SW Long Leg Tales: Boxing Day History, This Day That Year

SW Long Leg Tales: Revisiting the Debut of Steve Waugh & Sanath Jayasuriya

Sir Alex Ferguson
MIDDLESBROUGH - DECEMBER 26: Manchester United Manager Sir Alex Ferguson stands watching play with Middlesbrough Manager Steve McLaren during the FA Barclaycard Premiership match between Middlesbrough and Manchester United heldo n December 26, 2002 at the Riverside Stadium, in Middlesbrough, England. Middlesbrough won the match 3-1. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Boxing Day brings a lot of joy and gifts for people and more importantly brings a lot of sports to the fans, be it Cricket or Football.

26th December means the fans are in for some sporting feast, as the games take centre stage. This day has been one of the most eventful days in the field of sports and has given so many memories to the fans.

Let’s have a look at some of the memorable events to have taken place on this day over the years.

THIS DAY, THAT YEAR.

CRICKET

Murali Called For Throwing, 1995 

Muralitharan and Darrel Hair
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 26: Australian umpire Darrell Hair no balls Muttiah Muralitharan of Sri Lanka during the second test match between Australia and Sri Lanka at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on January 26, 1995, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Getty Images)

Muttiah Muralitharan is the leading wicket-taker in Tests with 800 wickets, but his career has been full of controversies.

Australia hosted Sri Lanka for the Boxing Day Test in 1995. It was the same series in which Ricky Ponting made his international debut. The hosts batted first and scored 500/6d in the first innings. It was in the same innings when Murali was called for throwing by Australian Umpire, Darrel Hair.

Murali was called seven times by the Hair before he switched to the other end where New Zealander Steve Dunne let him bowl unhindered. Australia eventually won the match by ten wickets, and Murali was again no-balled for his action in 1998-99 by another Australian umpire Ross Emerson.

The ‘Great’ Steve Waugh Makes his Debut, 1985 

Steve Waugh
Image Courtesy: Getty Images

One of the greats of the game, Stephen ‘Rudiger’ Waugh made his Test debut against India at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Steve Waugh is joint-second on the list with Ricky Ponting to have played the most number of Tests (168). Waugh was one of the greatest captains, as he led Australia to 16 consecutive Test victories.

Adam Gilchrist was in charge of one of those 16, but Waugh is unarguably one of the greatest and mentally, the toughest player to have played the game.

Two Great Openers Made Their International Debut, 1989  

Sanath jayasuriya
AUSTRALIA – UNDATED: A portrait of Sanath Jayasuriya of Sri Lanka. (Photo by Getty Images)

Mark Taylor and Sanath Jayasuriya made their ODI debuts in the first match of the Benson and Hedges World Series. While Taylor’s career lasted just eight years, on the other hand, Sanath represented Sri Lanka for 22 long years in the limited-overs format.

FOOTBALL

Chelsea vs Aston Villa, 2007 

Chelsea vs Aston Villa
LONDON – DECEMBER 26: Gabriel Agbonlahor of Aston Villa goes down after a rash challenge from Ricardo Carvalho of Chelsea (Carvalho was shown the red card for the challenge) during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge on December 26, 2007, in London, England. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

The match was a goal feast, as it ended in a 4-4 draw at the Stamford Bridge. It had goals, drama, three red cards and the last minute equalizer.

Aston Villa took a two-goal advantage before Chelsea made it 3-2. Villa equalised again, but Michael Ballack made it 4-3. Ashley Cole was then sent off in the dying minutes for a handball in the penalty area, and Villa then converted the spot kick to take a point.

Middlesbrough vs Manchester United, 2002 

Sir Alex Ferguson
MIDDLESBROUGH – DECEMBER 26: Manchester United Manager Sir Alex Ferguson stands watching play with Middlesbrough Manager Steve McLaren during the FA Barclaycard Premiership match between Middlesbrough and Manchester United held n December 26, 2002, at the Riverside Stadium, in Middlesbrough, England. Middlesbrough won the match 3-1. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Manchester United are the undeniable kings of the Boxing Day match, at least in the Premier League Era.

United have lost just two games on the day and have the best record over any other team with 19 wins, two losses and two draws till date. The first loss came in 2002 against Middlesbrough, as Sir Alex Ferguson lost to his disciple Steve McClaren 3-1.