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The v2Forum Cricket Hall of Fame discussion thread - Part 4

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

First topic message reminder :

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

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

FoF's original HoF debate summation:
Spoiler:

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


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Post by Hoggy_Bear Mon 03 Dec 2012, 5:58 pm

guildfordbat wrote:Quick look in.

Hoggy - reference to Paul Smith is interesting. Didn't he subsequently admit substance abuse and get a lengthy playing ban (even though he had by then retired)?

He did indeed Guildford.
He then went on to help kids in South Central LA by coaching cricket there.
Have often thought about getting hold of his autobiography, it would seemingly be an interesting read.
Maybe Santa can help. Very Happy

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Post by kwinigolfer Mon 03 Dec 2012, 6:16 pm

I assume that refers to South Central Louisiana given that their State Governor (Jindal) is of Indian heritage?

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Post by Hoggy_Bear Mon 03 Dec 2012, 7:09 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:I assume that refers to South Central Louisiana given that their State Governor (Jindal) is of Indian heritage?

Very Happy
I meant Los Angeles of course
Maybe Los Angeles and Louisiana could become the Philidelphia's of the 21st century, strongholds of American cricket. What do you reckon Kwini?

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Post by Mike Selig Mon 03 Dec 2012, 7:25 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:
As it is, she and Clark and Bakewell and Heyhoe could be the absolute bee's knees but she wouldn't match up in the men's game and I would offer the thought that this is inequitable (but then I wouldn't classify paralympians with Olympic champions either). (Frank Chester could get in with one arm perhaps, but only in the umping section.)

So stick any pre-war player in today's game and he will be rubbish - let's get rid of Grace, Spofforth, Barnes, etc. as well?

You judge people against their peers, not against an absolute - otherwise you end up with only modern players.

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Post by kwinigolfer Mon 03 Dec 2012, 7:33 pm

Of course, Mike, and that's exactly what I was concerned about elsewhere.

I'm merely suggesting that, on an apples and apples basis, we honour the best in their respective eras. And that doesn't include those who essentially play a different game from others of their generation.

There's already been considerable push back against those who had terrific first class records but didn't necessarily bring that to the Test arena, debates on Hendren, Titmus and Woolley refer.

I hope to judge these candidates "against their peers", not against those of the same generation who compete at a different level of play.

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Post by Mike Selig Mon 03 Dec 2012, 7:41 pm

Different level, or different style?

Certainly the women's T20 final was of a higher standard than the men's this year...

Taylor and Clark have done as much as anyone in the history of the game to drive the standard of the game they play upwards. To omit them from our HoF would IMO be akin to omitting someone like WG...

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Post by kwinigolfer Mon 03 Dec 2012, 7:44 pm

That is certainly a point of view, just not mine.
Unfortunately neither T20 final was carried on TV here, but my comments on such fabrications of the game are recorded elsewhere.

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Post by guildfordbat Mon 03 Dec 2012, 8:01 pm

Mike Selig wrote:

Fair. I stand corrected. I amend to "the pressure these guys are under is not something we can really understand because we haven't experienced anything like it".

That's fine, Mike. It was really a good excuse to wheel out a favourite quote from a personal favourite (even though I never saw him play).

I trust you'll allow me a theoretical digression. Apologies in advance for any cod psychology. Loyalty and team work are unquestionably of crucial importance. However, by themselves those virtues are not enough and can even be dangerous. I'm not sure if we even disagree here but when you refer to ''taking the team forward'' I would add that there needs to be some positive element to that. I appreciate that's probably soppy and vague. I'll give a couple of non-sports examples below.

The pressure on journalists to get a front page story on the following day's paper is not something I can really understand because I haven't experienced anything like it. Similarly, pressure on police officers to ensure a conviction. I would guess you're the same. However, I doubt either of us would support certain of the actions taken to achieve those aims where misguided loyalty and team work have played a prominent part.

I appreciate this is a long way removed from Woolmer whose only 'crime' was to be taken in by a rogue. I just think we need to be a bit careful before giving a green light to loyalty and team work as well as viewing them favourably in all circumstances, sporting or otherwise.

Like you, I wouldn't get too excited about Woolmer's 'rebel' tour of South Africa even with my disgust for apartheid. This needs to be seen in the context of the time. This country's means of showing objection to the then South African regime was more posing than practical. Whilst most national sports teams were banned from competing against South Africa, commercial trade continued largely uninterrupted. Add to that the smallish money England cricketers were on and it wasn't too surprising some were tempted and signed up. My memory is the reaction of many English supporters was generally a mix of mild irritation and disappointment that the national team would be weakened together with some understanding of the commercial predicament these players were in. However, there wasn't widespread objection to them supporting an abhorrent regime. Not particularly seeking to justify but to tell it as (I think) it was. I certainly believe such 'rebel' tours are viewed more badly now than they were at the time. Maybe Corporal and any other veterans might comment either way?

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Post by Mike Selig Mon 03 Dec 2012, 8:25 pm

I think my point (if I ever had one) was that Woolmer's error was putting his trust and loyalty in the wrong person - a case of misplaced loyalty - but that loyalty in itself is a good thing to have as a coach. The error Woolmer made was an error of judgement rather than an error of substance, if that makes any sense; a genuine error borne out of the best intentions. As such it should be more forgivable than other mistakes (such as Chappell's or IMO Larwood's, or even Ranji) which have led to other candidates's downfalls.

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Post by Corporalhumblebucket Mon 03 Dec 2012, 10:29 pm

guildfordbat wrote: Like you, I wouldn't get too excited about Woolmer's 'rebel' tour of South Africa even with my disgust for apartheid. This needs to be seen in the context of the time. This country's means of showing objection to the then South African regime was more posing than practical. Whilst most national sports teams were banned from competing against South Africa, commercial trade continued largely uninterrupted. Add to that the smallish money England cricketers were on and it wasn't too surprising some were tempted and signed up. My memory is the reaction of many English supporters was generally a mix of mild irritation and disappointment that the national team would be weakened together with some understanding of the commercial predicament these players were in. However, there wasn't widespread objection to them supporting an abhorrent regime. Not particularly seeking to justify but to tell it as (I think) it was. I certainly believe such 'rebel' tours are viewed more badly now than they were at the time. Maybe Corporal and any other veterans might comment either way?
Guildford - as a fully paid up veteran (at least of this cricket board Very Happy - it's all relative) I think what you have said pretty much sums it up. There was a lot of opposition to the rebel tours at the time, but there were at least some who thought engagement was a reasonable line, and quite a lot who were aggravated that plenty of trade was taking place with SA and it was mainly the sports people who were having to be the foot soldiers in other people's wars....

