All Time XIs – England Women

Today we look at the England Women for our ‘all time XI’ cricket themed post.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the latest installment in my ‘all time XI‘ cricket series. Today is Monday,, which means that it is tipme to look at an international set up, and today’s subject is the England Women’s set up.

ENGLAND WOMEN IN MY LIFETIME

  1. Charlotte Edwards – right handed opening batter. She was an England regular for two decades, and her departure from the international scene caused some controversy when it final;y happened. However, it was undoubtedly the right decision, and within a short time the England Women had reaped rich rewards for making it. I first saw her in action as a teenager, when her more experienced team mates were by and large unable to offer any kind of resistance to Australia, and she chiselled out 74.
  2. Tammy Beaumont – right handed opening batter. She was moved up to the top of the order after Edwards’ departure and almost immediately began making big scores there. Regular readers of this blog will know that back in 2018, with Cook obviously due to retire soon and Jennings due for the chop (having replaced the proven international failure Mark Stoneman) I advocated that she be given an opportunity to play alongside the men. As it happened Rory Burns who had made an unanswerable case for selection came in, Jennings stayed on for the winter, and Joe Denly got given his test chance. After a disastrous experiment with Jason Roy as red ball opener and a summer of top order strife England subsequently turned to Dominic Sibley who had made a clear case for inclusion and also elevated Zak Crawley on rather less firm ground. I expect that when test cricket resumes post covid-19 the England men’s top three will read Sibley, Burns, Crawley, as it should, and that top three would be the most solid looking England have boasted since Strauss, Cook and Trott were in their prime.
  3. Claire Taylor – right handed batter. She averaged over 40 in both test cricket and ODIs, and no 3 was her regular position.
  4. *Heather Knight – right handed batter, occasional off spinner, captain. She has proven an outstanding captain since being given the job in succession to Edwards, and he record with the bat is excellent as well, while she has taken important wickets with her off spin.
  5. Natalie Sciver – right handed batter, right arm medium pacer. The Tokyo born all rounder has been one of the first names on the team sheet ever since first being picked for the side.
  6. +Sarah Taylor – right handed batter, wicket keeper. One of the two finest keepers I have ever personally seen in action (the other being Ben Foakes) and a magnificent batter as well. Her presence, plus the batting abilities of the next two in the order enables to the selection of five top line bowlers.
  7. Katherine Brunt – right arm medium fast bowler, useful lower middle order batter. She was a pure bowler when she came into the side, but has developed her batting, not quite in the manner of Ellyse Perry and Kiwi Sophie Devine to the point where it is arguably more important to the side than her bowling, but certainly to a sufficient extent to justify selection at no7.
  8. Laura Marsh – off spinner, right arm fast medium bowler, useful lower order batter. A multi-purpose bowler, and perfectly capable of batting for long periods in support of a more established batter, as she demonstrated famously in partnership with Heather Knight.
  9. Anya Shrubsole – right arm medium fast bowler. Brunt’s regular new ball partner. She was the hero of the 2017 Women’s World Cup final, taking six wickets to enable England to defend a fairly modest total against India, an achievement that saw her become the first female to appear on the front cover of Wisden.
  10. Sophie Ecclestone – left arm orthodox spinner. The best of the collection of young spinners currently doing well for England Women, which also features the likes of Kirstie Gordon, Linsey Smith, Sarah Glenn and Sophia Dunkley, with others such as Helen Fenby on the fringes.
  11. Isa Guha – right arm medium pacer. She made her international debut at the age of 17, bagging three cheap wickets to begin a journey that would see her at one time rated the best female bowler on the planet. She is probably better known today as an entertaining commentator who is a regular and welcome part of TMS. She did most of her international bowling into the wind, with Brunt often bowling with the wind at the other end.

This team has a formidable top six, including an incredible wicket keeper, and a collection of five bowlers who between them tick every box save leg spin.

