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The 606v2 Cricket Hall of Fame - Part 1

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Post by Fists of Fury Wed 02 Nov 2011, 12:55 pm

First topic message reminder :

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, although if they get between 50 and 75% of the vote they will be voted on again at a later date. Every candidate must be retired from the sport, and therefore no currently active players will be considered.

Every fortnight 5 candidates are considered. Voting deadlines and forthcoming candidates are listed at the bottom of the the stickied thread in the Honours Board section.

Forum members can nominate candidates by posting in the current thread, which is stickied in the main cricket section.

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.


Last edited by Fists of Fury on Mon 09 Jan 2012, 4:51 pm; edited 10 times in total

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Post by Mad for Chelsea Sun 27 Nov 2011, 12:30 pm

right, time for my votes:

Ian Chappell: NO
It's mostly been covered, but it's a case of lots of good-to-very-good attributes not adding up to HoF greatness. He was a good batsmen, a very good captain and slip fielder, a good commentator, but there's not enough for me there for the HoF.

Belinda Clark: YES
I've argued enough on this one for you to know my reasons Very Happy

Dennis Compton: YES
Magnificent career, averaged over 50 in tests, the stellar year in 1947, a remarkably long and successful career at couty level (still holds most of Middlesex's batting records), and an innovator (credited with the invention of the sweep shot).

Colin Cowdrey: YES
perhaps the toughest call for me, after guildford's (and Sober's) compelling cases. In a way, similar to Chappell in that he was a very good batsman, a very good fielder, a pretty good captain, and seems to have done some good work with the ICC (again, don't know a huge amount about this). Where he holds the edge is his extraordinary longevity and loyalty. Captained his county side for 15 years and played for them for 27. Six Ashes tours to Australia, and a wonderful story about how he greeted Thompson. For me this is just enough to get him in.


Alan Davidson: YES
Probably the second greatest left-arm seamer of all time, very fine average, and a more than useful batsman. I'll add the bit about his starring role in the "greatest test of all time" being a wonderful contribution to cricket in general.

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Post by Guest Sun 27 Nov 2011, 12:31 pm

im glad you put clark in there, i was worried i would be the only one lol.

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Post by Corporalhumblebucket Sun 27 Nov 2011, 1:39 pm

Maybe Cowdrey will get into a play off against Greg Chappell Very Happy

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Post by guildfordbat Sun 27 Nov 2011, 1:47 pm

Corporalhumblebucket wrote:Maybe Cowdrey will get into a play off against Greg Chappell Very Happy

I'm sure in their own way they would both be up for the fight ....

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Post by guildfordbat Sun 27 Nov 2011, 8:38 pm

Mad for Chelsea wrote:

Colin Cowdrey:

.... and a wonderful story about how he greeted Thompson ....


As recalled by Thommo -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3qStY_MOnY

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Post by Fists of Fury Sun 27 Nov 2011, 9:52 pm

Laugh excellent, thanks for sharing.

Anyway, on to my votes:

Ian Chappell - very good player of course, but does he do anything worthy of getting in to a Hall of Fame alongside only the very best? Others have explained it excellently elsewhere, and for me Chappell is a NO.

Belinda Clark - the argument on Clark's inclusion has raged back and forth. However, I simply cannot agree that because she is a woman she shouldn't be considered. Women's cricket is nowhere near as big as men's, and never will be, but that shouldn't be held against those that participate in it and set themselves apart from the crowd. Clark not only has an outstanding cricketing record but has also given a huge amount back to the game, and done wonders for the promotion of women's cricket worldwide. For me, it's a YES.

Dennis Compton - not much more that needs adding to the plaudits already levelled at Compton, a certain YES.

Colin Cowdrey - this is the one that has caused me the most problems throughout this round of voting. Whilst his record is very good, it doesn't stand up to that of many others likely to be inducted into this Hall of Fame. Cowdrey, then, needs something else in order to gain my vote. After doing plenty of reading to add to that which I already know about the man, and taking on board the rearguard action so bravely fought by Guildford, the longevity, determination and bravery, coupled with his record and ICC work in the aftermath of his career scrape him in with a tentative YES.

Alan Davidson - no real debate to be had here as far as I am concerned. An incredible bowler and a certain YES.


So, four YES votes from me, which seems a lot, but I think we really have had an outstanding group to deliberate over this week. Chappell misses out narrowly, and can perhaps feel slightly aggrieved that I have voted to induct Cowdrey, but tough calls have to be made. I'm sure we will have easier, more clear cut weeks, but if anything this group has inspired some terrific debate.

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Post by Corporalhumblebucket Sun 27 Nov 2011, 10:00 pm

Fists of Fury wrote: Chappell misses out narrowly, and can perhaps feel slightly aggrieved that I have voted to induct Cowdrey, but tough calls have to be made.
FoF: I am sure Chappell will accept that decision with equanimity... Very Happy

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Post by guildfordbat Sun 27 Nov 2011, 10:05 pm

Fists of Fury wrote:

I'm sure we will have easier, more clear cut weeks, but if anything this group has inspired some terrific debate.

