2006

January Ricky Ponting becomes the first man to score two centuries in his 100th Test, as Australia beat South Africa at Sydney. February New Zealand win international cricket’s first bowl-out, 3-0, after tying their Twenty20 match against West Indies at Auckland. Pakistan retain the Under-19 World Cup. March Muttiah Muralitharan becomes first to take 1,000 wickets in international cricket (589 in Tests, 411 in one-dayers). Alastair Cook makes century on Test debut for England at Nagpur. South Africa (438-9) beat Australia (434-4) in record high-scoring one-day international at Johannesburg, and shade series 3-2. April Australia’s Jason Gillespie completes the first Test double-century by a night-watchman, on his 31st birthday, against Bangladesh at Chittagong. Asia (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh) confirmed as hosts for the 2011 World Cup; 2015 tournament will be in Australasia, 2019 in England. May Jacques Kallis becomes the second player, after Garry Sobers, to score 8,000 runs and take 200 wickets in Tests. Eric Bedser, one of the famous Surrey twins, dies aged 87. June India’s Virender Sehwag hits 99 not out before lunch on first day of Second Test in St Lucia. Afghanistan start a three-week tour of England, playing clubs and county Second XIs. South Africa confirmed as venue for the first international Twenty20 World Championship, in September 2007. Ireland play their first official one-day international, at Belfast: England win it by 38 runs. Dublin-born Ed Joyce makes his debut for England: his brother Dominick opens for Ireland. July Fred Trueman dies, aged 75. Sri Lanka whitewash England 5-0 in one-day series, with Sanath Jayasuriya and Upul Tharanga sharing a record opening stand of 286 in the final match, at Headingley. Sri Lanka break the record for the highest total in an official one-day international, with 443-9 against Holland at Amstelveen. Ashwell Prince named as South Africa’s first black captain, after Graeme Smith pulls out of Sri Lanka tour with ankle injury. Mahela Jayawardene (374) and Kumar Sangakkara (287) complete a partnership of 624, the highest in all first-class cricket, in the First Test against South Africa in Colombo. August An inquest in South Africa blames pilot error for the air crash that killed Hansie Cronje in 2002. The umpires award the Oval Test to England after Pakistan protest at being penalised for alleged ball-tampering: England thus take the series 3-0. Clyde Walcott, one of the legendary Three Ws, dies in Barbados, aged 80. Sussex win the last C&G Trophy final, beating Lancashire by 15 runs at Lord’s. September Andrew Flintoff named as England captain for the Ashes rematch. Inzamam-ul-Haq cleared of ball-tampering by ICC, but banned for four matches after being found guilty of bringing the game into disrepute with his Oval walk-off. 29 Former New Zealand captain Walter Hadlee, the father of Richard, dies aged 91. October Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif return home from Champions Trophy in India after Pakistan board reveals they failed recent tests for performance-enhancing drugs. The Ashes urn arrives in Australia, for the first time since 1988, for a nationwide series of exhibitions.November ICC decides that Darrell Hair will not umpire any more major internationals, saying the board had “lost confidence” in him. Australia win the Champions Trophy for the first time, beating holders West Indies by eight wickets in the Mumbai final. Marcus Trescothick flies home from Ashes tour with recurrence of “stress-related illness”. Indian schoolboys Manoj Kumar and Mohammed Shaibaz, both 13, break Sachin Tendulkar and Vinod Kambli’s record for the highest partnership in cricket history, with 721 in 40 overs for St Peter’s School in Hyderabad. Geoff Griffin, the South African fast bowler who took a hat-trick and was called for throwing in the 1960 Lord’s Test, dies at 67. Former England batsman Graham Roope, 60, dies in Grenada. Australia win first Ashes Test at Brisbane by 277 runs. Mohammad Yousuf breaks Viv Richards’s 30-year-old record for Test runs in a calendar year, finishing with 1,788. December Australia win the Third Test at Perth and regain the Ashes. Shane Warne announces that he will retire after the Sydney Test against England; Glenn McGrath announces that he will retire after the World Cup. 26 Warne takes his 700th Test wicket (Andrew Strauss) as Australia win the Fourth Test at Melbourne to go 4-0 up in the Ashes series (they made it 5-0 in January 2007). England’s oldest Test player, “Mandy” Mitchell-Innes, dies at 92.

