November 15, 2006

Who is the greatest allrounder of all time?

Welcome to the Greatest Allrounder Site blog, in partnership with VW Touareg
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Welcome to the Greatest Allrounder Site blog, in partnership with VW Touareg. This is where you will be able to tell us who you believe is the greatest of the great. We hope to generate some fruity debate and we will also be doling out a range of prizes for the best comments made over the coming months. So keep those thoughts flowing in.

So let's kick this whole thing off. Who is the greatest allrounder of all time? Personally, I think the title belongs to one of three people. Garry Sobers, Imran Khan and Ian Botham – three men who were not only outstanding in each of their disciplines, but also had that indefinable ability to impose their will on a match, at any stage of a match. Sobers did it through being a sheer colossus with bat and ball, Imran by being a mighty leader of men (and a World Cup winner to boot), and Botham … well, he was just a reckless, rampant force of nature.

Of the three, Sobers might edge it on pure cricketing ability, but Imran has an extra edge because of his captaincy credentials, and Botham is unparalleled as a matchwinner. Maybe you agree, more likely you don't. But let the debate commence. Who knows, by the end of this winter, there might even be a new contender. If Andrew Flintoff can captain England to victory in the Ashes, while excelling with bat, ball and in the slip cordon, who could deny him the right to join the top table?

Andrew Miller is the former UK editor of ESPNcricinfo and now editor of The Cricketer magazine

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Anonymous on August 8, 2008, 16:58 GMT

    Jacques Kallis 237* wickets @ 31.36 9750* runs @ 56.03

    Better than any all rounder... ever. Numbers don't lie. All other nominations are merely opinions and hot air.

  • Frank Beeston on March 29, 2007, 17:03 GMT

    To decide a debate like this you need to look at statistics. On this basis alone Imran Khan stands above all.

    To those who say that statistics does not reflect a true picture, then lets look at achievements:

    Imran Khan literally created reverse swing and put the swing in swing bowling, was robbed of the best 2 years due to injuries and even still his bowling stands out, he took the game against the mighty windies when teams were simply being rolled over, captained a side that should have been out in the first round yet he enstilled such belief that they won the world cup. All this and of course, was averaging 50 with the bat during the last 10 years of his career.

    And if that's not enough, simply ask Sir Richard Hadlee and Richie Benaud who both sate Imran is the best all rounder the world has ever seen

  • vinay on March 27, 2007, 19:18 GMT

    It has to be kapil dev.look at his performance against westindian team of eighties.he has scored more than thousand runs agaist them at a healthier average than imran and botham.has four centuries against greatest bowling attack of alltime(west indies of eighties and that too in west indies),i dont think imran has ever scored a century against them . Botham was never good against them either with bat or bowl.kapil had a strike rate of almost hundred and has scored some of the fastest fifties in test cricket against the best bowling attacks.kapil dev shouldered the responsibility of indian bowling attack solely and went on to become one of the greatest wicket takers of all time.he was a match winner with bat and bowl unlike imran who dominated more as a great fast bowler.a close look at imrans stats as a batsmen will show that most of his runs have come not against the best bowling attacks.he developed more as a batsmen only in the twilight of his carrer and hardly was a shadow of imran khan the bowler of eighties.imran definitely was a greater cricketer may be the greatest cricketer taken togeher his talent,understanding of the game and ability as a captain but kapil dev definitely was a better allrounder.

  • Paul Shearsmith on March 26, 2007, 23:55 GMT

    200 wickets and 2000 runs in a season. George Hirst.

  • Robert Davis on March 26, 2007, 14:43 GMT

    I think one has to look at people like Keith Miller and Wilf Rhodes. Thanks to all those who have looked at the stats but there are intangibles that are more important. What of big match temperament? What of being able to turn a match with bat or ball? What of fielding and captaincy? Fact is, the greatest 2 of all time are Grace and Sobers, but many others make a case. Procter and Clive Rice are not to be ignored but how good were they? We don't know. Botham lost it later in his career; Hadlee and Kapil Dev weren't such consistent batsmen; Kallis is a batsman who bowls. And look at Frank Woolley's stats as well as Wally Hammond's! They took unbelievable amounts of wickets; what of George Hirst? I think the list will end up too biased towards the moderns.....

  • Veeraraj Urs B.C. on March 26, 2007, 7:10 GMT

    Being a cricket allrounder ia about the ability to do everyting in cricket, batting, bowling and fielding. Players would have to be assessed by their abilities to excel in all the three and if there are other cricketing considerations put them all in and lo comes the best of them. It is cricketers worth their salt who alone shall say who the best allrounder is. Sobers could bat and how? He had all the strokes in the book and played with the finesse matched only by the greatest of batsmen of all time. He could bowl spinners, fast ones, just about every variety there is. He excelled in fielding at every position including the specialist positions like slip, point and covers. He could keep wickets. He is the Kohinoor. Botham excelled in all three departments of the game. So did Kapildev after him. Imran hid himself while fielding and it was easier for him as the captain of the team. Hadlee wasn't in the same league as the top three in fielding. So that essentially takes away the two men's candidature for the best allrounder tag. Hadlee was the best fast bowler of all with Imran follwoing. Botham and Kapil took what little they gave to these two men in fast bowling in batting. It is their fielding and natural flair for the game that tilts the scale in their favour. Yeah, Imran and Hadlee had/has better cricket in their heads than the other two which the other two will take away with their flair. So it is the fielding thing all over again. When Jacques Kallis hangs up his boots, he might end up edging out one or more of the two-to-five- ranked men and I wouldn't be surprisd if he gets the second billing. He is close on the heels of the number four and five -Imran and Hadlee.

  • naushad on March 23, 2007, 13:57 GMT

    Imran Khan had a certain knack of leading men from the front. Mind you this were hard to manage men, unpredictable and very different group of individuals where discipline was not one of the virtues. By sheer personality force He changed match results. By being in the feild, Imran was inspirational. He was the best of all times. Leader of men. Botham was no comparison. Botham did not garner opposition respect like Imran. Sobers was great but not the geatest. Even in cricketing abilities Iman blew all competition away. No debate here.