Totally agree. thumbsup

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Post by Fists of Fury Sun 27 Nov 2011, 10:33 pm

Quite annoyed that I've not been able to get stuck into the debate this week, given my working schedule. Hopefully after this coming week things will quieten down and I can get back to normal! Either way, I'll be reading from afar as I did last week.

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Post by Corporalhumblebucket Mon 28 Nov 2011, 10:47 pm

On the Cowdrey debate I was interested to read John Thicknesse's Wisden obit about Cowdrey. An extract below

"His character also caused some debate. Every cricket fan knew that Cowdrey walked when he thought he was out, and every prep school master thought this made him a hero. Professionals muttered darkly that he behaved differently on soft days in county cricket than at moments of crisis, banking on his reputation with umpires to get him through. "He was not generally liked by cricketers," said Illingworth. This has to be balanced against the thousands of people - high and low - who were charmed by his kindness and thoughtfulness. The unanimous judgment, though, was that he was indecisive, a captain incapable of inspiring his players and so much a ditherer that he even had to be persuaded to go for the runs at Port-of-Spain on that great day in 1967-68."

There's quite a lot more of that. It does tend to reinforce my view that he is a near miss for the HoF. But I would be more than happy to see him in the end of season play offs.

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Post by Fists of Fury Tue 29 Nov 2011, 9:58 am

Thanks, Corporal. Good to see a bit of evidence to support the other side of the story.

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Post by guildfordbat Tue 29 Nov 2011, 8:21 pm

Corporal and all - I did wonder if Cowdrey's indecision as a captain and person stemmed at least in part from his childhood separation from his parents for a staggering seven years during the war. I'm sure that must have been traumatic but rather than try and hype myself up further as a shamateur psychologist I'll leave that point there.

As well as Ray Illingworth, Fred Trueman was none too taken with Cowdrey. I suspect there might have been something of the North - South divide, with the son of a wealthy tea plantation manager brought up with servants looking after and even bowling to him who eventually settled in Kent not being looked upon too kindly by these 'professional' Yorkshiremen. Although Trueman is the one often thought of as outstandingly gruff and grumpy, Illingworth could certainly hold his own. He once remarked that the distinguished well-to-do cricket writer E W Swanton was so snobbish he wouldn't travel in the same car as his own chauffeur. Very Happy

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Post by Corporalhumblebucket Tue 29 Nov 2011, 9:24 pm

guildfordbat wrote: Although Trueman is the one often thought of as outstandingly gruff and grumpy, Illingworth could certainly hold his own. He once remarked that the distinguished well-to-do cricket writer E W Swanton was so snobbish he wouldn't travel in the same car as his own chauffeur. Very Happy
Laugh Laugh

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Post by Fists of Fury Wed 30 Nov 2011, 2:08 pm

laughing

Results for this to be counted on Friday, so anyone that hasn't voted please do so prior to then thumbsup

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Post by guildfordbat Wed 30 Nov 2011, 8:39 pm

Fists - did you gather it was a YES from me for Cowdrey? Very Happy

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Post by Fists of Fury Thu 01 Dec 2011, 11:41 am

Think I just about managed that, yes Guildford. I could tell that you did so with a great degree of trepidation, though!

Right gentlemen, the votes have been counted thus far and as it stands:

Chappell - No, not a single vote.
Clark - just misses out, but is eligible to be elected as a second ballot member. However, corporal and jdizzle haven't voted on her and as such still have the ability to alter the outcome of this one.
Compton - Every single vote a yes, sails in.
Cowdrey - Alas, Guildford, it is a no. Receives just 30% of the vote.
Davidson - another that sails in with a unanimous yes vote.

You have until this evening to get your votes in/change your mind, gentlemen.

The next 5 candidates will be posted tomorrow.

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Post by guildfordbat Thu 01 Dec 2011, 2:25 pm

Hi Fists - just quickly looking in. Thanks as ever for doing all this.

I'm not too distressed about Cowdrey - part of the enjoyment for me was finding out more about his life and career plus the debate with you chaps.

I could well be wrong but I thought (no time to check now) that the Corporal voted NO to Clark the same night you 'banned' Wink me from abstaining. Apologies to all if that's half baked!

PS Do hope that Mr CricketFan is now feeling better. Very Happy

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Post by Guest Thu 01 Dec 2011, 2:26 pm

thanks guildford feeling a bit better but still not great

i suppose not many of us voted for clark...i did, and i thought she would have got more votes.

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Post by Fists of Fury Thu 01 Dec 2011, 2:27 pm

I may well have missed that then, and I'll go back and check.

The next round of voting should be another rather interesting one, given the names.

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Post by Guest Thu 01 Dec 2011, 3:28 pm

looking forward to the next names Smile

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Post by Corporalhumblebucket Thu 01 Dec 2011, 9:45 pm

guildfordbat wrote:
I could well be wrong but I thought (no time to check now) that the Corporal voted NO to Clark the same night you 'banned' Wink me from abstaining. Apologies to all if that's half baked!
Thanks Guildford - yes I haven't rechecked further up this thread but I think I voted no for Clark - but in any event I confirm a vote of no now.....