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Post by guildfordbat Mon 03 Dec 2012, 10:47 pm

Mike Selig wrote:I think my point (if I ever had one) was that Woolmer's error was putting his trust and loyalty in the wrong person - a case of misplaced loyalty - but that loyalty in itself is a good thing to have as a coach. The error Woolmer made was an error of judgement rather than an error of substance, if that makes any sense; a genuine error borne out of the best intentions. As such it should be more forgivable than other mistakes (such as Chappell's or IMO Larwood's, or even Ranji) which have led to other candidates's downfalls.

Mike, I think we can shake hands on that. thumbsup

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Post by kwinigolfer Mon 03 Dec 2012, 10:51 pm

Accept the Woolmer situation but still surprised that Chappell and, especially, Larwood were omitted first time round.
As for Ranji, essentially he just didn't play enough Tests to warrant serious consideration. Surely?

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Post by guildfordbat Mon 03 Dec 2012, 11:05 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:Accept the Woolmer situation but still surprised that Chappell and, especially, Larwood were omitted first time round.
As for Ranji, essentially he just didn't play enough Tests to warrant serious consideration. Surely?

Hi Kwini - you been stuck in the 19th hole for a bit?! Haven't heard from you recently. Very Happy RedWine

Chappell was excluded (just) first time round due to the underarm incident.
I share your surprise about Larwood but he was excluded first time round due to concerns about his perceived intent to injure and/or being something of a one tour wonder.
Ranji lost out altogether due to the shortness of his Test career and/or apparent character stains.

PS Off topic - so I'll be brief. Did you see that Busby Babe Kenny Morgans passed away last month?

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Post by Mad for Chelsea Mon 03 Dec 2012, 11:57 pm

hold on kwini,

being slightly disingenuous, but does this mean that if you were making a Tennis HoF you'd leave out Grad and Navratilova? They were after all inferior tennis players to their male counterparts... I'm really not sure I understand your argument: in what way do the women "essentially play a different game"?

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Post by kwinigolfer Tue 04 Dec 2012, 12:08 am

Hi guildford,
Yup, 19th hole, cooking turkeys and drinking vino Bubbly , Q-School, just busy, busy, busy.

Just being facetious really, know well the situation, being rhetorical. Though any blame for Bodyline should cetainly never have been accorded to Larwood, he just executed the plan. But we've been thru all that.

Thanks for the Kenny Morgans note, he cut a bit of a sad figure really, and given the circumstances of his retrieval from the runway it's hardly surprising. Among the most articulate of the survivors. I imagine you remember those days as clearly as I do . . . . . . .

Sorry to see the demise of Dave Sexton, especially coming so soon after Jimmy Andrews and John Bond.

Back to business; having a really hard time with Bob Woolmer - I think he gets in if he's the first among equals in the coaching department. But have yet to see the compelling argument that he was.

PS: Your Woking men took one hell of a beating the other day . . . . just thought I'd throw that in. thumbsup



Chelsea,
Not disingenuous at all, but women have always been an essential part of the history of tennis, and the best ladies of decades gone by have been revered equally with the men, Suzanne Lenglen and Helen Wills Moody just as famous as the Four Musketeers, Perry and Budge. And the Tennis HOF treats them as such. Golf pretty much the same although in a rather more sexist manner.
Forgive me if I'm wrong on this, but I don't recall any chat on here about women's cricket from that era.

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Post by msp83 Tue 04 Dec 2012, 7:28 am

I don't think there is enough of a case to rate Woolmer as first among equals. Its said in support of his case that he pioneered video analysis in cricket. I would say that was more a case of a product of time and technology. Moreover, as I said above, others used it in the mid 90s, did mentioned Waugh's account of Hooper v Warne in support.
Bob Simpson was the first fulltime coach at international level and under and his counterpart Stuart they set about providing the basic framework of the role, relieveing the captain from too much responsibility. Technical analysis and preparation thus became part of the job. Woolmer and others expanded on that foundation, in due course of time successive occupants left their mark on the nature of the job.
As far as Woolmer is concerned, the fielding tactics implemented during his coaching days had the stamp of Rhodes rather than too much of Woolmer. Video analysis and stuff were very much a product of time and technological development, and others also tried it out at the same time.
While loyalty in itself is good, it eould become downright stupid at times, and I believe Woolmer's position has to be viewed in this light. If loyalty prevents a coach from taking responsible yet tough actions that are needed in a situation like it happened during the test forfeiture fiasco of 2006, then it has to be considered stupid. How on earth could we defend Woolmer's continued support to Cronje, and his playing down of the match fixing disaster?

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Post by Mike Selig Tue 04 Dec 2012, 8:59 am

In time I am sure that Clark and Taylor will be viewed as the two players who first brought women's cricket forward and to the attention of the general public.

I am a bit annoyed TBH. When a young person comes out and says something ignorant about a past player he never got the chance to see (e.g. CF about Knott's batting) he is rightly told to go away and do his research, that it's not his fault that he's too young to have seen the player in action but that because of that the onus is on him to find out more. When a more elderly person (in this instance kwini, but there have been others in the past) makes an equally ignorant comment about the modern game(s) which by his own admission he doesn't watch all that much it seems nobody minds all that much.

I don't understand how anyone can be a cricket fan, and yet disregard the overwhelming majority of all cricket played all around the world.

And I really don't like it when people dismiss very good candidacies out of hand without really listening to the cases put forward.

The case for Clark is extremely simple: like WG Grace she was the finest player of her era, and extremely successful captain, and more importantly she did for the women's game technically what WG did for the men's game in driving forward modern batting. As a by product of that, the women's game became much more popular (although still very much marginalised, until...).

