On This Day: 21st January in Cricket History

Cricket history is replete with fascinating moments, and January 21 is no exception. Let’s delve into the annals of the sport to revisit some remarkable events on this day.

1991 – Gower and Morris’s Aerial Prank

On the third day of England’s tour match against Queensland, cricketers David Gower and John Morris injected humor into the proceedings by hiring a Tiger Moth and buzzing Carrara Oval. This cheeky act followed Robin Smith’s return to form with a hundred. However, the England management, known for their seriousness, didn’t appreciate the joke, and both Gower and Morris were fined. Morris had even contemplated dropping a water bomb from the plane, adding an extra layer of mischief.

1888 – Birth of Herbie Collins, the Horseshoe

Australian opener Herbie Collins, nicknamed “Horseshoe” due to his good fortune, was born on this day in 1888. Collins, a bookmaker by trade, played 19 Tests between 1920 and 1926. Known for consistently winning tosses, he made impactful contributions with the bat, including a mighty 203 against South Africa in 1921-22. Collins also captained Australia to a 4-1 series win over England in 1924-25.

1964 – Chandrasekhar’s Test Debut

Indian leg-spinner Bhagwath Chandrasekhar made his Test debut on January 21, 1964, against England in Bombay. Over a 15-year career, he took 242 wickets, showcasing his spin wizardry. Despite England’s debutants and numerous setbacks, the match ended in a draw.

1970 – Ian Salisbury’s Birth

English leg-spinner Ian Salisbury, born on this day in 1970, had a mixed career. Despite success in county cricket, his international career was less illustrious. Salisbury struggled at the highest level, facing memorable mauling by Hansie Cronje and managing just one wicket in three Tests in Pakistan in 2000-01.

1948 – Debut Extravaganza in Bridgetown

A Test in Bridgetown between West Indies and England in 1948 saw a startling 12 players making their debuts. Notable debuts included Clyde Walcott, Everton Weekes, and Jim Laker. Laker, in particular, left a mark by taking 7 for 103 in the first innings. The match ended in a draw.

1954 – Controversy in Jamaica

In a Test between England and West Indies in Jamaica, Tony Lock was no-balled for throwing in the second innings. Umpire Perry Burke’s family faced an attack, and West Indies captain Jeff Stollmeyer was booed for not enforcing the follow-on. West Indies won by 140 runs.

1865 – Tragic Bill Brockwell’s Birth

Bill Brockwell, an England cricketer who played seven Tests between 1893 and 1899, was born on this day in 1865. Tragically, he spent his final 15 years homeless and penniless, highlighting the struggles some early cricketers faced post-retirement.

1956 – Mike Smith’s Dual Sportsmanship

England Test captain Mike Smith displayed versatility by playing rugby union for his country on this day in 1956. However, Wales emerged victorious with an 8-3 scoreline at Twickenham, marking the end of Smith’s rugby international career.

2000 – Abdul Razzaq’s All-Round Brilliance

In a one-day match in Hobart, Abdul Razzaq showcased his enormous potential. He played a blistering 52-ball 70 and followed it up with figures of 5 for 48, helping Pakistan beat India by 32 runs in the Carlton & United Series. Razzaq’s performance earned him the Player-of-the-Tournament award.

Other Birthdays:

  • 1957: Shaukat Dukanwala (UAE)
  • 1960: Phil Horne (New Zealand)
  • 1971: Chanderkanta Kaul (India)
  • 1981: Jamie Dalrymple (England)
  • 1981: Gavin Ewing (Zimbabwe)
  • 1985: Riaz Afridi (Pakistan)

These events and birthdays collectively contribute to the rich tapestry of cricket history on January 21.

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