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Post by Mad for Chelsea Thu 01 Dec 2011, 10:23 pm

so Clark misses out, I think the other votes were pretty much a given, despite guildford's great effort with Cowdrey I wasn't expecting him to go through. I shall now start actively preparing the case for Clark for the second ballot Very Happy

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Post by Corporalhumblebucket Thu 01 Dec 2011, 10:35 pm

cricketfan90 wrote:thanks guildford feeling a bit better but still not great

In that case, CF, better not stay up all night for Aus v NZ! Very Happy

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Post by Guest Thu 01 Dec 2011, 10:46 pm

i probably wont to be honest, i will watch some but not all.

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Post by Corporalhumblebucket Sat 03 Dec 2011, 7:29 pm

Fists of Fury wrote: The next 5 candidates will be posted tomorrow.
FoF. We are hanging on your every post..... Very Happy

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Post by Fists of Fury Sun 04 Dec 2011, 3:24 pm

Ok guys here you go, sorry for the delay.

Joel Garner - He was a 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) fast bowler capable of ripping through the heart of opposing batting line-ups. In conjunction with fellow fast bowlers Michael Holding, Andy Roberts, Colin Croft and later Malcolm Marshall, the West Indies reached unprecedented heights in the Test and one-day cricket arenas, not losing a Test series in 15 years.

One of the tallest bowlers ever to play Test cricket, Garner appeared in 58 Tests between 1977 and 1987 and took 259 wickets at an average of barely above 20, making him statistically one of the most effective bowlers of all time.

However, it was in the limited overs cricket that Garner put his height to use with devastating effect. In 98 matches he took 146 wickets. He had the ability to unleash a devastating yorker, as well as the ability to generate more bounce. He is one of only two players with more than 100 ODI wickets to average under 20, while his economy rate of just over 3 runs per over, and average of less than 20 runs per wicket are also the best ever for any bowler who took more than 100 wickets. His 5 for 39 in the 1979 Cricket World Cup final against England remains the best ever performance by a bowler in a final; it included a spell of 5 wickets for 4 runs, and he was on a hat-trick twice.

Joel played for Barbados in the West Indies, for South Australia in the Sheffield Shield and alongside Viv Richards and Ian Botham for Somerset in the English County Championship. He was at Somerset in the most successful time in the county's history.

Lance Gibbs - Gibbs is one of the most successful spin bowlers in Test cricket history. He took 309 Test wickets, only the second player (after Fred Trueman) to pass 300, the first spinner to pass that milestone, and had an exceptional economy rate of under two runs per over. He was, however, a very poor batsman, who never made a half-century in first-class cricket.

He went on the tour to India in 1957–58, but played in only one Test, in which he went wicketless. The tour of Pakistan that immediately followed was a little more fruitful, with eight wickets in three games. However, it was the 1960–61 tour of Australia that was to prove a turning point in Gibbs' international career: he played only in the last three Tests, but took 19 wickets at 20.78: eight at Sydney, five at Adelaide (including a hat-trick) and six at Melbourne.

The early 1960s were Gibbs' most productive period in Test cricket, and his greatest achievements came in the 1961–62 home series against India. Over the course of five Tests he picked up 24 wickets at just 20.41 apiece, including one of the game's greatest spells of bowling at Bridgetown, where he single-handedly reduced the Indians from 149/2 to 187 all out with eight wickets in 15.3 overs at a total cost of just six runs; Gibbs' final innings return of 8/38 was his best in a Test match.

In 1963 West Indies toured England, and Gibbs had another highly successful series, taking 26 wickets at 21.30 including 5/59 and 6/98 in a ten-wicket triumph at Manchester. Further successful series followed: indeed, in eight successive series topped and tailed by the 1960–61 and 1968–69 tours to Australia, Gibbs never took fewer than 18 Test wickets and took five or more wickets in an innings on 12 occasions.

In 1967 Gibbs played for Warwickshire in the English County Championship, for whom he would continue to appear each season until 1973, although his appearances in 1969 and 1973 were reduced because of his commitments with West Indies' tours of England. In 1970, after a winter spent with South Australia, he took a career-best 8/37 against Glamorgan, but by far his most successful season in England was 1971 in which Gibbs claimed 131 first-class wickets at only 18.89, with nine five-wicket hauls. This exceptional performance gained Gibbs a Wisden Cricketer of the Year award in the following year's Almanack.

In 1973, at the age of almost 39, Gibbs made his One Day International debut against England at Leeds as part of the Prudential Trophy tournament, taking the wicket of England captain Mike Denness. He played only two further ODIs: the first again being against England two days later at the Oval (11–4–12–1 and the wicket of John Jameson), and a single outing against Sri Lanka at Manchester in the 1975 World Cup, in which he bowled just four overs without success.

Gibbs' last Test matches were played on the tour of Australia in 1975–76. Although he played in all six Tests, and took 5/102 in the first innings of the first Test at Brisbane, his 16 wickets came at an average of over 40, the worst of his five series against these opponents. He passed the milestone of 300 Test victims at Perth by dismissing Gary Gilmour. His last Test match, and indeed his last appearance in senior cricket of any description, was at Melbourne, his 309th and final Test wicket being that – again – of Gilmour.
After his retirement from the game, Gibbs emigrated to the United States, but returned to prominence briefly in 1991 when he managed West Indies' tour to England.