Taylor then brought things to the next level: she was the first real professional, brought an element of power to the game which hadn't been there previously, was technically the finest batswoman I've ever seen, had that extraordinary year in 2009 and thanks partly to her knock against Australia in the WT20 semi-final (an excellent match), more and more people now pay attention to the women's game in general. She was rightly nominated for Wisden cricketer of the year, an extraordinary achievement given the dinosaur attitudes still prevalent in most places (and sometimes on these boards).

They have both made their mark on the game in a way which few have.

I'm sorry, but to exclude either from our HoF would be ridiculous and make a mockery of the process. Gibbs for example is a terrific player, and someone who originally was borderline for me, but the more I read into him, the stronger his case becomes - but his impact on the game is miles below those two.

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Post by msp83 Tue 04 Dec 2012, 9:10 am

Mike Selig wrote:In time I am sure that Clark and Taylor will be viewed as the two players who first brought women's cricket forward and to the attention of the general public.

I am a bit annoyed TBH. When a young person comes out and says something ignorant about a past player he never got the chance to see (e.g. CF about Knott's batting) he is rightly told to go away and do his research, that it's not his fault that he's too young to have seen the player in action but that because of that the onus is on him to find out more. When a more elderly person (in this instance kwini, but there have been others in the past) makes an equally ignorant comment about the modern game(s) which by his own admission he doesn't watch all that much it seems nobody minds all that much.

I don't understand how anyone can be a cricket fan, and yet disregard the overwhelming majority of all cricket played all around the world.

And I really don't like it when people dismiss very good candidacies out of hand without really listening to the cases put forward.

The case for Clark is extremely simple: like WG Grace she was the finest player of her era, and extremely successful captain, and more importantly she did for the women's game technically what WG did for the men's game in driving forward modern batting. As a by product of that, the women's game became much more popular (although still very much marginalised, until...).

Taylor then brought things to the next level: she was the first real professional, brought an element of power to the game which hadn't been there previously, was technically the finest batswoman I've ever seen, had that extraordinary year in 2009 and thanks partly to her knock against Australia in the WT20 semi-final (an excellent match), more and more people now pay attention to the women's game in general. She was rightly nominated for Wisden cricketer of the year, an extraordinary achievement given the dinosaur attitudes still prevalent in most places (and sometimes on these boards).

They have both made their mark on the game in a way which few have.

I'm sorry, but to exclude either from our HoF would be ridiculous and make a mockery of the process. Gibbs for example is a terrific player, and someone who originally was borderline for me, but the more I read into him, the stronger his case becomes - but his impact on the game is miles below those two.
Taylor I am yet to do a great deal of research, but Clark, yes, think I agree with Mike. She has to be in there, not just as one of the finest women cricketers, but as a pretty good administrator as well.


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Post by Mike Selig Tue 04 Dec 2012, 9:21 am

msp83 wrote:[...]think I agree with Mike.

Yahoo king RedWine

I knew we'd get there eventually....

Wink

In all seriousness, nothing wrong with disagreeing, I do enjoy our debates.

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Post by msp83 Tue 04 Dec 2012, 9:33 am

Mike Selig wrote:
msp83 wrote:[...]think I agree with Mike.

Yahoo king RedWine

I knew we'd get there eventually....

Wink

In all seriousness, nothing wrong with disagreeing, I do enjoy our debates.
Well, now we agree 2nd time on the row!!.

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Post by guildfordbat Tue 04 Dec 2012, 10:04 am

msp83 wrote:
Mike Selig wrote:

Taylor ... was rightly nominated for Wisden cricketer of the year, an extraordinary achievement given the dinosaur attitudes still prevalent in most places (and sometimes on these boards).

Clark ... has to be in there ... as a pretty administrator as well.

Msp - I'm surprised you haven't been pulled up already for such a sexist comment! Wink

With regard to Mike's comment, I do feel the humble dinosaur gets a hard press here and elsewhere. Once we've ruled the world for over a 100 million years, we'll be more entitled to mock! Very Happy

Back tonight.

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Post by dummy_half Tue 04 Dec 2012, 10:59 am

Mike

I know Taylor wasn't your nominee, but you seem to be strongly advocating for her inclusion. However, for me her career stats (looked at with no real knowledge of how she played the game or of ho w she built her playing record) suggest a very good player rather than one who stood head and shoulders above the rest. She has about the 20th best batting average for both womens tests and ODIs, which would probably be good enough for a male player to make the HoF, but given the relatively weaker history of the women's game seems to fall short of what I expect will be required for a female HoF candidate (particlularly one who doesn't have a strong captaincy record or history of involvement in the game after playing).

Clearly, being the first woman player nominated by Wisden as a player of the year indicates she was outstanding, at least for a time, but my concern is over how long she was at her best for (a quick read of Wikipedia suggests she wasn't particularly consistent for the first half of her career, and that it was only after 2005 and devoting her time full time to cricket that she made significant improvements).

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Post by kwinigolfer Tue 04 Dec 2012, 1:51 pm

Mike,
I make no judgement on your age or the possibility that youth is wasted on the young.

I merely tried to provide a balanced answer to Chelsea's Graf / Navratilova jibe, and also offered a criticism of T20, not intended to slag it off, but as a fair representation of the sport as we're judging it. (Equally, I wouldn't advocate for Le Tiss or Graham Alexander to be in the footie HOF just because they never missed a penalty.)

Although I may be "elderly", it doesn't alter the fact that I've played and watched as much or more cricket as most half my age.

If you follow closely what I've said instead of offering your cyber road rage, you would note that I've long advocated some consideration for classifying the best of an era, rather than trying to compare simultaneously the credentials of Clem Hill and Claire Taylor in (almost) the same breath.

This would allow for consideration of T20 exponents and timeless Test veterans, men and women, in proper perspective.

As it is, I've neither the time nor the energy to debate points which are being dismissed due to my age and am happy to return to the links whence I came.


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Post by Mad for Chelsea Tue 04 Dec 2012, 2:16 pm

Kwini

firstly don't get too upset by Mike. He tends to be a bit (too) blunt at times, but is essentially a very nice chap, and extremely knowledgeable.