 

2005

January England win close-fought series in South Africa 2-1. Bangladesh win their first Test, at the 35th attempt, against Zimbabwe at Chittagong. February Australia beat New Zealand in the inaugural Twenty20 international. March Inzamam-ul-Haq scores 184 in his 100th Test for Pakistan, against India at Bangalore. Steve Bucknor becomes the first umpire to stand in 100 Tests. April Australia win the women’s World Cup for the fifth time, beating India in the final at Centurion. May England brush Bangladesh aside 2-0, winning both Tests by an innings: England took 40 wickets and lost only six themselves. June Bangladesh beat Australia in one-day international at Cardiff. August England level Ashes series with nail-biting two-run win at Birmingham. Shane Warne becomes the first bowler to take 600 Test wickets. ICC offices move to Dubai, after 96 years at Lord’s. September England regain the Ashes for the first time since 1989, winning an action-packed series 2-1 to great national acclaim, including a victory parade that ended in Trafalgar Square. England’s women regain their Ashes too, beating Australia 1-0. October Australia beat a World XI in three one-day internationals and a Test match, controversially all given official status by the ICC. November Brian Lara becomes Test cricket’s leading run-scorer, passing Allan Border’s aggregate of 11,174. DecemberSachin Tendulkar makes his 35th Test century, beating Sunil Gavaskar’s record. Pakistan beat England 2-0, ending their run of six successive series victories. Kerry Packer dies, aged 68.

 

2004

January Steve Waugh retires, after a record 168 Test matches: the series against India is drawn 1-1.March Virender Sehwag hits 309, India’s first triple-century, against Pakistan at Multan. Stephen Harmison takes seven for 12 as England bowl West Indies out for 47 at Kingston, in a four-match series England went on to win 3-0. March Start of long-running bitter dispute between Zimbabwe’s board and players, who are reportedly concerned at the board’s “racist” policies: Zimbabwe eventually withdraw temporarily from Test cricket, and several of the “rebels” have not played since. April Brian Lara regains the Test record by scoring 400 not out for West Indies against England in Antigua. May Muttiah Muralitharan passes Courtney Walsh’s record tally of 519 Test wickets. Nasser Hussain announces his retirement after hitting a century and the winning runs in the Lord’s Test against New Zealand. August England finish the summer with a 100% recordin Tests, winning all four against West Indies and three against New Zealand. September West Indies beat England in Champions Trophy final at The Oval which ended in near-darkness. October Shane Warne passes Muralitharan’s tally (533) to become Test cricket’s leading wicket-taker. December Galle Test ground devastated by the tsunami disaster that cost thousands of lives in Sri Lanka.

 

2003

February Shane Warne banned for a year after positive drug test – he claimed he was given a slimming pill by his mother. During the World Cup, Andy Flower and Henry Olonga wear black armbands protesting at the “death of democracy” in Zimbabwe: neither has played for the country since the tournament finished. In the eighth World Cup itself, Canada beat Bangladesh – but are then skittled for a record-low 36 by Sri Lanka. England refuse to play in Zimbabwe, which ends up costing them a place in the later stages. March Australia retain the World Cup, despite Warne’s absence, hammering India by 125 runs in the final at Johannesburg: captain Ricky Ponting made 140 not out. April Tim de Lisle edits Wisden for one year, before the return of Matthew Engel: the Almanack features a photograph (of Michael Vaughan) on the cover for the first time.May West Indies score a record 418 to beat Australia in Antigua Test – but still lose the series 3-1. JuneEngland win both Tests against Zimbabwe inside three days. New 20-over competition – the Twenty20 Cup – introduced in England and catches the public imagination. July Nasser Hussain resigns as England captain after first Test against South Africa (in which Graeme Smith made 277) and is replaced by Michael Vaughan.August England win final Test to draw series against South Africa 2-2. October Matthew Hayden breaks the Test record with 380 for Australia against Zimbabwe at Perth. December Sri Lanka beat England 1-0 after innings victory in Colombo. Australia score 556 in Adelaide Test – but lose it to India.

