As my photo galleries indicate I enjoy spending time in and around greenery, so for today I am creating an XI of cricketers whose names connect with greenery in some way, shape or form.
THE XI IN BATTING ORDER
- John Berry Hobbs (right handed opening batter, outstanding cover fielder, occasional right arm medium pace bowler). More commonly known as Jack Hobbs, aka ‘The Master’, but it is that middle name ‘Berry’ that qualifies him for this XI.
- Les Berry (right handed opening batter). A long and distinguished career for Leicestershire, though typically for a player at an ‘unfashionable’ county scant recognition from the England selectors.
- *Andrew Flower (left handed batter, occasional wicket keeper, occasional off spinner, captain). At the height of his career the world number one ranked batter. Also had a distinguished coaching career, albeit England’s rise to number one in the test rankings under his stewardship was accompanied by a number of the players suffering in terms of personal well being.
- Grant Flower (right handed batter, left arm orthodox spinner). A fine batter and a useful bowler, well worth his place in this side.
- James H Parks (right handed batter, right arm slow medium bowler). The only cricketer ever to score 3,000 runs and take 100 wickets in the same first class season. I have included his middle initial to distinguish him from his son James M Parks, a batter/ keeper.
- Cameron Green (right handed batter, right arm fast bowler). Still young, but the tall Aussie is very rapidly establishing himself as a multi-format star.
- Wilfred Flowers (right handed batter, off spinner). A good enough all rounder to have done the season’s double five times in the course of his career and to have had a respectable test record.
- +Dick Lilley (wicket keeper, right handed batter). A long serving England keeper of the late 19th and early 20th century and a useful lower order batter. Although the plant is spelt differently it is of course the lily that gets him in.
- William Lillywhite (right arm fast bowler, right handed batter). The ‘nonpareil’, one of the first masters of ’round arm’, the bowling style that developed from under arm and led to over arm, along with his county colleague James Broadbridge. Again it is the lily that gets him in.
- Dennis Lillee (right arm fast bowler, right handed batter). The lily gives the side another great opening bowler.
- Eric Hollies (leg spinner, right handed batter). Our line up is completed with a leg spinner, using the fact that his surname looks like the plural of ‘holly’.
This XI has a powerful line batting line up and a varied bowling attack – Lillee, Lillywhite, Green and Parks to provide pace, seam and swing, and Hollies, Flowers and G Flower providing a full range of spin options
Graham Rose, the Somerset bowling all rounder, was a clear candidate. James M Parks, like his father James H would have his advocates, but I preferred the finer keeper in Lilley. Had Grant Flower not had a place already then left arm spinner Holly Colvin, a former world cup winner for England Women, would have been up for consideration. Another Holly who some might have considered was Aussie Women’s pacer Holly Ferling. Arthur Bush, Gloucestershire wicket keeper in WG Grace’s early days (and best man at the latter’s wedding as well), was not quite good enough to displace Lilley. New Zealand women’s seamer Lea Tahuhu could have been included by way of her first name – lea is a poetic word for meadow.
My usual sign off comes in two parts because today was a Just a Cuppa Autism Acceptance morning at King’s Lynn Library. As an autistic person, a founder member of the West Norfolk Autism Group and a big library user I enjoy these mornings hugely – my preferred activity during them is lego architecture…
Now for my regular pictures…