  • Slaton on March 17, 2007, 15:05 GMT

    Interesting. Sobers by a canter. comparing the stats of all you see something interesting. Many argue about performances and forget to actually compare each players placement on the individual lists as cricketers. The fact is that the top three by any measure have to be Sobers, Khan and Botham. They would figure high on all charts. With Sobers being a Top twenty batsman and the others rating higher than him in bowling. However, he was not a slouch with the ball nobody taking 235 wickets with three! different styles of bowling a feat which has yet to be duplicated. Interestingly he first made the West Indies team as a bowler and it was not until later in his career he signaled his dominance with the bat. In the field he was brilliant anywhere especially as a close in catcher but was noted as one of the great cover fielders. The fact is both Imran and Bothan were ok batsmen averaging below 40. They bowled only one style which allowed them to keep their average below thirty.Imran was an ok fielder. Botham took more catches than Sobers but without Sobers versatility and in more Tests than Sobers played. There is more I can say but at the end of the day Sobers is the model of each style of batting, bowling and fielding. The rest of them were merely good bowlers, good batsmen or good fielders

  • ayaaz habib on March 14, 2007, 11:48 GMT

    it is a close decision among the 3 but i would go with imran khan to be the best...his batting and bowling averages are better than kapil dev.he didnt score as many runs as sobers but thrashed him by a big margine when it comes to test wickets...imran was just not an all rounder of the greatest aura,talent and charisma but also the captain who won his country the 92 world cup!!there is no doubt inmy mind that the other two contenders are great but not as good as imran's caliber and i dont even think it is considerable to compare botham with imran as imran was more famous in england than botham and also his test records with both bat and ball out class him(no offense!)he also paved way for the all time greats of cricket like inzi and wasim and other fast bowling talent like akhtar and waqar younus....clearly imran's on top!

  • Chirag S on March 12, 2007, 11:22 GMT

    I believe that the greatest allrounder in the history of cricket is none other than Kapil Dev.He has taken 434 test wickets, has an average of 31 with the bat and has a highest ODI score of 175*. The fact that he was a great leader is proved by India's first and only World Cup win in 1983, against Clive Lloyd's great West Indian team. He has changed the face of World Cricket.

  • Anonymous on August 8, 2008, 16:58 GMT

    Jacques Kallis 237* wickets @ 31.36 9750* runs @ 56.03

    Better than any all rounder... ever. Numbers don't lie. All other nominations are merely opinions and hot air.

  • Frank Beeston on March 29, 2007, 17:03 GMT

    To decide a debate like this you need to look at statistics. On this basis alone Imran Khan stands above all.

    To those who say that statistics does not reflect a true picture, then lets look at achievements:

    Imran Khan literally created reverse swing and put the swing in swing bowling, was robbed of the best 2 years due to injuries and even still his bowling stands out, he took the game against the mighty windies when teams were simply being rolled over, captained a side that should have been out in the first round yet he enstilled such belief that they won the world cup. All this and of course, was averaging 50 with the bat during the last 10 years of his career.

    And if that's not enough, simply ask Sir Richard Hadlee and Richie Benaud who both sate Imran is the best all rounder the world has ever seen

  • vinay on March 27, 2007, 19:18 GMT

    It has to be kapil dev.look at his performance against westindian team of eighties.he has scored more than thousand runs agaist them at a healthier average than imran and botham.has four centuries against greatest bowling attack of alltime(west indies of eighties and that too in west indies),i dont think imran has ever scored a century against them . Botham was never good against them either with bat or bowl.kapil had a strike rate of almost hundred and has scored some of the fastest fifties in test cricket against the best bowling attacks.kapil dev shouldered the responsibility of indian bowling attack solely and went on to become one of the greatest wicket takers of all time.he was a match winner with bat and bowl unlike imran who dominated more as a great fast bowler.a close look at imrans stats as a batsmen will show that most of his runs have come not against the best bowling attacks.he developed more as a batsmen only in the twilight of his carrer and hardly was a shadow of imran khan the bowler of eighties.imran definitely was a greater cricketer may be the greatest cricketer taken togeher his talent,understanding of the game and ability as a captain but kapil dev definitely was a better allrounder.

  • Paul Shearsmith on March 26, 2007, 23:55 GMT

    200 wickets and 2000 runs in a season. George Hirst.

  • Robert Davis on March 26, 2007, 14:43 GMT

    I think one has to look at people like Keith Miller and Wilf Rhodes. Thanks to all those who have looked at the stats but there are intangibles that are more important. What of big match temperament? What of being able to turn a match with bat or ball? What of fielding and captaincy? Fact is, the greatest 2 of all time are Grace and Sobers, but many others make a case. Procter and Clive Rice are not to be ignored but how good were they? We don't know. Botham lost it later in his career; Hadlee and Kapil Dev weren't such consistent batsmen; Kallis is a batsman who bowls. And look at Frank Woolley's stats as well as Wally Hammond's! They took unbelievable amounts of wickets; what of George Hirst? I think the list will end up too biased towards the moderns.....

  • Veeraraj Urs B.C. on March 26, 2007, 7:10 GMT

    Being a cricket allrounder ia about the ability to do everyting in cricket, batting, bowling and fielding. Players would have to be assessed by their abilities to excel in all the three and if there are other cricketing considerations put them all in and lo comes the best of them. It is cricketers worth their salt who alone shall say who the best allrounder is. Sobers could bat and how? He had all the strokes in the book and played with the finesse matched only by the greatest of batsmen of all time. He could bowl spinners, fast ones, just about every variety there is. He excelled in fielding at every position including the specialist positions like slip, point and covers. He could keep wickets. He is the Kohinoor. Botham excelled in all three departments of the game. So did Kapildev after him. Imran hid himself while fielding and it was easier for him as the captain of the team. Hadlee wasn't in the same league as the top three in fielding. So that essentially takes away the two men's candidature for the best allrounder tag. Hadlee was the best fast bowler of all with Imran follwoing. Botham and Kapil took what little they gave to these two men in fast bowling in batting. It is their fielding and natural flair for the game that tilts the scale in their favour. Yeah, Imran and Hadlee had/has better cricket in their heads than the other two which the other two will take away with their flair. So it is the fielding thing all over again. When Jacques Kallis hangs up his boots, he might end up edging out one or more of the two-to-five- ranked men and I wouldn't be surprisd if he gets the second billing. He is close on the heels of the number four and five -Imran and Hadlee.