Secondly I genuinely am not sure I understand your objections to Clark and Taylor still. You say we should only judge players by comparisons to their peers and the era they played in, which I totally agree with: it's the only valid way of judging players IMO. Surely in comparison to their peers Taylor and Clark are the absolute stand-outs of their generation, comparable in male terms to the likes of Grace and Trumper IMO, and as such should get into the HOF.

Comparing men and women's cricket is IMO akin to comparing different eras in the men's game: there are essential differences, but this doesn't mean that we should exclude women altogether, similarly we shouldn't exclude men from the 19th century on the basis they're playing "essentially a different game". Clark and Taylor as Mike said are the driving forces in women's cricket's standards being driven up, and in the game itself getting more recognition (now games televised on sky for instance, wouldn't have been dreamed of 20 years ago). In a way, Clark is similar to Grace, women's cricket first superstar (or indeed Suzanne Lenglen to come back to my tennis analogy), Taylor is more difficult to find a male equivalent too, but her claim is essentially driving on the increase in standards begun by Clark, as well as being the first woman "professional" player.

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Post by Mike Selig Tue 04 Dec 2012, 2:32 pm

Ah, it seems an apology is in order. I had kinda assumed that I'd managed to offend everyone on these boards by now, so nobody would mind if I did so again, but it seems not.

So an apology to kwini for being rude - those who know me in real life (which I think is just MfC, although maybe also athletico who posts about irish cricket if my hunch on who he is is correct) will tell you that it's genuine passion which overboils, as a by-product of being one of those young rebels who like to rattle cages.

I do hope you stick around.

Having said that one of my points remains: we expect younger members to do their research on players they haven't seen, but seemingly not more elderly members who watch less cricket than they used to (by their own admission).

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Post by msp83 Tue 04 Dec 2012, 2:33 pm

guildfordbat wrote:
msp83 wrote:
Mike Selig wrote:

Taylor ... was rightly nominated for Wisden cricketer of the year, an extraordinary achievement given the dinosaur attitudes still prevalent in most places (and sometimes on these boards).

Clark ... has to be in there ... as a pretty administrator as well.

Msp - I'm surprised you haven't been pulled up already for such a sexist comment! Wink

With regard to Mike's comment, I do feel the humble dinosaur gets a hard press here and elsewhere. Once we've ruled the world for over a 100 million years, we'll be more entitled to mock! Very Happy

Back tonight.

Well, did the editing guildford, before they come hunting for me!!.

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Post by kwinigolfer Tue 04 Dec 2012, 5:24 pm

Apology accepted Mike, let's just say there's no reason not to agree to disagree without personal animosities, "elderly" and "dinosaur" clearly intended to insult, not to debate.

In previous discussions I had sought to abstain on some nominations but that was clearly frowned upon in these debates, which I found as insightful (from others) as they were interesting to research. Unfortunately, in the absence of the abstention card, I voted No! and tried to explain why in some sort of measured way.

My mistake.

But I DO have some experience with Halls Of Fame, even attended the old Football HOF in the West End in eons gone by. (It was terrible.) I frequently go to Cooperstown - where I'm sure your grandfather hopes to be enshrined one day, by default in my opinion - and I am an interested observer in the World Golf HOF.

In none of those Halls do the criteria for admission change in the way that I understand that some feel cricket's should. And perhaps I have a hang-up about that.

C'est la vie.

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Post by Shelsey93 Tue 04 Dec 2012, 6:28 pm

Kwini.

I really hope you stick around.

I can assure you that we are listening to you. This is a debate, and your point of view is highly valued (perhaps more than others, given that you've seen more players than a lot of us).

I do tend to agree with Mike's point about the young having to do their research, and so the older members should too (I would also point out that extensive research isn't required - reading the arguments should be sufficient if you don't have the time).

---

I do actually think that the comparison to women's golf and tennis is worth looking at.

In Tennis women players have long had better (though not equal) coverage to their male counterparts, in comparison to women's cricketers who have long been marginalised. I'd suggest that is a result of three things: 1/ a lot of women play and watch tennis, compared to cricket 2/ women's tennis tournaments have long been played parallel to men's, a relatively new feature in cricket 3/ the skill sets are perhaps less noticeably different.

Although cricket isn't quite there yet, they've gone along way to achieving those 3 things that women's tennis have.

Clark has had a lot to do with pioneering playing tournaments in parallel with the men (not least as a result of the fact that I'm pretty sure that whilst she was in charge of Women's Cricket Australia, Australia were the first to host men's and women's T20 Internationals on the same day). And Taylor had a lot to do with improving the skill sets in the women's game (notably fitness and power). Both those things have helped to make the women's game more attractive, and thus led to greater take-up (although there are still major barriers in place for girls who want to play competitive level cricket).

Therefore, I think there is plenty of evidence to suggest Clark and Taylor have made a huge contribution to the game.

But even if we a/ dismiss any legacy they might have had and b/ accept that when looking at women's cricket we can't accept as many players as from men's (because of standards, and in particular the disparity in standards between the best and the next best), Clark and Taylor have strong cases.

Clark

Clark played in a transitionary age for the women's game: when she made her debut in 1991 women still played in skirts (at least in England); her final international, in 2005, was her first and only T20 International. In the intervening years women's Test cricket started to fade, to the point where it has now almost completely faded (save for a one-off Ashes Test). Whilst this might seem a bad thing, the reasons for it are quite sound: one-day games are easier for TV and sponsors, and women have no multi-day domestic cricket (because all but internationals are still amateur).

Therefore, whilst her perfectly respectable Test average of 45 with 2 100s shouldn't be ignored, its not overly relevant: she only played 15 Tests, the same as Ranji.

Thus, the main focus should be one-day internationals. By any standards an average of 47 in that form of the game is exceptional - Tendulkar's is 44, Ponting's 42. She also remains the highest runscorer in that form of the game despite Charlotte Edwards having played 42 more games than here (Edwards should overtake her fairly soon). Only Taylor, Edwards and Karen Rolton have more than her 5 100s.

