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

The Alphabet XIs: F

Posted on January 1, 2012 by in Opinion

Approximately half this team selected itself, but the remaining places were harder to fill. Several players with records no better than reasonable were left out, including Imran Farhart and Graeme Foster, whilst we thought Steven Finn was just slightly too inexperienced. We admit that two players were chosen largely for their first-class, rather than international record, but otherwise the team would have been much weaker. Also, a special mention to JJ Ferris (someone we hadn’t previously heard of) who played 9 matches for Australia AND England, took 61 wickets at 12.70 but died in the Boer War. How times change.


  1. Roy Fredericks (West Indies 1968-1977) 59 Tests, 4334 runs @ 42.49 Short left-handed opener who thrived against quick bowling. At the WACA in 1975, he scored a hundred from 71 balls against an attack comprising Lillee, Thomson, Gilmour and Walker.
  2. Jack Fingleton (Australia 1932-1938) 18 Tests, 1189 runs @ 42.46 Scorer of five Test centuries, before his career was cut short by injury and then the war.
  3. *Stephen Fleming (New Zealand 1994-2008) 111 Tests, 7172 runs @ 40.06 An elegant left-hander who was regarded as a superb captain. His Test statistics reveal only nine centuries, but they were invariably stylishly made.
  4. Keith Fletcher (England 1968-1972) 59 Tests, 3272 runs @ 39.90 His first-class career spanned 26 years at Essex, although his Test figures don’t quite match his county success. Also captained and coached England.
  5. +Andy Flower (Zimbabwe 1992-2002) 63 Tests, 4794 runs @ 51.54, 151 catches, 9 stumpings A fine wicket-keeper who excelled with the bat, particularly around the turn of the Millennium when he was truly world-class. He made a dignified protest about the “death of democracy” in his country before heading to England and a very successful coaching career.
  6. Aubrey Faulkner (South Africa 1906-1924) 25 Tests, 1754 runs @ 40.79, 82 wickets @ 26.58 A remarkable player for South Africa whose statistics compare favourably with many more famous all-rounders from later generations. He was an early exponent of the googly. Sadly, he committed suicide at the age of 48.
  7. CB Fry (England 1896-1912) 26 Tests, 1223 runs @ 32.18 Scorer of more than 30,000 first-class runs, Fry was also an FA Cup finalist and England footballer, long jump world record holder, was (allegedly) offered the position of King of Albania and was thrice a Parliamentary candidate. His Test record is far from great, but who else was (allegedly) able to jump backwards onto a mantelpiece?
  8. Andrew Flintoff (England 1998-2009) 79 Tests, 3845 runs @ 31.77, 226 wickets @ 32.78 Although Flintoff often divides opinion- not least around our way- for a few years he was incredible: a huge-hitting batsman and reliable taker of cheap wickets. At least in this team he won’t be captain.
  9. Damian Fleming (Australia 1994-2001) 20 Tests, 75 wickets @ 25.89 Fleming was a fine swing bowler, but his career was detrimentally-affected by injuries. Excellent in one-day cricket; his Test average suggests what might have been had he had more opportunities.
  10. Tich Freeman (England 1924-1929) 12 Tests, 66 wickets @ 25.86 A leg-break and googly bowler whose Test record alone might not merit inclusion, but with 3,776 first-class wickets he cannot be omitted. Freeman took 100 wickets in a season 17 times, more than 200 in eight consecutive seasons and in 1928 took 304.
  11. Angus Fraser (England 1989-1998) 46 Tests, 177 wickets @ 27.32 When he was fit and in favour with the selectors, Fraser was a consistent wicket-taker for England, utilising movement off the seam and exploiting bouncy pitches. In a fairer world, he would have more than 250 wickets.



No Comments

Post a Comment