Graham Gooch - Gooch captained Essex and England. He was one of the most successful international batsmen of his generation, and through a career spanning from 1973 until 2000, he became the most prolific run scorer of all time with 67,057 runs. He is the leading Test run scorer for England, and is one of only twenty-five players to have scored over 100 first-class centuries. He has the most runs in a career in List A cricket which totals 22,211 runs.

Gooch made his debut in Test cricket in 1975 at 21 against the touring Australia side captained by Ian Chappell. His debut was not a great success as Gooch got a 'pair', and England lost the first Test by an innings and 85 runs. The second Ashes Test in the series wasn't much better, he scored 6 and 31 and was then dropped from the side. He was not selected again until 1978 where his scoring rate for Essex meant that he could not be ignored and he became a mainstay in the England line-up. In 1980 he was awarded the Wisden Cricketer of the Year.

Gooch had a further hiatus in his career when he went on the controversial 1982 South African rebel tour, which resulted in all of the players concerned, including Geoff Boycott, Alan Knott and Bob Woolmer, being banned from Test cricket for three years. Geoffrey Boycott was generally perceived as the key player organising the tour party but it was Graham Gooch who captained the team who gained the most media attention and in some cases vilification. Gooch was not handed the captaincy until the team arrived in South Africa at the beginning of March. It could be argued that more attention was on Gooch however as he was reaching his peak as a Test Player, others were in the twilight years of their cricket careers and so the ban was arguably felt more acutely by the captain. Gooch claimed in the film "The Wilderness Years" that 'others' decided he "had no place in England cricket", hence his decision to join the tour.

Upon the expiration of the ban, Gooch was restored to the England team. His career blossomed later after being appointed captain, a position he held twice: firstly, and briefly, at the end of the "summer of four captains" in 1988, as a replacement for the injured Chris Cowdrey.

Gooch was re-appointed captain for the 1989-90 winter tour of the West Indies. England unexpectedly won the first Test, which was England's first victory over the Windies since 1973 and came close to winning the 3rd. However, Gooch suffered a broken hand and missed the rest of the tour - England lost the two remaining matches and the series.

Returning for the summer of 1990, Gooch had a golden summer both as batsman and captain against India and New Zealand, scoring runs seemingly at will. Gooch scored a record 456 runs in the Lord's Test against India in 1990, 333 in the first innings and 123 in the second. As of 2011, this is the only instance in any first-class cricket of a batsman scoring 300 and 100 in two innings of the same match, and his aggregate of 456 for the match remains a world record for a Test match, as does his aggregate of 753 for the 3-match series. Both series were won, and in 1990 Gooch was awarded Professional Cricketers' Association Player of the Year.

The winter tour of Australia did not, however, go according to plan, England losing 3-0 despite holding first-innings leads in the first two tests (both of which were lost), although Gooch scored a marvellous hundred chasing an improbable total in the drawn 4th test.

Gooch had a public falling-out with David Gower, the England batsman, particularly after Gower hired a vintage aircraft and 'buzzed' the ground where England was playing during the unsuccessful tour of Australia in 1990/91. Gooch contributed to the decision to omit Gower from England's tour of India in 1993, which proved so controversial that an extraordinary vote of no confidence in the selectors was passed at the MCC. Gower never played another Test, lending an ironic edge to Gooch's surpassing him as England's leading run scorer in the 1993 Ashes series. It is this relationship between the two men that perhaps highlights best the differences between their approaches to the game, as Gower himself identified in 1995 in an interview in The Independent "I was never destined to be on the ball 100 per cent of the time. I don't have the same ability that Graham Gooch has, to produce something very close to his best every time he plays".

In the following year against the West Indies he scored a match-winning 154 not out, carrying his bat throughout England's second innings against a highly rated pace attack, in overcast conditions on an unpredictable pitch, while only two of his colleagues reached double figures in a total of 252. The veteran sportswriter Frank Keating rated this as the finest Test innings he had ever seen in England. This opinion was backed up by the ICC rankings, which listed it as the highest-ranking innings of all time at any venue. In the rest of the series (drawn 2-2), Gooch was one of England's most consistent run-scorers, although no further centuries followed.

Gooch made a habit of leading by example, his batting average as captain being almost twice his average in the ranks. New Zealand were beaten in the winter tour of 1991-92, the decisive Second Test including another Gooch century (which he described as his worst ever, but his luckiest). He also led England to the World Cup final later that winter, and batted well during the 1992 series defeat by Pakistan - again, his runs contributing to England's series-levelling victory in the 4th test.

Gooch's committed approach to physical training also courted controversy during England's 1992 World Cup campaign, especially with another senior player Ian Botham. Hints were dropped that Gooch's unrelenting regime had led to burn-out within the team, culminating in their losing the final to Pakistan, whom they had been on course to defeat easily in a rain-affected match earlier in the tournament.

