Cricket Player Manager
Page 1 of 17 12311 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 255

Thread: The Ten Best Cricketers Of All Time

  1. #1
    State Vice-Captain Francis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    WELLYWOOD
    Posts
    1,040

    The Ten Best Cricketers Of All Time

    Hopefully this thread can exist without getting out of control. This is definitely a contentious issue where there were be posters completely opposed to some of the selections. But it'll be interesting to get everybody's point of view I think.

    The Ten Best Cricketers Of All Time

    Firstly I want to explain different levels I see cricketers on. Bradman is on a level by himself and Sobers is below him on a level by himself. After that, I feel perfectly fine with my selections from three to eight, but not in their order. They could be ordered in any manner. My number #9 and #10 selections were selected from a pile of 15 cricketers who could have made the list...but in the end I was happy with my selections.

    Doing this made me think about a few players who were stiff to miss out. The ones who I really wanted in were Lara, Marshall, Hadlee, Hammond and Gavaskar...

    10. Keith Miller
    The people who could have taken my 10th spot? Sunil Gavaskar, Richards Hadlee, Malcolm Marshall, Wally Hammond, Ian Botham, Graeme Pollock, Glenn McGrath, Wasim Akram, Greg Chappell, George Headley and Brian Lara. There's a few more, but those guys had the strongest cases. Why did I choose Miller? Firstly all-rounders are soo valuable in that their contributions go well beyond their stats. Keith Miller is arguably the most rounded of all the all-rounders in the game. By that I mean Gary Sobers was a far better batsman than he was a bowler, while Imran, Hadlee and Dev were better bowlers than they were batsmen. Only Botham strikes me as being as likely to make an equal contribution with bat and ball... and of course Miller may have been slightly better with the ball than bat. But his figures (and I'm not a stats man) suggest he's not far behind the best bowling all rounders. Miller was an incredibly fast opening bowler with a fine strike-rate and average... I don't think he as good as bowler as Imran, Imran is clearly better than him there, as is Hadlee. But Miller's batting was much better than Hadlee's, and I think better than Imran's. How do I know Miller made contributions with both bat and ball? Before Flintoff in the 2005 Ashes, Miller was the only cricketer in history to make over 400 runs and take 20 wickets in one series. That's phenominal. He sounds like a brilliant natural athelete, who even played Australian Rules Football I hear. In one respect I think he's the George Best of cricket in his natural ability, and his aura on the field as a superstar.

    We know for a fact Miller was more inclined to make a contribution with bat and ball in the same game than Hadlee, who was better bowler than batter. From stories I've heard of Miller, he also had the ability to take wickets and make runs when most needed. I think of him like I do Flintoff in the 2005 Ashes, his contributions were immense, but when he took the wickets was always more important. That people talked about his bowling in the same sentence as Ray Lindwall says something of his talent. The only knock against Miller was that everybody felt he could have been better than he was. He was sometimes inclined to throw away his wicket with a rash shot etc. He played cricket for the fun of it, and although he could have been better, you have to respect that.

    9. Muttiah Muralitharan
    It could have been any one of 15 names in my 9th and 10th spots. I chose Murali because he's such a freak and he's still going. I tend not to talk about Murali much these days because any discussion weighing-up his greatness tends to bring up certain arguments. So it's difficult to put him at number #9 and yet not fully explaining it, because if I do fully explain why he's not higher or lower, it'll just open up a can of worms. Anyway, of all the people who could have taken my number #9 spot, I feel most comfortable with Murali. I considered Lara, especially since Lara had his measure of Murali. But that means little compared to Murali's overall achievements. What's scary is that he's still great, and could command a higher spot on my list one day. Who knows how high he'll climb?

    The only thing that makes me feel iffy about putting Murali in my top 10 is Malcolm Marshall. For some reason I don't like having Murali in my top 10 and not Malcolm Marshall. Marshall is stiff to miss out.

