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The 606v2 Cricket Hall of Fame Part 2

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Post by Mike Selig Sat 07 Jan 2012, 3:47 pm

First topic message reminder :

NOTE: This is the second part of the 606v2 Cricket Hall of Fame thread. The first part can be found here: https://www.606v2.com/t17447-the-606v2-cricket-hall-of-fame-part-1

kwinigolfer wrote:Surely, it doesn't matter how fast he was compared to those of the 70's and later? There is exemplary anecdotal evidence that he was the fastest of the early Lindwall era and for thirty years before.

Precisely, and the only thing that really matters. He was undoubtedly faster than anything had been before, at the time, or shortly afterwards. But we should be wary of people who say "I saw Larwood and Thompson bowl, and Larwood was as fast": they are using different frames of reference for comparison.

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Post by guildfordbat Thu 19 Jan 2012, 5:27 pm

Dummy - superb wicket keeping by Russell. I actually posted this clip on the 'Top Ten Keepers' thread last year - don't worry, I've no copyright claim! Very Happy

I've read that Russell just saw the possibility of a stumping here and took the opportunity brilliantly - nothing was pre-arranged with the bowler, Gladstone Small. Look at Small's face as the players gather round - a mixture of relief, delight and amazement.

As I said to Mad for Chelsea last year - Russell was a genius, albeit a flawed genius.

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Post by Corporalhumblebucket Thu 19 Jan 2012, 10:15 pm

cricketfan90 wrote: Peter May; very tough decision this...was a solid batsman, if unspectualr.

CF - no problem if that's the decision you come to / confirm in a week's time. But from my reading of wide ranging comments about May from various authoritative sources he was generally regarded as one of the most stylish and classy batsmen of his generation. So I can't easily relate to a description of him as unspectacular. For example:

"In the 1950s PBH May - the initials were part of the style of the man - came to represent the beau ideal of English batsmanship and sportsmanship. He was tall and handsome with a batting style that was close to classical, and he was the hero of a generation of schoolboys."

Or this description:
"The quality of his strokeplay was manifest and his strokes manifold, from the delicate timing that cut the ball late, or glanced it fine to leg, to the upright driving that sped the ball in the arc from cover point to wide mid-on. The Peter May on-drive was his particular glory, and his execution of this, one of the most difficult s trokes in cricket, underwrote his strengths as a batsman: his footwork, his balance, the power in his wrists and particularly his unremitting concentration".

Or this one:
Alf Gover, one of his early mentors, presents a picture of exceptional physical command. He enthuses about a “mighty hitter”, spellbindingly assured off the back foot and comparable, in his view, with Wally Hammond. Another wise observer, Herbert Strudwick, shared a memory with Gover of one stupendous strike by May against Nottinghamshire at The Oval. Arthur Jepson, armed with the new ball, was the plainly disbelieving bowler. May’s six-hit was struck unerringly off the back foot and over the bowler's head into the Vauxhall Stand. The next ball was also driven for four to compound the audacity. “Jeppy couldn't believe it,” says Gover. “It shattered him for the rest of the day.” The verdict of Strudwick was that only a class player - “standing up straight and ready to hit the first ball if it wanted hitting” - could have produced such a magnificent assault.

Or this one:
"A right-handed batsman, he was a particularly strong driver, and was regarded by his contemporaries as the most graceful and complete batsman of his era."

So, a classic, stylish batsman, recognised by Benaud as the outstanding English post war batsman - who also averaged 54 in his 41 tests as England captain. Seems fairly clear cut to me....


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Post by alfie Fri 20 Jan 2012, 4:41 am

Nice work , Corporal

Whenever I picture Peter May , he is always playing that lovely on-drive ...

While I'm aware his final statistics are no better than a couple of other batsmen I have already (perhaps wrongly) consigned to the "consider next round" group , I am almost certainly adding in his record as Captain and voting Yes. And perhaps I am allowed to consider the sheer grace of his stroke play in coming to that decision? As well as Richie's opinion , of course Smile


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Post by alfie Fri 20 Jan 2012, 4:55 am

Re Wicket keepers :

1/ Great Jack Russell clip , thanks Dummy !
2/ Kwini , you may be correct in suspecting that Evans actually went on a little too long (I was too young to really judge) but surely a man should be mainly judged by what he did in his prime? I would tend to "adjust upwards" the average of a batsman who answered his country's call after he perhaps shouldn't have done so for his own record's sake (yes , Cowdrey comes to mind ) Never mind , as you say , we are looking at Marsh now.
3/ Which brings me to the issue of how many keepers we are picking: I must confess I haven't looked at the ICC list at all so had no idea who was in or out (astonished Ames isn't , though! ) Marsh may well have been technically inferior to a number of his predecessors in the Australian team (Oldfield perhaps , I also recall Wally Grout being pretty handy behind the timbers) , but the longevity , the records must surely count for something? Never mind the Ashes flight beer can drinking record Very Happy
Adding in his coaching record and I'm tending to another Yes.

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Post by dummy_half Fri 20 Jan 2012, 8:45 am

Alfie
IIRC, Marsh's beer record wasn't all that impressive - only somewhere in the low to mid 40s. Easily usurped by the keg on legs that was David Boon with 52(?). Surely this must count as a negative Wink

Getting the coach driver to stick a tenner on England to win at Headingley in 81 did at least mean the consolation beers were paid for though.

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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 20 Jan 2012, 11:53 am

alfie,
Regarding Evans, no doubt you're right. But my comments were in regard to his seemingly automatic placement on the wicket-keeping pedestal by being voted in with the original 30, and more questioning why Knott, for instance, shouldn't have been at the head of that class.
Agree about Cowdrey also, and strongly feel that we look back in history at averages rather than context.