  • naushad on March 23, 2007, 13:57 GMT

    Imran Khan had a certain knack of leading men from the front. Mind you this were hard to manage men, unpredictable and very different group of individuals where discipline was not one of the virtues. By sheer personality force He changed match results. By being in the feild, Imran was inspirational. He was the best of all times. Leader of men. Botham was no comparison. Botham did not garner opposition respect like Imran. Sobers was great but not the geatest. Even in cricketing abilities Iman blew all competition away. No debate here.

  • Slaton on March 17, 2007, 15:05 GMT

    Interesting. Sobers by a canter. comparing the stats of all you see something interesting. Many argue about performances and forget to actually compare each players placement on the individual lists as cricketers. The fact is that the top three by any measure have to be Sobers, Khan and Botham. They would figure high on all charts. With Sobers being a Top twenty batsman and the others rating higher than him in bowling. However, he was not a slouch with the ball nobody taking 235 wickets with three! different styles of bowling a feat which has yet to be duplicated. Interestingly he first made the West Indies team as a bowler and it was not until later in his career he signaled his dominance with the bat. In the field he was brilliant anywhere especially as a close in catcher but was noted as one of the great cover fielders. The fact is both Imran and Bothan were ok batsmen averaging below 40. They bowled only one style which allowed them to keep their average below thirty.Imran was an ok fielder. Botham took more catches than Sobers but without Sobers versatility and in more Tests than Sobers played. There is more I can say but at the end of the day Sobers is the model of each style of batting, bowling and fielding. The rest of them were merely good bowlers, good batsmen or good fielders

  • ayaaz habib on March 14, 2007, 11:48 GMT

    it is a close decision among the 3 but i would go with imran khan to be the best...his batting and bowling averages are better than kapil dev.he didnt score as many runs as sobers but thrashed him by a big margine when it comes to test wickets...imran was just not an all rounder of the greatest aura,talent and charisma but also the captain who won his country the 92 world cup!!there is no doubt inmy mind that the other two contenders are great but not as good as imran's caliber and i dont even think it is considerable to compare botham with imran as imran was more famous in england than botham and also his test records with both bat and ball out class him(no offense!)he also paved way for the all time greats of cricket like inzi and wasim and other fast bowling talent like akhtar and waqar younus....clearly imran's on top!

  • Chirag S on March 12, 2007, 11:22 GMT

    I believe that the greatest allrounder in the history of cricket is none other than Kapil Dev.He has taken 434 test wickets, has an average of 31 with the bat and has a highest ODI score of 175*. The fact that he was a great leader is proved by India's first and only World Cup win in 1983, against Clive Lloyd's great West Indian team. He has changed the face of World Cricket.

  • saqib naveed on March 11, 2007, 20:42 GMT

    no doubt grea imran khan because u see his record

  • Kamran Raja on March 10, 2007, 17:55 GMT

    I think it would be between Imran Khan, Ian Botham and Sir Garfield. the battle would be between these three for THE greatest all-rounder.

    Andrew Flintoff got battered by aussies in the last ashes and he nearly started crying in the 3rd Test, which shows he was only capable of giving good performance at home soil, besides recently his batting has not been in good form like it once was. J. Kallis, well he's an awesome batsman in both forms of cricket and the amazing consistency to stay at the top, an ultimate run-scoring machine but he's not a match-winner with the ball like Imran Khan, Botham, Sobers, kepil dev etc

  • Ian on March 10, 2007, 13:57 GMT

    I am going to throw another name into the list to be considered greatest allrounder - Aubrey Faulkner of South Africa.The guy achieved some remarkable feats in his short career and never seems to rate a mention.

    Another aspect of players of his generation that is worthy of note is his wartime achievements. Its one thing to talk about a players courage and fighting qualities during match play but when you put it into the arena of real conflict thats when their mettle will be most heavily tested. Needless to say Aubrey earned recognition in this sphere. On the same basis I have endless admiration for Keith Miller. Their bios on cricinfo make fascinating reading that goes well beyond dry statistics which seems to be the major bone of contention here.

    But on the topic of statistics I used a simple formula to rank the influence on matches that each player had on the basis of wickets taken and runs scored and came up with the following list of greatest allrounders: 1/ G. Sobers 2/ R. Hadlee 3/ A. Faulkner (SA) 4/ I. Botham 5/ I. Khan 6/ C. Cairns 7/ M. Mankad 8/ T. Goddard (SA) 9/ J. Gregory (AUS) 10/ J. Kallis 11/ S. Pollock 12/ K. Miller 13/ M. Marshall 14/ A. Davidson 15/ Tony Greig

    At least three of these deserve more credit and inclusion on the list - look them up on their country websites to judge for yourself.

    This blog is a great idea and has generated some good objective debate.

  • Brookie on February 23, 2007, 9:00 GMT

    If you look at the averages of most players their test averages are very similar to their first class averages.

    Therefore Mike Procter has to be up there. He has the best bowling average of everyone 15 in tests and under 20 in first class. Batting average at around 36. Reconised as a great fielder especially in the slips. Good captain for Gloucestershire for a number of years. And any man who can score 6 centuries in 6 innings (only Bradman and CB Fry have done that) has got to be good. Maybe some should ask David Shepard what he though of Procter as he played with him in the late 60s

  • Dirk Laurie on February 23, 2007, 7:29 GMT

    Let me propose an eligibility test, a simple one.

    Over his career, a really great allrounder should have scored more runs with the bat than he gave away with the ball, and should have taken more wickets than the number of times he himself was out.

    Otherwise, no matter how great a player he is, he is either a supreme bowler who bats quite well, or a masterly batsman who is a rather useful bowler.

    I can't manipulate StatsGuru into giving me the shortlist, but surely some of you could.

    Until we have that list, there is a lot of fun in guessing who and trying their statistics. I have so far found only two test players (both of course proposed as the greatest all-rounder by several posters above) and several first-class players, beginning with the Doctor himself.

  • CRF on February 16, 2007, 7:43 GMT

    Statistically it is obviously between three - Imran, Sobers and Kallis. Kallis is a dud against Australia and scores too slowly. So its either Imran or Sir Garfield. Botham would be up there except for this last 20 test matches which were shocking and hit his figures hard.

  • Abu Ibrahim on February 3, 2007, 11:10 GMT

    I think Flintoff has to play a lot of matches before you even consider his name into this elite league of extra ordinary gentlemen. My personal favorite has to be Adam Gilchrist for his awesome and often brutal skill to turn matches on its head. And the thing is he has managed to do it consistently on all pitches, all over the world. A special mention has to be the Aussies winning the Holy Grail of cricket - a series victory against India in India. And to imagine Gilchrist captained the side with Ricky Ponting being sidelined with injuries. Hats off to you mate! In my opinion there can be tons of allrounders, from the past and present, but there can be only one Adam Gilchrist.

