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

The Alphabet XIs: Y

Posted on May 14, 2012 by in Opinion

Yikes, selecting this team was harder than we thought it would be. Two fantastic Pakistanis stand metaphorically head, shoulders and torso above the rest of the team; as this task is pure fantasy, perhaps we ought to have selected Mr Yousuf under both his names. But then we wouldn’t have had room for the World T20-winning bowler with the armoury of darts, arrows, straight ones and arm balls.


  1. Bryan Young (New Zealand 1993-1999) 35 Tests, 2034 runs @ 31.78  Commenced his career as a wicket-keeper and lower-order bat, but then  transformed himself into an opener for his country. His two Test centuries include 267* against Sri Lanka.
  2. Graham Yallop (Australia 1976-1984) 39 Tests, 2756 runs @ 41.13 This left-handed opener captained Australia whilst compatriots were playing World Series Cricket and he was in charge for the 5-1 loss to Mike Brearley’s England. Nonetheless, he had a respectable average and his eight centuries include 268 against Pakistan at the MCG.
  3. Mohammad Yousuf (Pakistan 1998-2010) 90 Tests, 7530 runs @ 52.29 Stylish Pakistani who scored runs by the bucketload, particularly after his change in faith and name (from Yousuf Youhana). In 2006 he hit a mammoth, record, 1788 runs with nine centuries – including three against England. That’s three centuries, not three runs, for the avoidance of doubt.
  4. Michael Yardy (England 2006-2011) 28 ODIs, 326 runs @ 20.37, 21 wickets @ 51.19 Okay, (mercifully) the Sussex captain has not played Test cricket, but he’s a player we’ve some knowledge of so we felt we had to include him. His ‘darts’ have been particularly useful for England in T20s and allied with his ability with the bat, he was in the squad for the 2011 World Cup (which sadly he left with depression).
  5. *Norman Yardley (England 1938-1950) 20 Tests, 812 runs @ 25.37 21 wickets @ 33.66 Yorkshire stalwart who captained England in the late 1940s, including in the series against Bradman’s ‘Invincibles’. He was a quadruple Blue at Cambridge University and after retirement he also served in cricket administration, both for England and Yorkshire.
  6. +Saleem Yousuf (Pakistan 1982-1990) 32 Tests, 1055 runs @ 27.05, 91 catches, 13 stumpings Powerful lower-order hitter who scored five 50s in his Test career. He followed Wasim Bari as Pakistani wicket-keeper and filled the role for much of the 1980s, finishing with – at the time – their second highest number of dismissals.
  7. Bryan Yuile (New Zealand 1963-1969) 17 Tests 481 runs @ 17.81, 34 wickets @ 35.67 After scoring 64 on debut against England, Yuile never scored another 50. But his left-arm spin was handy enough and what’s more it seems that he was reluctant to play on Sundays.
  8. Shivlal Yadav (India 1979-1987) 35 Tests, 403 runs @ 14.39, 102 wickets @ 35.09 Spinner who was renowned for bowling long and economical spells, such as 75 overs in an innings at Faisalabad in 1984. He took 24 wickets in his first series (against Australia) and 15 down under in three matches in 1985/86.
  9. Bruce Yardley (Australia 1978-1983) 33 Tests, 978 runs @ 19.56, 126 wickets @ 31.63 Off-spinner who was voted 1981/82 Benson and Hedges International Cricketer of the Year. We literally have never heard of that award before.
  10. Waqar Younis (Pakistan 1989-2003) 87 Tests, 1010 runs @ 10.20, 373 wickets @ 23.56 Starting his international career as a teenager, Waqar was simply one of the great fast bowlers of the modern era, whose haul of wickets would have been even better if it weren’t for injuries. His rapid inswingers were his main weapon and enabled him to have the best strike rate of any bowler with more than 200 wickets. 
  11. Umesh Yadav (India 2011-2012) 6 Tests, 28 runs @ 7.00, 23 wickets @ 32.26 The latest Indian fast bowler only started to contemplate a cricketing career at the age of 19. Decent, but expensive, hauls against West Indies and Australia suggest he could be around the team for a long while.

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