ADDITIONS TO THE ALL TIME XI

  • Janette Brittin – right handed opening batter. Her record demands inclusion, although Beaumont still has time in which to change that.
  • *Rachael Heyhoe-Flint – right handed batter. Amagnificent captain, and a batter who averaged 45.54 in test cricket and just over 58 in ODIs.
  • Carole Hodges – right handed batter, off spinner. A magnificent all-rounder, whose feats included an ODI performance in which she scored 96 with the bat and her bowling figures included a hat trick.
  • Enid Bakewell – left handed batter, left arm orthodox spinner. An extraordinary all round record, averaging almost 60 with the bat and under 17 with the ball, including being the firsst player of either sex to score a century and claim a 10-wicket haul in the same test match.

Rejigging the team to include these legends gives us a batting line of Edwards, Brittin, C Taylor, *Heyhoe-Flint, Hodges, Bakewell, +S Taylor, Brunt, Shrubsole, Ecclestone, Guha. This makes the batting formidably strong, and gives us three front line seamers in Brunt, Shrubsole and Guha backed by three topline spinners, Ecclestone, Bakewell and Hodges. The similarity in bowling style between Bakewell and Ecclestone can be coped with.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

I have already mentioned the phalanx of young spinners currently available to England Women, and I add to that list Alex Hartley, who was part of the 2017 World Cup winning squad, and up-and-coming off spinner Mady Villiers. Isabelle Wong, still in her teens, is quicker by some way (and actually styles herself as a fast bowler, as does her Aussie contemporary Tayla Vlaemink) than any of the seamers I have picked, and I fully expect her to force her way into consideration sooner rather than later. There has been one previous player of Chinese ancetsry to play international cricket, Ellis Achong after whome the ‘chinaman’ was named, and there was also a Sheffield Shield player many years ago by the name of Hunter Poon, while in my brief umpiring career I saw a boy who I believe to have been of Korean descent, named Kim (but no relation AFAIK to the ruling family of North Korea!) take 6-6 in a spell. Three fine all rounders who I could not find space for were Jo Chamberlain, player of the match in a world cup final back in the day,  Melissa Reynard, an unglamorous but mighty effective middle order accumlator and bowler of medium pace, and Jenny Gunn, possessor of the slowest ‘slower ball’ yet seen in international cricket. Danielle Wyatt would be a shoe-in for a T20 side, but her record in other formats is not good enough for her be given serious consideration in this exercise.

WOMEN PLAYING ALONGSIDE THE MEN

I reckon that a female playing alongside the men at the highest level is something that will be seen before too many more years has elapsed. Arran Brindle nee Thompson scored a century in men’s league fixture a few years ago. While it is unlikely that a female could ever bowl as fast the quickest men, batting does not depend solely or even principally on power – timing and placement are key, and there is also no reason why a female spinner should not prove deadly, and I have named a female wicket keeper as one of the best I have ever seen in that department. Of course women who can hold their own alongside the top men,if we do see such, will always be rarities, but I refuse to accept that the possibility should be ruled out entirely.

AN INVITATION

One of my twitter followers, Iain Davidson McKane, suggested that I might offer to produce these to fill third party requests. So, keeping things sensible (perhaps study previous posts in this series to see what I have already done), I now ask readers who have an ‘all time XI’ idea for me to suggest it in the comments. If you have a blog of your own and mention that as well then if your idea works and I can produce a post about it I will link to your blog.

PHOTOGRAPHS

And it is time for my usual sign off…

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For the first time in over two months I have been somewhere other than my bungalow and its bit of garden – not very far afield (I don’t trust this government an iota, and although I am prepared to go out walking now I remain exceedingly cautious).

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The teams in tabulated form.

