The v2Forum Cricket Hall of Fame discussion thread - Part 4

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Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) on Mon Nov 12, 2012 5:34 pm

The thread to debate additions to the v2Forum Cricket Hall of Fame

Current members:
http://www.606v2.com/t18388-606v2-cricket-hall-of-fame-inductees-graphics-included

FoF's original HoF debate summation:
Spoiler:
Following on from Gregers' idea to implement our very own Hall of Fame at 606v2, here is the thread where all the deliberating will take place.

As you know, there is a Hall of Fame already set up by the ICC, though looking through it there are some names in that list which are debateable as to whether they really belong in such company. That, then, is up to us to decide. Let's make our Hall of Fame elitist in every way, ensuring that only the most worthy of candidates are elected.

I propose that we elect 30 founder members of our Hall of Fame before the voting gets underway - whose position in cricketing history we can all agree on. Remember, this Hall doesn't have to only include players but can include managers, figureheads or anyone else that we feel has had a significant impact upon the sport to deem them worthy of a place.

In order for a candidate to gain election to the Hall, they will need a yes vote of 75% or more. Anything less will see them fail to get in. Every candidate must be retired from the sport, and no currently active players will be considered.

Once our initial 30 members are agreed upon I suggest that we consider 10 more per month, working our way through the current ICC Hall of Fame and casting our own votes as to whether those names should belong in our own elitist Hall of Fame here at 606v2. Voting for each 10 candidates will run from the 1st of the month, when those names will be posted, until the last day of the month, when the votes will be tallied.

When we have exhaused those names in the current ICC Hall of Fame, there will be an opportunity for our members to decide upon the next group of 10 nominees that aren't currently in the ICC Hall of Fame, but may be worthy to be considered for our own (i.e. those that have recently retired such as Gilchrist etc).

My suggestion for the inaugural 30 is as follows. It is intended that these be the 30 very best and uncontroversial inductees, so please put forward any suggestions that you may have as to possible changes to this list, before we get started. We need to get the right names in this initial 30. In no particular order:

1) Don Bradman 2) Ian Botham 3) Sydney Barnes 4) Sunil Gavaskar 5) W.G Grace 6) Jack Hobbs 7) Richard Hadlee 8) Imran Khan 9) Malcolm Marshall 10) Garfield Sobers 11) Shane Warne 12) Muttiah Muralitharan 13) Viv Richards 14) Clive Lloyd 15) Keith Miller 16) Andy Flower 17) Brian Lara 18) Bill O'Reilly 19) Wasim Akram 20) Glenn McGrath 21) Michael Holding 22) Richie Benaud 23) Adam Gilchrist 24) Allan Border 25) Curtly Ambrose 26) Dennis Lillee 27) Frank Worrell 28) Victor Trumper 29) Kapil Dev 30) Jim Laker
So, let me know your thoughts and possible changes to this 20, and then we will get on with the business of the first ten names that are up for nomination. Any questions let me know.

Previous debate:
http://www.606v2.com/t28256-the-606v2-cricket-hall-of-fame
http://www.606v2.com/t17447-the-606v2-cricket-hall-of-fame-part-1


Last edited by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) on Wed Apr 03, 2013 4:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by guildfordbat on Mon Nov 12, 2012 5:53 pm

Hoggy - thanks for your post about Willis' knees before the shutters came down on the previous thread. I'll certainly take that into the mix.

I appreciate you're not a medic (presumably anyway!). Just thought it was helpful to get a bit more detail about his adversity - not a sympathy thing, more to do with knowledge. Cheers.


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Post by Hoggy_Bear on Mon Nov 12, 2012 5:57 pm

@ Guildford
No not a medical man, so diagnosing Willis' knee problems is not something I'd be able to do, but I do remember from when he was playing that there always seemed to be concern about them.


@ Pete C

I think you may have missed the middle section of discussions on this topic so far:

http://www.606v2.com/t21577-the-606v2-cricket-hall-of-fame

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Post by guildfordbat on Mon Nov 12, 2012 6:17 pm

Hoggy_Bear wrote:
@ Pete C

I think you may have missed the middle section of discussions on this topic so far:

http://www.606v2.com/t21577-the-606v2-cricket-hall-of-fame

Brilliant, Hoggy! Comparable to finding the missing Doctor Who tapes! Very Happy

Corporal - your YES vote for Weekes is here. Wink

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Post by kwinigolfer on Mon Nov 12, 2012 6:25 pm

Great, Thanks All,

Time to review my votes methinks!

I know I voted for Larwood and my vote for the admittedly terrifying Tommo will be inevitably influenced by Larwood not gaining admission.

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Post by Corporalhumblebucket on Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:14 pm

guildfordbat wrote: Corporal - your YES vote for Weekes is here. Wink
Thanks Guildford. Well, if I do acquire a criminal record for following the (allegedly) Irish practice of "vote early vote often" there can be plenty worse causes than attempting to cast duplicate votes for Everton de Courcy Weekes Very Happy

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Post by kwinigolfer on Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:53 am

I would hope that at some time we might find a few moments to consider the HOF-ish credentials of Hedley Verity.

