Today's sporting birthdays: Sir Viv, Lendl, Ben Arfa

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We look at the sporting superstars celebrating their birthdays today.

Of all the greats to have been denied the chance to play T20 cricket of the game it is perhaps the Antuigan’s absence which is the most regrettable, such was his effortless aggression at the crease.

Born 65 years ago today, Richards was a true superstar of the game in the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s as the West Indies enchanted from Headingley to Hobart.

Making his Test debut in 1974, aged 22, against India, he registered just 4 and 3 in Bangalore but the fireworks weren’t too far away as in his second match he made an unbeaten 192 in New Delhi.

Over 121 Tests he notched 8,540 runs at an average of 50.23.

In the one-day arena he was equally as destructive, becoming the fastest in history to reach 1,000 ODI runs and played a key role in the West Indies’ World Cup triumphs of 1975 and 1979.

Other sports stars born on this day: 

1959: Tom Lehman, American golfer who won the Open Championship in 1996 (58).

1960: Ivan Lendl, former world No1 and eight-time grand slam winner who now coaches Andy Murray (57).

1973: Ray Parlour, ex-Arsenal midfielder who is a cult hero at the club having won three Premier League titles (44).

1987: Hatem ben Arfa, French winger for Paris Saint-Germain formerly of Nice, Newcastle and Lyon (30).

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Happy Birthday: O’Neal, Howard, Radwanska

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Few players in NBA history have been as dominant and bursting with personality as the man who simply goes by ‘Shaq’.

Turning 45 today, O’Neal managed to be larger than life, both literally at 7ft 1in and 325 pounds, and metaphorically as a superstar who embraced his fame.

He was drafted first overall by the Orlando Magic in 1992, but it was with the Los Angeles Lakers where he truly became a household name, helping the renowned franchise to three straight titles from 2000-2002 while earning Finals MVP each time and the league’s MVP in 2000.

After moving on to the Miami Heat, he won another ring in 2006 before bouncing around from Phoenix to Cleveland to Boston at the tail end of his career.

Shaq is also known for his starring role in the film ‘Kazaam’ and now works as an analyst for TNT.

Other sport stars born on this day

1954: Harald Schumacher, ex-Germany goalkeeper who infamously fouled Patrick Battiston in 1982 World Cup (63).

1979: Tim Howard, goalkeeper for Colorado Rapids andowner of 111 international caps for United States (38).

1986: Jake Arrieta, baseball pitcher for Chicago Cubs who threw the only no-hitter in the 2016 regular season (31).

1989: Agnieszka Radwanska, Polish tennis player who was a finalist at Wimbledon in 2012 (28).

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Happy Birthday: Afridi, Tupou, Vela

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The sports stars celebrating their birthdays on March 1.

There’s a reason why Shahid Afridi is nicknamed as ‘Boom Boom’ by his fans.

Celebrating his 37th birthday, all-rounder Afridi announced his international retirement last month but will go down as one of Pakistan’s gifted cricketers to take to the field.

During his time, he has played some astonishing innings in major competitions around the world thanks to his aggressive batting style.

It didn’t take him long to announce himself on the big stage, making headlines as a 16-year-old, when he set a ODI-record 37-ball ton in his first innings.

He went on to captain the national team in all formats, but it was in T20s, where Afridi began to enjoy his best days.

He holds the record of most wickets (97) and most player-of-the match awards and has more than 500 wickets and 23,000 international runs to his name.

Other sport stars born on this day

1952: Martin O’Neill, coach of Ireland and former Leicester City and Sunderland manager (65).

1953: Carlos Queiroz, current manager of Iran and exassistant for Manchester United (64).

1983: Anthony Tupou, Australian professional rugby league footballer for Newcastle Knights (34).

1989: Carlos Vela, Mexican and former Arsenal footballer who plays for Real Socieded (28).

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