 

All Time XIs – Firsts and Onlies

Today’s variation on an all time XI theme looks at firsts and a few onlies, plus a couple of bonus cricket links and a measure of mathematics, and of course photographs.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to another variation on the all-time XI theme. Today we look at people who were the first to achieve certain landmarks, generally though not exclusively related to test cricket. Our two teams are named in honour of their designated captains and as usual due consideration has been given to the balance of each side.

THE BAKEWELL XI

  1. Warren Bardsley – left handed opening batter. He entered the test record books at The Oval in 1909, when he scored 136 and 130, the first time the double feat had been performed in a test match. Ironically, having hit two in one match, in a reverse of the usual bus situation, he would then wait ages for his next Ashes ton, which finally came almost 17 years later, at Lord’s in 1926 when he scored 193 not out in all out total of 389. England on that latter occasion batted the game to a stalemate, as each of their top five passed 50, and they amassed 475-3. The 1909 game at The Oval also ended in draw, which was enough for Australia to keep The Ashes. Bardsley was Australia’s leading scorer of first class centuries at the end of his career, at which time a young chap named Bradman was just beginning to make his presence felt in the batting record books that by the time he had finished would bear his seemingly indelible stamp.
  2. CAG Russell – right handed opening batter. Charles Albert George ‘Jack’ Russell, who I introduced by his initials was no relation of the later wicket keeper Robert Charles ‘Jack’ Russell who has featured elsewhere in this series, though the first ‘Jack’ Russell was the son of a county wicket keeper. At Durban in 1923 he scored 140 and 111, the first Englishman to achieve the double feat and test level, and the only person to date to have done so in their final appearance at that level! He was a casualty of the emergence of Herbert Sutcliffe, who made his test debut the following home season, had a record breaking Ashes tour in 1924-5 (see yesterday’s post) and never looked back. Russell’s test career lasted 10 matches, in which he played 18 innings, two of them not outs and scored 910 runs for an average of 56.87, or 50.56 if you discount the not outs. He passed fifty a total of seven times in those innings and converted five of the seven into hundreds.
  3. George Headley – right handed batter. The great West Indian, referred to by some as ‘the black Bradman’ (though in the Caribbean folk preferred to talk of ‘the white Headley’) was the first ever to score twin centuries in a test match at Lord’s, the home of cricket. He also holds the record for the highest individual score in the 4th innings of a test match, 223 at Kingston in 1930.
  4. Walter Hammond – right handed batter, occasional right arm medium fast, ace slip catcher. He was the first to score back to back test match double centuries, 251 at Sydney and 200 not out at Melbourne in the second and third matches of the 1928-9 Ashes, and was also the second to do so, when on the way home from the 1932-3 Ashes he scored 227 and 336 not out in New Zealand. He was also the first non-wicket keeper to take 100 catches at test level.
  5. Frank Woolley – left handed batter, left arm orthodox spinner, excellent close catcher. He was the first to play in as many as 50 successive test matches. A combination of the infrequency of tests in his day and World War I meant that the great sequence began in 1909 and did not end until 1928, when he was passed over for the 1928-9 Ashes in favour of Phil Mead.
  6. *Enid Bakewell – right handed batter, left arm orthodox spinner. She was the first player to score a century and record a ten wicket match haul in the same test match. Between 1968 and 1979 she played 12 test matches, scoring 1078 runs at 59.88 and taking 50 wickets at 16.62. I have awarded her the captaincy, and with it her name in the title of the XI.