    8. Sachin Tendulkar
    Sad how people are starting to forget his greatness. He doesn't deserve the criticism he gets. At his best in 1998, I remember a one day series against Australia (I think it was in 1998) and they never got him out until one game, and in that one game he took 5 wickets I think. He was just unstoppable. It's easy to understand why he was called "the second best after Bradman" in those days. They say Bradman was soo difficult because you could bowl slightly full and he'd drive you, and then you'd slightly bowl shorter, only just, and then he'd play a back-foot stroke. Tendulkar did that to McGrath back then... he put McGrath's most immaculate deliveries for four. In hindsight I don't really know what happened to him. He'd do the absolute impossible in some games... these days it's not hard for a bowler to have a measure of him. Still, at his best he was just unstoppable.

    7. Imran Khan
    I think Imran is a little overrated here at CW. Why? Take Ian Botham as an example. Beefy was, for anybody who saw him, a much greater cricketer than his stats show. Why? He might take 3-80, not great figures, but certainly a good contribution, and then make a 60 in one innings and then fail in another. But the point is that he made a sustainable contribution with both bat and ball in a lot of games. Imran was a better batsman at the start of his career than a bowler, and hence most of of his great batting contributions came at the start of his career. By the early 80s he was at the height of his powers and his 1982 season was just sensational. But I don't think he ever hit the balance of batting and bowling as often as Beefy. I don't recall him making a century in one game and taking a fiver, which he probably did once or twice. But while Beefy was more likely was make an all-round contribution in one game, Imran might only make one kind of contribution. That's not a great knock on Imran because his bowling was infinitely better than Beefy's, and his batting probably only a shade behind his. I do think his bowling is overrated due to the fact that he never shouldered a massive bowling responsibility for a lot of his career. Clearly in 1982 he did, and there were periods where he carried his team in the bowling, but he averaged around four wickets a test I think, which isn't a massive load. I think once he became captain he used himself a little less.

    I feel horrid saying all that about Imran, after all he is my number seven pick and can only be a genius to be placed so high. But my points are that:

    1. He didn't always shoulder a great bowling responsibility. Of course he did at one point and he did it as well as anybody, but not always did he have such a large responsibility.
    2. Either bowled or batted well, but not always together in one game like Beefy. Though of course he did have games where he did both exceptionally well, just not as often as you'd think.

    I'd like to say a few nice things about Imran now:

    1. Best captain of all time and that only adds to his greatness
    2. A freakish bowler at his best, one of the best ever
    3. Most of all, in an era where great all rounders could be found in many places, Hadlee, Botham and Dev have all said, I believe, that Imran was the best. While his stats maybe exaggerate his greatness, I don't think many would deny he had a little something over the rest of the all-rounders in way of flair.

    6. Dennis Lillee
    I don't particularly want to go into Lillee again since I'm burnt out from arguing how great he is. All I'll say is what I've always said, ask the best (both batsmen and bowlers) from the 70s and 80s who the best bowler ever was, and most unhesitatingly say Lillee.

    5. Sir Jack Hobbs
    The stories of the horrid nature of wickets he had to bat on are incredible. People may not like this choice since he's a golden oldey, and perhaps didn't face the best attacks. But I think it's impossible for someone to make the runs he did, one some of the worst pitches of all time (where the ball might not bounce more than a few inches) and make a century.

    4. Sir Vivian Richards
    Aside from being one of the great entertainers of all time, Viv was the man who stole games from teams. Does anybody remember Adam Gilchrist when Australia was 5-200, and he'd come in and blast an attack and all of a sudden Australia were past 400. That's the closest you can get to Viv after he retired. West Indies could be 3-30, but he'd come in and demolish attacks and not a bit of panic. Only he did it far far more often than Gilchrist, to such an extent that his commanding presence became the defining attribute of the West Indies greatness. Probably the best thing I can say about Viv is that 80s team was probably the best team ever, and his propensity to destroy attacks was, for me anyway, the defining feature of their greatness. He was more important to their success than anybody. You couldn't stop the Windies if you couldn't stop Viv from stealing the game from you. He was the most important person in their team. Saying that reminds me of the absolute joy and relief of the Australians when Dennis Lillee bowled him out in 1981. They knew the game had changed! A bit like Tendulkar, his lack of incredibly high scores sort of belies his greatness when you look at stats. But a Viv Richards century was all it took to win a game and to do so was an immense dominance.