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Post by Fists of Fury Fri 20 Jan 2012, 11:53 am

Evans wasn't voted in on the original 30, Kwini?

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Post by Hoggy_Bear Fri 20 Jan 2012, 12:06 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:alfie,

Agree about Cowdrey also, and strongly feel that we look back in history at averages rather than context.

Context is often more difficult to discover though, so that's not surprising.

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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 20 Jan 2012, 12:12 pm

Fists,
That'll explain a lot then, haven't figured out away to hopscotch around the site when posting stuff I'm not positive of.
Stupid to have assumed he was in the ICC Hall then. I guess I've proved my own argument. Doh

Which makes it very strange that neither Ames nor Evans are in the ICC Hall.

Back to the drawing (or at least golf) board.


Hoggy,
"Context"? Agree but averages seem to trump context when some perspective is offered.
Still working on my Hanif advocacy.

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Post by Fists of Fury Fri 20 Jan 2012, 12:43 pm

Ha, not a problem, mate. We all go scenile eventually Wink

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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 20 Jan 2012, 12:55 pm

Correct (well, almost) Fists, and I've got forty years of practice on you.


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Post by Fists of Fury Fri 20 Jan 2012, 2:53 pm

http://www.espncricinfo.com/pakistan-v-england-2012/content/current/story/550264.html

Time to vote NO to Miandad? devil

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Post by Hoggy_Bear Fri 20 Jan 2012, 2:55 pm

Fists of Fury wrote:http://www.espncricinfo.com/pakistan-v-england-2012/content/current/story/550264.html

Time to vote NO to Miandad? devil

warning Now, now.

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Post by alfie Sat 21 Jan 2012, 3:22 pm

OK he's a stirring so and so ...

Wouldn't be fair to blackball him for that though would it ?

Love to ram it down his throat next week though.

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Post by Guest Sat 21 Jan 2012, 4:21 pm

miandad should surely cruise into the HOF.

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Post by guildfordbat Sun 22 Jan 2012, 4:15 pm

The first 'Little Master'

The nominees I've supported to date have not always but often been those I've watched and enjoyed. I can't claim that in respect of Hanif Mohammed. His last Test was in the late 1960s just as my obsession with the game was beginning.

However, from my reading and research, I believe Hanif is worthy of serious consideration as an entrant to our Hall of Fame. I'll consider his time and length in Test cricket, overall record, specific achievements, views of others and that usual catch all of anything else.

Time and Length of Test Career

Following the Partition of India in 1947 and the establishment of the separate province of Pakistan, the ICC finally granted Test match status to Pakistan in 1952. At the age of just seventeen, Hanif opened the batting for Pakistan in their first Test match. This was against India in Delhi in October 1952. He scored a half century in his debut Test innings but that was not enough to prevent Pakistan following on and losing by an innings.

For the next seventeen years until October 1969, Hanif continued to open the batting (or play early middle order) for Pakistan. For much of this time, Pakistan were an emerging nation in a cricketing sense (as well as most others) and remained on the backfoot. That they were able to build upon such adversity, rather than crumble as a result, is due in no small part to the role played by Hanif in his 55 Tests.

Overall Record

In his 55 Test matches, Hanif scored 3,915 runs from 97 innings at an average of virtually 44 He scored twelve centuries and a further fifteen half-centuries.

In First-class matches, he scored over 17,000 runs from 370 innings at an average above 52 with fifty-five centuries and sixty-six half centuries.

At first sight, these figures are good and very good at First-class level but not outstanding at Test level. As far as I am aware, this is the only - some might say major - drawback to his claim for entry to the HoF. I accept that but do believe other factors need to be taken into account. In an attempt to put things into context (which Kwini and Hoggy acknowledged and emphasised recently is so important but so difficult) I would flag the following:
* Palkistan were a poor team for much of Hanif's time without many other leading players. I would compare them far more to Zimbabwe or Bangladesh now than the Pakistan we know today. [Hoggy - you, in particular, may be able to put things in a better context and correct me here.] I have always maintained that it is far more difficult for a batsman to score runs in a mailnly losing team than a successful one.
* Unlike modern day batsmen, Hanif had to contend with poor Test match wickets. Some of Hanif's early Test matches were even played on matted wickets.
* For some of his Test career, Hanif also kept wicket.
* As will be emphasised further below, Hanif's Test career should not be viewed just in terms of averages but must also take into account the match saving innings played together with the monumental mental and physical application to do so.

Specific Achievements

Two stand out even more than an attendance by Skyeman at a Women's Equality meeting. Wink

The first has already been well covered. I will therefore simply emphasise that in 1958/59, Hanif surpassed Bradman's record for the highest individual First-class innings. He made 499 before being run out attempting his five hundredth run. [I don't know if it merits admission to the HoF by itself but that must surely be the most famous individual score for ever more.] This record stood for more than thirty-five years until Lara's unbeaten 501.

The second relates to events at Bridgetown, Barbados in a six-day Test against the West Indies a year earlier. I will let Wisden take up the story:

''A crushing first Test defeat seemed inevitable there when West Indies amassed 579 for nine and then bowled Pakistan out in their first innings for 106.
Three and a half day's play was still possible when Pakistan batted again. To save the game, therefore, it was virtually imperative for some batsman to smash the world endurance record.
Cometh the crisis to end all crises, cometh Hanif Mohammad. He scored 337 in an occupation of 16 hours 39 minutes. It was the longest innings ever known. The Test was drawn and Hanif, for his pains, had three layers of skin burned away beneath his eyes by the harsh glare reflected from the pitch.''

I understand that this remains the longest innings in Test history and is the only Test match instance of a triple century in a team's second innings. Had the West Indies given up before the end? Not a bit of it from what I have read. Pakistani cricket journalist and broadcaster Omar Kureishi wrote,'' It was not, as if, Hanif was at a banquet and runs were there for the taking. The West Indies made him earn every run.'' As many as six front line West Indies bowlers - including Roy Gilchrist, Colly Smith, Alf Valentine and Garry Sobers - bowled between 39 and 61 overs each (yes, each!).

