Cricket history is dotted with remarkable events and the birthdays of legendary cricketers. On this day, October 14, we delve into the past to highlight some of the most exciting cricket-related occurrences and the players who have graced the sport.
1976 – Tillakaratne Dilshan’s Dynamic Entry
Tillakaratne Dilshan, born on this day, burst onto the international cricket scene with a bang. In his debut series in 1999 against Zimbabwe, he displayed incredible talent by scoring an unbeaten 163. Known for his technical prowess, comfort against fast bowlers, quick footwork, strong wrists, and natural timing, Dilshan had a wealth of cricketing talent. Despite being on the fringes for some time, he made a remarkable comeback to both one-day and Test cricket in 2003. Six years later, he was promoted to the top of the order, where he achieved great success, scoring 11 international centuries in a single year and being named the 2009 World T20 Player of the Series. However, his most iconic contribution to cricket was the “Dilscoop,” a remarkable shot that involved flicking the ball over the wicketkeeper’s head. In 2011, Dilshan became the captain of the Sri Lankan cricket team but relinquished the position a year later after a series of defeats. He retired from Test cricket in the following year.
1977 – Saeed Ajmal: The Master of the Doosra
Born on this day, Saeed Ajmal went on to become a prominent figure in Pakistan’s cricketing history. Despite early concerns about his bowling action, Ajmal returned to the game with a cleared action to take 13 wickets in Pakistan’s successful World T20 campaign in 2009. A month later, he made his Test debut in Sri Lanka, where he took 14 wickets in three matches. He continued to shine with 18 wickets against Sri Lanka in the Middle East during the 2011-12 season and another 15 when Pakistan visited Sri Lanka in 2012. His incredible performances against England in the UAE, including a ten-wicket haul, established him as Pakistan’s lead bowler. Ajmal’s claim to fame was his “teesra,” a delivery he claimed to have invented. Unfortunately, in 2014, his doosra was deemed illegal, and he faced a ban from bowling by the ICC. Although he made a brief return for limited-overs matches in 2015, he eventually faded from Pakistan’s cricketing scene.
1953 – Roland Butcher: England’s First Black Cricketer
Born in Barbados, Roland Butcher came to England at the age of 14. He made history as the first black man to play for the English cricket team. His remarkable debut against Australia at Edgbaston in 1980, during which he scored a rapid 52, earned him a spot on the West Indies tour that followed. However, his Test career was limited to just three matches. Struggling against the short ball and making only 71 runs in total, Butcher was never picked for the national side again.
1882 – Charlie Parker: The Wicket-Taking Machine
Charlie Parker, one of the most prolific wicket-takers in cricket history, was born on this day. Although he played just one Test match, he made an indelible mark on the cricketing world with his remarkable performances for Gloucestershire. Parker’s 3278 first-class wickets place him third on the all-time list, behind only Wilfred Rhodes and Tich Freeman. Known for his exceptional bowling on sticky wickets, Parker achieved numerous records, including an astonishing 17 wickets for 56 runs against Essex in 1925. Despite his remarkable first-class career, his only Test appearance came in 1921 against Australia at Old Trafford, where his figures of 2 for 32 off 28 overs didn’t secure him a more extended Test career. His outspokenness and conflicts with Plum Warner may have played a role in his limited international appearances.
1981 – Gautam Gambhir: A Tower of Consistency
Gautam Gambhir, born on this day, left an indelible mark on Indian cricket with his consistent and impressive performances. His journey through the ranks culminated in a standout year between 2008 and 2010 when he made seven half-centuries and eight centuries in 25 innings. He played a pivotal role in India’s victory in the inaugural World T20 and continued to impress in Test matches, both at home and abroad. However, after a century against Bangladesh in January 2010, Gambhir faced a century drought in Tests, leading to his omission from the team in 2012. Though he made a brief return in 2014, his impact was limited. Despite his ups and downs, Gambhir’s contributions to Indian cricket are celebrated.
1968 – Rashid Latif: The Whistle-Blower
Born in 1968, Rashid Latif is renowned not only for his cricketing skills but also for his role as a whistle-blower in the cricket world. Latif retired from international cricket in 1994-95 as a protest against unethical practices within the sport. He later returned as a captain but faced a lack of popularity among some of his teammates due to his honesty. Known for his exceptional wicketkeeping and batting abilities, Latif was an impactful player in the Pakistan cricket team. In 1992, he impressed on his debut by scoring a stylish 50. His commitment to maintaining the integrity of the game made him a significant figure in cricket history.
