ENGLAND will reach a remarkable milestone when they take on India at Edgbaston on Wednesday.
And in the build-up to their 1,000 Test match, SunSport’s cricket writer John Etheridge selects his most memorable.
ENGLAND v AUSTRALIA
(The Oval, 1902)
GILBERT JESSOP, known as ‘The Croucher’, made a 76-ball ton after England were set 263.
But 15 were still needed when last-wicket pair George Hirst and Wilfred Rhodes came together. “We’ll get ’em in singles,” is what Hirst is meant to have told Rhodes. England won by one wicket.
ENGLAND v AUSTRALIA
GREATEST England Test of all. Ian Botham was sacked as captain after England’s defeat in the previous game at Lord’s.
He responded with 6-95 and then, with England following on, a rampaging 149 not out. Bob Willis completed the victory with 8-43. England were 500-1 to win at one stage.
AUSTRALIA v ENGLAND
LAST-WICKET pair Allan Border and Jeff Thomson put on 70 runs before Thomson edged a ball from Botham and, after Chris Tavare fumbled the chance at second slip, Geoff Miller caught the rebound at first slip.
England won by three runs. All four totals in the match were between 284 and 294.
PAKISTAN v ENGLAND
IT was properly dark when Nasser Hussain and Graham Thorpe scampered the winning runs — there were no floodlights.
England needed 176 in 44 overs and, although Pakistan captain Moin Khan used delaying tactics, the umpires allowed play to continue in the gloaming. England won their first series in Pakistan for 39 years.
ENGLAND v AUSTRALIA
GLENN McGRATH trod on a stray ball before the start and a topsy-turvy thriller ended with England winning by two runs.
Andrew Flintoff commiserating with Brett Lee has become one of the most famous images.
HOWZAT FOR A FACT?!
- Australia won the Centenary Test in Melbourne in 1976-77 by 45 runs — the same result as the first Test 100 years earlier.
- David Gower bowled the final ball of the Trent Bridge Test against New Zealand in 1986 and was the first Englishman to be called for chucking in a home Test.
- Fred Grace, brother of WG, was the first England Test cricketer to die, aged 29 in 1880.
- Bob Taylor, aged 45, was called from hospitality to keep wicket at Lord’s in 1986. Bruce French had been hit on the head and Taylor, two years after retiring, kept for 74 overs.
- A near-riot was provoked at the First Test in 1896 when a huge crowd crammed into Lord’s. Fans flooded inside the boundary.
- The final day of the 1975 Ashes Test at Headingley was abandoned when supporters of George Davis, charged with armed robbery, dug holes and poured oil on the pitch overnight.
- England beat Australia at Sydney in 1894 after following-on. Bobby Peel took six wickets after arriving late as he got drunk.
- Barry Wood was called up as a replacement for New Zealand tour in 1974-75. It took 63 hours and he was out for a golden duck.
- Emile McMaster played one Test for England against South Africa in 1888-89. He batted at No 9, made a duck and didn’t bowl. It was his only first-class match.
- Bowler Walter Brearley was left out by chairman of selectors Henry Leveson Gower from the 1909 Lord’s Test. A week later, Brearley broke Leveson Gower’s hand in a county match — and was promptly chosen for the next Test.
- Sydney Barnes took 189 wickets in 27 Tests but clashed with authority and, when he died in 1967 aged 94, the MCC would not let his ashes be scattered at Lord’s.
- During the First World War, batsman Harry Lee was shot and given up for dead. When it was discovered he was alive, a memorial service had already been held.
- Batsman Wilf Slack, who died while playing in the Gambia in 1989 aged 34, was buried in his England blazer with his bat.
- Freddie Brown was chairman of selectors in 1953 and picked himself for the Lord’s Test. He was 42 and way past his best.
- Grey-haired and spectacled David Steele, aged 33, batted so well against the Aussies in his debut series in 1975 he won BBC Sports Personality of the Year. His Test career ended a year later.
- In the Second Sydney Test of 1887, England’s William Gunn umpired on the final day because the local official was unavailable. It is the only time this has happened.
- The longest gap between home Tests is 35 days against West Indies in 1966 — because of the football World Cup.