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Thread: 5 Most Influential Cricketers of All Time

  1. #1
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    5 Most Influential Cricketers of All Time

    Which cricketers as a result of their playing legacy, changed how the game or a certain aspect within the game was forever played/perceived?

    This is by no means a list of the 5 best performers of all time but rather of individuals that brought something to the game that had never been seen before. My list with reasons.


    1. Imran Khan

    The pioneer of reverse swing, or at least the man who first perfected the art and made it famous. Because of what he brought to the game, every single test match that is now aired on tv, has this phrase mentioned at least 3 times on the commentary. It has now become the most potent art in fast bowling, a game changer. Widely acknowledged as what brought the Ashes back to England for the first time in 19 years in 2005 to the extent that the Aussies even poached England's bowling coach.

    2. Adam Gilchrist

    Before him, every team had a keeper batsmen (Marsh, Knott, Dujon etc). After him every team now has a batsmen keeper (Sangakarra, Dhoni, Prior, De Villiers). Before him the position was viewed only for specialists who could keep to perfection. After him as long as you have a safe pair of hands, you're ok .It is now your batting that is assessed before you're considered worthy and keeping comes second. Not only do you have to be primarily a batsmen, you also have to be considered attacking (Dhoni, Maccullum, Prior, Akmal). What is expected form wicketkeepers has changed forever thanks to Gilchrist who redefined the role completely.

    3. Ian Chappell

    The team he captained was known as the ugly Australians. They are acknowledged as the first team that specialized in tactics of mental disintegration. The legacy Chappell left behind resulted in the coining of the term 'sledging' with the great Aussie team of the 90s and 00s having this as their trademark. Since then, sledging has become more widespread and now nearly all teams apart from the Kiwis use this tactic regularly and face offs between opposition players are to be expected every test series and is part of the reason why we tune into a tv sets so religiously.

    4. Saqlain Mushtaq

    The man who gave the world the 'Doosra', a ball that leg spins disguised as an off spinner. This was vital for off spinners at the time who needed there own variation to combat Warne and Kumble's googlies. This prompted many spinners to learn and perfect the Doosra (Muralitharan, Harbhajan, Ajmal) and the offspinners (who are the most common breed of spinner) are considered to have something extra if they possess this delivery. The Doosra also prompted other variations to be created such as the carrom ball (Mendis, Ashwin). I feel because of the success of Saqlain's doosra, new innovations (switch hit, Dil scoop, Morgan's reverse paddle) are not frowned upon in cricket, a sport that traditionally prided itself on orthodoxy.

    5. Virender Sehwag. Test openers were traditionally required to take the shine off the new ball and see the team through to lunch with steady starts, a run rate of 3.5 per over would suffice. However, with this man's arrival the definition of the role has changed and openers are now more prepared to free the arms and take their chances against the new ball and set up tests. A fantastic way to bring back time into test match. As this man's career has not ended, I feel his true contribution to cricket can not yet be measured. The changes have already started (Dilshan, McCullum moving up the order), but I'm sure in ten years time such openers will be common place.
    All Time Test XI:

    Openers: S.Gavaskar V.Sehwag Middle Order: V.Richards S.Tendulkar B.Lara All Rounders: G.Sobers I Khan (C) WK: A.Gilchrist Bowlers: W.Akram M.Marshall M.Muralitharan

    All Time ODI XI:

    WK: A.Gilchrist S.Tendulkar V.Richards R. Ponting M. Dhoni M. Bevan Allrounder: K.Dev Bowlers: W.Akram J. Garner M.Muralitharan G. McGrath

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    International Vice-Captain bagapath's Avatar
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    Well written. But disagree with most of the names and reasons.

    Armstrong and Benaud (whose careers were three decades apart) were the pioneers of the school of captaincy that ian chappell followed. Even jardine could be credited with influencing ian.

    Sarfraz Nawaz pioneered reverse swing; not imran. Imran has a case for being a top 5 cricketer of all time. But he did not invent this.

    Trumper did 100 years ago what sehwag is doing now. He was the first all out attacking opener whose spirit was inherited by greenidge, jayasuriya and sehwag in the last three decades.

