Sir Alf Ramsey is highly regarded in England. He led the England football team to World Cup glory in 1966. The FA sacked him in 1973 shortly after his side failed to qualify for the 1974 World Cup. Sir Clive Woodward is pretty famous as well; he led the Rugby team to a monumental triumph on the world stage in 2003. He then oversaw the beginning of a dramatic decline in the England side, before resigning in September 2004 and taking control of a disastrous British Lions tour. How about another? Linford Christie, you might have heard him, ruled the 100 metre sprint world from 1992 until 1994. His international career ended in disqualification at the 1996 Olympics for two false starts in a race he would probably have finished 6th or 7th in. And he went on to fail a drugs test when running as a retired athlete at an indoor meeting a few years later. The English don’t do “going out on a high”, it’s not for us. Sadly, alongside Ramsey, Woodward and Christie (and countless others) you can place Michael Vaughan, former England captain.
For the past forty years the English county game has welcomed players from all over the globe.
During this time county cricket has had an era of glory from the sixties to the start of the nineties, when it could boast talents such as the three Sirs – Viv Richards, Garfield Sobers and Richard Hadlee, as well as many more. More recently however county cricket has begun to flounder.
Ratings systems suffer from exclusivity – they rank either batting or bowling (sometimes all-rounders), but never everything together. This means we can’t compare a great batting performance with a great bowling performance. The ICC Test Player Ratings system is interesting because you can search not only the best ever but also any given date in Test cricket history. However, that rating system is limited in that you can only search on batting, or bowling, but not both together.