After the fourth Test match of the 1993 Ashes series, and with England now 3-0 down in the series, he resigned as captain: the job being given to his fellow opening batsman, Michael Atherton. Although Gooch continued playing for a couple of years, notably scoring another double century against New Zealand in 1994, Gooch retired from Test match cricket as England's all-time highest run scorer. Over his 118 Test career, Gooch played with a record 113 different team mates.

Gooch ended his career with a Test batting record of 8,900 runs at an average of 42.58, and continues to work as a batting coach with England to this day, in what has been a prosperous period for their batsmen.

David Gower - Although he eventually rose to the captaincy of the England cricket team during the 1980s, he is best known for being one of the most stylish left-handed batsmen of the modern era. Gower played 117 Test matches, scoring 8,231 runs at an average of 44.25. He is thus one of the most capped and highest scoring players in his country's history. He is also one of England's most capped One Day International players, with 114 matches.

Gower led England during the 1985 Ashes series against Australia, and his team was victorious, however two 5-0 whitewashes at the hands of the West Indies (in 1984 and 1985–86) reflected poorly on his captaincy, and Gower was replaced in 1986. Gower was briefly reinstated for the 1989 Ashes series, before being replaced as captain by Graham Gooch. The strained relationship between the pair contributed to Gower's complete retirement in 1993. Nevertheless, he ended with an impressive record in first-class cricket, having accumulated 26,339 runs at 40.08, and 53 centuries. His Test match tally includes the world record feat of 119 consecutive innings without registering a duck. Following his retirement, Gower became a successful cricket commentator.

Gower enjoyed one of the most prolific first-class cricket careers in English history, in both domestic and international competitions. His 117 Test matches currently lies behind only Alec Stewart with 133 and Graham Gooch with 118. Gower's career run total is also the third highest by an English player, again behind only Stewart with 8,463, and Gooch with 8,900. With 18 centuries he is also joint fourth with fellow captain Michael Vaughan in the most hundreds scored by an England player. He played domestic cricket from 1975 until 1993, largely with Leicestershire until 1989, where he moved to Hampshire, a stalwart batsman at both clubs.

Gower was a "most graceful" left hand batsman and had a reputation for being aloof. His languid style was often misinterpreted as indifference and a lack of seriousness, an air he bolstered with a variety of "misdemeanours" from apparently "lazy" shots, to practical jokes. Wisden described him as "fluffy-haired, ethereal-looking" who played "beautifully, until the moment he made a mistake. Sometimes, the mistake was put off long enough for him to play an innings of unforgettable brilliance." Gower, a left-handed batsmen, played with a dominant top hand, and a "liquid, graceful" style.

He was repeatedly lambasted by the media as being "laid back" or "nonchalant" with a "devil-may-care" approach found infuriating, as Wisden records, "the difference between an exquisite stroke and a nick was little more than an inch" in his style of batting. Peter Roebuck recorded that "Gower never moves, he drifts" while Frances Edmonds in the Daily Express spoke of Gower in 1985: "Difficult to be more laid back without being actually comatose." Gower himself commented in 1995 in an interview in The Independent "I was never destined to be on the ball 100 per cent of the time. I don't have the same ability that Graham Gooch has, to produce something very close to his best every time he plays. There were Test matches where I suddenly felt, at the end of it, 'Well, I wish I'd really been at that one.

Gower made his Ashes début at The Gabba, Brisbane on 1 December 1978. He made 44 and 48* in the first Test, before making his maiden Ashes hundred, 102 from 221 balls in Perth. These were to be his only significant contributions, however, and he saw out the rest of the series with scores of 29, 49, 7, 34, 9 and 21, until a meticulous 65 in the final Test at Sydney.[24] He then faced four Test matches against India over the summer of 1979, beginning the series with a fast-paced 200* at Edgbaston, followed by an 82 at Lord's. Ducks at Leeds and The Oval followed, however, and he struggled against Australia in the winter of 1979 with 17, 23 and three. A battling 98* at Sydney was again followed by another duck and 11 as Gower's form deserted him. After 16 against India in February 1980, and 20 and one against the West Indies, Gower's form picked up marginally with scores of 45, 35 and 48 against Australia and the West Indies. One more fifty followed at Bridgetown, however Gower eventually broke the run of poor form with a hard-fought 154* from 403 deliveries at Kingston.

Gower's timely revival of form ensured his selection for the 1981 Ashes series, however apart from an 89 at Lord's, Gower failed to convert the success he was having in the domestic game to the Test matches, with many scores in the 20s or lower. Two scores in the 80s against India, one against Sri Lanka and two 70s against Pakistan over the winter of 1981/82 kept in him contention for an international place, however centuries were lacking in his game. In August 1982, however, Australia received the England touring team at Perth, where Gower made 72 and 28. He followed this with 18, 34 and 60 at Brisbane and Adelaide before a compact 114 in the second innings of the Adelaide match revived his hundred count. Two more hundreds in the summer of 1983 against New Zealand, and knocks of 152 and 173* against Pakistan in 1984 ensured his place in the side.