    Flower was a batsman -wk before gilly. But walcott was one 50 years before them. And les ames 20 years even before him.
    In my books, the following 5 had the most profound influence on the way the game is played.

    Ranji - leg glance - no one had to place a fielder behind square leg until ranji started scoring runs in the area ignored by batters before his time.

    Bradman - inspired jardine to employ the leg trap/ bodyline that resulted in a change in law.

    Lillee -inspired lloyd to go for an all out pace attacked that dominated world cricket for 2 decades. This speeded up the introduction of helmets. And finally forced changes in bouncer laws as well.

    Sarfraz - reverse swing

    Saqlain - doosra

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    Request Your Custom Title Now! Spikey's Avatar
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    there's a fat english guy with a goofy beard who says hello

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    Kapil Dev. Put India on the map by winning the '83 world cup. If Sachin had not played cricket, we would have better fast bowlers in the team who would have wanted to bowl like him. We had Srinath in the early 90s but every one wanted to be Sachin after that.


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    Cricket Web Staff Member archie mac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spikey View Post
    there's a fat english guy with a goofy beard who says hello
    No.1

    The man who invented the Bosie

    The sister with the baloon skirt (Wilkes?)

    Jardine (they had to change the laws to stop his tactics)

    Ranji (agree with the leg glance, before Ranji a batsman apologised for hitting the ball on the leg side)

    My list is all Poms
    You know it makes sense.

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    State Vice-Captain akilana's Avatar
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    Murali

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    International Coach Zinzan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhillon28 View Post
    Which cricketers as a result of their playing legacy, changed how the game or a certain aspect within the game was forever played/perceived?

    This is by no means a list of the 5 best performers of all time but rather of individuals that brought something to the game that had never been seen before. My list with reasons.


    1. Imran Khan

    The pioneer of reverse swing, or at least the man who first perfected the art and made it famous. Because of what he brought to the game, every single test match that is now aired on tv, has this phrase mentioned at least 3 times on the commentary. It has now become the most potent art in fast bowling, a game changer. Widely acknowledged as what brought the Ashes back to England for the first time in 19 years in 2005 to the extent that the Aussies even poached England's bowling coach.

    2. Adam Gilchrist

    Before him, every team had a keeper batsmen (Marsh, Knott, Dujon etc). After him every team now has a batsmen keeper (Sangakarra, Dhoni, Prior, De Villiers). Before him the position was viewed only for specialists who could keep to perfection. After him as long as you have a safe pair of hands, you're ok .It is now your batting that is assessed before you're considered worthy and keeping comes second. Not only do you have to be primarily a batsmen, you also have to be considered attacking (Dhoni, Maccullum, Prior, Akmal). What is expected form wicketkeepers has changed forever thanks to Gilchrist who redefined the role completely.

    3. Ian Chappell

    The team he captained was known as the ugly Australians. They are acknowledged as the first team that specialized in tactics of mental disintegration. The legacy Chappell left behind resulted in the coining of the term 'sledging' with the great Aussie team of the 90s and 00s having this as their trademark. Since then, sledging has become more widespread and now nearly all teams apart from the Kiwis use this tactic regularly and face offs between opposition players are to be expected every test series and is part of the reason why we tune into a tv sets so religiously.

    4. Saqlain Mushtaq

    The man who gave the world the 'Doosra', a ball that leg spins disguised as an off spinner. This was vital for off spinners at the time who needed there own variation to combat Warne and Kumble's googlies. This prompted many spinners to learn and perfect the Doosra (Muralitharan, Harbhajan, Ajmal) and the offspinners (who are the most common breed of spinner) are considered to have something extra if they possess this delivery. The Doosra also prompted other variations to be created such as the carrom ball (Mendis, Ashwin). I feel because of the success of Saqlain's doosra, new innovations (switch hit, Dil scoop, Morgan's reverse paddle) are not frowned upon in cricket, a sport that traditionally prided itself on orthodoxy.