However, there are other Test match innings which show the true worth of the man and earned him the nickname ''Little Master''.

In the Lord's Test of 1967, after an hour's play on the third day Pakistan were 99 for six in reply to England's first innings 369. Carrying the tail with him, Hanif made an unbeaten 187 and guided Pakistan to 354 all out shortly before tea on the fourth day day. It was recorded by Wiseden: ''the result at Lord's was a draw snatched not so much from the jaws as the very digestive system of defeat''.

Omar Kureishi pays tribute to the above innings as follows: ''My own favourite Hanif's innings was the 187 he made against England at Lord's in 1967. Many felt that he was approaching the end of his career, that his reflexes were slowing down and was not happy against the quick bowlers. The English too must have heard the rumour and John Snow tested him with several bouncers until Hanif hooked him imperiously, not once but several times. I was doing the radio commentary for BBC and it was my privilege to have described much of that innings in the company of John Arlott who would shake his head and say ''my word'' in disbelief, I might add, delighted disbelief for John Arlott was a great Hanif fan.''

Wisden add that Hanif's role in the drawn Lord's Test of 1967 was ''but one peak in the mountain range''. Whilst Wisden regard the Bridgetown Test as the greatest height in the accomplishments he scaled, they also highlight others.

Just time to mention two of these. Again, in Wisden's words: ''In 1954, in Pakistan's very first Test at Lord's, he occupied the crease for 195 minutes over 20 runs to ensure a draw.'' As I stated earlier, common averages do not do justice to an extraordinary batsman nor show his career in a proper context.

Wisden also record that that: ''In Australia, in the only Test of Pakistan's first tour, he scored 104 and 93 to save the match.'' By several accounts I have read, Hanif was wrongly given out stumped in the second innings. Leaving that aside, his two innings and the drawn result must have done a considerable amount to raise the credibility and profile of Pakistan in world cricket.


Views of Others

I have commented that John Arlott was ''a big Hanif fan'', according to the Pakistani cricket journalist Omar Kureishi. Kureishi himself was no different. He wrote in 1999: ''For my memory, Hanif was the best batsman in the world when he was playing and the best ever produced by Pakistan.''

In 2010 a ten man panel of Pakistani cricket writers, broadcasters and usual suspects overwhelmingly included Hanif in their All Time Pakistan team. Panellist Khadim Baloch, Pakistan cricket historian and writer, said at the time: ''Hanif bestrode the cricket world like a Colossus of Rhodes. His patience was monumental, his judgement unique; fearless of his opponents, he shared his respect for them, both in victory and defeat.''

For his saving of the Lord's Test the previous summer from ''the very digestive system of defeat'', Hanif was named by Wisden as a Cricketer of the Year in 1968.

The distinguished cricket writer Scyld Berry has stated: ''Hanif was the first star of Pakistan cricket, the 'Little Master' ''.

Berry also adds, with possibly considerable significance, that with Hanif's ''feats, broadcast on radio, he turned cricket in Pakistan from the preserve of the Lahore educated elite into the mass sport it is today''.

Hoggy has previously highlighted the differences between Imran Khan and Javed Miandad together with their apparent mutual dislike. I have read that on one matter and in one way they are both united. Whenever Hanif enters a room in which they are both present, their differences are put aside and they both stand up to show their respect.

Finally, in this section, no write up would be complete without a contribution from Richie Benaud. Benaud has referred to the role played by Hanif in the development of Pakistan cricket as ''pivotal''. More of Benaud shortly.


Other Aspects

The first aspect here concerns the Mohammed family and their contribution to Test cricket. Three of Hanif's brothers played Test cricket (a fourth was twelfth man for Pakistan) as did his son and various nephews. In Benaud's words: ''There have been some interesting families in the history of Test cricket around the world, none more than the Mohammed family. In the first 100 Tests played by Pakistan, at least one of the Mohammed brothers was in the team.'' I certainly wouldn't suggest Hanif go into the HoF for this alone (I appreciate I kept quiet that Colin Cowdrey was Chris's dad when supporting his nomination Very Happy ) but it's probably fair for it to go into the mix.

Having praised his defensive qualities and outlined their necessity so much, it is only right to point out that he could also be an attacking batsman. In the words of Scyld Berry: ''Although famous for his immaculate defence and never hitting the ball in the air, Hanif could also attack, and was probably the originator of the reverse-sweep.''

Hanif's versatility should also be noted. As Berry further notes: ''His versatility extended to captaining and keeping wicket, and bowling right - and left - handed in Test cricket.''

Conclusion

For the reasons Wisden gave in 1968 which also fairly acknowledge and explain his shortcomings, I would welcome Hanif into our HoF: ''It can scarcely be claimed that his Test career has been one of uninterrupted success. It could hardly be so in view of Pakistan's comparative immaturity as a Test-playing nation. But though he has had lean years through loss of form or injury or both there have been enough truly herculean feats along the way''.

As Omar Kureishi wrote in 1999: ''He's still the Little Master.''

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Post by Guest Sun 22 Jan 2012, 4:16 pm

is it not too early for the votes Hug

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Post by Fists of Fury Sun 22 Jan 2012, 4:28 pm

Guildford, a quite excellent appraisal of Hanif's career.

I knew little of the first 'little master' when his name was put up for election, but many of his batting feats, and of course the ability to bowl both right and left handed (this is an enormous achievement in itself, regardless of the results!) have seen my admiration for Hanif grow no end.

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Post by Guest Sun 22 Jan 2012, 4:55 pm

dont tell me im in the minority over hanif as well.