Following his 173* in the last Test against Pakistan, Gower suffered another drop in form, managing only three fifties in the next 18 Test innings against the West Indies, Sri Lanka and India. In 1985, however, after low scores at Leeds, Gower enjoyed a "golden season". He scored 86 and 22 at Lord's against Australia, and 166 at Trent Bridge. Following this, he scored 47 at Old Trafford, and then at Edgbaston on 15 August, scored 215 from 314 balls, his career best score, and immediately followed this with 157 at The Oval. In addition, he forged two partnerships over three-hundred runs, with 331 scored with Tim Robinson (148) during Gower's own double-century, and 351 with Gooch's 196 at The Oval. He ended the series with 732 runs at 81.33, leading England to a 3-1 victory.

Gower struggled in 1986. His mother had died a week before he left to captain the England tour to the West Indies which ended in a 5-0 defeat (Gower's second at their hands). Back in England against India, Gower lost the captaincy after two Tests both of which were lost. Retained as a senior player for the New Zealand series and the subsequent Ashes tour, his fortunes began to turn in December with 136 against Australia at Perth.
In 1987 Gower declined to play in that year's Cricket World Cup as he did not wish to travel, having been on nine successive winter tours since his debut. He never again declined an opportunity to play for England, however. Yet rumours that Gower lacked serious commitment gained currency in 1989 when, as England captain he walked out of a press conference claiming he had tickets for the theatre.

More controversially, during the 1991 Ashes Tour in Australia, England were playing a warm up match in Queensland when Gower together with batsman John Morris, chose to go for a joy-ride in two Tiger Moth biplane without telling the England team management. Both had been dismissed earlier that day, however they decided not to remain at the ground to "watch Allan Lamb and Robin Smith flat the Queensland attack before a small crowd". For this, Gower was fined £1000, a penalty that could have been steeper had he released the water bombs he had also prepared. Gower also posed for press photographs with the plane the next day.

Gooch was enraged, as he was by Gower's mode of dismissal at a crucial stage of one of the Test matches. During the fourth Test at Adelaide, Gower walked out to the crease to the tune of Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines. The last ball before lunch was bowled down the leg side to a leg trap, and all Gower needed to do was block. However, Gower flicked idly at the delivery and was caught at leg-slip. According to Michael Atherton in his autobiography, "Gooch was at the other end and as he walked off his face was thunderous". This was another example of the strained relationship between the two. His score of nought in the second innings at Melbourne in 1991, when England were chasing quick runs for victory, ended his world record, unbroken sequence, of 119 Test innings without registering a duck. Gower scored 73 and 31* in the following matches against Pakistan, however on 9 August 1992 he was dismissed for one by Waqar Younis in what would be his last Test match, at The Oval. It is often thought that Gooch was instrumental in Gower being left out of the following tour of India. The selection decision prompted a vote no confidence in the selectors at the MCC, but it was to no avail as Gower was not included. Gower retired from international cricket and Gooch's perceived "tote-that-barge regime" in early 1993.

Tom Graveney - Graveney was the President of the Marylebone Cricket Club for 2004/5. Graveney played for Gloucestershire County Cricket Club (Captain 1959–1960), Worcestershire County Cricket Club (Captain 1968–1970), Queensland and England in 79 Tests and was a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1953. Graveney captained England on one occasion, standing in for Colin Cowdrey in the drawn fourth Test match against the Australians at Headingley in 1968.

An elegant batsman, Graveney was among the leading players of his generation. Beginning his career with Gloucestershire after the Second World War, Graveney joined Worcestershire in 1961 after he was replaced as captain. He left county cricket after the 1970 season but made a handful of appearances for Queensland, where he acted as coach.

Graveney was a regular Test cricketer throughout the 1950s. He appeared in at least one match in every home Test series from 1951 until 1958 as well as touring Australia three times (1954–55, 1958–59, 1962–63) and the West Indies twice (1953–54 and 1967–68). In 1954–55 he topped the England batting averages (44.00) and served as a makeshift opener in the final Test when Ian Johnson put England in to bat. Graveney made 111 in two and a half hours and few captains have been more gracefully rebuffed. In addition he visited Pakistan in 1968–69 as vice captain, having been there as part of the lengthy Indian tour in 1951–52. Regaining his place after a three-year absence in the second (Lord's) Test Match of 1966, Graveney finally left international cricket after playing a benefit match on the rest day of the First Test against the West Indies in 1969, when he scored 75. He was then suspended for this breach of regulations and did not play again.

Graveney enjoyed his most successful cricket after 1960. Dominating performances in India and at home against the 1957 West Indians when he made 258 at Trent Bridge contrasted with averages under 40 in eight out of thirteen series. In only two did he average over 50, but from 1962 he bettered 50 in five out of nine series and averaged at least 40 in two others. Graveney's play was dominated by strong front foot strokes, but he had enough technique against the quick bowlers to open the England batting regularly in the early part of his career. He passed 1,000 runs in a season on twenty occasions, making more than 2000 six times. In 1964 he scored his hundredth hundred (the first player to do so since the Second World War) and in all scored 47,793 runs, as well as being a useful wrist spinner. He captained Gloucestershire in 1959 and 1960, and led Worcestershire from 1968 until he retired in 1970.

He ended his career with a Test batting record of 4,882 runs at an average of 44.38.