  • Herman Lochner on January 20, 2007, 11:57 GMT

    Has to be Kallis.

    Stats provide some objectivity. Looking at 7 players' batting and bowling for TESTS - which should be the benchmark, more than ODIs (Sobers, Khan, Kallis, Botham, Flintoff, Dev, Pollock):

    Batting avgs.

    1. Sobers 57.78 2. Kallis 55.27 3. Khan 37.69 4. Botham 33.54 5. Pollock 32.53 6. Flintoff 32.50 7. Dev 31.05

    Bowling avgs. (and wickets)

    1. Khan 22.81 (362) 2. Pollock 23.20 (412) 3. Botham 28.40 (383) 4. Dev 29.64 (434) 5. Flintoff 32.02 (196) 6. Kallis 32.06 (206) 7. Sobers 34.03 (235)

    Should pretty much make it a tie between Kallis, Sobers and Khan...

    Subjectively?

    1. Kallis has often been the one that had to bat under IMMENSE pressure - carrying a collapsed SA top-order way too often.

    2. I don't believe Flintoff is a GREAT all-rounder. He stands out for a) his guts b) his fighting spirit c) being better than a lot of his team mates, but that isn't too difficult. His stats is good, but not standing out in one of the departments. Where are players such as Chris Cairns and Hansie Cronje then? To name but just a FEW...

    3. I would rather make a list of the top 10 and not try to list them as being better than the other - although the top 3 stands out. Each player have contributed immensely within their teams. How do you judge (for instance) the pressure that POLLOCK creates on batsmen, which benefits other bowlers, or his often team-saving innings?

  • Ayaz on January 20, 2007, 3:17 GMT

    If we talk abt all rounders i think we have to look what they acvieve in their career.Imran khan had achieve what others didnt in their career he played in the team which was not well known by the world and he also bowled in the dead pitches of Pakistan where there is nothing for the fast bowler and he must took in consideration the fielding of the Pakistani team which was worst.

    Acheivement of Imran Khan

    1) Pakistan win Against England in England in 1987.

    2) His performance against West indies.

    3) Pakistan won the world cup under his captaincy.

    4) reverse Swing Master.

    5) Bat when Pakistan needed.

    6) The most important thing he gave Pakistan the bowlers Like Wasim,Waqar,Aaqib and Shoaib and know asif they all are there of Imran because he inspire them as lot of Pakistani like to bowled like him.

    So i think he is at the top.

  • Andy on January 15, 2007, 8:21 GMT

    Kallis with no doubt. Anyone who gets a 100 and a 5-for in a match deserves the label great!!! His average of 55 simply amazing, his bowling average of 31 is better than most, and now with 100+ test catches makes him a complete player!!!

  • John Barnes on January 14, 2007, 23:29 GMT

    Keith Miller probably had greater genius than any, but for sheer achievement WG and/or Sobers have him beaten. Your list is a bit weighted to the moderns - what about Macartney and Wilf Rhodes?

  • NedBH on January 12, 2007, 17:50 GMT

    It is ridiculous that one of the top allrounders of all time can not even make your top 20. Have you never heard of Frank Woolley? As hard as it is to compare eras, surely batting avg. of 40+ and bowling avg. below 20 shows some talent. I doubt too that any of your choices have anything like 145 F-C centuries, or 2066 wickets for that matter. He would be in my top 5 all-time allrounders, and to choose Mankad, Constantine and the like instead is merely laughable.

  • Ishtiaq on December 8, 2006, 7:39 GMT

    In the 1989-90 season, Australia needed 3 runs in the last over, but Imran came in their way. He took 2 wickets at the cost of 1 run and led to Pakistan victory by 1 run. He was able to do this with the body approaching 38 years old. He was also awarded ‘Cricketer of the Year’ for the season 1989-90. The point I want to make is that he remain a match winning all-rounder for a longer period of time with both ball and bat than any other all-rounder. He did while captain Pakistan cricket team. Needless to say how turbulent Pakistan’s captainship is.

    Other than Gary Sobers and perhaps Wasim Akram, all-rounders’ performance suffered as being a captain. In a recent article Tim de Lisle describe Fintoff as “over-stretched.” He notes: “Flintoff is being asked to be a top-six batsman, the main strike bowler, and the captain. For the first ball of this match, he also found himself keeping wicket. It’s just too much.” He further notes: “With England’s last two allrounder captains, Ian Botham in 1980 and Alec Stewart in 1998-99, it was the batting that suffered. Botham kept on trying to do everything, won no Tests, and resigned after a year; Stewart gave up the wicketkeeping gloves after three Tests, found some batting form, and was sacked all the same, two Tests (and one botched World Cup) later.”

    On the other hand, Imran as a captain played 48 test matches with batting average 52.34 and bowling average 20.26. He is the greatest captain ever. As Tim de Leslie comments elsewhere that Imran should be captain of the team of all-time greats.

    To me the only criteria for being a great all-rounder are match-winning and consistency. Botham was not very consistent. As cricinfo.com notes: “In five years of mayhem up till 1982, he grabbed 249 of his 383 wickets, and clubbed 11 of his 14 centuries.” And then he steadily transformed from a match-winning player to a useful cricketer.

    Gary Sober—like Jacques Kallis—was not a great match-wining bowler. Sober’s bowling average is 34, and in my view he wasn’t capable of changing the entire course of the game in a single spell like Imran, Hadlee or Wasim Akram. Admittedly, Sobers is the best batting all-rounder in the list.

    In addition, Imran was also the most creative of all other all-rounders. He is the one who in fact developed the technique for reverse swing, which further beautify the cricket. He was the first who adapt the strategy: The best defense is to attack. He always asked his bowlers not to worry about the runs, get the wickets. And in one day cricket, he introduced the strategy that keep the wickets in hands, and then burst in the last overs. On his time, spinners were not considered to be suitable in One-day cricket but he used to include at least one spinner in the team.

