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On this day:

First Test Cricket match takes place

Testing Times

Happy birthday Test cricket, which was born on this day in 1880 with the first Test between England and Australia at The Oval. OK, cricket nerds, I know that there had been various Test matches prior to this in both Australia and New Zealand. But they were in Australia and New Zealand. This was the first Test on English soil, and so I count it as the first anywhere. That is just the way I roll. Though it wasn’t much of a Test series, as there was only one game. However the facial hair standards for the entire series were immense. Moustaches and beards on show included magnificent examples by Australian captain Billy Murdoch (reminiscent of a hairy hang-glider beneath the upper lip), Alick Bannerman (a magnificent, bristly concoction) and the great WG Grace who not only scored a remarkable 152 runs in his first innings, but also had a beard you could easily lodge a badger in.