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Post by guildfordbat Sun 04 Dec 2011, 3:55 pm

Thanks for unveiling the latest famous five, Fists. I'll tell the Corporal he can instruct his troops to call off the search party!

Immediate thoughts in no particular order for these five are one definite YES, one probable YES and three probable NOs. I'll want to think, research further and hear others' comments before confirming. Those with nothing better to do can try and allocate names to my provisional votes!

On a point of trivia which has nothing to do with my votes, I believe Lance Gibbs and Clive Lloyd are cousins.

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Post by JDizzle Sun 04 Dec 2011, 4:00 pm

Think I can guess who you have in mind for the definite yes and probable yes Guildford. I would imagine it is the same as the two guys I have. After that there is one I am a little undecided on, and after that it is two extremely likely no's. Looks like a very dull week! I am sure there will be something to argue about though.

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Post by guildfordbat Sun 04 Dec 2011, 4:05 pm

JDizzle wrote:
.... Looks like a very dull week!

I think the Corporal said something similar last week before the Clark and Cowdrey debates made the Thirty Years War seem like a nanosecond!

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Post by Guest Sun 04 Dec 2011, 4:16 pm

im undecided so my votes will go in later tonight or late tomorrow.

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Post by JDizzle Sun 04 Dec 2011, 4:21 pm

guildfordbat wrote:
JDizzle wrote:
.... Looks like a very dull week!

I think the Corporal said something similar last week before the Clark and Cowdrey debates made the Thirty Years War seem like a nanosecond!

Shocked

Gulp. Grab your helmets then lads... Here we go again.

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Post by Mad for Chelsea Sun 04 Dec 2011, 4:21 pm

there's never a dull week on here, don't worry. I'm thinking a bit like guildford at the mo. One definite YES, one I'm tending towards YES on, and three more I'm leaning towards NO.

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Post by JDizzle Sun 04 Dec 2011, 4:30 pm

Garner - Yes
Gooch - Yes
Gower - Touch and go, but probably no
Gibbs - No
Graveney - No

That's what I am thinking at the moment. Garner is a clear yes. Gooch I think has done enough to get in and Gower is just on the borderline. No's to Gibbs and Graveney at the moment, but don't know an awful lot about Gibbs apart from he was the first spinner to 300 Test Wickets which is some achievement so will have to have more of a read about him.

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Post by guildfordbat Sun 04 Dec 2011, 4:40 pm

JDizzle wrote:Garner - Yes
Gooch - Yes
Gower - Touch and go, but probably no
Gibbs - No
Graveney - No

That's what I am thinking at the moment. Garner is a clear yes. Gooch I think has done enough to get in and Gower is just on the borderline. No's to Gibbs and Graveney at the moment, but don't know an awful lot about Gibbs apart from he was the first spinner to 300 Test Wickets which is some achievement so will have to have more of a read about him.

Looking interesting already ....

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Post by Guest Sun 04 Dec 2011, 4:40 pm

mine will be very soon now. because i have nothing to do, so gonna decide now.

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Post by skyeman Sun 04 Dec 2011, 4:45 pm

One definite yes, two undecided and two NO's at the moment.

All looking pretty similar at the moment Very Happy

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Post by Guest Sun 04 Dec 2011, 4:48 pm

Joel Garner: 259 wickets at 20 in tests, and 146 wickets at 18 in odi's. World class bowler, put the fear of christ into batsman, and was part of a fearsome windies bowling attack. a must in the hall of the fame. YES

Lance Gibbs: Great spinner, 309 wickets at 29 in test cricket, superb. There has been better spinners in test cricket, but he came from a side in which fast bowling was the main weapon. Very underrated and a must in the hall of fame. YES

Graham Gooch: Very tough to decide this one. However he was a fantastic batsman, however i dont think he is good enough to get into the hall of fame. A controversial no from me. NO

David Gower: A class batsman full of flair. Left handed, elegant at the crease, and one of england's greatest. Made well over 8,000 runs against some high class bowling attacks, and is a must. YES

Tom Graveny: Class player, who should have played a hell of a lot more test matches for england. YES

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Post by Mad for Chelsea Sun 04 Dec 2011, 4:56 pm

Garner is a must I feel? A remarkable record, would have been a fantastic T20 bowler too you think. Sometimes makes my world XI, more for balance than because I believe he's one of the top 3 seamers of all time, but comfortably made our all-time top ten seamers ranking list (in at n°7). A great bowler.

After that it gets trickier, as I'm not sure any of the remaining candidates are outstanding. We refused people like Boycott and Cowdrey entry, are Gooch, Gower or Graveney any better really? I'm not sure. Is Gibbs much better than Bedi, who was turned down by an overwhelming majority? Again, not sure.

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Post by Guest Sun 04 Dec 2011, 4:58 pm

well i said yes to 4 of them, and only no to gooch

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Post by JDizzle Sun 04 Dec 2011, 5:01 pm

Gooch does have more first class runs than Jack Hobbs, whish is a remarkable achievement in it's self to surpass a man as great as Hobbs. And I believe it was Mike who said whilst debating Barrington that he has a great Test record, but no defining innings. Gooch, for me, is the exact opposite. From his 333 against India, holding the record for the most runs scored in a Test match by a single player, and statistically the best Test innings on their records with his 154* against the West Indies on a fearsome pitch at Headingley makes him a yes for me.