  7. +Leslie Ames – wicket keeper, right handed batter. He was the first regular wicket keeper to play at least 20 test matches and finish with a batting average of over 40. He scored 120 at Lord’s in 1934, matching left hander Maurice Leyland’s century and helping England to a total of 440, after which a combination of rain juicing up the pitch and the left arm spin of Hedley Verity (15-104 in the match) saw England to their only win in an Ashes match at headquarters in the entire 20th century.
  8. Alan Davidson – left arm pace bowler, left handed lower order batter, brilliant fielder (known as ‘the Claw’ for his ability to grasp catches that tested credulity). At the Gabba in 1960 Davidson became the first cricketer in test history to combine a match aggregate of 100 runs (44 and 80) and 10 wickets (5-135 and 6-87). His endeavours in that game were not quite in vain, but nor did they bring the desired result for his team – the match, for the first time in 83 years of test cricket, finished in an exact tie – WI 453 and 284, Aus 505 and 232. Two direct hit run outs from Joe Solomon, the first to account for Davidson when he seemed to be winning the match for Australia, and the second to bring about the tie were key, and Conrad Hunte produced a tremendous long throw to run out Meckiff when that worthy was going for a third that would have settled the issue in Australia’s favour. Davidson has the lowest average of bowlers to have played post war, taken at least 150 test wickets and finished their careers, his 186 wickets at the highest level costing 20.53 each.
  9. Billy Bates – off spinner, useful lower middle order bat. At Melbourne in 1882-3, en route to helping Ivo Bligh achieve his goal of bringing back ‘The Ashes of English Cricket’, following the 1882 Oval test match and subsequent mock obituary in The Sporting Times, Bates took seven wickets in each innings, while also scoring 55 for England. His bowling performance included the first hat trick by an English bowler in test cricket, the first hat trick by someone who scored 50 in the same test and the first test combination of ten wickets and a fifty. His career was ended early when he lost the use of an eye after being injured at net practice. His 15 tests yielded 656 runs at 27.33 and 50 wickets at 16.42. He was the first of a remarkable sporting dynasty – his son WE Bates played for Yorkshire and Glamorgan, while grandson Ted Bates was involved with Southampton Football Club in various capacities for upwards of six decades.
  10. Frederick Spofforth – right arm fast bowler (later added variations). Spofforth was the first bowler to take a test match hat trick, the first bowler to take three wickets in four balls at test level and the bowler responsible for the victory that created The Ashes.
  11. Jimmy Matthews – leg spinner. How does a bowler who took a mere 16 test wickets, and never more than four in a test innings get into a team like this? Simple, six of those wickets, his only ones of the match in question, and all captured without the assistance of fielders, came in the form of the only ever incidence of a bowler taking a hat trick in each innings of a test match. His great moment came in the Triangular Tournament of 1912, for Australia against South Africa, at Old Trafford. His victims were Beaumont, Pegler and Ward in the first innings, and Taylor, Schwarz and Ward in the second, giving Ward his place in the record books as the scorer a king pair and hat trick victim in each innings. Ward by the way was a wicket keeper, and he did actually score two test fifties in his career. The modes of dismissal were bowled, LBW, LBW in the first innings and bowled, caught and bowled, caught and bowled in the second.