    3. Shane Warne
    This selection will surely anger a few people here, while a few will agree with me. I picked Warne because like Pele and Maradonna, he left us such a potent memory of greatness. Someone once said to be, "it's unfair to say Warne is greater than others based on his team's success, because he was apart of a great team". But the memories I have of Warne are of him metamorphesising into an unstoppable force whenever Australia's dominance was challenged. In the 1999 world cup semi final, Australia were gone, completely dead and dejected. He changed that game. In the 2005 Ashes it was a miracle that he nearly salvaged the series for Australia when the rest of the bowlers were going for a run a ball. In Sri Lanka 2004 Australia wouldn't have come close without him. I have little doubt had Warne played for South Africa or Sri Lanka, they would have an extra world cup, or a famous historic test series win etc. Warne was like that, he became irresistable as a bowler when his team was down. You can argue there have been some better than him, but Warne, in my opinion, became some incredible force of will when the moment needed a genius, and he'd redeem Australia with his force of will. I like it how people say he had a script writer, because he etched himself into Australia's most vital wins when they had no right to win. When he became that irresistable force, he was a champion unlike any bowler I've seen.

    2. Sir Garfield Sobers
    I enjoyed what Richie Benaud said when he mentioned that when Wisdon picked the 5 best players of the century, Bradman got all 100 votes, Sobers 90, and then it was Hobbs at 30. That sounds about right to me as well.

    1. Sir Donald Bradman
    Needs no explanation.

  2. #2
    The Wheel is Forever silentstriker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    37,965
    Very good list. I disagree with a couple plessings of course, but can't really argue.
    Quote Originally Posted by KungFu_Kallis View Post
    Peter Siddle top scores in both innings....... Matthew Wade gets out twice in one ball
    "The future light cone of the next Indian fast bowler is exactly the same as the past light cone of the previous one"
    -My beliefs summarized in words much more eloquent than I could come up with

    How the Universe came from nothing

  3. #3
    State Vice-Captain Francis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    WELLYWOOD
    Posts
    1,040
    I feel like doing a quick follow up... firstly, Miller vs. Hadlee...

    Firstly, like I said, I felt bad not putting Hadlee in the top ten and he's aweful unlucky not to be in there. Needless to say, he and Miller are close and I wont blink if anybody says Hadlee was better. I'd like to outline why I had Miller in there...

    1. He was a better batsman
    2. Made all-round contributions more often. Hadlee, great we he was, could never make over 400 runs in a 5 test series like Miller.

    Some people might argue that Hadlee carried New Zealand more than Miller did Australia. I agree but he didn't do it much more than Miller. Miller was part of the invincibles of course, but after that tour he and Niel Harvey were head and shoulders above a lot of the Australian team. I forget when Lindwall retired... but yeah, Miller was integral to Australia for most of the 50s.

    Hadlee has a few things over Miller

    1. He was a better bowler
    2. He shouldered a far great bowling responsibility too

    And for these reasons there is a microscopic difference between them. But it's just Miller for me because:

    1. I personally believe all-round contributions, if substanitial enough, are more important than brilliant bowling contributions. By that I mean, 3-100 and a century means more to me than a bowler taking five or six.

    I might do Murali vs. Marshall next... since that was a contentious area as well.

    ----------------------------

    Very good list. I disagree with a couple plessings of course, but can't really argue.
    Thanks lad. I think it was Matt who said it best when he said, "it's good that we can have different opinions, and they all make sense". Nobody will agree exactly with my placings, but hopefully they'll see the logic behind them, which is all that matters. It's when people can't see the logic that threads tend to get weirdly emotional around here.

    Forgot to say I'd certainly like everybody to make their own list. I'm looking at you silentstriker!
    Last edited by Francis; 23-05-2007 at 01:09 PM.

  4. #4
    Global Moderator Fusion's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    11,602
    Quote Originally Posted by Francis View Post
    Thanks lad. I think it was Matt who said it best when he said, "it's good that we can have different opinions, and they all make sense". Nobody will agree exactly with my placings, but hopefully they'll see the logic behind them, which is all that matters. It's when people can't see the logic that threads tend to get weirdly emotional around here.
    I always enjoy reading your posts of this nature. You present your arguments in a very logical and clear manner. I may not agree with all of your list, but like SS said, it's a good list.