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Post by Hoggy_Bear Sun 22 Jan 2012, 5:35 pm

Guildford
Apart from saying that a comparison between Hanif's Pakistan and the Zimbabwe team that entered international cricket in the late 80s/early 90s may have been a bit more apt (a minor quibble), may I congratulate you on your eloquence in putting forward the case for Hanif. clap

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Post by Shelsey93 Sun 22 Jan 2012, 6:50 pm

A great post in favour of Hanif guildford clap

Just a couple of things to clarify:

- He only kept wicket in 3 Tests.
- Pakistan won 9 out of 55 Tests when Hanif played (probably more a modern day NZ or WI then but without BAN or ZIM to add to the win count). Interestingly, in these 9 wins Hanif averaged only 23.75 with 1 100. A number of these wins were on the matting pitch at Karachi - of the Pakistani Test venues only Lahore was turf until the early 60s.

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Post by guildfordbat Sun 22 Jan 2012, 7:44 pm

Guys - thanks for the feedback so far. Makes it so much more worthwhile.

I accept that my comparison between Pakistan then and Zimbabwe / Bangladesh now was far from being spot on. I did suggest that might be the case. The main point I wanted to convey was that Pakistan's Test team of the 1950s and '60s was nothing like as strong as today's and Hanif's contribution should be viewed in that light. I think I still got that across albeit in a clumsy manner.

I had meant to check and specify the number of times that Hanif kept wicket in Tests. A mixture of the first post taking too long and paranoia that my system would crash before posting caused me to overlook. Thanks, Shelsey, for the details.

Obviously up to you all how you vote. I was just keen that Hanif didn't miss out on the HoF just because we didn't know enough about him and/or appreciate the context in which his career was played.

I wonder if Alfie or Kwini actually saw him. Would guess the Corporal 'watched' him on the radio. Wink

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Post by Shelsey93 Sun 22 Jan 2012, 7:50 pm

guildfordbat wrote:paranoia that my system would crash before posting caused me to overlook

That happened to me with a post on Knott the other week. Luckily I was able to re-write it reasonably quickly. Since I've taken to saving my post each time I write a large chunk and then editing the next bit in - not perfect but better than loosing my entire post I guess.

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun 22 Jan 2012, 8:17 pm

guildford,
No, never knowingly saw Hanif, or Lindwall. Feel as if I must have seen Miandad but no clear recollection; definitely saw May a number of times, Marsh just the once that I can recall.
Only May made an impression.
But I consulted my guru on Hanif and will publish some advocacy early in the week; not to guildfordbat's standard, I hasten to add.

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Post by Guest Sun 22 Jan 2012, 8:37 pm

was the guru, fists's grandad? Hug

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Post by kwinigolfer Sun 22 Jan 2012, 9:10 pm

Even older than that, cf90.

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Post by Corporalhumblebucket Sun 22 Jan 2012, 9:37 pm

Excellent post Guildford, as ever. The missing bit in the jigsaw for me was Hanif's role in the development of Pakistan as a test playing nation. I think that has to count for quite a bit, along with his monumental feats of concentration and batsmanship.

Somewhere earlier in the thread I recalled "watching" on the radio what - by a process of elimination - must have been his famous Lords innings, when it seemed he would bat until the end of time. On looking at the records I was a tad disappointed that mostly he had rather low scores in England.

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Post by Corporalhumblebucket Sun 22 Jan 2012, 9:46 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:guildford,
No, never knowingly saw Hanif, or Lindwall. Feel as if I must have seen Miandad but no clear recollection; definitely saw May a number of times, Marsh just the once that I can recall.
Only May made an impression.
clap Naturally Very Happy

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Post by Guest Mon 23 Jan 2012, 3:25 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Even older than that, cf90.


Shocked

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Post by Hoggy_Bear Tue 24 Jan 2012, 1:15 pm

Just a quick question re Benaud's statement that Peter May was the best post-war English batsman.
Does anyone know when he said it?
Probably doesn't make much difference, but it possibly wouldn't be quite as telling a quote if he said it in 1955, as opposed to 1995.

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Post by Hoggy_Bear Tue 24 Jan 2012, 2:00 pm

On a bit of a tangent, has anyone seen this article about Alan Davidson, in which he has some interesting stuff to say about both himself, and a number of other HoF candidates, including a man under discussion this week, Ray Lindwall?

http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/549432.html

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Post by Guest Tue 24 Jan 2012, 3:38 pm

cricketfan90 wrote:Ray Lindwall: have to say at first i wasnt gonna vote yes..however i have read a lot about him, done a lot of research and have changed my mind, its a yes from me. YES

Javed Miandad: easy one for me, he defo gets a yes, no contest..YES

Hanif Mohammed: decent batsman, brilliant f/c record, however dont think he done enough at international level..i feel there are better players who didnt get in so its a no from me: NO

Peter May; very tough decision this...was a solid batsman, if unspectualr. Reliable however, same with moahhmad, i think there better players who didnt get in, so its a no from me: NO

Rod Marsh: NO. Not a tough decision for me...not really one of the best keepers of all time, or batsman, so its a no from me NO



IN: Miandad and Lindwall

Out: hanif,marsh,may


these are my votes and i wont be changing my mind Smile

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Post by guildfordbat Tue 24 Jan 2012, 6:31 pm

Hoggy_Bear wrote:On a bit of a tangent, has anyone seen this article about Alan Davidson, in which he has some interesting stuff to say about both himself, and a number of other HoF candidates, including a man under discussion this week, Ray Lindwall?

http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/549432.html

Thanks, Hoggy. Hadn't seen that before.

Interesting article even if a bit disjointed (eg reference to 'The Three Musketeers' being randomly lobbed in as a stand alone tem). Praise for Lindwall is not surprising but still relevant to our current voting.