This team has an excellent top five, two of whom could contribute as bowlers, a great all rounder at six, a splendid keeper batter at seven and four varied bowlers of whom three definitely deserve to be described as great. The bowling has Davidson and Spofforth to take the new ball, Hammond as third seamer if needed, Bakewell, Bates and Matthews to bowl three different varieties of spin and Woolley as seventh bowler – 20 wickets won’t be a problem for this combo.

THE WARNE XI

  1. Arthur Morris – left handed opening batter. The first ever to score twin centuries on first class debut. Against Gloucestershire in 1948 he accepted responsibility for ensuring that off spinner Tom Goddard did not get an England call up, and proceeded to belt 290 in five hours, leaving Goddard nursing a very sick looking bowling analysis, and well and truly out of test contention. I have written about elsewhere.
  2. George Gunn – right handed opening batter. The Accidental Test Tourist – he was in Australia on health grounds when he got the emergency call up to join England’s ranks during the 1907-8 Ashes, the first time an English tour party had adopted such an approach. He responded by scoring 119 and 74.
  3. Lawrence Rowe – right handed batter. The first to score a double century and a century on test debut, 214 and 100 not out vs New Zealand. He subsequently took a triple century off England as well, but eye problems truncated his career.
  4. Tip Foster – the first to score a double century on test debut, the only person to captain England at cricket and football. I have covered him elsewhere.
  5. Garry Sobers – left handed batter, every kind of left arm bowler known to cricket, brilliant fielder. The first to hit six sixes in an over in first class cricket. I have written about him elsewhere.
  6. Basil D’Oliveira – right handed bat, right arm medium fast bowler. The first non-white South African to play test cricket. As mentioned in my South Africa post he had to move countries to be able to achieve this, and was lucky to find backers to help him do so. The 158 he scored against Australia at The Oval immediately before the selectors of that winter’s tour party to South Africa sat down to deliberate took his test record to 972 runs at 48.60, an average bettered only by Barrington among those then playing for England. The subsequent ramifications of his non-selection and then selection as replacement for someone picked as a bowler shook the sporting world, and ultimately led to South Africa being isolated from world cricket for over 20 years.
  7. Ian Botham – right handed batter, right arm fast medium bowler, ace slipper. Ian Botham was the first male test cricketer to score a hundred and take a ten wicket match haul, against India in 1979. He was also the first to combine a century with a five wicket innings haul on more than two occasions (v New Zealand at Christchurch, 103, 30, 5 first innings wickets, three second innings wickets, v Pakistan at Lord’s, 108 and 8-34, the first century and eight-for combo at that level, v India in 1979 – 114, 6-58, 7-48, v Australia at Headingley 6-95, 50, 149 not out, one second innings wicket and v New Zealand on the 1983-4 tour, 138 and 5-59, before New Zealand were inspired by Martin Crowe’s maiden test hundred to save the game with a fighting second innings display), and the first to the career triple double at test level (3,000 runs and 300 wickets, achieved in his 72nd match).
  8. +Jack Blackham – wicket keeper, right handed batter. The first keeper to regularly do without a long stop, and the first keeper to score twin fifties in a test match.
  9. *Shane Warne – leg spinner, right handed lower order bat. First bowler to take 100 test wickets in a country other than his own – he reached the mark for matches in England in 2005. He is the leading wicket taker in Anglo-Australian tests and second to Muralitharan in the all-time list. He is the designated captain of this XI.
  10. Jim Laker – off spinner. Only one bowler in first class history has taken more than 17 wickets in a first class match, and he did in an Ashes test. James Charles Laker took 19-90 (9-37, followed by 10-53) at Old Trafford in 1956 to retain the Ashes for England. In a tour match for Surrey against Australia on a good Oval pitch he took 10-88 from 46 overs in the first innings of the match, settling for 2-42 at the second attempt, when his spinning partner Tony Lock took 7-49, Surrey becoming the first county to beat the Aussies since 1912. England made 459 in the first innings of the Manchester match, Peter Richardson and David Sheppard (then bishop of Woolwich, later bishop of Liverpool) making centuries, Sheppard’s 113 being the highest individual innings of the series. Australia then sank for 84, before determined resistance by Colin McDonald (89 in 337 minutes, highest Aussie score of the series) saw them to 205 second time round. Four front line spinners operated in this match, and three of them (Ian Johnson, Richie Benaud and Tony Lock) had combined match figures of 7-380 (an average of 54.43 per wicket). In 1950 Laker had taken 8-2 for England v The Rest at Bradford as The Rest limped to 27 all out. In 1954 he was involved in one cricket’s most remarkable fixtures, when Surrey sealed their third straight County Championship (a sequence they would extend to seven under first Surridge, five of them, and then Peter May, two more). Worcestershire were rolled for 25 in their first innings, and Surrey had reached 92-3 when Surridge decided that he fancied another go at Worcestershire that evening and declared! Not bothering with conventional new ball bowling he threw the cherry straight to his spin twins, who each produced an unplayable ball before the close. The following morning Worcetsreshire were blown away for 40, to lose by an innings and 27 runs. Laker, not required in the first innings rout of Worcestershire, took a hat trick in the second. That aggregate of 157 runs for 23 wickets remains the lowest ever for a completed County Championship game, and the victory that Surridge conjured out of nothing was as mentioned enough to secure that year’s title for Surrey.
  11. Jasprit Bumrah – right arm fast bowler. The first Indian fast bowler to rattle Australia in their own backyard. His 6-33 in Australia’s first innings at the MCG in 2018 effectively settled the destination of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Neither of the two great quicks of the 1930s, Amar Singh and Mahomed Nissar ever got to pit their wits against Australia, and basically between them and Bumrah India never had a really fast bowler of top quality.