    Umpiring is another area where Imran influenced most. He was the foremost critic of consistently poor and ‘patriotic’ umpiring. Pakistan many time denied victory in a test series—1981-82 in England, 1987-88 in West Indies, to name a few. The idea of a neutral umpire was his, which was first adapted in 1987 World Cup, though initially ICC was reluctant to accept Imran’s proposal. The world has to wait another decade to see elite panel of umpire.

    My list in the order is: Imran Khan, Gary Sobers, Richard Hadlee. I ranked Hadlee higher than Botham because he performed well against West Indies where as Botham didn’t. Further, he remains a match-winning bowler through out his career. Hadlee was perhaps the greatest bowling all-rounder, only Wasim Akram comes close to him.

    One last thing Flintoff has a long way to go. We have to wait 5 or more years to bracket him even with Botham, though he has potential to be. So far he has only one season on his credential. Moreover, the omission of Chris Cairns from the list is indeed serious one.

  • Vanan on December 8, 2006, 5:57 GMT

    Stats, Performance, Leadership, fittness, Off field behaviour, a Legend - Kapil Dev

  • Murphy on December 8, 2006, 4:49 GMT

    There is gary Sobers and then there is the rest. Gary Sobers is not just the greatest allrounder but, if you consider cricket not just a game for batsmen, then Gary Sobers is probably the greatest cricketer ever. If you also consider the performance of the the list against the best during their time then, my top five after Sobers would be Imran, Kapil, Jacques, Keith Miller and Richie Bernaud. Hadlee never ever did much with the bat and Botham failed miserably against the big boys at his time - Windies. Akram, Flintoff are all good but not good enough to be considered as allrounders.

  • Saqib on December 4, 2006, 18:23 GMT

    W.G. was one of the greatest allrounders, but no one still living has ever seen The Doctor play, and his international record isn't amazing (2 centuries in 36 innings and 9 wickets in 22 tests)

  • Sailesh S Radha on December 4, 2006, 4:54 GMT

    The greatest all-rounder would naturally have to come from the list of Imran Khan, Ian botham and Kapil Dev, based on statistics and the quality of their performances for their respective teams. If I had to choose one from the three. I would pick Kapil. Why? Apart from statistics -

    1. Among the three, Kapil played for one of the weakest teams in international cricket arena (India had a dismal record in the eighties and the early nineties), save for Sri Lanka, for most of his career. New Zealanders were pretty unbeatable at home.

    2. Instrumental in turning the fortunes of the Indian team in the 1983 World Cup with a magnificent knock of 175 not our against Zimbabwe and an inspirational captaincy (remember he brought on Kirti Azad in the semi-finals, whose off-spin tweakers choked England). Don't forget the catch to dismiss Richards, which turned the tide against the West Indies in the final.

    3. Through out his career, he shouldered the responsibility of having a go with the ball first for India. He was pretty successful at it - with a haul of 434 wickets, majority of them coming off the life-less pitches in the sub-continent. Added to those are the 250-odd wickets in one-days. Don't forget, early in his career he shared the ball with spinners and some pretty slow trundlers of the likes of Ghavri and Amarnath. Imran on the other hand had pretty decent support in Safraz and others, and whereas Botham had Willis and a slew of others (Chris Old, Hendricks, Dilley, ...)

    4. A clutch-player: remember those four sixes to avoid a follow-on against England in 1990; a go-to guy to bowl the last over for India in any tight one-day game; and so on and so forth ... the list is endless. He would single-handedly win matches for India with the bat or the ball.

    5. Apart from his exceptional fielding, remember he also has the second highest batting strike rate in whole of test cricket so far.

    6. Wisden India's player of the last century.

    7. A Pioneer in terms of being a fast-bowler for India, which had history of producing spinners of the finest calibre. He brought India to the table of quality fast-bowling in international cricket.

  • Dr M K Aslam on December 4, 2006, 0:48 GMT

    There cannot be any match to Imran. Ever Graceful both in victory and defeat. Educated from the world's top institutions, he was not only a great all rounder of the game, He was probably the greatest ever inspirational force in cricket. Heart throb of millions, He transformed the game of cricket in the sub-continent. Invented the art of reverse swing much before the two WWs mastered the world with it. Unparallelled leadership qualities. Man of honour and integrity. Flair, Discipline, Charisma, you name it. Could bat anywhere and under any circumstances ( Attacking or defensive). Could use new ball as well as old ball equally efectively. He was a complete cricketer. IF he happened to be from England or Australia, We would only be looking for the 2nd best all rounder!

  • Andy Newton on December 1, 2006, 10:47 GMT

    I'm astonished that W.G. Grace isn't included either in the top 20 or anywhere in this blog. Surely 54,000 first class runs and 2800 wickets have to count for something?

  • Nick G on December 1, 2006, 2:12 GMT

    Great blog.

    I think you could split the categories for the 'best' into four groups -

    1.'superhuman' all-rounders in terms of both batting and bowling: the likes of Mike Proctor, Keith Miller and Imran Khan the 'stand outs' 2. the merely great all-rounders of Botham, Kapil, Pollock in close persuit. 3. You then have the great batting all-rounders: Sobers and Kallis. 4. For bowling all-rounders I don't think there's any other choice than Richard Hadlee, though Wasim and Benaud come close.

    Imran Khan for me ... superhuman stats, inspirational captain

    ps. How on earth is Chris Cairns not on this list - take Ravi Shastri's non-spinning lobs off the list!!

  • dr shakil akhtar on November 30, 2006, 18:41 GMT

    Yes certainly if the likes of Flintoff, Procter and Mankad are there, Chris Cairns and Sanath Jayasuriya must have been there, Infact Jayasuriya is one of the best one day allrounders; Great hitter of the ball, very good fielder, an economical wicket taking bowler and a great captain as well.

  • darcy attrill on November 29, 2006, 21:33 GMT

    i think ian botham because he was a true cricketer with a passion to win.He was good with bat but i think better with ball at one point he overtook the best fast bowler ever (Dennis Lillee)with more test wickets (382 wickets) thats an achievement. 2nd for me would defienitely Sobers as he was an awesome batsmen and also great with ball.

  • shano24 on November 29, 2006, 20:44 GMT

    The only reason that players like Flintoff are in the top twenty is because they play for the big countries. If someone like Carins played for England or Australia then he would be there. Because Flintoff is playing in the Ashes and due to his success last year in one high profile test series, this has completly overshadowed all the great series that other allrounders have made that are not in the top twenty. Flintoff at this stage of his career does not deserve to be in the top twenty.