Particularly noticed that Davidson considered Neil Harvey and Sobers to be the best players of his era. Harvey could have done with that comment being made a few weeks earlier.

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Post by guildfordbat Tue 24 Jan 2012, 7:34 pm

Hoggy_Bear wrote:Just a quick question re Benaud's statement that Peter May was the best post-war English batsman.
Does anyone know when he said it?
Probably doesn't make much difference, but it possibly wouldn't be quite as telling a quote if he said it in 1955, as opposed to 1995.

Hoggy - I do trust your question isn't interpreted by any of the Surrey mafia who might be looking in as a request to swim with the fishes! Very Happy

There's a reference to the statement (but not the statement iself) from the Wisden Cricketers Almanac in May's profile on CricInfo. This suggests it's from circa 1955 although it is not completely clear.

There is also reference on Cricket365.com in which the statement (again not given as a quotation) refers not to ''best post-war' batsman'' but ''best batsman of the post-war period''. If this is correct, it also supports the statement being made circa '55.

As you say, it probably doesn't make much difference. I'm sure the Corporal will be happy to provide the exact date and location of the statement together with context as he checks water depth and appetite of the fishes .... angel

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Post by Hoggy_Bear Tue 24 Jan 2012, 8:33 pm

Cheers for that Guildford.
I'll have to dig my water-wings out then. Smile

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Post by Corporalhumblebucket Tue 24 Jan 2012, 9:26 pm

Hoggy - I agree the timing of the Benaud tribute is unclear. But, on the other side there is the cumulative effects of comments. See for example, the views assembled by David Llewellyn for Peter's obiturary:

"Denis Compton, who played under May when he captained England, said yesterday: ".... I consider Peter to have been the best post-war batsman England have produced by a long way, [together with Colin Cowdrey Wink ]."

Fred Trueman, the former England fast bowler, supported Compton. "To me he was England's greatest post-war batsman. It's terribly sad, he was a wonderful man." Trueman also recalled the tough side to May's nature. "He was a fighter. I shall never forget when England ran into trouble in the first Test against the West Indies at Edgbaston in 1957. The off-spinner, Sonny Ramadhin, had bowled us out in the first innings with seven wickets and in the second we looked as though we were going to lose the matchby a mile, in fact most of us had booked out of the hotel.

"Peter came in and, in one of the most outstanding innings I have seen in Test cricket, made 285 not out and in the process destroyed Ramadhin. That was the end of Sonny in Test cricket."

May's opponents were also unstinting in their admiration. Richie Benaud, who captained Australia to a 2-1 triumph in the 1961 Ashes series over May's England, said: "He was the finest batsman I ever played against. There are very few great batsmen. Thereare some who are very good and quite a number who are good, a few others who are ordinary. Peter May was a great."

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Post by guildfordbat Tue 24 Jan 2012, 9:33 pm

Corporalhumblebucket wrote:Hoggy - I agree the timing of the Benaud tribute is unclear. But, on the other side there is the cumulative effects of comments. See for example, the views assembled by David Llewellyn for Peter's obiturary:

"Denis Compton, who played under May when he captained England, said yesterday: ".... I consider Peter to have been the best post-war batsman England have produced by a long way, [together with Colin Cowdrey Wink ]."

Fred Trueman, the former England fast bowler, supported Compton. "To me he was England's greatest post-war batsman. It's terribly sad, he was a wonderful man." Trueman also recalled the tough side to May's nature. "He was a fighter. I shall never forget when England ran into trouble in the first Test against the West Indies at Edgbaston in 1957. The off-spinner, Sonny Ramadhin, had bowled us out in the first innings with seven wickets and in the second we looked as though we were going to lose the matchby a mile, in fact most of us had booked out of the hotel.

"Peter came in and, in one of the most outstanding innings I have seen in Test cricket, made 285 not out and in the process destroyed Ramadhin. That was the end of Sonny in Test cricket."

May's opponents were also unstinting in their admiration. Richie Benaud, who captained Australia to a 2-1 triumph in the 1961 Ashes series over May's England, said: "He was the finest batsman I ever played against. There are very few great batsmen. Thereare some who are very good and quite a number who are good, a few others who are ordinary. Peter May was a great."

Corporal - if only West Ham's finishing was so devastating! clap thumbsup

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 25 Jan 2012, 2:35 pm

Some added testimony and advocacy for Hanif Mahammed:

Pakistan was only granted Test status in 1952 and, for many of its early years, the Test team was founded upon "the Bambino", Hanif Mahammed, and swing bowler par excellence, Fazal Mahmood. For at least the first ten years of Pakistan Test cricket, Hanif or one or more of his brothers was included in every team that played.

I took a case of John Arlott's favourite Beaujolais to his grave on Alderney and this is what he told me about Hanif Mohammed:

"Hanif's team-mates on the 1954 Pakistan tour of England called him "the Bambino". (Hanif was 19 years old, already a Test veteran.) Their successors now call him "The Master". In the interim, his captain dubbed him "Mr Concentration". Those names tell the story of his progress from a boy prodigy (first Test before his 17th birthday) to one of the most mature and prolific batsmen in the world."

His reputation for high scoring, long innings and slow centuries "are reflections of the player Hanif has been MADE, not of the player he is by nature. When he came to England with the Pakistani side of 1954 he was a batsman with all the strokes. One by one the fast bowlers of England tried him with a bouncer. None gave him a second. His hooking was quick as light, and punitive as the sword. He would, too, drive through the covers in a gay flicker of forward-moving aggression."
"Still with the physique of a boy, he hits with the full power of perfect timing and his footwork carries him back or forward into position against almost anything that can be bowled."

Fast-forward eight years through his transition and Hanif says: "They (his colleagues) have sometimes been very selfish in asking me to become the sheet-anchor whereas they have themselves continued to play aggressive cricket. But I do not mind at all."