Some might try and argue that she accumulated her record v poor opposition - but she played the bulk of her internationals against England and New Zealand (Australia's two closest rivals in an era where they were largely unchallenged, as in men's cricket) and averaged a whisker each side of 45 against each of them. Against England she hit 146* at Newcastle in 2000, off just 151 balls.

Admittedly her 229* came against Denmark, but its still 229*. How many male cricketers have hit 229* against anyone? None in internationals as a matter of fact. And no-one even made 200 until 12 years after Clark. Her 52 in the final of that tournament was key in guiding Australia to the trophy. In the 2000 final she made 91 in a losing cause. She captained the team to regaining the trophy in 2005.

So, overall, as well as being instrumental in improving the perception of the women's game as an administrator, Clark was a truly exceptional player.

Taylor

I wish I could find a YouTube video of her innings in the 2009 semi-final against Australia.

But basically, for those who don't live in England, that one innings was a 'eureka' moment for women's cricket. Playing at The Oval ahead of the men's semi-final, Australia set England 164 - the type of score which is about par in men's T20. And, against their biggest rivals, England chased it down with 3 balls to spare. Taylor's innings of 76 came off 53 balls - a rate associated with the men's game. She struck 8 boundaries.

The innings should how exciting women's cricket could be, on a big stage. There was a crowd in (which always helps) and a TV audience.

From that moment forth things changed in England. When they won the World Cup in Australia earlier that year, it had been televised, but took place in the middle of the night, so most people didn't see it. The once a year matches Sky had showed for quite some time had been more of novelty than genuine cricketing interest, and. But when they chased that score down people started to take it seriously. We now have at least 3 or 4 televised T20 double headers in England each year, and increasing attention is being paid to the women's game by the written press and the radio.

Things are in stark contrast to even a year before Taylor's knock. Until they fell out with our landlord, England Women played a couple of games annually on the main ground (Denis Compton Oval) at Shenley, the cricket club that I play for. When I went along to see them play South Africa in 2008 there was very little evidence of media attendance. In fact, most of the 'crowd' was made up of Shenley members and players relatives.

If you go to a women's game now, things will have changed markedly. There is a good chance the radio will be there, and there will certainly be some media coverage. The players will want proper training facilities. And the quality of cricket will be much improved: back then, being our first women's game, our general assessment was that it was nice (and Charlotte Edwards made a century if I remember rightly) and they had good techniques, but that there was something missing. Now, those things which were missing are slowly being improved. And we have a women's player in Sarah Taylor who wouldn't look out of place in first-class cricket.

But to focus on a single innings forgets what else she did for the women's game. She was the first professional, at least the first I know of. Now, all of the England women's team are on some sort of quasi-professional deal (either Chance to Shine (which includes coaching at clubs and schools) or MCC Young Cricketers (which includes helping the ground staff at Lord's, and training with the male MCC Young Cricketers)).

And she also has an excellent career record in her own right: an average of 45 in ODIs, over 4000 runs, and 8 100s (only Pietersen and Trescothick have more ODI 100s for England). She does have good records against the lesser teams, but an average of 39.66 against Australia is very good. She also has 2 100s against the Aussies.

So, her central position in inspiring what I'd call the pivotal moment in the development of the women's game in England, combined with an excellent record. A very strong case.

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Post by Mad for Chelsea Tue 04 Dec 2012, 7:03 pm

excellent post Shelsey Very Happy

Also worth a mention for Taylor is that she still holds the record for the highest score in an ODI at Lords (156 not out against India in 06 I think)

Sarah Taylor heart probably the best keeper technically in the international game today (and of course a very stylish batswoman). She certainly wouldn't look out of place in men's cricket IMO.

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Post by Hoggy_Bear Tue 04 Dec 2012, 7:37 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:But I DO have some experience with Halls Of Fame, even attended the old Football HOF in the West End in eons gone by. (It was terrible.) I frequently go to Cooperstown - where I'm sure your grandfather hopes to be enshrined one day, by default in my opinion - and I am an interested observer in the World Golf HOF.

In none of those Halls do the criteria for admission change in the way that I understand that some feel cricket's should. And perhaps I have a hang-up about that.

C'est la vie.

Loathe as I am to get involved in this argument Very Happy, are people really asking for the criteria to change in regard to women candidates?
All they are asking (as I understand it, and it's certainly my position) is that women candidates are selected based on a comparison with THEIR peers ie. other women cricketers of their era. If it can be shown that the candidate has an outstanding record in comparison to their peers, (with the caveat that, given the qusestions over the quality of those peers, that record is exceptional and exists over a reasonable amount of time, in much the same way as male candidates from the early years of the game are judged), then they will have a strong case for inclusion in our HoF.
After all, female members of tennis and golf HoFs aren't selected because they are thought to be better than the men, but because of their outstanding in comparison with other women of their eras. Surely the same should be the case in cricket?

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Post by kwinigolfer Tue 04 Dec 2012, 7:53 pm

Hoggy,
That's very well put, and I can't disagree with you. thumbsup

My point was only partly to do with women cricketers, there were other issues which promoted the comments that I took exception to.
The references about tennis etc were in response to a specific post, much more to do with heritage of a sport than man/woman, but the comments I take issue with were as much, or more, to do with personal characterisations - apology offered and accepted. End of.


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Post by guildfordbat Tue 04 Dec 2012, 9:20 pm

A few thoughts and a bit of a personal outlook.

I do wonder if those with a commendably extensive knowledge of the current world game in all its forms attribute a greater significance to the womens' game than it has yet actually achieved for many.

I go back to a point made when Clark was first discussed. More than forty summers ago my friends and I would regularly tak of Sobers, Gavaskar, Knott, Underwood and Snow as we sought to emulate their feats. No doubt the Corporal imagined himself to be Barrington as he played another game of 'Howzat!' Wink . Today those names have been replaced by the likes of Kallis, Pietersen, Dhoni, Panesar and Anderson but not, I believe, Clark and Taylor. The latter two names have generally not entered the public consciousness. There are likely to be many reasons for this and some of them probably regrettable. However, that's the way (I think) it is and so perhaps a bit more caution is needed before building their current platforms too high.