In the meantime, a heartwarming/rending obit to keep you company:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/george-verity-golfer-climber-and-cricketer-8312524.html

Lovely stuff, I'm sure you'll agree.

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Post by Hoggy_Bear on Wed Nov 14, 2012 3:58 pm

Verity's a very good shout kwini.
Would ba an interesting discussion.
As for this fortnight's candidates, will we now be leaving Woolmer 'til next time, to give Mike a chance to outline the case for him?

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Post by Shelsey93 on Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:01 pm

Hoggy_Bear wrote:
As for this fortnight's candidates, will we now be leaving Woolmer 'til next time, to give Mike a chance to outline the case for him?

Yep. No problem with that.

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Post by guildfordbat on Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:22 pm

Yep, good call on Hedley Verity, Kwini. Super obit of his lad too.

I came across Verity when doing some research on Titmus. Incredibly low economy rate - one of the best ever in Test cricket of all countries. That might not thrill casual observers but I already warm to his Northern grit as I'm sure his team mates did.

As he lay in a military hospital with his life slipping away, I believe he said something along the lines of, ''I've played my last game for Yorkshire.'' Well worth a discussion ....

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Post by Corporalhumblebucket on Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:39 pm

Great minds - I also paused over Verity when scanning list of test bowlers with ultra low economy rates. Agree he would be worth including in discussions....

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Post by Shelsey93 on Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:59 pm

Verity is well and truly on the list thumbsup

The list now consists of:

Claire Taylor (Mad for Chelsea)
Anil Kumble (msp83)
Nawab of Pataudi (msp83)
Arthur Morris (HoggyBear)
Waqar Younis (Stella)
Martin Crowe (Stella)
Kerry Packer (Stella)
Warwick Armstrong (Hoggy_Bear)
Charlie Macartney (Hoggy_Bear)
Athol Rowan (Hoggy_Bear)
Hedley Verity (kwinigolfer)
Simon Taufel (Shelsey93)

Sorry if I've missed any and they are listed there in no particular order. We now have plenty to keep us going alongside the repecharges over the next few months!

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Post by Hoggy_Bear on Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:29 pm

I didn't put Arthur Morris' name forward, but it's a good call from whoever did.

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Post by Shelsey93 on Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:14 pm

Hoggy_Bear wrote:I didn't put Arthur Morris' name forward, but it's a good call from whoever did.

Doh Will leave him in anyway, as he's probably worth a debate.

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Post by Mad for Chelsea on Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:32 pm

haven't been around for a while, but have caught up with the debate, so here's where I'm at right now.

Hendren: going towards a YES vote at the moment. I think it was the corporal (though it may have been guildford) who said (I paraphrase) that our HoF would be sadly lacking if we didn't include at least one of the first class greats. Whereas with Woolley I just thought his test record was too mediocre to allow inclusion, Hendren has a good (or maybe even very good) test record, and his FC record is second only to Hobbs. Also, he's a Middlesex legend, can't beat that Very Happy

Thomson: tending towards a NO. Admirable at his best, and no doubt a terrifying prospect for batsmen, but there's no doubt in my mind his record is that of a good, rather than great cricketer. His star shone too briefly for my liking, and whereas Lillee and other candidate Willis re-modelled themselves post-injury to remain as if not more effective, Thomson couldn't do so.

Titmus: admirable is the case made by guildford, but heading for a somewhat reluctant NO. Ultimately his record doesn't quite stand up to scrutiny enough for me. A great story, and there's no doubt he was an extraordinary person, but I think I have to draw the line at cricketing achievements for the HoF. Like I said, reluctant, because he's another Middlesex legend, but just don't think there's enough there.

Willis: genuinely torn on this one, often think he gets a raw deal when compared to England bowling greats (Botham, Trueman, but even Statham). On the other hand, his is also you feel the record of a very good rather than great cricketer. Character is another problem for me: I seem to recall Bob was not always the easiest of blokes to get along with (it's noticeable that in the Headingley test he barely joins in the celebrations of his wickets for instance). Any idea how he was seen by his teammates? answers mucho apreciated...

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Post by Hoggy_Bear on Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:48 pm

Mad for Chelsea wrote: Character is another problem for me: I seem to recall Bob was not always the easiest of blokes to get along with (it's noticeable that in the Headingley test he barely joins in the celebrations of his wickets for instance). Any idea how he was seen by his teammates? answers mucho apreciated...

Read the thread whydontcha Wink

No, seriously, Willis WAS extremely focused, even detached, while playing, that's just how he got the best out of himself, but he was known to be a good motivator in the dressing and was, according to Ian Botham, 'an inspiration'.

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Post by Mad for Chelsea on Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:58 pm

http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/3rsjs2/

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Post by Hoggy_Bear on Thu Nov 15, 2012 3:04 pm

laughing

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Post by Corporalhumblebucket on Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:40 pm

Mad for Chelsea wrote:haven't been around for a while, but have caught up with the debate, so here's where I'm at right now.