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Post by skyeman Sun 04 Dec 2011, 5:03 pm

Definitely three No's now, one undecided and a definite Tall YES.

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Post by Fists of Fury Sun 04 Dec 2011, 5:06 pm

I think the biggest debate this week could be over the Gibbs inclusion.

Guildford, you are correct, he is indeed the cousin of Clive Lloyd.

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Post by Guest Sun 04 Dec 2011, 5:08 pm

gibbs was a must for me.

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Post by guildfordbat Sun 04 Dec 2011, 5:11 pm

Mad for Chelsea wrote:Garner is a must I feel? A remarkable record, would have been a fantastic T20 bowler too you think. Sometimes makes my world XI, more for balance than because I believe he's one of the top 3 seamers of all time, but comfortably made our all-time top ten seamers ranking list (in at n°7). A great bowler.


Just to mention that Gibbs made our all-time top ten spinners ranking list (also in at no. 7) ....

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Post by Mad for Chelsea Sun 04 Dec 2011, 5:28 pm

true guildford, but they have probably been more truly great fast bowlers than spinners IMO, hence why for me simply making the all-time list may not be enough.

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Post by Hoggy_Bear Sun 04 Dec 2011, 5:44 pm

Garner-YES. A fantastic bowler in both tests and ODIs. Much underated.

The other 4-NO. All, IMHO, share the same characteristic, very good but not great.

Gibbs. First spinner to 300 wickets etc. but still not an all-time great IMO. Wouldn't make MY all-time top 10 spinners list.
Gooch had a great second half of his career, especially after he became captain, but we must look at his career overall, and again, IMO he wouldn't make a top 10 of opening batsmen of all-time, possibly not even a top 20.
Gower. Loved watching him bat, and he could be magical on his day, but he was also prone to lapses of concentration and I feel that he could, like a number of English batsmen, have been so much better.
Graveney. Good international batsman. Great, and long serving, domestic batsman. But an all-time great? No.

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Post by Mad for Chelsea Sun 04 Dec 2011, 5:54 pm

I think Hoggy's votes reflect the way I'm currently leaning at the mo. For instance, they are probably at least three English openers who were better than Gooch, with Cook possibly on his way to being a fourth. Yes, Gooch has some great innings to point to, that one against the WI the most memorable, but I didn't rate him as a man-manager at all.

His handling of Gower is well-documented, and as a rule he tended to be very much the "my way or the highway" type: it was fine as long as you were a practise freak, happy to go through the hard yards, but not everyone was willing to work as hard as Gooch himself. Perhaps in these days of acute professionalism he would've done better (indeed he seems to be doing a fine job as batting coach), but for me his being unable or unwilling to accept different characters is a negative point.

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Post by Corporalhumblebucket Sun 04 Dec 2011, 5:57 pm

Fists - a very challenging selection Smile .....

My initial thinking is Garner and Gibbs - probably yes - and the three batsmen somewhat tending towards nos. I need to bear in mind that I voted no for both Boycott and Cowdrey - so the standard set for batsmen is exacting.

A few comments on Gibbs are in order. Strong points in his favour are that he was the first spinner to reach 300 wickets and his remarkable economy rate. His test bowling average is similar to that of Bedi (to whom I gave a no vote). But I don't think the typical West Indies pitches would have given Gibbs nearly as much help as Bedi would have received from the Indian pitches. Also, the Windies will have had plenty of fast bowlers, eg Hall and Griffiths, who the captain would have turned to dispose of the more vulnerable batsmen. Pleased to see that Gibbs' merits are recognised by CF Very Happy

Garner - some good points have been made. He was certainly a devastating bowler in one day cricket. Not sure whether he ever won an award from sight screen manufacturers - but he probably deserved to.... Wink

Both Gower and Graveney were fine, elegant players and I was privileged to have watched a fair bit of Gower's batting on TV. I wouldn't attempt to dissuade anyone from voting yes for either - but I'm rather thinking they are in the near miss categories.

Gooch - gets fairly close to the line due to the weight of his runs. My main concern, and it's an important one, is that his overall test average is good rather than great....

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Post by Mad for Chelsea Sun 04 Dec 2011, 6:00 pm

good points re Gibbs corporal. My initial thoughts were going YES to Gibbs, but then looking at his record I started to wonder if he'd really done enough. It's true that as a rule he'd have got less "cheap" wickets due to the WI sides being traditionally dominated by pace, and less assistance off the pitches than Bedi for instance.

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Post by guildfordbat Sun 04 Dec 2011, 6:04 pm

Mad for Chelsea wrote:true guildford, but they have probably been more truly great fast bowlers than spinners IMO, hence why for me simply making the all-time list may not be enough.

Mad - you make a good and fair point there. Of course, you would still need to be a pretty good spinner to even get a bowl when you were playing in the same test side over the years as Hall, Griffith, Sobers, Roberts and Marshall ....

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