All Time XIs – Anti-racism XI

Today for my all-time XI cricket themed post I present a team of players whose names provide links to those who have fought against racism.


Welcome to today’s installment in my ‘all time XI‘ cricket series. Today we have a single XI rather than a match up, and our focus is on anti-racism. I have selected an XI of players who share names with important figures who have fought against various manifestations of racism. There is one player in this XI who doubles up as a campaigner.


  1. Jack Brown – right handed opening batter. A great player for Yorkshire and England in his day. He is a namesake of John Brown, a legendary name among the abolitionists who fought against slavery in the US.
  2. Glenn Turner – right handed opening batter. The only Kiwi to have scored a hundred first class hundreds. His namesake for the purposes of this XI is Nat Turner, an ex-slave who was involved in an insurrection, and who wrote an autobiography in which he gave an account of this and other doings of his.
  3. *Clive Lloyd – left handed batter, captain. Scorer of 7,515 runs in 110 tests, and the man responsible for the four pronged pace attacks that took the West Indies to the top of the world game and kept them there for almost 20 years. I have got him in by linking to William Lloyd Garrison, another legend of the abolitionists.
  4. Robin Smith – right handed batter. Averaged 43 in test cricket, and it was only that low because Shane Warne gave him a horrible time in 1993. His namesake is Ruby Doris Smith, who got arrested at an anti-segregationist sit in as a teenager, and went on to become one of the leading figures on the Student Non-Violent Co-ordinating Committee, which organized such protests in the 1960s.
  5. Ashwell Prince – left handed batter, occaional off spinner. Averaged 41 in test cricket. His analogue is Mary Prince, author of a particularly graphic slave narrative, and the first woman ever to present a petition to parliament.
  6. +Jim Parks – wicket keeper, right handed batter. An England cricketer in his time, although by no means a regular. He took 1,087 first class catches and made 94 stumpings at that level. His namesake is of course Rosa Parks who refused to sit at the back of the bus, and triggered the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
  7. Franklyn Stephenson – right handed batter, right arm fast bowler. One of only two cricketers (the other being Sir Richard Hadlee) to have done the double of 1,000 runs and 100 wickets in an English first class season since the reduction of first class games to accommodate the John Player League in 1969 (anyone achieving it in a 14 game season as we have had for the last few years would achieve a feat that is in truth comparable to George Hirst’s ‘double double’ of 1906). His namesake is Paul Stephenson, an anti-racist campaigner who is being suggested as a replacement for Edward Colston on the now vacant plinth from which the statue of that slave trader was removed by #BlackLivesMatter protesters. The petition is here.
  8. Bart King – right arm fast bowler, useful lower order batter. The greatest of all USian cricketers, a pioneer of swing bowling whose 415 first class wickets cost just 15 a piece. His namesake is Martin Luther King.
  9. Palwankar Baloo – left arm orthodox spinner. Just 33 first class matches, in which he took 179 wickets at 15.21 each. He was a member of a low caste, and he was one of three members of his caste who negotiated the pact that ended Gandhi’s fast against separate electorates for members of depressed castes.
  10. Cameron Cuffy – right arm fast bowler. His career suffered because the West Indies were still very strong in fast bowling when he was in his prime. He only got an extended run at the highest level when already past his best. I admit to a small cheat here – his namesake is actually the black Chartist leader William Cuffay.
  11. Devon Malcolm – right arm fast bowler. England’s fastest bowler of the 1990s, with his career highlight that 9-57 against South Africa at The Oval. He was one of many among his generation to be adversely affected by Ray Illingworth’s tenure os supremo of English cricket (the idea was a sensible one, and had been advocated by CB Fry many years previously, but the person chosen for the role was catastrophically wrong, a mistake which destroyed a number of careers and hindered others). His namesake is Malcolm X.

This team has a good top five, a keeper batter, an allrounder and four fine bowlers. The bowling is heavy on pace and light on spin, but nevertheless this side should be able to give a good account of itself.


Just a few links before I bring this little post to a conclusion…

Finally, just a few pictures…

IMG_0616 (2)IMG_0617 (2)IMG_0618 (2)

The players and their analogues in tabulated form.


Author: Thomas

I am a founder member and currently secretary of the West Norfolk Autism Group and am autistic myself. I am a very keen photographer and almost every blog post I produce will feature some of my own photographs. I am an avidly keen cricket fan and often post about that sport.

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