All Today's Yesterdays - May 22 down the years

1879
Birth of the man who led Australia to the only whitewash in Ashes history. Warwick Armstrong was at the helm for the 5-0 thrashing in 1920-21 - his first series as Aussie skipper - and Australia also won the next three Tests under his stewardship, in England the following summer. Nobody has got near his record of eight consecutive Ashes wins, nor his career record as captain: an 80% win ratio is superior to even Steve Waugh's (70.27%). Armstrong, who was known as "The Big Ship" - he weighed 22 stone by the time he retired - was a fine, cussed batsman and a useful, skiddy legspinner who took three Test five-fors. His finest series with the bat was in that 1920-21 rout, when he made three centuries, including a Test-best 158 at Sydney. He died in Sydney in 1947.

1940
An aesthete is born. Indian Erapalli Prasanna was the original artistic offspinner, relying on flight, cunning, stealth and grace. He was never afraid to give the ball air, and if that didn't do for batsmen, then the inordinate bounce he got often did. No Indian offie has taken more than his 189 wickets. Five of his six best returns came overseas, including a Test-best 8 for 76 against New Zealand at Auckland in 1975-76. India were victorious then, maintaining the pattern of Pras's career: he averaged 17 when they won, 39 when they didn't.

1907
Only twice in history has a bowler taken two hat-tricks in an innings, and for Middlesex against Somerset at Lord's on this day, Albert Trott became the first. Better still, it was in his benefit match. And after the first hat-trick, he took another next ball to make it four in four. Ironically Trott's burst of 7 for 20, which skittled Somerset for 97, was the last act of the match and so didn't add to his benefit gate. The other man to achieve the feat is Indian medium-pacer Joginder Rao.

1864
Birth of the first Australian southpaw to tour England. Whether opening or in the middle order, William Bruce was a real dasher, but his uncertain defence left him vulnerable. He played some fine innings, though, most notably a delightful 80 at Adelaide in 1894-95. He was also a useful medium-pacer, and seven of his 12 Test victims were out bowled. He later became a solicitor. Bruce was found drowned in his native Melbourne in 1925.

1979
At Solihull, Singapore beat Argentina by one wicket in the first match of the inaugural ICC Trophy. The purpose of the tournament was to decide which two teams would take part in the World Cup, but the schedule was a bit of a farce: Canada and Sri Lanka booked their places in the World Cup by winning their semi-finals on June 6. The World Cup began three days later, but the ICC Trophy final, which Sri Lanka won, was not played until June 21 - in between the semis and the final of the World Cup. It all makes Duckworth and Lewis look straightforward.

1927
Birth of the New Zealand wicketkeeper Eric Petrie, who played 14 Tests between 1955-56 and 1965-66, none of which his side won. He was dependable behind the stumps, but limited with the bat: his average didn't hit double figures until his 12th match, when he made a Test-best 55 against England at Christchurch.

Other birthdays
1964 Gamini Perera (Sri Lanka)