The above is not to advocate 'NO' votes for these two females but to emphasise that, for me at least, they start less well known than many nominees and so their cases need to be soundly shown (as always, I'm happy to do some of my own research). I agree with Hoggy's views this evening which reflects posts we exchanged on this thread about a week ago. As flagged in Hoggy's post, we need to be satisfied not only as to how a player performed against his or her peers but also as to the quality of those peers. It's on this last point where I now have considerable unease.

I believe the quality of peers is very important to the debate. A century against the Surrey and England trio of Jimmy Ormond, Ed Giddins and Ian Salisbury is still a century but surely it's little to one against the West Indian might of Roberts, Marshall and Gibbs.

As I also posted to Hoggy the other day and relating to a point made recently by Mike, I would need a lot of persuasion to give a 'YES' to a nominee from the late nineteenth century due to doubts over contemporary peers. For me, Shelsey supplied that persuasion in respect of Lohmann whilst Grace's iconic status was sufficient for him to be a founder member. However, I suspect it will be a hard battle for any others from that time.

I would not exclude a player from our HoF if he or she constantly came up against weak (or, at least, peceived to be weak) opposition but I would expect to see sustained dominance.

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Post by Corporalhumblebucket Tue 04 Dec 2012, 9:38 pm

guildfordbat wrote: A century against the Surrey and England trio of Jimmy Ormond, Ed Giddins and Ian Salisbury is still a century but surely it's little to one against the West Indian might of Roberts, Marshall and Gibbs.
Of course if the England attack also included Chris Schofield (also ex Surrey) that would be a different matter altogether.... Laugh

Agree that quality of peers is important. But can be quite difficult to calibrate as it goes up and down over time. Is a fifty made against McGrath and Warne worth more than century against some of the more humdrum recent Aussie bowlers? Probably yes.

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Post by Corporalhumblebucket Tue 04 Dec 2012, 9:52 pm

Am starting to edge towards a no for Woolmer. I think some of MSP's reservations and questions have a fair degree of merit.

Will probably vote yes for Chappell - I don't buy the "heat of the moment" argument on its own but if as looks likely on balance of probabilities that he was suffering from stress / depression then I recognise this can completely distort judgment and good sense.

Am heading towards yes for Clark and Taylor. Helpful to have their case summarised again by Shelsey. (in heading in this direction I won't be putting too much weight on double centuries made against Denmark, much as Danish cricket may be misunderestimated... Wink )

Sir Lancelot Gibbs will definitely be a clear cut yes from me for all the reasons previously given....


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Post by Shelsey93 Tue 04 Dec 2012, 10:42 pm

guildfordbat wrote:

I do wonder if those with a commendably extensive knowledge of the current world game in all its forms attribute a greater significance to the womens' game than it has yet actually achieved for many.

I go back to a point made when Clark was first discussed. More than forty summers ago my friends and I would regularly tak of Sobers, Gavaskar, Knott, Underwood and Snow as we sought to emulate their feats. No doubt the Corporal imagined himself to be Barrington as he played another game of 'Howzat!' Wink . Today those names have been replaced by the likes of Kallis, Pietersen, Dhoni, Panesar and Anderson but not, I believe, Clark and Taylor. The latter two names have generally not entered the public consciousness. There are likely to be many reasons for this and some of them probably regrettable. However, that's the way (I think) it is and so perhaps a bit more caution is needed before building their current platforms too high.

Guildford, I must admit that that is probably a very shrewd observation. Certainly, there is a long way to go yet for women's cricket, and a number of questions to answer: How do you engage young girls from non-cricketing backgrounds in the game? How do you provide more opportunities for girls to play, when most will write cricket off as boring at school, and most clubs still don't have women's sections? And, yes, myself and Mike in particular, and also MFC, might be viewing the growth of women's cricket from within the bubble in some ways. But I maintain that recent media coverage is fast making the England girls' household names within the cricketing world, and substantially better known names within the sporting world as a whole. I think we saw that in the coverage of the recent World T20 - the women's final was ahead of the men's in some sports bulletins, and got at least as much coverage in the papers.

What I would say is that cricket as a whole is probably less on the public consciousness that it was 40 years ago: whilst x number of average footballers are standard playground parlance, at least from my recent observations, cricketers just aren't discussed. Other than Pietersen I'd suggest no cricketers are well known by your average schoolboy who doesn't seem to know the difference between 'football fan' and 'sports fan'. Which is a shame and a bit of a concern to be honest, and perhaps an issue for another day. In 14 years at an admittedly small and mostly non-cricketing private school, I can probably count on one hand the number of people I had a proper conversation about cricket with.

But, coming back to the issue, people do now know that there is a women's team and that they're good. People who are cricket fans now know about the likes of Charlotte Edwards and Sarah Taylor. People might not have known much about Clark in her day or Taylor pre-2009, but the point is that, whether we knew what they were doing or not, they were very good at it, and they've done a lot in their own ways, both on and off the field, to bring about change.

On your second point referring to quality of opponents. This was probably an important factor, along with lack of evidence and lack of contribution to improving the game, in the overwhelming rejection of Enid Bakewell. But by the 1990s and 2000s the opposition had certainly improved. I'd say it had improved sufficiently enough that we can properly judge Clark and Taylor's achievements. Certainly in Taylor's case she was up against NZ and Australia teams which were far from 'Mickey Mouse'. I have a strange and entirely unproven suspicion, perhaps enhanced by those ghastly skirts, that in Bakewell's age if you were a woman, wanted to play cricket and could afford to tour there was a place in the team for you. As I say that is entirely unproven, but if it was the case I'd argue RHF was the major instigator of change.

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Post by Hoggy_Bear Wed 05 Dec 2012, 11:09 am

I know this is probably just a reflection of my lack of knowledge of the women's game, but can anyone tell me why Taylor should be rated higher than the likes of Karen Rolton or Mithali Raj who, statistically, have better records than Taylor has?

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Post by Shelsey93 Wed 05 Dec 2012, 1:14 pm

Hoggy,

I don't know much about Karen Rolton, to be honest. I guess we are excluding her at this stage because of a lack of knowledge. Taylor certainly had a greater impact on women's cricket here, particularly in 2009.

