all, belted eight sixes and 42 fours. At the time it was the highest first-class score in England since 1949. Richards' record stood for 21 years, before Justin Langer scored 342 for Somerset against Surrey.
The end of one great Test career... and the beginning of two others. WG Grace began the last of his 22 Tests at the age of 50 in England's draw against Australia at Trent Bridge. Grace made 28 and 1 and took no wickets, while two young debutants had mixed starts. For England, Wilfred Rhodes took seven wickets. For Australia, Victor Trumper began with a duck but went on to forge a reputation as one of their finest batters.
Dinesh Karthik, born today, caught the eye on his one-day debut, at Lord's in 2004, with a brilliant one-hand stumping to dismiss Michael Vaughan. A few months later he made his Test debut against Australia in Mumbai, but after managing just one fifty in ten Tests, he was axed in favour of the flamboyant MS Dhoni. He returned for India's tour of South Africa in 2006, scored his maiden Test hundred in Dhaka in 2007, and was for a while considered a specialist Test opener. But once Dhoni became a fixture, Karthik retreated to the fringes. India preferred Wriddhiman Saha as the keeper after Dhoni's Test retirement, so Karthik had to be content with being a high-value player in the IPL, including a stint as captain of the Kolkata Knight Riders. In 2018, he played possibly the innings he will be remembered for: India needed 34 off the last two overs to beat Bangladesh in the Nidahas Trophy final in Colombo. Karthik hit 22 off the 19th over and produced a six off the final ball of the tournament to win India the title, forging a new reputation as a finisher.
The first Indian Premier League ended with a cliffhanger of a final. Rajasthan Royals, the tournament's most consistent side (and its most underrated) beat Chennai Super Kings off the final ball in Mumbai. Rajasthan needed 21 off 14 balls when their star batter, Yusuf Pathan, was run out for a 39-ball 56. Their lead bowler, Sohail Tanvir, joined Shane Warne at the crease, and at the start of the final over Rajasthan needed eight off six balls. It came down to one off one. Tanvir pulled to short mid-on, by which time Warne had already scrambled halfway down the pitch.
Six years later Kolkata Knight Riders won their second IPL title in a high-intensity match against Kings XI Punjab, who made it to their maiden final after six below-par seasons. Wriddhiman Saha's hundred - the first in an IPL final - set up a chase of 200, which Manish Pandey directed with an urgent but fluent 94 off 50 balls.
Just one wicketless Test for Indian seamer Rashid Patel, who was born today, and is better known for an unsavoury incident during the Duleep Trophy final in Jamshedpur in 1990-91. After one sledging match too many, Patel chased Raman Lamba, the batter, wielding a stump maniacally. He struck Lamba and was later banned for 14 months.
Birth of Frank Cameron, the New Zealand seamer who played 19 Tests in the 1960s. He was successful too, taking three five-fors and averaging below 30. Cameron's finest display was against Pakistan in Auckland in 1964-65, when his match figures were 49-22-70-9. He was later chairman of selectors for New Zealand, as well as an umpire, and was awarded the MBE.
Fourteen Tests for Matt Poore, who was born today, but his wasn't the most successful career. New Zealand won none of those games, and Poore never topped the 45 he made in his very first innings, against South Africa in Auckland in 1952-53.