  5. #5
    International Vice-Captain open365's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    liverpool
    Posts
    4,066
    I wouldn't have Warne so high, he's massively over rated for mine.

  6. #6
    State Vice-Captain Francis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    WELLYWOOD
    Posts
    1,040
    I'll get to Marshall vs. Murali some other time. While I have the time, I'll mention how hard it was not to put Brian Lara in there. I'll fully admit it! I have completely underrated Lara in the past and he's gone unappreciated by me. In recent years I've sort of come around to acknowledge his rightful place as being mentioned as one of the best West Indian batsmaen ever. Time was I'd never have him close to Viv Richards. These days he is close. While I feel fine with my selection three to eight (though not in their order), don't think, in terms of greatness, in players aren't close. Based on one criteria or another, if I ranked the top 20 best cricketers ever, the 20th cricketer is probably only a shade behind the people in my 3-8 range.

    The reason Lara didn't make my list? Well I don't want to start something up here, but I personally think Tendulkar is better than Lara. Not by a lot obviously, but there is a clear (though tiny) margin of difference in my mind. Having Lara at 9 and Tendulkar at 8 sort of felt wrong to me. That might sound stupid, but when I'm decided on who's better, I think the margin should maybe be three or four places, not one or two places. Whereas, for example, I'm not convinced Hobbs was better than Imran, I just lean towards Hobbs slightly, so they're only separated by two places. So any undecision means players will be close. Any clarity means there might be a slightly larger distance between them.

    So that was my reasoning for Lara... but I have to say, he's awefully unlucky not to be in the list. It feels wrong. I think it's OK to say Sobers, Richards and Lara rank as the three best West Indian batsmen ever, and I now put Lara in the same sentence as Richards. For that reason and more, it's impossible for me not to feel bad omitting him from my list.

    ----------------------------

    I wouldn't have Warne so high, he's massively over rated for mine.
    I think a lot of people will agree with you, and I'm anticipating at least one poster to give me some sort of backlash for putting him so high. Placing Warne is very contentious. A few things I kept in mind:

    1. At his best, which in my opinion was 1994, he played in a team where the bowling wasn't that great. People think it was great, but McGrath didn't flourish until 1995. You would never imagine, at the time, Glenn McGrath would turn out the way he did. Craig McDermott battled injuries and losses of form. And whomever else was in the team, it may have been Paul Riefel, was a pretty pedestrian bowler. Warne took 71 wickets in 8 tests that year. That's 71 out of a potential 160! However, a bowler taking a lot of wickets when there isn't much competition isn't anything new. But Warne had a strike-rate of around 42 balls per wicket, which is just freaky. I think a lot of people underestimate how single handedly Warne carried the bowling for Australia around 1993-1994. I have vivid memories of Warne being the only difference between victory and defeat for Australia in many ODI's in 1995 as well.

    2. I can't shrug off the fact that 99% of the time, Warne delivered when other greats didn't. I don't want to make comparisons with other greats... but I just can't see the greats of the 90s and 00s taking a team as beaten as Australia were in the 1999 world cup semi final, and taking them to victory. It's as if history calls to Warne and tells him to do something memorable. I perhaps use that semi final as an example far too much, Warne has other times when he's saved Australia... forgotten times. I remember in 2004, McGrath was floundering in Sri Lanka and Australia, in all three Tests against Sri Lanka, were behind after both teams had batted in the first innings. This was Warne's comeback and each time in the second innnings he dig deep a little more. Australia won that series 3-0 despite being behind in all three games. Warne just had to perform on his comeback, history would ask no less of him.

    OK I'll make one comparison. Glenn McGrath, great as he is, IMO, couldn't redeem Australia in that 1999 semi final. He couldn't redeem them in Sri Lanka. He couldn't redeem them in the 2005 Ashes (though that may be unfair since he struggled for fitness). Not to say he didn't win Australia an absolute hoard of matches... but a truly great comeback that defends the Aussie reputation is something I don't recall seeing in the McGrath legacy. At Australia's most vital moments, the moments history remembers, Warne did it for Australia. I used McGrath as an example for comparison. But I honestly have never seen any other cricketer, be it a batsman or bowler, in my entire life, who could rise to the occasion.