 

2002

January Sharjah hosts its first Test, after West Indies decline to tour Pakistan for security reasons. MarchICC announces its first panel of full-time international umpires. May Inzamam-ul-Haq scores 329 for Pakistan v New Zealand at Lahore: shortly afterwards the tour is abandoned following a bomb-blast near the tourists’ hotel. June Hansie Cronje is killed in a plane crash in South Africa. England beat Sri Lanka 2-0. Warwickshire win the 31st and last Benson & Hedges Cup. September England draw 1-1 with India. Yorkshire are relegated to Division Two of the County Championship, finishing bottom of the table the year after winning the title. December Australia retain the Ashes, winning the first three Tests inside 11 days of actual play: they eventually take the series 4-1.

 

2001

January Australia complete 5-0 whitewash of West Indies. February Sir Donald Bradman dies, aged 92.March India beat Australia at Kolkata after following on, only the third such instance in Test history (Australia were on the receiving end each time), and go on to take exciting series 2-1: Australia had won their previous 16 Tests, another record. England also come from one-down in Sri Lanka to win series 2-1.Courtney Walsh becomes the first bowler to take 500 Test wickets: retires shortly afterwards with 519. Sachin Tendulkar passes 10,000 runs in one-day internationals. April Graeme Wright returns as Wisden editor while Matthew Engel is working in the U.S.A. May Hampshire play their first match at their new Rose Bowl ground: the first day is washed out. August Australia win the Ashes series 4-1. September Yorkshire clinch their first County Championship title since 1968. Mohammad Ashraful, 17, becomes the youngest player to score a Test century, on his debut for Bangladesh against Sri Lanka. November Test between South Africa and India is stripped of official status after a dispute about the referee, Mike Denness, who fined six Indians for various offences in the previous match. December India beat England 1-0 in three-match series.

 

2000

January England win fifth Test at Centurion after both sides forfeit an innings: South Africa still take series 2-1. Writer and broadcaster E.W. Swanton dies, aged 92. March England announce first batch of 12 players to be given central contracts. Zimbabwe, chasing only 99 to win their inaugural Test in West Indies, are bowled out for 63 at Port-of-Spain. April Millennium edition of Wisden names the Five Players of the Century:Don Bradman (who received a vote from each of the 100 experts consulted), Jack Hobbs, Viv Richards, Garry Sobers and Shane Warne. Delhi police charge Hansie Cronje and others with match-fixing: after initially denying the charge, Cronje later admits it, is replaced as South African captain, and subsequently banned for life. May Salim Malik and Ata-ur-Rehman banned for life after Pakistan investigation into match-fixing allegations. August England beat West Indies inside two days in the Leeds Test: they go on to win the series 3-1, and lift the Wisden Trophy for the first time since 1969. Alec Stewart scores 105 in his 100th Test, against West Indies at Manchester: it was Michael Atherton’s 100th Test too (he made 1 and 28). First indoor one-day internationals played, between Australia and South Africa at Melbourne’s Docklands Stadium.September Surrey win the first two-division County Championship. November Bangladesh’s first official Testagainst India at Dhaka, : they score 400 in the first innings, Aminul Islam, making 145, but collapse in the second and lose. December Former England captain and ICC chairman Colin Cowdrey dies, aged 67. England beat Pakistan at Karachi – their first Test defeat there – to take the Test series 1-0. Mohammad Azharuddin and Ajay Sharma banned for life after Indian investigation into match-fixing. Playing at home, New Zealand beat Australia to win the women’s World Cup final for the first time.