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Thread: "Greatest Ever" Lists - A Modern Evolution

  1. #1
    Cricketer Of The Year The Sean's Avatar
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    "Greatest Ever" Lists - A Modern Evolution

    As we are now on the eve of the top 10 for the latest iteration the CW50, I thought it might be interesting to look at some of the better-known rankings of the past 15 years to assess how such lists have (or haven't) evolved, and to see how CW's opinions compare with the wider cricketing world.

    First up - in 1997, John Woodcock conducted an exercise for The Times where he ranked his top 100 cricketers. The top 10 was:

    1. WG Grace
    2. Don Bradman
    3. Garry Sobers
    4. Alfred Mynn
    5. Jack Hobbs
    6. Sydney Barnes
    7. Walter Hammond
    8. Viv Richards
    9. Ian Botham
    10. Denis Compton

    Hutton and Woolley were his 11 and 12, meaning that nine of Woodcock's top dozen were Englishmen. Make of that what you will.
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    Cricketer Of The Year The Sean's Avatar
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    At the turn of the century, Wisden asked 100 eminent cricketing people to nominate their Five Cricketers of the 20th Century. After collating the votes, the top 10 was:

    1. Don Bradman
    2. Garry Sobers
    3. Jack Hobbs
    4. Shane Warne
    5. Viv Richards
    6= Dennis Lillee
    6= Frank Worrell
    8. Walter Hammond
    9. Denis Compton
    10= Imran Khan
    10= Richard Hadlee

  3. #3
    Cricketer Of The Year The Sean's Avatar
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    Not long after, in 2001, ESPN commissioned a panel of experts and former players to nominate their 50 greatest players of all time as part of its Legends of Cricket series. The top 10 was:

    1. Don Bradman
    2. Garry Sobers
    3. Viv Richards
    4. Shane Warne
    5. Jack Hobbs
    6. Dennis Lillee
    7. Sachin Tendulkar
    8. Imran Khan
    9. Walter Hammond
    10. Sunil Gavaskar

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    Cricketer Of The Year The Sean's Avatar
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    In 2006, Geoff Armstrong produced a book ranking the 100 Greatest Cricketers, interestingly split into nine teams of XI, plus a 100th man. His goal was to balance out the rankings will all the types of cricketers who make up a team, particularly wicketkeepers who are generally overlooked in such exercises. His First XI was ranked thus:

    1. Don Bradman
    2. WG Grace
    3. Garry Sobers
    4. Shane Warne
    5. Imran Khan
    6. Jack Hobbs
    7. Malcolm Marshall
    8. Sachin Tendulkar
    9. Sydney Barnes
    10. Adam Gilchrist
    11. Graeme Pollock


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    Cricketer Of The Year The Sean's Avatar
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    In 2009, the doyen of modern English cricket writers Christopher Martin-Jenkins wrote a book ranking his Top 100 cricketers, the CMJ100. His top 10 was:

    1. Don Bradman
    2. WG Grace
    3. Garry Sobers
    4. Shane Warne
    5. Jack Hobbs
    6. Sachin Tendulkar
    7. Sydney Barnes
    8. Walter Hammond
    9. Viv Richards
    10. Adam Gilchrist

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    Cricketer Of The Year The Sean's Avatar
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    Finally, also in 2009 CricketWeb conducted its first iteration of the CW50. Our top ten was:

    1. Don Bradman
    2. Garry Sobers
    3. WG Grace
    4. Shane Warne
    5. Jack Hobbs
    6. Sachin Tendulkar
    7. Imran Khan
    8. Viv Richards
    9. Malcolm Marshall
    10. Richard Hadlee

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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend smalishah84's Avatar
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    interesting point The Sean.....there does seem to be a modern bias creeping in I suppose
    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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    Cricketer Of The Year The Sean's Avatar
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    What leaps out is that, despite the huge quantity and diversity of cricketers through history, the same few are consistently perceived to have risen above all others. While only three players (Bradman, Sobers and Hobbs) appear on every one of the lists above, there are numerous others - Grace, Barnes, Hammond, Imran, Richards, Tendulkar and Warne - who appear on nearly all of them and who seem universally acknowledged by the wider cricketing world to be just that bit greater than the rest.

    The similarity in these selections isn't particularly surprising, given they were all formed over a 12 year period and it is natural that perceptions wouldn't have changed too much over a relatively short period of time. Our new CW ranking won't differ greatly from those above - again, understandably - but we will have one brand new entrant into the Top 10 who doesn't feature in any previous list. And IMO his entry into such exclusive company is well deserved.

    And so ends my attempt to break the record for the most consecutive posts that only I care about.

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    International Vice-Captain kyear2's Avatar
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    Great effort. There always seem to be a batsman bias, even though it is bowlers who win matches.
    Aus. XI
    Simpson^ | Hayden | Bradman | Chappell^ | Ponting | Border* | Gilchrist+ | Davidson3 | Warne4^ | Lillee1 | McGrath2


    W.I. XI
    Greenidge | Hunte | Richards^ | Headley* | Lara^ | Sobers5^ | Walcott+ | Marshall1 | Ambrose2 | Holding3 | Garner4

    S.A. XI
    Richards^ | Smith*^ | Amla | Pollock | Kallis5^ | Nourse | Cameron+ | Procter3 | Steyn1 | Tayfield4 | Donald2

    Eng. XI
    Hobbs | Hutton*^ | Hammond^ | Compton | Barrington | Botham5^ | Knott | Trueman1 | Laker4 | Larwood2 | Barnes3

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    International Debutant salman85's Avatar
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    Woodcock's list is a joke.

    The other lists hold merit,and include Cricketers who truly deserve to be considered among the top 10 of all time.From these lists however,the only name that i think doesn't deserve to be in a top 10 list is Gavaskar.

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    U19 12th Man unam's Avatar
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    one think I still don't understand is why was Shane Warne rated so highly in late 90s and early 00s. he was chosen above players like Imran Khan and Richard Hadlee etc.
    Last edited by unam; 06-04-2012 at 12:29 PM.

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    International Coach Ikki's Avatar
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    Because spinners like him are incredibly rare. They're on par with the great bowlers of their time (slightly more expensive and not as fast strikers) but who can bowl all day and on any surface. Warne, even further, was an incredible matchwinner and rose to the occasion a lot on his career. It's probably why he regularly overshadowed McGrath; even if the latter ended up with better figures.
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    Cricketer Of The Year Agent Nationaux's Avatar
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    I never understand why people rate WG Grace so highly as a cricketer. No one alive has seen him play and his statistics aren't the greatest like Bradman or Sobers.

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    U19 12th Man unam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ikki View Post
    Because spinners like him are incredibly rare. They're on par with the great bowlers of their time (slightly more expensive and not as fast strikers) but who can bowl all day and on any surface. Warne, even further, was an incredible matchwinner and rose to the occasion a lot on his career. It's probably why he regularly overshadowed McGrath; even if the latter ended up with better figures.
    why not Murli? and in 2000 his career was only half done, I know he won Australia 99 WC semi final and Final but that doesn't automatically make him top 5 cricketers of the century.

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    U19 12th Man unam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Nationaux View Post
    I never understand why people rate WG Grace so highly as a cricketer. No one alive has seen him play and his statistics aren't the greatest like Bradman or Sobers.
    agree with that ^^^^

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