    I mean I think of him the same way I think of Maradonna scoring that goal in 1986... in fact they're very similar in that they were both controversial (both were banned for taking illegal drugs), but both left memories of greatness on the highest stage. Thierry Henry was the best football player in the world for quite a while IMO. I have never seen a finisher like him! But he hasn't quite performed to his highest standard at say the world cup. On the greatest stage of them all, when a hero was needed, Warne was there to redeem Australia.

    Like I said, I have little doubt if Warne played for any other team, they would have enjoyed some kind of monumental success. They wouldn't have enjoyed close to the success Australia did, but something of great significance would have happened to them because Warne's the only champion who could rise to the impossible occasion. I think Brian Lara's heroics in 1999 against Australia are the closest any modern cricketer has come to completely redeeming his country with a force of will. Yet another reason why Lara was hard done by not to make my list.

    I'm not arguing your stance, just further explaining why Warne was there in my top 3. Certainly he was placed at a contentious spot where, say, Imran Khan wouldn't look out of place... but to me, he is the Maradonna is cricket - controversial, brilliant, and commanding like nobody else when needed the most. Of course he had his moments of mediocrity, but all cricketers do.
    Last edited by Francis; 23-05-2007 at 01:07 PM.

  7. #7
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Whangaparaoa, Auckland
    Posts
    10,872
    Hadlee > Miller imo

  8. #8
    Banned
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    England
    Posts
    8
    Quote Originally Posted by open365 View Post
    I wouldn't have Warne so high, he's massively over rated for mine.
    You sir, are a Tool

  9. #9
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Whangaparaoa, Auckland
    Posts
    10,872
    Quote Originally Posted by DireWindies View Post
    You sir, are a Tool
    You sir, are a Trool

  10. #10
    Cricket Web Staff Member archie mac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    canberra Australia
    Posts
    10,747
    Well thought out thread, I thought SF Barnes and Bill O'Reilly unlucky to miss out
    You know it makes sense.

  11. #11
    International Captain thierry henry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Posts
    5,305
    Same old same old imo

  12. #12
    Cricket Web Staff Member archie mac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    canberra Australia
    Posts
    10,747
    Quote Originally Posted by thierry henry View Post
    Same old same old imo
    Does that surprise you?

  13. #13
    Englishman BoyBrumby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Gone too soon
    Posts
    45,403
    Well argued cases for all, but you can't realistically leave out WG tho, can you? Obviously cricket as he played it was a very different animal than today's beast, but his stats are so far ahead of his contemporaries I think one can reasonably say he's worthy of inclusion.
    Cricket Web's 2013/14 Premier League Tipping Champion

    - As featured in The Independent.

    "I don't believe a word of Pietersen's book, but then I don't believe a word anyone else has said either."
    - Simon Barnes renders further comment on KP's autobiography superfluous in a sentence

  14. #14
    Cricket Web Staff Member archie mac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    canberra Australia
    Posts
    10,747
    Quote Originally Posted by BoyBrumby View Post
    Well argued cases for all, but you can't realistically leave out WG tho, can you? Obviously cricket as he played it was a very different animal than today's beast, but his stats are so far ahead of his contemporaries I think one can reasonably say he's worthy of inclusion.
    I thought he was going more by Test cricket, which would leave the Doc out

  15. #15
    International 12th Man
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    uk
    Posts
    1,709
    I would have WG Grace umber 2 behind Bradman and just ahead of Sobers. Anything after that is highly debatable, but IMHO those three are all nailed on.

Page 1 of 17 12311 ... LastLast


Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Overrated Cricketers//Underrated Cricketers
    By grant28 in forum Cricket Chat
    Replies: 48
    Last Post: 10-12-2006, 07:36 PM
  2. Highest paid cricketers?
    By silentstriker in forum Cricket Chat
    Replies: 57
    Last Post: 02-11-2006, 02:17 PM
  3. All time Best Goalkeepers
    By Pratters in forum 2006 Football World Cup - Germany
    Replies: 40
    Last Post: 09-05-2006, 03:59 PM
  4. British Summer Time
    By superkingdave in forum Site Discussion
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 16-04-2006, 05:56 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •