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

The Alphabet XIs: Z

Posted on June 9, 2012 by in Opinion


It feels like yesterday we started doing the Alphabet XIs and yet we’ve already reached the end of the line. Unless we get really drunk and do one based on players whose names start with numbers or punctuation. You might have heard the sound of fingernail on wood as we scraped the bottom of the barrel hunting for suitable candidates for this team.


  1. Billy Zulch (South Africa 1910-1921) 16 Tests, 983 runs @ 32.76 Scorer of two Test centuries on the 1910/11 tour of Australia, Zulch was a respected opening batsman. In his fifth Test, at Cape Town against the English tourists, he carried his bat for 43*.
  2. Cephas Zhuwao (Zimbabwe 2008-2011) 1 ODI, 16 runs @ 16.00 This aggressive opening batsman now plays for the Mashonaland Eagles. He has also appeared in five T20 ODIs with a batting average of 4.80 – but a bowling average of 1.00!
  3. *Sultan Zarawani (United Arab Emirates 1994-1996) 7 ODIs, 26 runs @ 4.33, 5 wickets @ 51.40 The captain of the UAE during the 1996 World Cup, Zarawani had a ODI top score of only 13, but he did become noteworthy when he opted to bat against Allan Donald in a sunhat. He was also the only member of that team to have been born in the country (the others were all imports from overseas).
  4. Bastiaan Zuiderent (Netherlands 1996-2011) 57 ODIs, 1097 runs @ 23.84 A semi-regular member of the Dutch side for 15 years, Zuiderent also spent time on Sussex’s books. Eighteen of his appearances came in the World Cup, including against England in 1996 – a match in which he scored 54. He also featured, albeit less prominently, in their victory at Lord’s in the 2009 World T20. His ability was proven by winning the Player of the Tournament award at the 2005 ICC Trophy.
  5. Tim Zoehrer (Australia 1986-1994) 10 Tests, 246 runs @ 20.50, 18 catches, 1 stumping This Western Australian ‘keeper took over from Rod Marsh at State level and played his Test cricket in the 1980s. However Ian Healy soon overtook him and for several years Zoehrer was sidelined. In the mid-90s WA brought Adam Gilchrist over from New South Wales and Zoehrer never played again. Oddly, on both his two tours of England, he topped the bowling averages with his occasional leg-breaks.
  6. Monde Zondeki (South Africa 2002-2008) 6 Tests, 82 runs @ 16.40, 19 wickets @ 25.26 An Alumnus of the same school as Makhaya Ntini, Zondeki was – and still is, as far as we’re aware – a quick bowler. His international career stuttered through regular injuries, but in truth he was never quite good enough in an era of several rival fast bowlers.
  7. Nuwan Zoysa (Sri Lanka 1997-2007) 30 Tests, 288 runs @ 8.47, 64 wickets @ 33.70 Left-arm seamer who fared better in his 95 ODIs than he did in his 30 Tests. To some extent, the prescence of Chaminda Vaas in the side would have limited his chances. In his eighth Test, Zoysa took a hat-trick against Zimbabwe in the game’s opening over.
  8. +Zulqarnain (Pakistan 1985-1989) 3 Tests, 24 runs @ 6.00, 8 catches, 2 stumpings In addition to three Tests against Sri Lanka, Zulqarnain also played in 16 ODIs. In those games he only scored 18 runs, but did take 23 dismissals.
  9. Andrew Zesers (Australia 1987) 2 ODIs, 10 runs (no average), 1 wicket @ 74.00 Having reached 100 first-class wickets at a younger age than any previous Australian, Zesers was a member of the 1987 World Cup squad. He played two matches in that tournament. At the age of 23, he was forced to retire due to unfortunate shoulder problems.
  10. Zameer Zahir (Canada 2009) 1 ODI, 3 runs (no average), 2 wickets @ 17.50 Sri Lankan-born legbreak bowler who played four first-class matches, two apiece for Canada and for Colombo Cricket Club.
  11. Zakiullah Zaki (Afghanistan 2012) 1 ODI, 3 runs (no average), 0 wickets  A young spin bowler who recently made his debut for Afghanistan.


As you may have figured out by now, that’s the last of our Alphabet XIs, due to a shortage of other available letters. We’ll do a roundup article, looking at some of those players that didn’t quite make it and picking our favourite of the 26 sides, in due course.

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