    5. Virender Sehwag. Test openers were traditionally required to take the shine off the new ball and see the team through to lunch with steady starts, a run rate of 3.5 per over would suffice. However, with this man's arrival the definition of the role has changed and openers are now more prepared to free the arms and take their chances against the new ball and set up tests. A fantastic way to bring back time into test match. As this man's career has not ended, I feel his true contribution to cricket can not yet be measured. The changes have already started (Dilshan, McCullum moving up the order), but I'm sure in ten years time such openers will be common place.
    You do realize a fair bit happened in cricket prior to the 1970s & 80s don't you. I'll need to contemplate this one for now. Also, agree with Bagapath, I'm not sure you're spot-on with most of those names & reasons anyway, especially Imran, Sehwag & Chappell
    Last edited by Zinzan; 12-02-2011 at 08:41 PM.

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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend smalishah84's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spikey View Post
    there's a fat english guy with a goofy beard who says hello
    And smalishah's avatar is the most classy one by far Jan certainly echoes the sentiments of CW

    Yeah we don't crap in the first world; most of us would actually have no idea what that was emanating from Ajmal's backside. Why isn't it roses and rainbows like what happens here? PEWS's retort to Ganeshran on Daemon's picture depicting Ajmal's excreta

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    International Captain Migara's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bagapath View Post
    Well written. But disagree with most of the names and reasons.

    Armstrong and Benaud (whose careers were three decades apart) were the pioneers of the school of captaincy that ian chappell followed. Even jardine could be credited with influencing ian.

    Sarfraz Nawaz pioneered reverse swing; not imran. Imran has a case for being a top 5 cricketer of all time. But he did not invent this.

    Trumper did 100 years ago what sehwag is doing now. He was the first all out attacking opener whose spirit was inherited by greenidge, jayasuriya and sehwag in the last three decades.

    Flower was a batsman -wk before gilly. But walcott was one 50 years before them. And les ames 20 years even before him.
    In my books, the following 5 had the most profound influence on the way the game is played.

    Ranji - leg glance - no one had to place a fielder behind square leg until ranji started scoring runs in the area ignored by batters before his time.

    Bradman - inspired jardine to employ the leg trap/ bodyline that resulted in a change in law.

    Lillee -inspired lloyd to go for an all out pace attacked that dominated world cricket for 2 decades. This speeded up the introduction of helmets. And finally forced changes in bouncer laws as well.

    Sarfraz - reverse swing

    Saqlain - doosra
    Possibly not. Erapali Prasanna seems to have bowled one. So did Jayananda Warnaweera, but his method may have been different.
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  10. #10
    International Captain Migara's Avatar
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    1. The good doctor - made the game a professinal one
    2. Bradman - his legacy continues
    3. Jardine - single handedly changed the rules of cricket
    4. Murali - we would have waited for another two decades to know that every bowler was a chucker under the old law if not for him.
    5. Cllive Lloyd - pioneered a four prong pace attack.

  11. #11
    Hall of Fame Member Smudge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spikey View Post
    there's a fat english guy with a goofy beard who says hello


    Didn't even know he played cricket, tbh.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Migara View Post
    1. The good doctor - made the game a professinal one
    2. Bradman - his legacy continues
    3. Jardine - single handedly changed the rules of cricket
    4. Murali - we would have waited for another two decades to know that every bowler was a chucker under the old law if not for him.
    5. Cllive Lloyd - pioneered a four prong pace attack.
    Didn;t Jardine employ an all-pace attack despite having the services of Hedley Verity?
    He did not last as a captain, nor did his key strike bowlers, but he definitely had the thought of an intimidating all-pace attack before Lloyd. In a couple of tests even his fifth bowling option - in the form of Hammond the all-rounder - was not a slow bowler. And some of the bruising that happened in the Bodyline series - was not due to leg theory bowling.

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    International Captain ankitj's Avatar
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    Apart from the ones already mentioned, it would be worth mentioning WG Grace (no one mentioned his name yet, only hints ), Frank Worrell (brought WI cricket together) and William Lillywhite (popularized overarm bowling)
    Last edited by ankitj; 13-02-2011 at 12:42 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vic_orthdox View Post
    In the end, I think it's so utterly, incomprehensibly boring. There is so much context behind each innings of cricket that dissecting statistics into these small samples is just worthless. No-one has ever been faced with the same situation in which they come out to bat as someone else. Ever.
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    Jadeja, whos omission from the team resulted in India winning the 2011 World Cup

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