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Thread: Is it fair to rate players based on their first class records ?

  1. #16
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Anyone who concludes that Test cricket is the only way to rate players and that the domestic First-Class game has little to no part to play - and that this is the case for all players throughout history - doesn't understand how the game has worked down the ages. There were times - and it isn't anywhere near so long ago as you might think - when some of the better First-Class cricket was superior to not a little Test cricket.

    Just because for the last ~20 years Test cricket has been the obvious and ultimate format of the game - and a player (exceptionally rare though these cases are) who succeeded at Test level and didn't do anywhere near so well at domestic FC level can have that near enough discounted - doesn't mean it's always been the way.

    Even in the 1960s and 1970s, some of the better domestic cricket was of a higher standard than Tests. Of course for any player until those of very recently, domestic FC cricket has a huge part to play in an assessment of how good or otherwise a player is - regardless of whether the player has had a decent shot at a Test career or not. To suggest otherwise is IMO foolhardy.
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  2. #17
    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    Excellent point Richard - if I hadn't done it 27 times before its at this point I'd trot out my usual homily on the subject of a certain English fast bowler from days gone by

  3. #18
    International Captain bagapath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Even in the 1960s and 1970s, some of the better domestic cricket was of a higher standard than Tests.
    can you explain this a bit, please?

    it is going to be a shock to the world if you manage to make a convincing argument that while lillee, gavaskar, sobers, g.chappell, roberts, barrington, bedi, chandra, prasanna, gibbs, lloyd, kanhai, i.chappell, knott, holding and underwood were winning accolades for what they were doing in tests, a higher standard of cricket was played in the first class arena.
    Last edited by bagapath; 23-12-2009 at 09:55 PM.

  4. #19
    International Vice-Captain Redbacks's Avatar
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    He never made that suggestion.

    Even now, a bowler taking a bag of wickets against a full strenght NSW batting line up would be facing a line up better than some test sides. It's just a lot less common for these type of circumstances to present themselves.


  5. #20
    Virat Kohli (c) Jono's Avatar
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    Which test sides?
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  6. #21
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    West Indies for a start; arguably Pakistan and Sri Lanka as well.

    And that's in today's age, when by-and-large Test excellence is paramount. In days gone by, things were far less straightforward.

  7. #22
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bagapath View Post
    can you explain this a bit, please?

    it is going to be a shock to the world if you manage to make a convincing argument that while lillee, gavaskar, sobers, g.chappell, roberts, barrington, bedi, chandra, prasanna, gibbs, lloyd, kanhai, i.chappell, knott, holding and underwood were winning accolades for what they were doing in tests, a higher standard of cricket was played in the first class arena.
    Quote Originally Posted by Redbacks View Post
    He never made that suggestion.
    Ind33d I did not. The likes of Sobers, Roberts, Greg Chappell etc. were all heavily in the business of conquering both Tests and the domestic First-Class arena - in most cases, in at least a couple of different countries. There is also, of course, the fact that cricket games which rightly have no status at all (most notably Packer games) are sometimes worthy of consideration when assessing a player's calibre.

    However you mention Barrington, a player who repeatedly struggles to get the accolades his Test record appears to merit. Well, no small part in his Test record not being regarded as the ultimate example of his excellence is the fact that his domestic FC average is so much lower. If Barrington had averaged 60 in First-Class cricket and 58 in Tests I've little doubt he'd be irrefutably considered by all as a serious contender for second best to Bradman.

  8. #23
    International Captain bagapath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard View Post
    Ind33d I did not. The likes of Sobers, Roberts, Greg Chappell etc. were all heavily in the business of conquering both Tests and the domestic First-Class arena - in most cases, in at least a couple of different countries. There is also, of course, the fact that cricket games which rightly have no status at all (most notably Packer games) are sometimes worthy of consideration when assessing a player's calibre.

    However you mention Barrington, a player who repeatedly struggles to get the accolades his Test record appears to merit. Well, no small part in his Test record not being regarded as the ultimate example of his excellence is the fact that his domestic FC average is so much lower. If Barrington had averaged 60 in First-Class cricket and 58 in Tests I've little doubt he'd be irrefutably considered by all as a serious contender for second best to Bradman.
    What??? boycott averaged 56 in FC and 47 in tests. he is not even considered second best to hobbs as an opener. he is seen to be inferior to gavaskar and greenidge as well. you say barrington would have been no.2 behind bradman if he had done better in FC cricket?? barrington is also known as borington. he was too slow, like boycott, to be considered part of world XIs, irrespective of good test records. dont confuse the issues here. and you are talking about one player when i have listed about 20 in my post. they all competed against each other in tests and earned their reputation. FC cricket in England or Aus or anywhere else was nothing compared to that except in pre WW1 England when the best cricket in the world was probably played there.