1988 – Glenn Maxwell: The Maverick Batter
Glenn Maxwell, born in 1988, is known for his unconventional and audacious style of play. A maverick Australian batter, Maxwell is famous for his reverse sweeps and switch hits, which clear boundaries in the biggest cricket stadiums. His versatility makes him the prototype of the modern limited-overs cricketer, excelling with the bat, in the field, and as a part-time bowler. He made his international debut in 2012 and made waves in the IPL for Kings XI Punjab the following year. Maxwell’s performance at the 2015 World Cup, where he struck a 51-ball century against Sri Lanka, was a record-breaking moment. Although it appeared that Test cricket might not suit his style, Maxwell returned in 2017 with a remarkable four-hour century against India. In 2019, he took a mental-health break from cricket but made a successful return in 2020, showcasing his extraordinary skills.
1912 – A Misunderstanding with a Hotel Receptionist: Jack Crapp
Jack Crapp, born on this day, became the subject of a humorous cricket anecdote involving a misunderstanding with a hotel receptionist. When he checked into a hotel, the receptionist asked, “Bed, sir?” To which Crapp humorously replied, “No, Crapp.” This amusing episode added a lighthearted twist to his cricketing legacy.
1999 – New Zealand’s Remarkable Draw
On this day in 1999, New Zealand achieved a remarkable draw in the first Test against India in Chandigarh. Surviving a total of 135 overs, New Zealand compiled 251 for 7. The match took an unexpected turn when New Zealand bowled out India for just 83 runs on the first morning of the Test, with Dion Nash delivering a stunning performance with figures of 6 for 27. However, India made a strong comeback, with Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar scoring centuries in a declaration of 505 for 3. New Zealand faced the challenging task of chasing 374 for a victory that seemed improbable at lunch on the first day of the Test. Ultimately, they managed to secure a draw, which was considered a remarkable achievement.
2005 – The ICC’s Super Test
In 2005, the ICC organized a Super Test in Sydney, featuring Australia, the leading team at the time, and a star-studded World XI. This highly anticipated match featured some of the greatest cricketing talents, including Rahul Dravid, Brian Lara, Muttiah Muralitharan, Virender Sehwag, Inzamam-ul-Haq, and Jacques Kallis. However, the Super Test didn’t live up to the expectations, as Australia took four days out of the scheduled six to secure a 210-run victory over the World XI. The bowlers, Stuart MacGill and Shane Warne, played crucial roles, taking 15 of the 20 World XI wickets, with MacGill outshining his more famous partner with nine wickets. The World XI managed to score only 190 and 144, leading to a somewhat anticlimactic conclusion of the Super Test.
1993 – Ashton Agar’s Dream Debut
Ashton Agar, the left-arm spinner, had a dream Test debut on this day. Coming in to bat at No. 11 with Australia at 117 for 9 during the first Ashes Test in 2013, he delivered a stunning performance. Agar scored an incredible 98 runs, becoming the highest Test scorer by a No. 11 batter. He also achieved the distinction of being the first teenaged Australian spinner to take a Test wicket. Despite this impressive start, Agar’s Test career faced some ups and downs. The selectors reverted to the more experienced Nathan Lyon after Agar played one more Test in the series. However, he made a comeback in 2017, facing Bangladesh. In early 2020, Agar claimed a remarkable five-wicket haul, including a hat-trick, against South Africa in Johannesburg, marking the best bowling figures by an Australian in T20Is. He later outperformed himself by taking six wickets for 30 runs against New Zealand, further establishing himself as a key player in Australian cricket.
1918 – Doug Ring’s Heroics
Born on this day, Doug Ring was an Australian all-rounder known for his hard-hitting batting and fearless leg-spin bowling. He played 13 Tests and is best remembered for his remarkable performance in the fourth Test in Melbourne in 1951-52. Facing West Indies, Australia was in a difficult position when Ring added 38 runs for the last wicket with Bill Johnston, leading to an unlikely victory.
1989 – Shan Masood: A Solid Opening Option
Shan Masood, born on this day, is a Pakistani opener who honed his cricketing skills while playing school and university cricket in England. He made his Test debut against South Africa on his 24th birthday, scoring a crucial 75 in Pakistan’s victory. Masood’s most notable achievement was scoring a maiden Test hundred during Pakistan’s highest successful chase of 377, which occurred in Pallekele in 2015. In his second Test series in England in 2020, he displayed incredible resilience by scoring 156 runs in over eight hours. Although Pakistan lost the match, Masood’s performance earned him recognition as a solid opening option. He was also the top run-scorer in List A cricket in Pakistan between 2016 and 2021.
- 1900 – Eddie McLeod (New Zealand)
- 1902 – Shunter Coen (South Africa)
- 1913 – Ginty Lush (Australia)
- 1912 – Jack Young (England)
- 1914 – Tom Dollery (England)
- 1980 – Amjad Khan (England)
- 1979 – Hasantha Fernando (Sri Lanka)
Cricket history is filled with memorable moments and players who have left their mark on the sport. These events and personalities remind us of the rich tapestry of the game that we all love. Happy birthday to all the cricket legends born on this day!