Raj is a fine batter but a/ she's still playing and b/ some of her innings and captaincy in T20 seem to be quite selfish and baffling: often batting through at less than a run a ball, and then exherting little pressure with the ball

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Post by Mad for Chelsea Wed 05 Dec 2012, 1:19 pm

Rolton was a very fine player, no doubt about that. I confess to not actually having watched a huge amount of her (not entirely my fault as there was less televised women's cricket back then of course Wink) but I do remember reading quite a few match reports where she got a mention and such.

I would argue that one thing which sets Taylor apart is her ability to make runs on the biggest stage: her batting records in World Cups (both 50 overs and T20s) is pretty remarkable.

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Post by msp83 Wed 05 Dec 2012, 5:53 pm

If I vote yes for Claire Taylor, her role in bringing greater professionalizing of the game and her big match temprament would be major factors.

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Post by Hoggy_Bear Wed 05 Dec 2012, 7:52 pm

Thanks for the responses. Plenty to mull over.

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Post by dummy_half Wed 05 Dec 2012, 8:21 pm

Can I second Hoggy's thanks for the further information on Taylor. I do though find myself also echoing GBs comment up thread that we seem in danger of over-emphasising the importance of women's cricket in the public consciousness - while my ignorance of the women's game is at least partly my own fault, it is clear that the media do not provide anything like comparable coverage of women's cricket on which to base my knowledge of the game.

I certainly see a very strong case for Clarke (and Heyhoe-Flint) because their achievements and status in the game is advanced by off-field activities, the 'something extra' for Taylor appears to be based on her role as the pioneer of full time professionalism - perhaps we are too close in time to judge whether this will have a positive effect on women's cricket in the medium term future (noting that women's football both in the UK and US has flitted between truly professional and 'semi-pro' for decades, so it clearly isn't as straight-forward as a few players deciding to be dedicated pros). Without this extra, for me Taylor would have to fall short of the HoF on a pure playing basis, so I'm finding her difficult to judge.


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Post by Shelsey93 Wed 05 Dec 2012, 10:23 pm

I would say that, as compared to football, the type of professionalism now in women's cricket (which I'd call quasi-professional as supposed to semi-pro (which suggests part-time) or fully-pro (which suggests they get paid purely for playing cricket)) is very strong, and highly unlikely to break down.

The main difference with football (and I admit my knowledge of this is patchy) is that in football professionalism seemed to damage the game by creating an uneven playing field - the professional teams (which were 2 or 3 at most) were miles ahead of the rest.

In cricket we don't (and probably won't for some time, if ever) have professional or even semi-pro county teams: the county teams are best compared to men's Minor County or even Premier League club teams in the way they are organised. But we do now have quasi-professional elite cricketers, something which has spread around the world quite quickly - I think I'm right in saying even Pakistan (who for various reasons have been latecomers to the women's game) now have professional players.

And of course, by including coaching in the professional contracts, they give back a lot to the game.


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Post by Mike Selig Thu 06 Dec 2012, 12:22 am

Hoggy_Bear wrote:I know this is probably just a reflection of my lack of knowledge of the women's game, but can anyone tell me why Taylor should be rated higher than the likes of Karen Rolton or Mithali Raj who, statistically, have better records than Taylor has?

Rolton was technically less competent and of course her fitness levels were average (and towards the end of her career, the Aussies used to have to try to "hide" her in the field) - she was a power player who scored a lot of her runs thanks to the power, rather than technical efficiency, and I imagine in today's game she would struggle a lot more (a bit like how you sometimes get a big junior who scores loads of runs or bullies people with the ball with his pace but can't convert it to senior form). Raj was technically competent, but lacks Taylor's power and range of strokes - so in some ways you could argue that Taylor combines the best of both; MfC's observation that at times she puts her needs ahead of the team has some merit, but really it is a case more of her game being limitted - I think if you bowled in the right areas she'd struggle to score, whereas Taylor was more inventive. Moreover my guess is Raj, playing for a weaker Indian side, probably played far fewer matches against the stronger sides (Eng, Aus, NZ) than Taylor did. Not sure if this is borne out by facts

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Post by guildfordbat Thu 06 Dec 2012, 10:23 pm

Mike Selig wrote:

... I'm sorry, but to exclude either from our HoF would be ridiculous and make a mockery of the process. Gibbs for example is a terrific player, and someone who originally was borderline for me, but the more I read into him, the stronger his case becomes - but his impact on the game is miles below those two.
I fully appreciate Mike's comment above was a rallying call for Clark and Taylor rather than a real dig at Gibbs.

I do though think it only fair to emphasise that to my definite knowledge Gibbs' influence on the domestic game both here and in his native West Indies was quite considerable during his playing career and in immediately following years. I wasn't sure if it extended beyond that and so did a quick google search.

The link below shows his influence extended as far afield as Pakistan in the 1980s and particularly to their Test off spinner Tauseef Ahmed. That influence lives on in Tauseef's role as a professional coach today.

http://www.sportqa.com/Tauseef-Ahmed-hails-Lance-Gibbs-Saqlain-Mushtaq-and-Graeme-Swann-a29542

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Post by Mike Selig Thu 06 Dec 2012, 10:42 pm

Speaking of influence...

Influence works on coaches as well. For example, you can tell that Gary Kirsten and to a lesser extent Andy Flower (probably the leading 2 coaches in the world today) were heavily influenced by Woolmer's methods and philosophy. Kirsten was of course coached by Woolmer himself.

At the moment I'm heavily leaning toward 5 YES votes:

- Chappel and Gibbs I voted YES to first time around. Chappel's case remains the same, a wonderful batsman with that major aberration. I still maintain that to deny him entry to the HoF for that one decision made in the heat of the moment under extreme pressure would be... disproportionate.

- Gibbs's case has perhaps not received that much debate this time around (surprising, as last time there was much). Whilst my original yes was somewhat marginal, I am more confident this time: I think that far from being "very good but short of great", Gibbs was a great bowler in an era where cricket was often attritional. I worry that those who are concerned about his record are guilty of judging him by today's standards, rather than in context.