    The super tests or the ROW tests are FC only by name. they were essentially invitational teams featuring the best international cricketers hence they were of highest quality, almost as good as tests. that is not true of any FC cricket outside the packer series or the ROW vs Aus series. These were an exception that by possessing test players they essentially became test quality teams, just like packer ravaged test teams were less in class compared to regular test teams. in fact, the supertest teams and packer ravaged official test teams were essentially what they were otherwise in normal circumstances; test quality teams and first class teams with roles reversed. using that example to say FC deserves the same respect as test cricket is not on.
    Last edited by bagapath; 24-12-2009 at 06:33 AM.

  9. #24
    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure the WSC matches are not regarded as first class although, perversely, I believe the rebel tours to South Africa are - the other way round I could understand but that's plain wrong

  10. #25
    International Captain bagapath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredfertang View Post
    I'm pretty sure the WSC matches are not regarded as first class
    they are as far as i know

  11. #26
    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    cricketarchive doesn't include them as first class - although I can't find a definitive statement to that effect

  12. #27
    Englishman BoyBrumby's Avatar
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    On the first class/not first class theme, is the SA/India "test" that lost test status when (IIRC) Mike Denness was rejected by both teams as referee considered FC?
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  13. #28
    International Captain bagapath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoyBrumby View Post
    On the first class/not first class theme, is the SA/India "test" that lost test status when (IIRC) Mike Denness was rejected by both teams as referee considered FC?
    yeah it is

  14. #29
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredfertang View Post
    I'm pretty sure the WSC matches are not regarded as first class although, perversely, I believe the rebel tours to South Africa are - the other way round I could understand but that's plain wrong
    Quote Originally Posted by bagapath View Post
    they are as far as i know
    Quote Originally Posted by fredfertang View Post
    cricketarchive doesn't include them as first class - although I can't find a definitive statement to that effect
    WSC matches are categorically not First-Class, nor have they ever been regarded as such, nor should they ever be so. They were organised with the specific aim of disrupting real cricket and should never, ever be recognised as anything other than totally unofficial.

    Personally I don't have a problem with SA Rebel tour games being FC, and think the ICC's belated decision to rule some of them not so was pretty stupid and completely pointless. Outlawing them from the Test arena was fair enough but First-Class cricket is a different matter.

  15. #30
    Cricket Web Staff Member Richard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bagapath View Post
    What??? boycott averaged 56 in FC and 47 in tests. he is not even considered second best to hobbs as an opener. he is seen to be inferior to gavaskar and greenidge as well. you say barrington would have been no.2 behind bradman if he had done better in FC cricket??
    I said nothing of the sort, so stop reading what you'd like to have been written and read what was written. The idea that Gordon Greenidge was better than Boycott is debateable at best, nonsense at worst BTW.
    barrington is also known as borington. he was too slow, like boycott, to be considered part of world XIs, irrespective of good test records. dont confuse the issues here.
    That's nonsense. Most people don't care less whether players are boring when they consider how good they were - all that matters is... well, how good they were. Hobbs (and Sutcliffe, and Hutton) was better than Boycott not because he was more interesting but because he was better.
    and you are talking about one player when i have listed about 20 in my post. they all competed against each other in tests and earned their reputation.
    They also earned their reputations in the domestic game. Had they done lesser there - which was never going to happen BTW - their reps would've suffered accordingly. The point is not about any one player but that most players who perform at Test level have also tended to perform at domestic FC level - and the odd example who has not done suffers for it.
    FC cricket in England or Aus or anywhere else was nothing compared to that except in pre WW1 England when the best cricket in the world was probably played there. The super tests or the ROW tests are FC only by name. they were essentially invitational teams featuring the best international cricketers hence they were of highest quality, almost as good as tests. that is not true of any FC cricket outside the packer series or the ROW vs Aus series.
    I'm sorry, but to say that is historically ignorant, nothing more. The idea that Surrey v Yorkshire (or in fact Yorkshire v several other counties) was of a lower standard than for instance West Indies v India would've been in, say, 1935, is plain wrong. There are many other examples. For some, a tourist fixture against Yorkshire in 1935 would've been barely lesser than a Test against England, and certainly greater than a Test against South Africa.

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