A gradual but inevitable descent into cricket-based loathing and bile.

The Alphabet XIs: A

Posted on December 11, 2011 by in Opinion

There were a few candidates unlucky to miss out on this team, particularly Terry Alderman who tormented England in two Ashes series. For a few moments, before we remembered Leslie Ames, we were having to decide between Kamran Akmal and Tim Ambrose as wicket-keeper. The batting looks competent and the bowling unit very strong, especially with two modern greats sharing the new ball.

  1. *Michael Atherton (England 1989-2001) 115 Tests, 7728 runs @ 37.69 Obdurate opener who consistently scored runs in a woeful England side. A 51allout hero as player, journalist and commentator.
  2. Dennis Amiss (England 1966-1977) 50 Tests, 3612 runs @ 46.30 Scorer of big hundreds for England: eight of his 11 centuries were in excess of 150.
  3. Hashim Amla (South Africa 2004-2011) 53 Tests, 4136 runs @ 47.54 Classy South African with a fine beard. Currently one of the finest batsmen in the world.
  4. Jimmy Adams (West Indies 1992-2001) 54 Tests, 3012 runs @ 41.26, 27 wickets @ 49.48 Averaged 87 after 12 Tests in the mid-1990s, but couldn’t sustain his Bradman-esque start. But still a very handy player overshadowed by Brian Lara.
  5. Mohammad Azharuddin (India 1985-2000) 99 Tests, 6215 runs @ 45.03 A wristy batsman capable of world-class innings whose career extended into this century despite the prescence of Dravid, Tendulkar, Ganguly and Laxman. His legacy is however tarred by match-fixing.
  6. Mohinder Amarnath (India 1969-1988) 69 Tests, 4378 runs @ 42.50, 43 wickets @ 55.68 A player who was regularly dropped and reselected for India but had a deserved reputation as great player of quick bowling. Also the player of the 1983 World Cup.
  7. +Les Ames (England 1929-1939) 47 Tests, 2434 runs @ 40.56, 74 catches, 23 stumpings A wicket-keeper batsman of great repute, from an era when wicket-keepers had no expectation to be able to contribute runs. In his 1991 Wisden obituary, he was described as “without a doubt the greatest wicketkeeper-batsman the game has so far produced.”
  8. Wasim Akram (Pakistan 1985-2002) 104 Tests, 2898 runs @ 22.64, 414 wickets @ 23.62 Arguably the greatest left-arm quick bowler ever, Wasim had ferocious pace and could swing the ball miles- in either direction. More than handy with the bat as well.
  9. Curtly Ambrose (West Indies 1988-2000) 98 Tests, 1439 runs @ 12.40, 405 wickets @ 20.99 In terms of strike-rate, economy or wicket-taking, one of the finest fast bowlers ever. His gigantic frame enabled frightening bounce. Averaged approximately two maidens for every seven overs bowled.
  10. James Anderson (England 2003-2011) 63 Tests, 572 runs @ 11.91, 240 wickets @ 30.57 Behind only Dale Steyn as leading fast bowler in the world today.
  11. Mushtaq Ahmed (Pakistan 1990-2003) 52 Tests, 656 runs @ 11.71, 185 wickets @ 32.97 A wonderful leg-spinner with a mind-boggling box of tricks including a superb googly. Unlucky to have only played 52 Tests for Pakistan.


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Matt H

19 Dec 2011 21:43

Zaheer Abbas is a very reasonable suggestion actually. Oh well, maybe he can play as a guest for the Z-team?!



19 Dec 2011 12:47

Matthew L:
December 12, 2011 at 11:28 pm
No Tim Ambrose? Questionable

I think Ames might just have a superior record to be fair!


David S.

16 Dec 2011 18:45

Zaheer Abbas??

could do away with one of the 2 keepers.

another pakistani Saeed Anwar is a good shout too but probably misses out


Matthew L

12 Dec 2011 23:28

No Tim Ambrose? Questionable


Matt H

11 Dec 2011 23:00

Nice coincidence (or not) that the first name on the first team is Mike Atherton.