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Friday, 23 July, 2021
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This Day in Sports History

1948: A startling 12 players made their debuts today in the first Test between West Indies and England. A few of them went by the wayside – remember Berkeley Gaskin? Or Winston Place? – but a few made names for themselves: this was also the debut of Clyde Walcott, Everton Weekes and Jim Laker. The match was drawn, but only after Laker – who bowled Walcott with his fourth ball – had put down a marker: he took 7 for 103 in the first innings.

1954: Controversial fare in Jamaica, where England were well-beaten by West Indies in the last Test of George Headley’s career. Headley bowed out with 16 and 1, out each time to Tony Lock, who was no-balled for throwing in the second innings. Worse still, the wife and son of umpire Perry Burke were attacked after he gave local hero John Holt out lbw for 94 in his first Test innings. And West Indies captain Jeff Stollmeyer was repeatedly booed for not enforcing the follow-on, a decision justified by his side’s 140-run victory on the final day.

1958: St Louis Hawks forward Bob Pettit becomes first member of the losing team to win the NBA All-Star MVP award; scores 28 points and grabs 26 rebounds, even though East beats West, 130-118.

1978: Panamanian boxer Roberto Durán becomes undisputed world lightweight champion with a 12th-round TKO of Esteban De Jesus at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas; defends his WBA title for 12th time, also takes De Jesus’ WBC title.

1986: 100 participate in Nude Olympics race in 38°F (3°C), Indiana.

1989: Wayne Gretzky passes Marcel Dionne to become NHL’s 2nd all time scorer.

1990: John McEnroe becomes 1st ever player to be expelled from the Australian Open.

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