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Thread: What is Greatness?

  1. #1
    International Vice-Captain watson's Avatar
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    What is Greatness?

    These paragraphs from Ashley Mallett's recent essay got me thinking about the idea of Greatness;

    Bradman never really understood Trumper's genius. He would ask the likes of Alan Kippax and Arthur Mailey why they thought so highly of him. "How can you speak so glowingly of a batsman who averaged 39?"

    Cardus saw both Trumper and Bradman at their best, but he maintained that you could not compare a batsman or a bowler purely on figures alone. Perhaps it was Cardus who could have best answered Bradman's question. "I am concerned with Trumper as an artist, not as a scorer of match-winning runs," he wrote. "You will no more get an idea of the quality of Trumper's batsmanship by adding up his runs than you will get an idea of the quality of Shelley's poetry by adding up the number of lines written by Shelley."

    It is now 98 years since Trumper was laid to rest. But his name lives on and will do so as long as the game of cricket is played. The cricketing gods loved Trumper above all others, for whenever he strode handsomely to the wicket the crowd rose as one to applaud and even the blades of grass seemed to bow respectfully in the wake of the great man's entrance, becoming a rolling sea of green, nature's own version of a Mexican wave.

    Ashley Mallett on Victor Trumper's death | Cricinfo Magazine | ESPN Cricinfo
    So what does it mean to be Great? Bradman seems concerned with averages, while Cardus compares great batsmanship to poetry. Headley and Worrell changed the way the cricketing community thought about race, and Tendulkar continues to inspire a nation. But then Grace and Ranji invented modern batting, Bosanquet gave us the googly, and there is a line of other cricketers who bought something new and exciting to the game.

    Greatness seems hard to define - but what is it to you?
    PRE WWI
    Grace-Trumper-Hill-Taylor-Ranjitsinhji-Faulkner-Noble-Lilley-Turner-Richardson-Barnes
    PRE WWII
    Hobbs-Sutcliffe-Bradman-Hammond-Headley-Macartney-Ames-Gregory-Larwood-O'Reilly-Grimmett
    POST WWII
    Hutton-Simpson-Kanhai-Pollock-Harvey-Sobers-Waite-Benaud-Davidson-Lindwall-Trueman
    PACKER ERA
    Gavaskar-Greenidge-Richards-Chappell-Lloyd-Botham-Imran-Knott-Lillee-Holding-Underwood
    MODERN ERA
    Hayden-Langer-Ponting-Tendulkar-Lara-Kallis-Gilchrist-Marshall-Warne-Ambrose-McGrath

  2. #2
    Cricket Web Staff Member Burgey's Avatar
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    I'm often asked this by lesser mortals trying to emulate me, but I never tell them. You cannot manufacture it. Those of us who are great dont go around telling everyone how we do it.

    If we did, our greatness would become ordinary because the mediocrity that is the rest of you would become imbued with it.

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    Virat Kohli (c) Jono's Avatar
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    The AFL is:


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    Virat Kohli (c) Jono's Avatar
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    Chris Judd is greatness and cannot be stopped:



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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend smalishah84's Avatar
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    those who know never ask and those who ask will never know.....
    honestbharani likes this.
    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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    Greatness..relentless pursuit to be No1 and stay there and not wanting to be No2 ever..Mallet's para of Don's and Cardus reaction reminds me of the great Bard's line/quote..Some are born great and some achieve greatness..I would say Trumper and Bradman were like that..Trumper had it in him..Bradman thru relentless practice achieved it..One more great example is Mark and Steve Waugh..Now it is upto the individual to go after it(relentless pursuit blah blah.....)
    Last edited by doesitmatter; 28-06-2013 at 11:38 PM.

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    State Captain Adders's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burgey View Post
    I'm often asked this by lesser mortals trying to emulate me, but I never tell them. You cannot manufacture it. Those of us who are great dont go around telling everyone how we do it.

    If we did, our greatness would become ordinary because the mediocrity that is the rest of you would become imbued with it.
    End the thread. Burgs has nailed it.........the definition of greatness is the ability to walk around with your head stuffed up your own arse.
    Monk and honestbharani like this.
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    International Vice-Captain bagapath's Avatar
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    Being better than most in what you choose to do
    Having the ability to elevate the overall standard of that chosen endeavour
    Being a source of inspiration to the contemporaries and the next generation through your deeds (and making the erstwhile greats concede that you are indeed one of them)
    Spreading hope and joy to the non-practicing followers of your art/profession
    By these, and any other, standards trumper is obviously a truly great cricketer. Why else would he be a point of discussion 100 years after he stopped playing?
    JBMAC likes this.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    Interesting question - the likes of Bradman, Hobbs and McGrath are undoubtedly great, and Mark Butcher, Bob Barber and Devon Malcolm undoubtedly aren't, but then there have been many greater performances on a cricket field than Butch's 173 at Headingley in 2001, Bob Barber's 185 at Sydney in 65/66 and Dev's 9-57 at the Oval against the Saffers


    ....... and what of Robin Friday? The greatest footballer you never saw, 'cept I did, and can confirm he was ****ing brilliant

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    Cricket Spectator samreddevilz's Avatar
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    hahahaha.... epic.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jono View Post
    The AFL is:


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    State Vice-Captain MrPrez's Avatar
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    Greatness is found in those who find routine in what most find to be unreachable.
    @CowsCorner - 202 followers and counting!

    Disclaimer: I am a biased South African. Anything I say is likely to have something in it that ultimately favours the Proteas.

  12. #12
    Englishman BoyBrumby's Avatar
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    "Greatness" for me is like what one looks for in a woman.

    It's bloody hard to define, but when one sees it there's an instant quack in one's DNA that recognises it.
    honestbharani likes this.
    - As featured in The Independent.

    "Predictably, the ending of his international career did not end the argument about Pietersen's merits, as an army of informed commentators and Piers Morgan weighed in to defend or attack him."
    - The Guardian's Andrew Anthony

  13. #13
    Cricketer Of The Year wpdavid's Avatar
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    'Great' is certainly an overused word nowadays. And, apart from a small number of performers who are unquestionably outstanding, it's pretty subjective one.

  14. #14
    International Regular Monk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoyBrumby View Post
    "Greatness" for me is like what one looks for in a woman.

    It's bloody hard to define, but when one sees it there's an instant quack in one's DNA that recognises it.
    Christina Hendricks et al.

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    International Captain LongHopCassidy's Avatar
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    "All Time Great" has a better ring to it than "All Time Not That Terrible, Actually".
    "The Australian cricket captain is the Prime Minister Australia wishes it had. Steve Waugh is that man, Michael Clarke is not." - Jarrod Kimber

    RIP Fardin Qayyumi and Craig Walsh - true icons of CricketWeb.

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