  • Pradeep on November 27, 2006, 8:38 GMT

    Where's Chris Cairns? What happened to Jayasury? Did u know there was a guy called Carl Hooper? These 3 players definitely deserved to be in the top 20. Btw, the answer to your question - The best ever test allrounder has to be either Gary Sobers or Mike Procter. No place for anyone else. The best ever ODI allrounder according to me is Sanath Jayasurya. The only ones who can give him a fight are Carl Hooper, Chris Cairns and the great Kapil Dev.

  • Andrew Whitsed on November 27, 2006, 3:29 GMT

    Cairns should be in the top 20, his record is better than Flintoff's to date, both having played 62 tests. He has scored more test runs at a better average and taken more wickets at a better average. Also has 13 5 wicket hauls, again more than Flintoff.

  • Immy46 on November 26, 2006, 7:36 GMT

    If you look at the bat/bowl averages in both ODI and Test matches Imran Khan is in the top five of all of them. If any one thinks that the greatest test team ever is the current Aussie team, they need only look at the Windies team of Imran's era. The Pakistan team under Immy's leadership had the best record against them.

  • JOhn Mathai on November 25, 2006, 16:05 GMT

    i think Kapil Dev would be #1 alrounder. Because he is the only alrounder having more than 4000 runs and 400 wickets in test cricket. eventhough OD highest score record had been broken, we still remember his 175 n.o innings in '83 world cup, when his team in 16 for 5 wickets position.

  • K.Harish on November 25, 2006, 7:33 GMT

    One person who s not in this list is Lance Klusener.Cant count the nnumber of times he has won matches for SA with his extrodinary hitting and he was a very good bowler too.Surely he needs to be in that list.I think Kapil Dev was the best allrounder as far as I am concerned because he had the ability o deliver under pressure.The knock of 175 against Zim which was a good enough team those days when India was 17/5 helped India to reach the semi finals of the World cup and his running catch to dismiss Vivian Richards practically won India the world cup.As far as bowling is concerned statistics show for themselves.

  • Bob on November 24, 2006, 14:01 GMT

    Imran Khan was by far the most complete cricketer to set foot on a cricket field. At his peak, he was a tearaway bowler and his action was simply poetry in motion. He dismissed Gavaskar, his fiercest rival, 13 times on dead tracks. Imagine Freddie doing that to Ponting and you'll realize the depth of his bowling abilities. Unfortunately, his shin injury cost him two years but he made up for that by blossoming into a powerful hitter of the ball with a tight technique. Perhaps most importantly, he always played for the team. In 1991, he declared when he was 93 not out to eek out a marginal advantage for his team. Who has the spirit to do that any more? As captain, he groomed a future generation of cricketers including Wasim and Waqar and inspired a nation with his charismatic but firm leadership. To top it off, he won the world cup to wrap up his career in ultimate glory.

  • byju babu on November 24, 2006, 11:34 GMT

    Gary Sobers is undoubtedly the greatest all rounder of all time. His records speak for itself. No one can ever doubt his ability as an allrounder, who was equally good in all aspects of the game, including fielding. He was the best in his times in every aspect of the game,if one didnt tag him as an allrounder he would have been tagged as a best bowler or best batsmen or even best fileder during his period. This prize of the greatest allrounder would only be a small feather in his glorious cap.

  • SHANKAR K R on November 24, 2006, 11:26 GMT

    I think that Jaques Kallis of South Africa is the greatest allrounder in the cricket History.

    Tests Batting avg: 55.78 Tests Wickets: 200 Test Catches : 98

    ODIs Batting avg : 43.79 ODI Wickets:214 ODI Catches :93

    I think no other allrounder could match this performance

  • TristanR on November 24, 2006, 10:22 GMT

    I'm going to throw a name into the debate - Carl Hooper! Only player to have scored 5000 runs, taken 100 wickets and 100 catches, and played 100 games in both One Dayers and Test Matches. Ok, his averages and stats are not wonderful for a man blessed with all the talent in the world, but he was obviously always part of the game - doing things when it mattered, that to me is a great allrounder!

  • Abeed on November 24, 2006, 9:54 GMT

    Chris Cairns and Kumar Sangakkara have to be the two most notable absentees from this list. Chris Cairns had the ability to take the game away from the opposition with both bat and ball and regularly performed for one of the weaker sides in International Cricket - although his injury problems probably have counted against him.

    Sangakkara is arguably the best Wicket-Keeper Bat in World Cricket - good enough to bat in the top 3 in both forms of the game and keep wicket to the highest standards. With an average of almost 50 in test cricket - surely he demands a place at the high table.

    In the current list Imran Khan is probably the outstanding allrounder - average almost 40 with the bat and 22 with the ball.

  • Gavaskar Shashi on November 24, 2006, 6:08 GMT

    Who else, but Sir Garry Sobers. With more than 8000 runs, 26 hundreds, 30 fifties, average of around 58, 235 wickets, Sir Garry stands out not only as the greatest all rounder but as benchmark for all the past, present and future mortals. He is the natural favourite with Sir Don in all time world cricket team, places for other nine may be debated endlessly.

  • Jim Munir on November 24, 2006, 5:11 GMT

    Imran at the peak of his bowling career missed 18 test matches for Pakistan due to a shin injury. In spite of this, he has incredibly finished near to 400 test wickets. His batting became the mainstay along with Javed Miandad & he more than proved this on both home & away. His general cricketing sense & discipline on fitness was second to none & that is why he was great captain as well.

  • Sudarshan Agrawal on November 24, 2006, 4:35 GMT

    Ian Botham. Period. No comparison. There was Bothan and then there were/are other allrounders. We are not talking about ifs and buts. We are not talking about injuries and captainship. What we are talking about is allrounder and there is no denying that Ian Botham blew all the teams in the world. There can be competition for second place between Sobers, Kapil, Imran, Hadlee, Kallis and Flintoff. Off course, Cairns does not stand any chance.

  • Niranjan on November 24, 2006, 4:10 GMT

    I'm surprised that Sanath Jayasuriya is not on the list as well. His flair with the bat is undoubtable (he virtually changed the face of ODI cricket) and think of the number of times he has turned matches for Sri Lanka with his slow left arm spin (the semifinal of the '96 World Cup for example). He captained the country with some success for almost 4 years. He was also a very good fielder in his hay day but that trait is sadly diminishing somewhat towards the end of his career. What do you'll think??