- Clark and Taylor I think I have said enough about (and offended enough people). I maintain that Clark in particular has as strong cases as anyone we have debated, male or female. There is a legitimate concern whether it is too soon to judge Taylor's overall impact: I believe women's cricket will continue to grow exponentially, and that in time Taylor's contribution will be accepted, but understand those who vote NO on the grounds that it's too early to tell (whilst noting that we IMO rushed to enrol Dravid in).

- Woolmer I have stated my case for, but there are genuine concerns. I believe if we were to induct a single coach, he should be the one, and I moreover believe that it would be a failure if as a group we inducted players, commentators and surely umpires (once we get around to discussing Taufel) but no coaches. In particular the role of the coach has become more and more prominent (some would say unnecessarily, but I think a good coach who uses his knowledge effectively, and more importantly sparringly - like commentary it can be as important what you don't say as what you do - can add a huge amount of value to a team). Of course this case has a somewhat personal resonance for me: as MfC hinted at I see a lot of my coaching philosophy and style in his.

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Post by dummy_half Fri 07 Dec 2012, 10:18 am

Are we supposed to be voting by this Sunday?

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Post by Shelsey93 Fri 07 Dec 2012, 11:11 am

Voting closes on Sunday at 9am

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Post by dummy_half Fri 07 Dec 2012, 11:39 am

OK, better get mine in early, as I'm unlikely to have time after this afternoon.

Easy ones:
Chappell - YES. Arguably Australia's best batsman since Bradman (Ponting being the other contender), and had to face the most fearsome West Indian bowling quartet yet still averaged well above 50 in Tests. May not have been a nice man (seems very driven, but then how else do you get to the top in sport?), and with a major black mark for the underarm incident. Mitigated by the fact that even he now thinks it was a stupid decision.

Gibbs - YES. 300 Test wickets for a player of his era was not something to be brushed past lightly. Probably the greatest attritional spin bowler.

Clark - YES. Great playing record, arguably even better record as a captain and an important role in administering the women's game in Australia. Can't see much to argue against.

The tougher two:

Woolmer - a marginal YES. Testimonials suggest he was the leading coach of the era when cricket coaching was becoming a serious business. Gets an extra positive from me for his work with lower level nations and for inspiring other coaches. There are negatives - never won the World Cup, which his SA team probably should have (but then how do you legislate for Gibbs dropping a sitter), and his loyalty to his players may have been too strong at times (Cronje in particular, but also issues with the Pakistanis and ball tampering).

Taylor - NO (at this time). Her career playing record is not sufficiently exceptional (in my opinion) for her to make it without 'something extra', and we are too close in time to see whether her role in increasing the professionalness of women's cricket will prove significant to the future.


Last edited by dummy_half on Fri 07 Dec 2012, 11:40 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : dyslexic fingers)

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Post by Shelsey93 Fri 07 Dec 2012, 11:40 am

OK. I feel in a position to open the voting, given that I'm pretty certain that nothing can now change which direction I go on each of this week's candidates.

Greg Chappell - Simply the best Australian batsman of his generation. 24 Test 100s, and an average comfortably the right side of 50. Averaged 56 against the West Indies, and scored 9 Ashes 100s. For me, concerns about his coaching are irrelevant (what he did was better than not doing anything at all, as he could have done) and those about Bodyline vastly exaggerated (it was an unfortunate footnote to a long and successful career, and one which can be explained by the pressures he was facing). A YES.

Belinda Clark - I outlined an argument for Clark a couple of days ago. The best batter of her generation, and would seem to have done a lot to help the women's game improve. Her inclusion would seem essential to the inclusion of other female candidates. YES.

Lance Gibbs - After being a bit of an outsider first time round, the repecharge appears to have been more favourable to Gibbs. I suspect his bowling average of 29 was the main concern, but then spinners invariable average more. He certainly played a significant role in West Indies success over an 18 year career, and as guildford and others have pointed out, his 309 wickets was a landmark at the time. His economy rate is likely to have greatly assisted the variety of superb seamers he played alongside - even in his final Test he went at barely 2 an over. Add in his contribution to the county game and its a YES.

Bob Woolmer - My most difficult decision, but one I'm ultimately satisfied with. Mike has rightly pointed out his strengths, and I don't doubt the impact he's had on inspiring a new generation of coaches. A lack of success on the field, particularly with Pakistan, isn't something I'm overly worried about, and in particular I don't see how we can hold it against him that he never won the World Cup. His first attempt came when he'd just taken over a side still relatively recently returned to the international fold ('96), his second resulted in losing by the narrowest margins in the semis to a team rightly revered as one of the greatest of all time ('99), and his third (and tragically last) was with a distinctly average Pakistan team, led by an ageing Inzamam-ul-Haq. After precedents set by others I'm also willing to turn a blind eye to the rebel tour (my principle is that if we don't let that prevent him getting in, he doesn't get any sympathy boost for any internationals he missed whilst banned).

But overall I just think Woolmer has overseen too many dressing rooms characterised by scandal. He was in charge of a dressing room containing Cronje, Gibbs and Henry Williams. Even if he was powerless to do anything about it, I see him as accountable in a way - he should have been responsible for creating a dressing room where the players were willing to tell the coach if something as serious as this was going on. We then have the 2006 ball-tampering incident with Pakistan - which, whether the ball was tampered with or not, I see as much more serious than 'underarm'. Should he have allowed his team to refuse to take to the field in front of a full house under his watch? And then to come out and say that he supports the scrapping of the ball-tampering law strikes me as a strange view to take.

So I've come to a NO and one which is ultimately not reluctant.

Claire Taylor - Again, I outlined a case a couple of days ago. England's best retired woman batter, and somebody who moved the game forward, particularly with her exploits in 2009. YES.

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Post by msp83 Fri 07 Dec 2012, 12:00 pm

During Garry Kirsten's time as India coach, the coach, its said by even the senior most and the junior most alike, that he was approachable, and they could talk to him about anything, absolutely anything. He didn't cultivate any kind of undue loyalty even with the senior players, Sourav Ganguly was eased out of the ODI setup during his time and it was done in a professional way without resulting in serious damages to any relations.

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