Arlott pauses as another bottle is opened.

"So the stroke-making prodigy has become as secure a defensive player as any in the world. Still his footwork and the wristy power of his punishing strokes stamp him as a batsman of all the gifts. His eye, concentration, balance, assessment of bowlers and range of strokes are those of a batsman who could take the bowling of a generation by the scruff of the neck and savage it, as Bradman did."

Arlott sat back, his "wheezy old chest" sounding "like a pair bagpipes full of dust" settled and regularly lubricated by the French nectar. He was rather pleased with that Bradman comparison, but then pondered on the latter years of Hanif's career, destined to Captain Pakistan "as a slow-going master of defensive batting". But then glowed at the memory of the ability of a "great, glorious player", able to "improvize and dominate".

Thanks John, take a nap. We might be back for more recollections.


That is how I remember the TV images and the Wisden descriptions of Hanif Mohammed, the dominant figure of Pakistani cricket in much the same way as Gavaskar would transcend Indian cricket.

Sometimes averages and statistics don't tell the full story. Don't, for instance, compare his scoring rate with, say, Boycott, a great but sometimes selfish player. Hanif was the antithesis of that, seeing it merely his responsibility (not a burden as he himself said earlier) to provide the backbone of an innings and for others to apply the flesh.

It is pointless to speculate where Pakistan cricket of the fifties and early sixties might have been but for Hanif; perhaps just another wannabe Test nation? But thankfully we'll never know.

To me and so many others, Hanif Mohammed was the one individual who took Pakistan to World Class, and for that he should join those for whom he paved the way and be invited to take his place in the 606v2 Hall Of Fame.



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Post by dummy_half Wed 25 Jan 2012, 3:12 pm

I know there's a couple of days to go, but I'm going to log my votes now (before I forget or get bogged down with other matters):

Lindwall - as easy a YES as there could be.

Rodney Marsh - Objectively the finest keeper up to his era (although accepting that subjectively others were considered better), and a good lower middle order batsman in the time that this was considered a bonus for keepers rather than a necessity. Add in the partnership with Lillee, and again a YES from me.

Miandad - The finest strokeplaying batsman Pakistan have ever produced. May not have been everyone's favourite person, but this is about cricketing ability, not a popularity contest, and there are several HoF members who could be equally abrasive. YES again.

Peter May - Very good batsman, great England captain and hugely successfuly player and captain at Surrey. Woeful chairman of selectors (then again he wasn't picking from the most talented group of players). Was inclined toward a no but for the defining innings that destroyed Sonny Rahmadin as a Test player, which just tips the balance to YES.

Hanif Mohammad - Again, as with May, the career stats maybe don't tell the full story, as on their own would be inferior to the likes of Boycott. However, I think anyone who bats through for over two days to save a Test, and who gets run out going for run 500 in a First Class match has had the exceptional performances that do merit a place in our HoF, so on the basis of that I again just tip over to a YES.

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 25 Jan 2012, 3:58 pm

A word or two about Peter May:

An extraordinary sportsman, cricketer obviously, distinguished fives player, an anecdotedly scratch golfer, from both sides of the ball, and a Football Blue.

Without question, the first unequivocally World Class England batsman exclusively of the "post war" era, yet less than a year older than Barrington whose career, at Test level anyway, seems of a different time.

Won his first four Test Series as Captain.

George Geary, England great of an earlier era, was coach at Charterhouse.
"Come over here," he said, "I'll show you an England cricketer." A fourteen year old boy was defying all-comers in the nets: Peter May.

When I first started watching first class cricket, Surrey reigned supreme in the County game, in the late fifties May had succeeded Surridge as Captain. May invariably broke Hampshire hearts. Standing quite erect at the crease, playing with an impeccably straight bat, he accumulated runs in a matter-of-fact manner that I would never see again. As Geoffrey Green would say of his Cambridge years:
"Peter was a true stylist as a batsman with an off and cover drive of flawless purity. Always well-behaved and modest, May played it straight down the line." To the detriment of the image we have of him perhaps?

He lost the better part of 2 years to National Service but during his best years, 1954 - 1959, he scored 3,700+ Test runs at an average of 51. And for most of those years he was Captain.


Very simply, Peter May WAS English cricket of the 1950's.
An unequivocal Hall Of Famer who retired when he fell out of love with playing the game. No shame, great credit in fact, in that.

YES to Peter May.


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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 25 Jan 2012, 4:02 pm

So my votes are:
Lindwall: YES.

May: YES.

Hanif Mohammed: Yes.

Marsh: No:
Not a sufficiently good wicket-keeper, at least in the early part of his career, and not sufficiently highly regarded by the Aussies to gain entry at this time. There are others, Harvey, and two Chappells to name three, who deserve to be honoured first.

Miandad: No:
Later maybe, but time now to induct instead the man who led Pakistan to World Class cricket: Hanif.

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Post by Hoggy_Bear Wed 25 Jan 2012, 4:15 pm

kwini
May I just ask as to your reasons for voting no to Miandad.
Is it concerns about his character, or simply because of your decision to only give three yes votes per set of candidates?

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 25 Jan 2012, 4:31 pm

Hoggy,
First of all, apologies for being late to the party; I tried to get up to speed in a piecemeal type of way and got the wrong end of a couple of sticks.

But I will remain steadfast in some principles which include that, exceptional and pre-eminent talents apart (Warne, Gilchrist, Tendulkar, Murali for instance of latter vintage), we should honour cricketers in a way that respects the past. Hence we/you made sure Grace and Trumper, for instance, were inducted, Hobbs and Bradman, Barnes and O'Reilly.
In the same way, I feel it is important to recognise truly World Class cricketers of other nations somewhat sequentially.

