The Shakespearean Animals CC
Captain: Alastair Cook
Vice Captain: Johan Botha, Peter Nevill, Darren Bravo (joint)
Coach: Paul Adams
Current Starting XI:
1. Alastair Cook (c)
2. Sam Robson
3. Nick Compton
4. Darren Bravo
5. Faf du Plessis
6. Peter Nevill (wk)
7. Johan Botha
8. Neil Wagner
9. George Dockrell
10. Trent Boult
11. Marchant de Lange
1. Peter Nevill
2. Alastair Cook
3. Trent Boult
4. Darren Bravo
1. Alastair Cook
3. Darren Bravo
7. Peter Nevill (wk)
11. Trent Boult
Playing Role: Wicketkeeper Batsman
Victorian by birth (well, nobody can be perfect), Nevill moved to New South Wales in 2008 to try and find more opportunities, having been stuck behind Matthew Wade at Victoria. 4 years later, Nevill was once again stuck behind Wade, this time pushing for a spot in the Australian test side.
One of the best pure 'keepers in Australia, and right up there in global terms, as well as an underrated batsman, Nevill's outstanding quality can be shown by a first-class batting average of 45.16 - the highest of any wicketkeeper in Australia, and through his representation of Australia at U/17 level.
He is a keen user of Twitter and has become a cult icon with New South Wales fans for the way he continually bailed New South Wales out in the 2011/12 season. He shows courage, grit and places a high price on his wicket, while also providing a solid, efficient base behind the stumps.
The Shakespearean Animals CC is glad to welcome the man simply known as 'Nev'.
Playing Role: Opening Batsman
The Shakespearean Animals CC is proud to welcome the ICC Test Cricketer of the Year for 2011, Alastair Cook.
The English opening batsman had a fantastic year with the bat, averaging upwards of 84, capped off with a sublime 294 against India, playing a major role in confirming England's status as the best Test side in the world.
Cook was the second-youngest player ever to pass the 5000 Test run mark, only behind the unrivalled Sachin Tendulkar, when he breached the milestone during his landmark 2010/11 Ashes series. His 766 runs in 7 innings (including an unbeaten 232* at Brisbane) were crucial in England's first series win in Australia in a quarter of a century.
He has gone from strength to strength in recent times, being named as England's ODI captain and reinventing himself to better serve the format. His ability to adapt, alongside his solidity at the crease, has him marked down as one of the greatest batsmen of the 21st century.
Off to a fine start it must be said.
Draft Round: 3
Playing Role: Fast Bowler
Trent Boult is only new on the international scene, but has already made an impact in his 22 years. The left-arm seamer burst on to the scene in 2008, at the U/19 World Cup in Malaysia, proving himself to be a cut above with 11 wickets at 10.90 at the tournament.
His first class debut was not for provincial side Northern Districts, but for New Zealand A in Chennai, where he dismissed Suresh Raina in his first innings. From there, he solidified himself as a prodigious young talent for New Zealand, and was selected for the Test side to play Australia in Hobart in 2011/12. He played a major role in that famous victory, taking 3/29 in the first innings and then slamming an unbeaten 21 (off only 13 balls) in the second. This contribution was integral, as he shepherded Chris Martin well enough to add 23 for the last wicket, as New Zealand won by 8 runs.
He has 87 first class wickets at a touch over 26 apiece, and 8 Test scalps at 33. The Shakespearean Animals CC is glad to welcome the young man, and aid in his development into a test-class bowler for years to come.
Playing Role: Top Order Batsman
The old saying goes 'imitation is the finest form of flattery', and it is most definitely true in the case of Darren Bravo.
He is far from a youngster in their backyard, dreaming of bowling like Brett Lee, copying the action of Dennis Lillee or, in the case of Michael Hussey, changing handedness to bat like Allan Border. Bravo's technique is modelled on his cousin, Brian Lara's, from the backlift to the footwork, and he has developed into the finest young batting talent in the Carribean.
His career has made for comparisons with Lara above the obvious visuals - after 12 Tests his batting aggregate and average were exactly the same as Lara's. His first calendar year brought him 11556 runs at 52, with a highest score of 195. His series against India was prolific, however he is still finding his feet in the shorter formats.
Darren is a talent to watch, and will play a major role in the resurgence of cricket in the Carribean over the next few years. Comparisons with 'The Prince' will surely continue, and if he has half the impact on the game as his idol, he will have done a great job.
The Shakespearean Animals CC warmly welcomes Darren Bravo, to help form the crux of the batting unit.
Marchant de Lange
Draft Round: 5
Playing Role: Fast Bowler
Marchant de Lange is one of South Africa's brightest rising stars in the fast bowling ranks. After only 13 first class matches, he was called up for South Africa A to face the touring Australians, and impressed with sharp pace - up above 140km/h on a regular basis - along with steep bounce. He ripped out 5 Australian wickets on that day, and barely two months later was representing his country on Boxing Day after Vernon Philander went down with an injury. He proved a worthy replacement for the man who takes wickets by the handful, taking 7 of Sri Lanka's finest, including Kumar Sangakkara.
Softly spoken, de Lange prefers to make a dramatic entrance with his bowling. His first Twenty/20 match on the New Zealand tour was one such occasion. 6 to win of the final over, Jesse Ryder on 50, and wickets in the shed. What nobody expected was for de Lange to take two wickets that over, and only concede 3 runs, winning South Africa a game that was all but lost.
Can he become the spearhead of a South African side that refrains from choking? Only time will tell, but the 21 year old from Tzaneen looks set to remain on the international scene for years to come.
The Shakespearean Animals CC is glad to announce the signing of the man who bowls 'fireballs' - Marchant de Lange.
Awesome thread. Better write-ups than the CW top 50.
Draft Round: 6
Playing Role: All Rounder
To say that Johan Botha's career has been eventful is akin to stating that WG Grace had a passing influence on cricket - it is an understatement to a great degree.
He began life as an ordinary medium pacer, later switched to off-spin at the behest of Mickey Arthur, and eventually broke in to the South African national side as a bowler who hold a bat. He then developed, however, into an economical and effective limited overs bowler, a batsman who can hold his own in the top 6 if necessary, and a shrewd captain, handed the reigns of the national Twenty/20 side, and signed by South Australia especially to skipper the struggling side in the 2012/13 season.
The legality of his action has been questioned many times - he officially cannot bowl his doosra - and his statistics do not do him justice, however Botha has packed more experience into his 29 years than many players in their late-30s.
The Shakespearean Animals CC is extremely glad to have drafted Johan Botha to join the club, and he will undoubtedly perform an integral role not only playing for the side, but through the use of his leadership and experience.
Like this side, besides Botha there's a lot of long-term value.
Yeah, I hadn't been thinking much about long term value, but with that in mind, this is a very fine side.
Oh and superb work with the player write ups.
Yeah, super stuff with the write ups.
Botha an interesting choice this high in the draft. Hasn't played any first class cricket in twelve months, and it has been a number of seasons since he had a decent first class season.
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