This team has a splendid top four, three all rounders of differing types, a top of the range keeper and three fine specialist bowlers. Bumrah would share the new ball with either Botham or Sobers, with the other third seamer, while the spin options are provided by Warne, Laker and Sobers, and there is medium pace back up if required available from D’Oliveira.

THE CONTEST

These are two strong and formidably well balanced sides. Obviously, with all due respect to the only person ever to bag a hat trick in each innings of a test match the Warne XI have an advantage in the leg spin department. However, Bates vs Laker is a good match up, while Sobers’ talents are counterbalanced by those of Davidson, Bakewell and Woolley. The Warne XI have an edge in the pace bowling department, but not much of one. There is also no doubt in my mind that the Bakewell XI have greater strength and depth in batting. I reckon this one goes down to the wire and I cannot even attempt to call a winner.

A COUPLE OF CRICKET LINKS

The pinchhitter has produced an excellent post today, looking back 17 years ago to the highest successful run chase in test history, when the West Indies chased down 418 in Antigua.

The full toss blog have a post up comparing Strauss’ 2011 England with Vaughan’s 2005 England – and coming as far as I am concerned to the right conclusion as to which was the better unit.

A MEASURE OF MATHEMATICS

Another one from brilliant.org:

Fish Fiction

Your task is to use the above information to identify the smallest fish – and if you enjoy the task establish a complete ranking order of the five fish.

PHOTOGRAPHS

Today’s teams have put in their appearance, I have served up a couple of bonus cricket links and a mathematical teaser, so I now hand over to you for your comments with my usual sign off…

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The first of two particularly satsifying starling pics

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Mars mapping, from Dava Sobel’s “Planets”

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Firsts and Onlies
The teams in tabulated form.

 

 

100 Cricketers: The Second XI – The Allrounders

Continuing my “100 cricketers” series with a post tailored to International Women’s Day.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the latest installment in my “100 cricketers series“. I decided to change the order in which I presented what is left of my second XI (see the introductory post for how I have subdivided my selected 100) because today is International Women’s Day and following a change to my second XI focussing on the allrounders mean that two of the three cricketers to feature today are female. My most recent post in the series introduced the opening pair from this XI, and I will talk about the remaining specialist batters from it in my next post and then the bowlers, also introducing my third XI in that post. I will start with the one male cricketer to be featured today before handing over the women for the remainder of the post…