Hendren: going towards a YES vote at the moment. I think it was the corporal (though it may have been guildford) who said (I paraphrase) that our HoF would be sadly lacking if we didn't include at least one of the first class greats. Whereas with Woolley I just thought his test record was too mediocre to allow inclusion, Hendren has a good (or maybe even very good) test record, and his FC record is second only to Hobbs. Also, he's a Middlesex legend, can't beat that Very Happy

Mad - well said on Hendren clap There have been quite a few legendary cricketers for Middlesex. But what strikes me is how massively far ahead Hendren was of any other player for that county (c 12,000 runs difference between him and next highest scoring Middlesex batsman Shocked ). Combined with his enormous popularity within the game during the decades when the first class game was held in such high importance, attracting crowds of many thousands.

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Post by guildfordbat on Fri Nov 16, 2012 9:38 am

Mad for Chelsea wrote:

Titmus: ... heading for a somewhat reluctant NO. Ultimately his record doesn't quite stand up to scrutiny enough for me. A great story, and there's no doubt he was an extraordinary person, but I think I have to draw the line at cricketing achievements for the HoF....

Most posters appear sold on the character, spirit and whole story of Titmus. If not, there's probably nothing that can be done anyway.

Where concern appears to be is with his purely cricketing record. I would just emphasise - with no disrespect at all aimed at the admirable Patsy Hendren - that Titmus was described by Angus Fraser as ''arguably the greatest ever Middlesex player''. Titmus is Middlesex's leading wicket taker of all time by some distance. In his entire first class career Titmuse took 2,830 wickets - the ninth highest figure of all time. His Test record - the gold standard for so many of you - should not be too quickly discarded. He was the eighth Test match player from all countries to achieve the all round feat of 1,000 runs and 150 wickets. Six of the first seven (Tate, Lindwall, Miller, Benaud, Davidson and Sobers) are already in our Hall of Fame whilst I would not be surprised to see the case being made soon for the seventh (Vinoo Mankad).

I firmly believe Titmus' character and spirit will enhance the Hall of Fame. I certainly do not believe there is anything in his playing record to exclude that.

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Post by Hoggy_Bear on Fri Nov 16, 2012 10:45 am

Just like Freddie, you keep nagging away determinedly, I'll give you that Guildford. Very Happy
I do get what you're saying. That our HoF shouldn't just be for stellar players, but also for those who have contributed, in other ways, to the rich tapestry of cricket history, through their wit, character and contribution to county as well as international cricket. Must admit, you make quite a persuasive case, particularly as it chimes, in some ways, with my own support for Willis and my nomination of Athol Rowan.
I'll have to think about it a bit more.

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Post by msp83 on Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:21 am

As I wrote earlier, there are other incredible performers in FC cricket elsewhere. Did mention Vijay Merchant in that contest. Its only English cricketers who got to play so many FC matches at that point and a number of those where low intensity stuff. While its not their fault, we can't make fair comparisons between them and others who got play a far less number of matches. I would say the different between 170 the number of FC hundreds that Hendren scored, and 45, the figure for Merchant could be explained in part due to this. For me Hendren's international record therefore is more important, and his record against is something of a questionmark on him entering our HoF in my view.

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Post by alfie on Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:16 pm

Might not be on now for a day or so , so just a last plea for Willis.

No one seems to have actually raised anything concrete against his case - it just seems he might be swept away on a sea of apathy...which would be a pity , I think.

Clearly his figures are around about right for HoF , judging by other successful candidates. Just because he wasn't a member of a famous West Indian hunting quartet , of half of one of the great pace pairings , his record should not be understated.
Taking over 300 Test wickets may be a bit ho-hum these days , but it wasn't when Willis reached that landmark...and we have mostly agreed to judge players against their own era, have we not ?
Something several posters have commented on is the man's big heart : I can recall him bowling - at high pace - for spells which today would be considered ridiculously lengthy , simply because his captain needed him , as the only really fast bowler in the team , to keep the pressure on the batsmen. Think it was at Edgbaston in 1981 where Kim Hughes actually went out of his way to shield Yallop (a highly competent batsman himself) from Willis for a prolonged period , such was the sustained ferocity of his attack. Of course Botham ended up winning that game with a late burst , but the effort of Willis earlier in the match , though it doesn't really show up in the scorebook , was an important factor in the ultimate success.
And it wasn't the only such effort. You could never accuse Bob of just going through the motions ...from his early appearances in 1970/71 as a backup for Snow in Australia , to his final raging against inevitable decline , one always felt if sheer determination could carry the day , there was hope while he was bowling.
Each to his own , I guess , but I hope he doesn't get put "just short" of the line because we are collectively bored with giving a tick to fine fast bowlers with long and honorable records. I think he is as worthy of inclusion as several others we have already passed in the gates...

