I've already posted this as part of my latest 'Reverse Sweep' column for Pongo Cricket and World Cricket Watch, but wanted to include it on my own blog too. I had planned it to be my 100th post since I started this blog just before Christmas, but I managed to cock that one up. So therefore, I am now celebrating my 102nd post. Hooray!
A list of my cricketing heroes
As some of you will know, the brain behind Cricket With Balls has recently embarked on Cricket Sadist, which is described as “the cricket magazine for sadists and masochists, not tragics”. Anyway, the first issue is due out on 1 April and I contributed a piece on Douglas Jardine, my all-time cricketing hero. So in order to promote the magazine and subsequently therefore ensure (I hope) that my Jardine piece makes the cut, here is a list of my all-time cricketing heroes.
Douglas Jardine – You’ll have to read Cricket Sadist to find out why Jardine (below) is at number one, if my article makes the cut that is….
Hedley Verity – England’s greatest ever spinner who tragically died prematurely as a hero in World War II. He took 7 wickets for 9 runs in what proved to be his last match for Yorkshire.
Donald Bradman – He may have been the scourge of England, but 99.94 mean no other words are necessary.
David Gower – My favourite player as a schoolboy. I even tried but failed to change my natural right handed style to be a left hander like him. And like me, also a David G.
Keith Miller – Not only a brilliant cricketer, but also a raconteur and notorious cad. What’s not to like?
Harold Larwood – Jardine’s main weapon in Australia in 1932/33 refused to apologise for Bodyline and never played for England again. I like people with strong principles.
Ian Botham – Great cricketer, crap commentator. But always a hero of mine simply because of 1981 when as a wide eyed nine year old I watched his historic feats at Headingley, Edgbaston and Old Trafford.
Viv Richards – The coolest cricketer ever? He even makes Chris Gayle look positively uncool in comparison.
W.G.Grace – Of all the many reasons to like Grace this is my favourite. When he was bowled once, first ball, he promptly picked up the bails and replaced them, repositioning himself to take the next ball. The umpire, not unnaturally, objected. "Don't be silly," said WG, and pointed to the crowd. "They've come to see me bat, not you umpire." Magical.
Paul Collingwood – I know. But here I’ve picked the cricketer that reminds me most of my own batting ‘style’. Well the Brigadier Block version anyway.
And I still haven't written about Victor Trumper, Imran Khan, Gary Sobers, SF Barnes... The list goes on. More cricketing heroes on the 202nd, 302nd and so on posts!