IAN BOTHAM

He started his test career with five-fors in each of his first two matches against Australia in 1977. Against New Zealand that winter he hit his maiden test hundred, also claiming eight wickets in that match. Against Pakistan in the 1978 home series came two more hundreds, the second backed by a Lord’s ground record bowling analysis for an innings of 8-34. In the Jubilee Match against India he scored 114 not out and had match figures of 13-106 (The only others to have scored a century and had a ten-wicket haul in the same test match are Enid Bakewell for England Women, Betty Wilson for Australia Women and Imran Khan for Pakistan, although Alan Davidsons contribution in the 1960 tied test at Brisbane – 5-135, 44, 6-87 and 80 also deserves an honourable mention in this context). A disastrous spell as captain, not helped by the fact that his opposition for nine of his twelve matches in charge were the West Indies at their absolute zenith, was immediately followed a remarkable trio of matches back under the leadership of Mike Brearley. First at Headingley his 149 not out, backed up by Graham Dilley (56), Chris Old (29) and Bob Willis (who lasted over half an hour while Botham was blazing away) gave England 130 to bowl at, when they had been 92 behind with only three second wickets standing. A combination of the Bob Willis bowling for his international future and panic setting into the Australian team gave England victory by 18 runs to square the series. Then at Edgbaston, when Botham was called up as a last throw of the dice in another game that Australia looked to be winning his presence caused the self-destruct button to be pressed once again (of the five wickets he gained in that final spell at a cost of just one run only one, Ray Bright, got a really difficult delivery, while Kent, Marsh and Lillee all surrendered their wickets to ordinary deliveries, and Alderman at that stage of his career needed nothing more than a straight one to finish him). The third successive Botham special came at Old Trafford, when England were 104-5 in their second innings, 205 to the good. This innings came in three parts – the first 30 balls saw Botham accrue just three singles, then he changed gear to reach 28 of 53 balls (25 off the previous 23) before the arrival of the new ball sent him into overdrive and he plundered 90 off his last 49 balls to finish with 118 from 102 balls – the century off 86. Alan Knott and John Emburey followed up with half centuries, and Australia made a gallant effort facing a victory target of 506 but England won by 103 runs to retain the ashes.

Thereafter big performances from Botham became fewer and further between, but he remained a great wicket taker through sheer force of character, and scored the last of his 14 test hundreds at Brisbane in 1986 – setting England on their way to what would be their last Ashes win down under until the 2010-11 series. At Melbourne, when England completed their series victory a half-fit Botham took five first innings wicktes, sharing the spoils with Gladstone Small who went on to be Man of the Match. 

He finally retired in 1993, when it became clear that the England selectors would not pick him again. Sadly for us followers of the game they had not got over him, and a succession of promising young cricketers would have their careers ruined by being dubbed “the next Botham”. 

In the late 1990s he wrote The Botham Report, a hard hitting book which spelt out what was wrong with English cricket at the time, and what he thought needed doing to put it right. Many of his ideas have been put into practice with considerable success, as albeit with a few black spots along the way English cricket has fared rather better since the year 2000 than it did in the 1980s and 1990s.

SARAH TAYLOR

I have said before when commenting about her in this blog that I regard her as the best wicketkeeper of either sex currently playing the game. She is also a very fine batter. Mental health issues have interfered with her career of late, but at least the way in which these are being handled by the authorities show that they are learning (far too late and after far too many tragedies) how to handle such things – everything possible is being done to help her. 

Although she seems to have been around for a very long time she is still only 29, and so could yet have plenty of time ahead of her at the top. 

Whatever happens she has already done enough to ensure that she will never be forgotten by those who have witnessed her in action.

AMELIA KERR

I was astonished in the middle of the last English cricket season to see that a 17 year old, then known (if she was known at all) as a leg-spin bowler had scored a double-century in an ODI. I checked out the scorecard, managed to see highlights of the innings, and was amazed that someone that young could play that amazingly well. Her 232 not out is a record for a women’s ODI.

She currently averages 39.91 in ODIs (strike rate 108 runs per 100 balls) and takes her  wickets in that form of the game at 22.17 a piece. Because the women play so little test cricket she has yet to sample that form of the game. 

Maybe, as I have suggested about Tammy Beaumont and the current problems with the England men’s team’s top order, she could be given a call-up to the New Zealand men’s team to see what she can do in that environment.

I expect Kerr’s career, whether she stays in the women’s game or gets called up to play alongside the men to be a long and illustrious one – there will be people with questions to answer if it is not so.

PHOTOGRAPHS

If possible I always like to include some of my photographs in my blog posts, so here we are:

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When thinking about photographs to accompany this blog post I realised that although I have had this map for many years I have never previously photographed it.

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