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

The Alphabet XIs: I

Posted on January 13, 2012 by in Opinion

After two outstanding teams in the shape of the Gs and Hs, it’s down to earth with a crash with the Is. Luckily there were just enough candidates to ensure that Ronnie Irani and Faisal Iqbal did not need to be selected. Meanwhile, Doug Insole will be disappointed he’s not a shoe-in…


1. Frank Iredale (Australia 1894-1899) 14 Tests, 807 runs @ 36.68 Batsman from New South Wales who made two Test centuries. He was moved up and down the order throughout his career, but scored enough runs as an opener to secure his place in this team.

2. John Inverarity (Australia 1968-1972) 6 Tests, 174 runs @ 17.40, 4 wickets @ 23.25 In his first Test series, Inverarity was chosen as an opener. Four years later he was recalled at No. 7 and played his last three innings at No. 8. However his first-class career was significantly more impressive as batsman, bowler and captain: by the time he retired he had won the Sheffield Shield five times and was the tournament’s leading aggregate run-scorer. Has been a successful coach and is now selector.

3. Inzamam-ul-Haq (Pakistan 1992-2007) 120 Tests, 8830 runs @ 49.60 Good wrists for a big man; on his day ‘Inzy’ was a remarkable batsman with an admirable record, notwithstanding his diabolical running between the wickets. His 329 against New Zealand in 2002 is the second-highest Test innings for Pakistan..

4.Asif Iqbal (Pakistan 1964-1980) 58 Tests, 3575 runs @ 38.85, 53 wickets @ 28.33 Started as a bowler of outswingers, before developing into a very handy batsman good enough to score 11 Test centuries in a long career.

5. Lee Irvine (South Africa 1970) 4 Tests, 353 runs @ 50.42 Such was the brevity of Irvine’s career, we might as well post all his innings: 42, 19, 13, 79, 73, 25 and 102. And note that each match was a comprehensive victory over Australia. Overshadowed by other members of that sublime South African batting line-up, Irvine was a “punishing left-hander” who would surely have scored thousands of runs if it weren’t for South Africa’s exile.

6. *Ray Illingworth (England 1958-1973) 61 Tests, 1836 runs @ 23.24, 122 wickets @ 31.20 A miser with both bat and ball, Illingworth’s 32-year playing career is best remembered as an Ashes-winning captain. Unfortunately, his post-playing career is best remembered as a dull commentator and as a woeful chairman of selectors.

7. David Ironside (South Africa 1953-1954) 3 Tests, 37 runs @ 18.50, 15 wickets @ 18.33 The only Test cricketer to be born in Mozambique. A fast swing bowler who took eight wickets on debut.

8. +Prince KS Indrajitsinhji (India 1964-1969) 4 Tests, 51 runs @ 8.50, 6 catches, 3 stumpings A wicket-keeper who had very few opportunities to play for India. His first-class average of 26.76 probably reveals his true ability more than his Test average.

9. Bert Ironmonger (Australia 1928-1933) 14 Tests, 42 runs @ 2.62, 74 wickets @ 17.97 A slow left-arm bowler with remarkable figures despite having lost his forefinger as a child in an industrial accident. He made Test his debut at the age of 45 and against South Africa in 1931/32 took 31 wickets at 9.54 apiece.

10. Mark Ilott (England 1993-1995) 5 Tests, 28 runs @ 7.00, 12 wickets @ 45.16 A respectable county cricketer for Essex, left-arm seamer Ilott was unremarkable in his five Tests in the mid 1990s. But his record was ultimately better than both Ronnie Irani’s and Alan Igglesden’s, so we’ve selected him to make up the numbers.

11. Jack Iverson (Australia 1950-1951) 5 Tests, 3 runs @ 0.75, 21 wickets @ 15.23 Unorthodox spinner who bowled all kinds of deliveries (including off-breaks, leg-breaks and googlies) from between his thumb and middle finger (though unlike Ironmonger, he did have an index finger).



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Nichael Bluth

14 Jan 2012 12:49

This site deserves to be shut down for that Doug Insole joke alone.



13 Jan 2012 22:06

In no way is this idea looking a bit lame with great cricketers such as these