And, to ensure we're weighing respective merits with due consideration and debate, I'm only offering a maximum of three HOF'ers at a time.

Having said all of which, Miandad's early years were certainly not without controversy, under-performance mixed with signs of true brilliance. Team oriented? Not during our first sight of him. So I feel he falls short of being an Imran-esque figure, short of being a truly iconic figure in Pakistan cricket. Lots of successes, sure, but lots of disappointments also.

Others will doubtless say I'm wrong, but that's what it's all about.

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 25 Jan 2012, 4:53 pm

Hoggy:
(PS, and nothing to do with HOF's or even cricket, but your comment about St.Andrews terraces in the 70's: Presumably you saw as much of Gary Pendrey as I did!)

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Post by Hoggy_Bear Wed 25 Jan 2012, 4:59 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Having said all of which, Miandad's early years were certainly not without controversy, under-performance mixed with signs of true brilliance. Team oriented? Not during our first sight of him. So I feel he falls short of being an Imran-esque figure, short of being a truly iconic figure in Pakistan cricket. Lots of successes, sure, but lots of disappointments also.

Others will doubtless say I'm wrong, but that's what it's all about.

Yep, I'm afraid I'd probably be one of them Very Happy
Must admit I don't really remember Miandad's earliest years, but considering he was only 17 when he made his debut, was the (then) youngest ever batsman to score a test century (on debut IIRC), still holds the record as the youngest ever double centurion, and averaged over 60 for the first 4 years of his career, I'd say his early career was pretty good.
As for controversy, I can't really find any evidence for it on the web, other than the major incidents with Lillee and More, which were at least as much the fault of his opponents as they were Miandad.
However, while I know that I've advocated Miandad's inclusion, I'm still open to new evidence, so if you could give examples of the sort of thing you're concerned about re Miandad, I would be greatful.

(And yes, I do remember Gary Pendrey well. Underated defender IMO, but could mix it with the best of them, as could most of the Blues teams in those years)

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 25 Jan 2012, 5:35 pm

Hoggy,
I'm just passing on personal impressions. Can't find quickly any anecdotes, the best that I can find from his early years is words like impetuous, abrasive etc without stories to illustrate the use of those adjectives. (Must admit, I had thought there was an undercurrent within Sussex to include Wessels in preference to the young Javed, but can't find anything to support that sense.)
Regardless, you had asked me if my position was with regard to "concerns about his character" and I can say "absolutely not!". I would have voted Lillee in for instance despite the fact that he could be a thug!

What I HAVE tried to do is prepare, as best I can, my rationale for placing Hanif first, regardless of claims, not to mention stats, proclaiming Miandad Pakistan's best ever batsman.


Last edited by kwinigolfer on Wed 25 Jan 2012, 6:08 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Hoggy_Bear Wed 25 Jan 2012, 6:02 pm

Fair enough Kwini, I can definitely understand your rational for including Hanif first

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Post by guildfordbat Wed 25 Jan 2012, 6:22 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Some added testimony and advocacy for Hanif Mahammed:

Pakistan was only granted Test status in 1952 and, for many of its early years, the Test team was founded upon "the Bambino", Hanif Mahammed, and swing bowler par excellence, Fazal Mahmood. For at least the first ten years of Pakistan Test cricket, Hanif or one or more of his brothers was included in every team that played.

I took a case of John Arlott's favourite Beaujolais to his grave on Alderney and this is what he told me about Hanif Mohammed:

"Hanif's team-mates on the 1954 Pakistan tour of England called him "the Bambino". (Hanif was 19 years old, already a Test veteran.) Their successors now call him "The Master". In the interim, his captain dubbed him "Mr Concentration". Those names tell the story of his progress from a boy prodigy (first Test before his 17th birthday) to one of the most mature and prolific batsmen in the world."

His reputation for high scoring, long innings and slow centuries "are reflections of the player Hanif has been MADE, not of the player he is by nature. When he came to England with the Pakistani side of 1954 he was a batsman with all the strokes. One by one the fast bowlers of England tried him with a bouncer. None gave him a second. His hooking was quick as light, and punitive as the sword. He would, too, drive through the covers in a gay flicker of forward-moving aggression."
"Still with the physique of a boy, he hits with the full power of perfect timing and his footwork carries him back or forward into position against almost anything that can be bowled."

Fast-forward eight years through his transition and Hanif says: "They (his colleagues) have sometimes been very selfish in asking me to become the sheet-anchor whereas they have themselves continued to play aggressive cricket. But I do not mind at all."


Arlott pauses as another bottle is opened.

"So the stroke-making prodigy has become as secure a defensive player as any in the world. Still his footwork and the wristy power of his punishing strokes stamp him as a batsman of all the gifts. His eye, concentration, balance, assessment of bowlers and range of strokes are those of a batsman who could take the bowling of a generation by the scruff of the neck and savage it, as Bradman did."

Arlott sat back, his "wheezy old chest" sounding "like a pair bagpipes full of dust" settled and regularly lubricated by the French nectar. He was rather pleased with that Bradman comparison, but then pondered on the latter years of Hanif's career, destined to Captain Pakistan "as a slow-going master of defensive batting". But then glowed at the memory of the ability of a "great, glorious player", able to "improvize and dominate".

Thanks John, take a nap. We might be back for more recollections.


That is how I remember the TV images and the Wisden descriptions of Hanif Mohammed, the dominant figure of Pakistani cricket in much the same way as Gavaskar would transcend Indian cricket.

Sometimes averages and statistics don't tell the full story. Don't, for instance, compare his scoring rate with, say, Boycott, a great but sometimes selfish player. Hanif was the antithesis of that, seeing it merely his responsibility (not a burden as he himself said earlier) to provide the backbone of an innings and for others to apply the flesh.

