We've done this debate piecemeal in a few different threads, but there appears to be two distinct schools of thought on this subject:
1) that the qualities that make a player a champion in one era would allow them to adapt and be champions in any era, or
2) champions of the past were non-professionals competing against opposition drawn from smaller talent pools and would be smashed by today's players
Interested to know what people think? I've included a poll so we can get an indicative idea of how popular each view is.
For me its definitely the first idea - that a champion would adapt themselves. I think what makes a champion is their innate physical talent (which training can improve but not substitute), their mental discipline, and ability to sum up conditions, games, and opponents. I reckon these things are timeless, so if you plucked WG Grace into the 21st century, after giving him maybe a season to adjust, he'd be a worldbeater again. Alternatively, if you send Curtley Ambrose back to the 19th century (assuming he would be allowed to play given the racially exclusionary views that existed in some quarters at the time), he would also be a dominant bowler.