  • RA on November 21, 2006, 18:47 GMT

    Botham blew hot and cold (14 100s yet an avg. of only 33ish) - usually hot against Aus and definitely 'chilled' agianst WI, the best side of the time. Imran led Pak to 3 consecutive 1-1 drawn series vs WI at a time when other sides were trying to merely avoid "blackwashes". Sobers was good statistically but sample this: from 1982-1992 when he was also captain, Imran averaged 50 with the bat and 19 with the ball (tests) - beat that I say!

  • JJF on November 21, 2006, 13:42 GMT

    My heart says Botham, but the brain says Imran Khan and the stats paint the full picture. He is the top true all-round performer with both bat and ball. Statistically if you exclude those who are more batsmen than anything else he sits at the top of the pile and excluding Mike Procter he sits second only to the great Richard Hadlee as a bowler. Need more be said?

  • Richard Lake on November 21, 2006, 10:48 GMT

    Botham never did it against the best in the world, so cannot be considered to be the best ever.

    Kallis's stats look good, but most of the others are much more team players and are more likely to influence the game than Kallis. I'd much rather have Flintoff than Kallis in my team as the all rounder of the current players.

    For me, it's got to be Sobers, who could do everything.

  • Stevie B on November 20, 2006, 13:11 GMT

    Where is Cairnsey? If he hadn't of been hampered by injuries and idiot coaches (Turner), Cairns would've scored 5000 plus runs and taken 300 plus wickets. Regardless, he should easily be in the top 20.

  • Patrick Adams on November 20, 2006, 12:18 GMT

    The best all-rounder of all time is Garry Sobers. His ability to bowl off-spin as well as pace was a selectors dream and his ability to win the game with either bat or ball was legendary. The ex-England captain Mike Denness commented that he and his follow batsman would be worried if Sobers didn't score any runs as they knew he would bowl at them with a belief that this would be the way he'd make his impact on the game.

    He also managed to successfully captain the West Indies; a true all-rounder.

  • pandora on November 20, 2006, 10:23 GMT

    All the all-rounders listed must be taken in the context of the time they played. Having said that, I believe that Garry Sobers, Ian Botham and Andrew Flintoff are the most likely to have been able to play their natural game at any stage in cricketing history and still be considered great all-rounders. Freddie has the added weight of comparison to Beefy which in my mind makes him greatest, because he achieves success with bat, ball and also fielding and captaincy with the spectre of Ian Botham on his back. He is only going to get better at the game and as he matures I am confident he will be the greatest all-rounder ever. I agree with KP - needs to pick his batting average up though ...

  • john crawford on November 19, 2006, 23:18 GMT

    I think it is between Botham and Sobers, but on serious reflection it has to be Sobers, he was a brilliant bat virtually anywhere in the order, he could bowl genuine seam bowling as LH medium fast also slow bowling when the need arose, excellent close fielder and a good captain although his side was something special at that time.

  • umare on November 19, 2006, 13:51 GMT

    speaking of modern day all rounders, you dont go beyond freddie flintoff.The guy is absolutely immense on the cricket field and the closest there ever was to him in modern day cricket were jacque kallis & Chris cairns, both legends in their own rights

  • Sesha Agnihotram on November 19, 2006, 12:05 GMT

    As far as test cricket is concerned, I think Gary Sobers will be #1 by a distance. It will be very interesting to see who will be rated #2 in test cricket. I think it will be a close contest between Kapil, Imran and Botham. In one-days, I think it will be a close contest between Kapil and Imran for #1.

  • Brookie on November 19, 2006, 10:17 GMT

    Why is Wally Hammond not on the list. one of the great batsmen of all time rated one of the best slip fielders ever and also has a great bowling record. I also feel that but for being South African at the wrong time Mike Procter would of been in the top two

  • Ethan on November 19, 2006, 0:32 GMT

    I'd like to propose someone who isn't on the list and who I'm sure most people would disagree with, Tatenda Taibu. He managed to captain, keep, be one of his team's strongest batsmen and one of their best bowlers with his off-spin. All in an international (test) side. If that isn't a great all-rounder I don't know what is.

  • Arif on November 18, 2006, 11:52 GMT

    i think it is difficult to decide who was the best all rounder of all time because they are from different eras.Having said that a true great is recognised not just by his consistency in his performances but the style and grace he achieved his feats.In the 1980s Viv Richards was the most fearsome batsman of his time because he had these attributes.Of all the allrounders i don't think any matched Imran Khan for consistency and grace.Imran was a success in all aspects of the game,bowling,batting,fielding and above all his captaincy.Sure i would say only Gary Sobers runs him close.The other factor to note is that Imran would easily have achieved 450 wkts and a lot more runs in his career had he not got injured and was out of the game for two years at his peak.

  • saleem on November 18, 2006, 10:42 GMT

    I think u have made the right selection of three but if we were to select one it has to be Imran Khan as he was a brilliant bowler(bowling almost 90mph), took wickets against the best teams like west indies, aus and eng + took wickets on dead pitches which other bowlers struggled to do. botham always struggled against west indies. Imran had won so many matches just becuaese of his bowling. He was also a fine batsman and again he batted well against all oppositions in different conditions. In the last 10 years of his caraer he averged over 50 while he was captaning and bowling average was around 19. As he did let his performance effected by the burden of the captaicy. he should be regarded the best ever all rounder.

  • Dave on November 18, 2006, 10:37 GMT

    Mike Proctor, to me, was the best allrounder of them all. Lightening quick opening bowler (check his bowling averages), he also took 9 wkts in an inning bowling off-break, great slip fielder and no 5 or 6 bat of huge ability. Sadly effected badly by the SA ban.

  • David Bird on November 17, 2006, 9:58 GMT

    Beefy is the only all-rounder of the twenty to have scored more and 10 test hundreds (14) and taken more than 250 wickets (382). That says he was able, more often than the others, to win games with bat or ball.

  • Mishmash on November 17, 2006, 2:43 GMT

    I think you're right about the top 3, but cannot believe that you haven't included Chris Cairns in the Top 20!

    My choice is Botham, as a matchwinner, purely because I think he won games with both bat and ball, whereas Sobers was very much a batsman first and foremost.

    In my opinion, frontline batsmen score 100s, frontline bowlers take 5fors. If you look down the list, only Botham has got more than 10 tons and 10 5 fors, the others are very much stronger in one suit or other. He's also done the double of a 5for and a ton in the same match 5 times, whereas nobody else has acheived this feat more than twice.