It is pointless to speculate where Pakistan cricket of the fifties and early sixties might have been but for Hanif; perhaps just another wannabe Test nation? But thankfully we'll never know.

To me and so many others, Hanif Mohammed was the one individual who took Pakistan to World Class, and for that he should join those for whom he paved the way and be invited to take his place in the 606v2 Hall Of Fame.


Kwini - beautifully and very effectively put for Hanif. In the unlikely event that John Arlott hasn't consumed all the Beaujolais, sit back and finsh it off. clap

For me, it doesn't necessarily have to be one or the other when it comes to Hanif and Javed being considered for the HoF. I hope that's some comfort to Hoggy.

Kwini - very fine support for May as well in your later post. If you have any room after all the Beaujolais, I'm sure you'll be getting an invite from the Corporal to join him for a few snifters in the officers' mess. Very Happy

(And, yes, I too remember Gary Pendrey along with the likes of Tevor Hockey, Joe Gallagher, Bob Hatton and the Latchford brothers! Wink )

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 25 Jan 2012, 7:17 pm

guildford, Thanks. RedWine
It seems unfashionable to give Peter May the appreciation he is (over)due, even looking back over some essays of the time by very well-respected writers. Perhaps he was not universally popular with the Press and he certainly didn't seem the most congenial of Test selectors and committee men. I have no idea of how he fared in Surrey affairs but a quote from Geoffrey Green about England's football is apropos to its cricket as well:

"English football can be proud of its past. But it must awake to a new future."

Compton, Edrich, Hutton, Washbrook etc gave English batting the veneer of post war respectability, but it wasn't until the likes of Cowdrey, Graveney and, especially May came along that experience was united with the youthful flair and energy that spawned the great England team of the nid/late fifties.
England has reason to be very grateful to Peter May.

(PS: We had a long rumination on the golf(!) board sometime ago about the oldest living England Test cricketer. I assume that Reg Simpson still holds that title? Tom Graveney must be in the next handful . . . . . )

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Post by Hoggy_Bear Wed 25 Jan 2012, 8:36 pm

Given that voting is fast approaching, I would like to enter a final plea on behalf of Javed Miandad for anyone who may still be vacillating on which way to vote for him.


The Case For Javed: A Summation

Purely in terms of cricket I would suggest that there should be no doubt of Javed’s place in our Hof. Widely regarded as the best batsman Pakistan have produced; one of, if not the, best batsman of the 80s; test average of 52.5; ODI average of 41.7; scorer of 6 test double centuries, and the youngest player ever to score one; one of only two players in test history whose average never dropped below 50; hammer of India; renowned for being at his best when the chips were down; a team player almost without compare according to Tony Greig; the man whom Dean Jones called the best runner between wickets he’d ever seen.
But, of course, there are the questions over his character. Certainly Guildford, among others, was concerned about his memory of Miandad and his reputation as being a prickly, combative, abusive, nasty personality, and Mike Selig has heard stories from ex-pro’s which seem to support this view.
I was also aware of Javed’s reputation, having watched him bat during the 80s and 90s, and was interested in finding out the truth behind it. I was therefore somewhat surprised to find little real evidence of the continual run-ins with opponents and authority which you might expect from someone with such a reputation.
I freely admit that my research has been confined to the Web and that I have not scoured the autobiographies of players and officials from that period, and I would also admit that I’m not exactly a genius when it comes to utilising search engines. Despite this, I have dug quite deep, but in non of the incidents that I have uncovered details of have I found any evidence of Javed being particularly nasty or abusive. Combative, yes. In your face, yes. Willing to give as good as he got (and sometimes more), yes. But really abusive and nasty, no.
His clash with Lillee was widely accepted as being mostly Lillee’s fault (although, of course, it is possible that Javed said something to instigate it), while his clash with More in the 92 WC, seems to have been more a case of More getting on Miandad’s nerves rather than vice versa . All the other incidents I’ve found details of, his banter with Doshi, recalled by Gavaskar , with New Zealand, recalled by Ian Smith, his clash with Merv Hughes and his run in with Amarnath, seem to suggest that Miandad’s usual modus operandi consisted of drawn out episodes of semi-abusive, semi-comic barracking of opposition players, with the aim of getting under their skin, and that, when he felt that he had gone too far, he was perfectly willing to apologise.
Of course, such behaviour can be intensely annoying , and can certainly get on someone’s nerves (although Miandad said that he used such banter as a means of keeping his own concentration levels up as much as he did to put others off). However, is this type of ‘sledging’ any worse than the type of abuse Gavaskar recalls being subjected to in Australia, or the abuse of a young player’s mother in a systematic, pre-planned attempt to verbally intimidate him, as Merv Hughes implies happened to Waqar and Wasim, or any of numerous other instances of abuse that have happened on the cricket field?
Personally I think not and I also think that, even if Miandad’s reputation is due to him being responsible for more sledging than any other individual of his era (which is possible but not certain), his actions were still less or, at least no more, detrimental to the game of cricket than the planned verbal intimidation of players by whole teams or numerous other activities indulged in by cricketers over the years. I also believe that, while Miandad was undoubtedly no angel and, in all probability, not a particularly nice person (though he wouldn’t be alone in that in the annals of cricket history), it is definitely possible that the problematic side of his character has been emphasised or even exaggerated through his vilification by the British press and the context in which that took place, the scope for misunderstanding within cultural difference, and the ‘growth’ of stories about him through the magnifying lens of time.
All-in-all I think that it’s quite likely that Miandad was not quite as bad as he is often portrayed and that, even if he was, his antics were no more damaging to cricket than those of various other players over the years. Either way, I feel that such issues should not outweigh the overwhelming case, in cricketing terms, for his inclusion in our Hall of Fame.
Thanks for reading (if anyone actually reached the end). Vote YES for Miandad.

Hoggy_Bear

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