With the Post World War 2 XI's selection in its final stages, I want to turn our attention to one question which, as a child growing up in 80s, I used to hear all the time.
Who is the greatest all-rounder of all time?
The answers used to range from sobers to miller to botham to imran. having followed the sobers vs kallis thread i know it is not going to be any easier to answer the question 25 years later. Here is what I propose as a new thread to discuss this.
We will divide cricket history into six eras: 1877 - 1900, 1900-1911, 1919-1939, 1945 - 1975, 1976-1995, 1996 -2009. To start with, we will set minimum cut off marks for wickets taken and runs scored which will differ from era to era depending on the amount of cricket played. Then, we will look at each era's overall batting and bowling averages and divide the candidates into four broad categories.
1. All-rounders: batting and bowling avg not worse than 3 runs from the era's overall averages
2. Batting all-rounder: batting avg same as above but bowl avg between 3 and 8 runs more than era's overall avg
3. Bowling all-rounder: bowling avg not more than 3 runs from era's avg but batting avg between 3 and 8 runs less than era's avg.
4. Wicket keeping all-rounder: batt avg not less than 3 runs from era's overall avg plus a min no of dismissals as keeper.
We can ad wild card entries whenever we want. this can happen when players' careers are split between eras or even when some players dont meet the requirements statistically but have overwhelming support of the forum members. We will also throw in a requirement of minimum no of 50+ scores and 4 wicket hauls to reduce the playing field if it gets too big.
I want to conduct a series of polls choosing one or two winners from each era and have a grand finale. The aim is to rank the top 10 all-rounders of all time at the end of the thread.