In case anyone is wondering , that is a YES from me Smile

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Post by Hoggy_Bear on Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:24 pm

Alfie
Well said clap
As you rightly point out, Willis' figures and performances should put him on the margins of selection for the HoF as of themselves. Add in his determination, his willingness to do anything for the cause, the fact that he battled injury throughout his career, that, for most of that career he was England's only consistent fast-bowler and the fact that he retired as England's leading wicket taker both in test matches overall, and against Australia, and surely he has a very strong case indeed.

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Post by guildfordbat on Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:33 pm

Hoggy_Bear wrote:Just like Freddie, you keep nagging away determinedly, I'll give you that Guildford. Very Happy
I do get what you're saying. That our HoF shouldn't just be for stellar players, but also for those who have contributed, in other ways, to the rich tapestry of cricket history, through their wit, character and contribution to county as well as international cricket. Must admit, you make quite a persuasive case, particularly as it chimes, in some ways, with my own support for Willis and my nomination of Athol Rowan.
I'll have to think about it a bit more.

Yes, that's very much what I'm saying, Hoggy.

The ''nagging away determinedly'' is particularly appropriate. Rather than criticise his high strike rate, I choose to celebrate his low economy rate (one of the lowest in Test cricket) and wonder how many wickets at the other end it contributed towards. Always wanting to build pressure, always committed to the team cause.

As Stephen Chalke noted in Titmus' obituary in The Independent, ''he loved bowling, always willing to shoulder the burden when conditions were unhelpful''.

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Post by Hoggy_Bear on Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:35 pm

guildfordbat wrote:
As Stephen Chalke noted in Titmus' obituary in The Independent, ''he loved bowling, always willing to shoulder the burden when conditions were unhelpful''.

Bit like Bob Willis then Guildford. Wink

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Post by guildfordbat on Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:43 pm

Hoggy_Bear wrote:
guildfordbat wrote:
As Stephen Chalke noted in Titmus' obituary in The Independent, ''he loved bowling, always willing to shoulder the burden when conditions were unhelpful''.

Bit like Bob Willis then Guildford. Wink

I have to say 'Yes' to that, Hoggy - although quietly and whilst looking over my shoulder in case there are accusations and worse from certain other posters of a Cameron / Clegg deal! Very Happy

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Post by Hoggy_Bear on Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:08 pm

Bagsy not Clegg. Smile

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Post by guildfordbat on Fri Nov 16, 2012 4:10 pm

guildfordbat wrote:
Hoggy_Bear wrote:Just like Freddie, you keep nagging away determinedly, I'll give you that Guildford. Very Happy
I do get what you're saying. That our HoF shouldn't just be for stellar players, but also for those who have contributed, in other ways, to the rich tapestry of cricket history, through their wit, character and contribution to county as well as international cricket. Must admit, you make quite a persuasive case, particularly as it chimes, in some ways, with my own support for Willis and my nomination of Athol Rowan.
I'll have to think about it a bit more.

Yes, that's very much what I'm saying, Hoggy.

The ''nagging away determinedly'' is particularly appropriate. Rather than criticise his high strike rate, I choose to celebrate his low economy rate (one of the lowest in Test cricket) and wonder how many wickets at the other end it contributed towards. Always wanting to build pressure, always committed to the team cause.

As Stephen Chalke noted in Titmus' obituary in The Independent, ''he loved bowling, always willing to shoulder the burden when conditions were unhelpful''.

Hoggy - this is actually the quote I most wanted to give you earlier but couldn't find it at the time. It's from David Frith in Titmus' Guardian obituary:

''He had another field day the next summer [1965], teasing out five New Zealanders to seal the Headingley Test, and was an automatic choice for his second Australian campaign, another tough one. At Sydney, Titmus completed the 1,000 / 100 Test double - the rare achievement of 1,000 runs and 100 wickets - in his 40th Test, continuing to bowl cannily and steadily and making runs in the lower order. He was just the man a captain needed, grinding out fifties and picking up three-fors and sometimes five-fors from thoughtful and resolute spells of teasing bowling.''

The ''grinding out fifties'' makes me identify with your ''nagging away determinedly'' comment. As you might guess, I also adore the references to bowling ''cannily'' and being ''just the man a captain needed''.

I was a little surprised to see the 1,000 / 100 Test double being described as ''rare''. However, it is - and in an age of less Tests, certainly was - considerably less common than I thought. Titmus was only the fourth English Test player to achieve it, after Rhodes, Tate and Bailey. If you up the wickets taken requirement to 150, both Rhodes and Bailey fall away.

Now as for Willis - his Test record for a fast bowler with 300 wickets (even those with 200) is unusual in that he never took a ten-for in a match. I would like a bit of comfort here as to why that shouldn't count against him.

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Post by ShahenshahG on Fri Nov 16, 2012 4:27 pm

.

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Post by Hoggy_Bear on Fri Nov 16, 2012 4:35 pm

Guildford
I would agree that Willis' failure to take 10 wickets in a match would count against him (though it's up to you to decide how much, he wouldn't be the only bowler elected to our HoF without a 10fer). As I say, I would argue that, on the basis purely of statistics, Willis' candidature would be marginal, but that his statistics added to the 'extras' that come with him, make his candiadture more convincing.

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Post by guildfordbat on Fri Nov 16, 2012 4:54 pm

Hokey doke, Hoggy. I recognise any stones thrown might appear to be coming from a greenhouse.

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Post by Hoggy_Bear on Fri Nov 16, 2012 5:07 pm

Wasn't referring to Titmus in that last comment. Wouldn't stoop that low. Very Happy
I was thinking more of Ray Lindwall.

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Post by Shelsey93 on Fri Nov 16, 2012 5:23 pm

After the heartbreak of not having a Police Commissioner election to vote in where I am, I'm opening the voting in the Hall of Fame polling booth.

Due to Mike needing more time to make a case, Bob Woolmer has been postponed to the next batch. Please do not vote on him - your vote will not count and you may still be charged. Very Happy

Patsy Hendren - Hendren's Middlesex record is superb even by the standards of a 'Golden Age' of English first-class cricket. I do have concerns, particularly relating to his position as a bit-part player in Tests, whose overall record, whilst very good, was boosted by late campaigns in the Caribbean. Nevertheless, I have no evidence that he was as poor a Test player as Frank Woolley, and when you look closely, Hendren's FC record is also far superior. His inclusion will be at the lower end of the Hall of Fame, but I think there is a place for him - YES.

Jeff Thomson - Jeff Thomson's influence on a small number of series - Ashes series at the start and end of his career and one series against West Indies - was huge. But, like Andrew Flintoff, Chris Broad and a few others who haven't reached the nomination stage, his efforts over the rest of his career aren't, for me, good enough to get him into the Hall of Fame. His part in the partnership with Dennis Lillee appears to have been as by far the junior partner. And even when at his very best, his record doesn't go beyond what a Hall of Famer should be doing day-in, day-out. His ODI record is also disappointing, given that Australia played quite a lot of ODIs during his career. In addition, with only 8 5 wicket hauls and no 10 wicket hauls I'd suggest that his impact rarely extended beyond short bursts. A NO.

Fred Titmus - The length of this vote reflects the strength of Guildford's case.

I'll start off by saying that, for me, Titmus was always some distance from a Yes and even after Guildford's excellent case this was not a difficult choice.

Nevertheless, after reading and hearing some of the obituaries to him when he died I was fascinated by Titmus. To have a career bridging Gubby Allen and Norman Cowans, to play Test cricket after the boat accident, to play his first and last FC games in such unusual circumstances marks him out as an extremely interesting cricketer to read about, and thus I can understand his status as something of a 'folk-hero'. That I mention those curiosities before his playing career also does a disservice to someone with 150+ Test wickets, and a distinguished first-class career.

However, I do have some very clear issues with including him in the Hall of Fame.

1/ Status as a 'folk-hero' is obviously difficult to contextualise for somebody who wasn't around at the time. Therefore, I see it as unsatisfactory to vote for him because he was someone else's hero.

2/ Much of guildford's case has been built around the fact that he always gave it his all. That is a subjective judgement, and I think that it would be wrong to single out one cricketer for doing something which you'd imagine all cricketers should be doing. I'm sure that many others who have reached Hall of Fame level have done so off the back of hard work, just like Titmus.

3/ He did overcome adversity, but it was late in his career and I'm not so sure that it held him back that much (Nawab of Pataudi may have a stronger case here).

4/ Ultimately his Test efforts mark him out as middle of the road. Combine the longevity and FC record with his determined hard-working approach and a Test career average of 25-ish and you may have a case. But in 53 Tests he was rarely as effective as he was in county cricket, and, like Thomson and Willis, never took a 10-fer.

NO.

Bob Willis - The one I've really grappled with, and ultimately rejected. The statistical case is strong, and Headingley '81 almost tips the balance. Hoggy's suggestion that voter apathy might lead to his rejection is perhaps relevant and has only added to the difficulties of assessing his case.

My final conclusion is that he would sail into an England cricket Hall of Fame. But a worldwide Hall of Fame is only for those that have made an outstanding impact on the cricketing world, and I don't think he did. When looking back on the 1970s he was outshone by a lot of other quicks. The lack of 10 wickets in an innings is particularly relevant for me: whilst Thomson and Willis never did, Lillee did so 7 times, Marshall 4, Holding twice and Roberts twice (despite the WI quicks being together in the same side and potentially effecting each others chances of doing so). Joel Garner is the only Hall of Famer from that era who didn't, but Garner's average was better than Willis's by some distance. NO.

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Post by guildfordbat on Fri Nov 16, 2012 6:15 pm

Hoggy_Bear wrote:Wasn't referring to Titmus in that last comment. Wouldn't stoop that low. Very Happy
I was thinking more of Ray Lindwall.

Hoggy - it was me who was thinking of Titmus! No intended suggestion or thought that you were. thumbsup

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Post by msp83 on Fri Nov 16, 2012 6:36 pm

Well, here we go. Patsy Hendren. While Hendren's first class record is very good and the number of hundreds exceptional, I had expressed my concerns regarding overrating the impact of English FC cricket that enjoyed distinct advantages over first class structures of other countries, as well as the low intensity matches, not many challenging seamers as the Tate debate had pointed out....... His test record is not beyond good for me and his performances against Australia a concern. So, a No.
Jef Thomson. Certainly an impact bowler, but not impactful long enough or consistent enough.Poor ODI record as well. No.
Fred Titmus. I have done the most research in this round on Titmus. Certainly a very interesting case, a man of character. There have been other cricketers who showed remarkable spirit and some of them have better record as well. Eventually I don't think I can look passed his record. No.
Bob Willis. His record is very good, on stats alone his case is rather borderline, but when we consider the kind of dificulties that he overcame to emerge with such a creditable record, then there is a different dimension. His captaincy record is better than usually credited for. Yes.

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Post by Hoggy_Bear on Sat Nov 17, 2012 12:21 am

Just remembered a quote From Clarrie Grimmett which relates to Patsy Hendren (and which I shall probably reproduce when discussing Charlie Macartney).

"If I had an option of bowling against Bradman or Stan McCabe I would chose Bradman every time.I would choose Bradman to bowl against in preference to Charlie Macartney and Wally Hammond too.Technically Mcartney, Hammond and MCcabe were magnificent batsmen.It was Dons greater concentration and determination that compensated for his technical deficiencies.
Don massacred bowling that was less than good length , but he did not play really good length, consistent good length, spin bowling well. Iwould rate Charlie Macartney, Stan Mccabe, Patsy Hendren, George Headley, of the West Indies, Dudley Nourse and Herby Taylor as finer players than Don in a purely technical sense"

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Post by Corporalhumblebucket on Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:24 am

Hoggy - that's a very good point and helps to give a better idea of the standing Hendren had within the game during the inter war period.

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Post by guildfordbat on Sat Nov 17, 2012 12:57 pm

ShahenshahG wrote:


I'm assuming that was a YES vote for Titmus! Very Happy

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Post by Hoggy_Bear on Sat Nov 17, 2012 1:05 pm

OK then. As, I presume, the voting deadline is 9am tommorrow, I'm going to get my votes in, (with a little additional explanation in a last push to influence others Fingers Crossed )

Patsy Hendren: I've voted against people before on this thread whose main claim to fame was their incredible county record (eg. Woolley. Although the more I think about that the more I regret the decision), but Hendren not only has an incredible county but also a good/very good test record, despite certain reservations about his record against Australia. He was also highly respected by friend and foe alike, and was one of the great characters of cricket history.
For me all that's enough for a YES

Jeff Thomson: A bowler who had a great deal of impact on the cricket of the 1970s and one half of an iconic double act. But, like a number of other posters, I worry whether he was good enough for long enough. My answer is NO

Fred Titmus: My initial reaction to Titmus' candidature was that his record wasn't good enough and that he didn't have sufficient 'extras' to make up for that. However, much persuasive argument from Guildford, allied with statistical evidence and testimony from colleagues and opponents alike has convinced me that, perhaps, Titmus' record isn't as mediocre as it may first appear and that he does have numerous 'extras' in the shape of his character and his extremely long and successful association with Middlesex. For those reasons I'm going to give a YES, but only just.

Bob Willis: No need to reiterate my reasoning on this really, it's plain to see for anyone who reads the thread (MfC thumbsup ) YES

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Post by guildfordbat on Sat Nov 17, 2012 5:56 pm

Here I go.

Elias Henry Hendren An extremely thorough and convincing case marshalled by the Corporal and delivered to us troops. A truly proficient and outstanding batsman who served his county, his country and our game so well. The Corporal is right to acknowledge that he is not the equal of Hobbs. However, that is not to damn Hendren; quite the opposite. To fairly mention him in the same breath is praise indeed - just as Clarrie Grimmett did of him and other greats (thanks, Hoggy). Like Woolley, Hendren was a giant of the domestic game but far more successful at Test level. His overall average against Australia raises a concern but not a major one. As the Corporal showed in his opening salvo, Hendren certainly had impact and specific success in turning games round against the oldest enemy. It also shouldn't be overlooked that one of the reasons that South Africa and West Indies, the two other Test playing nations, did badly during Hendren's era was because he performed so well against them. A fine addition to the HoF and, I would suggest, a place in at least one of the middle tables. YES.

Jeffrey Robert Thomson I do think more of a case could have been made for Thommo but I didn't have the total belief for it. Part of an iconic opening bowling double act certainly. However, clearly the lesser partner of him and Lillee. Is that enough? Probably not - and my mood isn't softened by the stronger partner of the greatest opening batting double act - Greenidge and Haynes - in recent times waiting outside the HoF for another go (besides an opporunity to gripe, I do feel that's relevant). As Ian Chapple and my old friend Lance Gibbs have testified, Thomson was terrifying. However, as they also suggested - and I don't think this has been really picked up - Thomson was also uncontrollable. With some reason, Gibbs was petrified that Thomson would have been just as happy to knock him out as scatter his stumps. Whilst most pacemen just strive for wickets, Thomson has been quoted as saying that he didn't enjoy the hard work that went with fast bowling and just wanted to get it over with quickly, whatever the methods used. I make no moral judgment on that although am surprised some others haven't. I do though find it surprising and disappointing that a bowler of his tremendous pace wasn't apparently so bothered about increasing his own wicket haul and putting the ball where it was really needed. I suspect this also goes some way to explaing his consistently poor record in ODIs. Like others, I also have a concern that he didn't properly last the distance. In the end, a comfortable decision although I suspect it should have been closer to the wire. NO.

Coming up - Robert George Dylan Willis and Titmus F J.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sat Nov 17, 2012 6:35 pm

'Evening Chaps, Chappesses,

Apologies for not having been fully engaged in this fortnight's debate, and with the 4.00 a.m. voting cut-off on Sunday, it will be difficult to fully embellish my votes.

Suffice it to say that it's a good job this is a straight up-and-down, YES or NO vote as there are so many shades of grey (at least fifty) with each candidate.

My votes are as follows:
Hendren: Yes!
Concur with reservations already expressed about his Test record, but it was solid enough in some excellent company. And the County game DID mean a lot in his day, damn it!
To further validate earlier comments about Patsy Hendren's personality, I found a piece by Robertson-Glasgow where he refers to:
"Hendren, democratic, busily and gladly sharing the enjoyment and stresses of batting with spectators, umpires, scorers and dogs."


Thomson: No!
Opened this week's Golf notes with some Corporal Jones reminiscences and rather feel he described England's batsmen when Tommo was bowling, in his early days anyway:
"They don't like it up 'em," as, in David Frith's words, he "brought menace, even terror, to the bowling crease." Precisely.
To me Tommo was an impact player for some crucial cameos, as fast as anyone but could get erratic and lose the plot.

I rather like the David Lloyd story about making 49 against the Thomson Express and announcing to his English teammates that he "could play Thomson with his pr1ck".
In the second innings he caught one which smashed his box to smithereens and, before being embalmed squeaked, "See, I told you I could".

Difficult for me to accept that Thomson made a bigger impact in his day than Larwood in the thirties. Larwood didn't make our Hall Of Fame, and I will agree also with the Aussie Hall Of Fame and vote no for Tommo.


Titmus: No!
What a difficult candidate to judge.
Firstly, I discount his injury as it occurred so late in his career - HOF credentials will usually have been established by the age of 35 and my feeling with Fred is what you see (by his mid-thirties) is what you get. I'm a bigger fan of his batting than many on here, some of his rear-guard efforts for England were testament to skill, bravery and character.
He was a super off-break bowler, guile rather than penetration perhaps, and could always be depended on to give nothing away when representing his country, but not necessarily to get oodles of wickets either.
Fabulous servant to Middlesex and should one day be voted into the Hall.
But I can't vote for Titmus in front of one or two others, Lance Gibbs especially.


Willis: No!
The most difficult selection for me to judge. Might actually have played against him in school days, he burst on to the season with virtually no first-class cricket behind him, and proceeded to serve England superbly for more than a decade.
Portraits have been painted here of a rather dour character, but a quick glance through the Gospel According to St.Brearley suggests he could be quite the jester, especially when armed with bottles of champagne - "he's always popping corks".
Benaud waxes lyrical about Willis at Headingley, "one of the greatest bowling performances in a seemingly lost cause ever to pass through the pages of Test history."

I can't find too many negatives about Willis, the fitness problems with his knees apparently more than compensated for by the heart of a lion. So I'll offer this: During Willis's career, he never seemed the dominant bowler for more than a match or two at a time, often not sure of his place in the England team. Find it very tricky to separate Willis from Snow, never completely sure that either was comparable to the Roberts, Lillee or Holding of the era. And isn't that the quality that our HOF'ers should be matching up to?
So it's a reluctant No from me.

Hendren: Yes.
Thomson, Titmus, Willis: No.

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Post by guildfordbat on Sat Nov 17, 2012 8:04 pm

My final two votes.

Robert George Dylan Willis A very fine case presented by Hoggy. A lot of positives supported by stats and testimonials from a varied bunch ranging from Gower to Botham to Javed Miandad with a lot more inbetween. Unfortunate to bowl during a golden age of world fast bowling with totally inadequate support. Holding had Roberts, Marshall had Garner, Lillee had Thomson, Willis had - amongst many others - Paul Jarvis (a household name only in his own house). Yes, the support for Willis was - by Test standards - bordering on pitiful. Botham referred to Willis not only as a world class bowler but the only one in the England team. Willis had to carry the attack with continuing knee injuries and persistent pain over many years (as verified by Wisden).

The above is clearly commendable and speaks well of the man but was he actually good enough?

I have to say that I approached this feeling he wasn't but have changed my mind on this - just. It is a concern and definitely a disappointment that he never ran through a Test side and took a tenfer. There again, that by itself should not exclude him - HoF examples of Lindwall and Garner refer. Brett Lee, another personal favourite, also never took a Test tenfer. With inadequate support, Willis probably had to compromise on attacking wicket taking play with an element of containment.

What really tips the scales for me is that when he exited Test cricket in 1984, he was the second highest wicket taker of all time with 325 - behind only Lillee, a true world great. If we judge by era (good point earlier, Alfie), we should not overlook this even though 300 plus seems not that special by today's standards.

Also when judging Willis and taking account of his era, the supremely high batting ability of two opponents - West Indies and Australia (early on) - during this time should be taken into account.

Hoggy understandably emphasised the later years of Willis' Test career and the efforts he continued to make. I also remember him performing a meaningful part at the very beginning of his Test career as a raw 21 year old when he went out to Australia as a called up reserve and helped us win the Ashes. That was a massive achievement. It attracted a fair bit of media coverage at the time but, with no tv coverage in this country, was nothing compared to what would be expected now. It would be overstating things to say that Willis was a star of that series but he played a far more signficant part than expected and deseves credit accordingly.

It's often said - and has been on this thread - that Botham stole too many of Willis' headlines later on. I don't much buy that. Botham deserved his headlines. When Willis had his day in the sun at Headingley in '81 and got his eightfer against Australia, Botham not only scored 149 not out in England's second innings as almost everyone knows but also top scored in a low scoring first innings with a fifty and took six Aussie wickets in their first knock whilst Willis ended up with nought.

Only right to add that Willis was a more successful captain than anticipated and is generally appreciated.

All in all, not a great international bowler but a very good one who had to overcome the handicaps of physical injury and continual pain, inadequate bowling support and opponents of the highest quality. This narrowly - very narrowly - gets him in the HoF. I suggest a bench at the back of the room where he can rest those knees! YES.

Titmus F J Those who read my opening main post will understand why I refer to Fred Titmus in this manner. It was the way that professionals, as opposed to amateurs, were shown on the scorecard when his career began. Unlike many of his generation and earlier (such as Maurice Tate), Titmus had no concerns with this archaic distinction. He took enormous pride in being a professional. I have tried to show that he was a mighty fine one and much, much more who would enhance the HoF.YES.

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Post by Hoggy_Bear on Sat Nov 17, 2012 8:54 pm

Just a last, quick(ish) comment on Bob Willis for anyone still to vote.
Guildford mentions that Ray Lindwall, a member of our HoF, also failed to gain a 10 wicket match analysis during his career. So, just for a bit of fun I thought I'd compare Lindwall, widely regarded as one of the best fast-bowlers in history, statistically with a post knee-operation Willis.

Lindwall
61 matches 228 wickets 23.03 average 59.8 s/r 12 5w/i

Willis
74 matches 278 wickets 23.99 average 51.4 s/r 15 5w/i

Of course they bowled in different eras against different batsmen etc. but still quite interesting figures, I thought.

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Post by Shelsey93 on Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:21 pm

Interesting. All I'd say is I'm pretty certain (and forgive me if I'm wrong) that we credited Lindwall with some degree of innovation - its hard to say the same about Willis.

Also, we felt that Lindwall was the stand-out quick of his era. Willis clearly wasn't, and most wouldn't have him in their first choice XI.

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Post by Shelsey93 on Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:33 pm

Reminder: Voting closes tomorrow at 9am.

However, I will be watching the Test at that time so any votes submitted between then and when I get round to counting them up will also be counted!

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Post by guildfordbat on Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:42 pm

Shelsey93 wrote:Interesting. All I'd say is I'm pretty certain (and forgive me if I'm wrong) that we credited Lindwall with some degree of innovation - its hard to say the same about Willis.

Also, we felt that Lindwall was the stand-out quick of his era. Willis clearly wasn't, and most wouldn't have him in their first choice XI.

I'm not sure about innovation but do know that Lindwall was accused of copying Harold Larwood.

Lindwall's response was , ''Why shouldn't I copy the very best?''.

Despite Lindwall's tribute, Larwood failed to get in our HoF.

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Post by Hoggy_Bear on Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:58 pm

Not that you bear any sort of grudge, or anything, hey Guildford. Very Happy


Actually, is Larwood one of the repochage candidates, 'cause he's one I'm seriously considering changing my vote for?

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Post by Shelsey93 on Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:05 pm

He is. Was a fascinating debate and I'm looking forward to it coming round again.

At the time I took on the role of leading the 'No campaign' and I still think there are good reasons for a No. But he does seem to come up an awful lot as somebody other Hall of Famers struggled with or imitated for somebody with such a short (and sometimes modest) Test career.

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Post by guildfordbat on Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:15 pm

Hoggy_Bear wrote:Not that you bear any sort of grudge, or anything, hey Guildford. Very Happy


Not at all, Hoggy. Anyway, I've already flagged Greenidge and Larwood tonight. Can I mention anyone else? I'll say that again - Kanhai I mention anyone else? Wink

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