    Sobers was a batsman beyond compare, Imran a great bowler and tactician, who made himself into a decent no 7. Botham was the only one that looked equally at home with both.

  • John jacob jingle heimer smith on November 16, 2006, 7:58 GMT

    i think that imran is the best because of the fact that in the 80s when WI were destroying everybody, he led to 3 (3) drawn series with them. Added facts are that in terms of statistics he is better than everybody (odi and test combined) and also the fact that he was entertaining and brought pakistani cricket into a new era, he has thousands fans still and he brought the image of hearthrob into cricket. because of this cricket has evolved. but mostly why he should be named as the best allrounder ever is because he was the best captain ever. Gary sobers was a better captain but because of his captaincy imran was better. leading your team to victory in the w/c final in your last match shows how good his team was. imran was THE best

  • farid khan on November 16, 2006, 2:36 GMT

    Imran khan's name appears high on all four lists. I believe he was the greatest of all times considering the fact that he had the added burden of slecting/captaining a mediocre team. He was the mastermind for winning the 1992 world cup. But if we look at Jacqueos Kallis and the number of runs he has already scored than in modern day era i belive there is no match for him. Flintoff may achieve greater success in the next 5 years to come.

  • Andy on November 15, 2006, 17:12 GMT

    One issue that is going to influence this debate is the varying quality of cricket through the ages. How good would Kapil or Imran be against the 2000s Aussies? Does the fact that someone like Flintoff has performed against the best team ever give him that extra edge? Was it easier to play in black and white?

  • Akhan on November 15, 2006, 16:21 GMT

    I would like to say Imran Khan is the better of the three and by far the greatest all rounder of all time. Sure the other 2 and many others have smashed 6 sixes in an over, won their country the Ashes, and turned it on when it has mattered most, with both bat and ball, but Imran Khan did it with flair. Not only that, many players, although brilliant in both departments, have not been able to match Imran, as he has turned it on when it mattered the most, especially in the World Cup 1992. He handled both bat and ball under immense pressure and while holding the captaincy. Taking all that into consideration is vital, as he had to influence his troops and successfully did that, too. So thus, in my view, he should be the best all-rounder, in the history of cricket.

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  • Akhan on November 15, 2006, 16:21 GMT

    I would like to say Imran Khan is the better of the three and by far the greatest all rounder of all time. Sure the other 2 and many others have smashed 6 sixes in an over, won their country the Ashes, and turned it on when it has mattered most, with both bat and ball, but Imran Khan did it with flair. Not only that, many players, although brilliant in both departments, have not been able to match Imran, as he has turned it on when it mattered the most, especially in the World Cup 1992. He handled both bat and ball under immense pressure and while holding the captaincy. Taking all that into consideration is vital, as he had to influence his troops and successfully did that, too. So thus, in my view, he should be the best all-rounder, in the history of cricket.

  • Andy on November 15, 2006, 17:12 GMT

    One issue that is going to influence this debate is the varying quality of cricket through the ages. How good would Kapil or Imran be against the 2000s Aussies? Does the fact that someone like Flintoff has performed against the best team ever give him that extra edge? Was it easier to play in black and white?

  • farid khan on November 16, 2006, 2:36 GMT

    Imran khan's name appears high on all four lists. I believe he was the greatest of all times considering the fact that he had the added burden of slecting/captaining a mediocre team. He was the mastermind for winning the 1992 world cup. But if we look at Jacqueos Kallis and the number of runs he has already scored than in modern day era i belive there is no match for him. Flintoff may achieve greater success in the next 5 years to come.

  • John jacob jingle heimer smith on November 16, 2006, 7:58 GMT

    i think that imran is the best because of the fact that in the 80s when WI were destroying everybody, he led to 3 (3) drawn series with them. Added facts are that in terms of statistics he is better than everybody (odi and test combined) and also the fact that he was entertaining and brought pakistani cricket into a new era, he has thousands fans still and he brought the image of hearthrob into cricket. because of this cricket has evolved. but mostly why he should be named as the best allrounder ever is because he was the best captain ever. Gary sobers was a better captain but because of his captaincy imran was better. leading your team to victory in the w/c final in your last match shows how good his team was. imran was THE best

  • Mishmash on November 17, 2006, 2:43 GMT

    I think you're right about the top 3, but cannot believe that you haven't included Chris Cairns in the Top 20!

    My choice is Botham, as a matchwinner, purely because I think he won games with both bat and ball, whereas Sobers was very much a batsman first and foremost.

    In my opinion, frontline batsmen score 100s, frontline bowlers take 5fors. If you look down the list, only Botham has got more than 10 tons and 10 5 fors, the others are very much stronger in one suit or other. He's also done the double of a 5for and a ton in the same match 5 times, whereas nobody else has acheived this feat more than twice.

    Sobers was a batsman beyond compare, Imran a great bowler and tactician, who made himself into a decent no 7. Botham was the only one that looked equally at home with both.

  • David Bird on November 17, 2006, 9:58 GMT

    Beefy is the only all-rounder of the twenty to have scored more and 10 test hundreds (14) and taken more than 250 wickets (382). That says he was able, more often than the others, to win games with bat or ball.

  • Dave on November 18, 2006, 10:37 GMT

    Mike Proctor, to me, was the best allrounder of them all. Lightening quick opening bowler (check his bowling averages), he also took 9 wkts in an inning bowling off-break, great slip fielder and no 5 or 6 bat of huge ability. Sadly effected badly by the SA ban.

  • saleem on November 18, 2006, 10:42 GMT

    I think u have made the right selection of three but if we were to select one it has to be Imran Khan as he was a brilliant bowler(bowling almost 90mph), took wickets against the best teams like west indies, aus and eng + took wickets on dead pitches which other bowlers struggled to do. botham always struggled against west indies. Imran had won so many matches just becuaese of his bowling. He was also a fine batsman and again he batted well against all oppositions in different conditions. In the last 10 years of his caraer he averged over 50 while he was captaning and bowling average was around 19. As he did let his performance effected by the burden of the captaicy. he should be regarded the best ever all rounder.

  • Arif on November 18, 2006, 11:52 GMT

    i think it is difficult to decide who was the best all rounder of all time because they are from different eras.Having said that a true great is recognised not just by his consistency in his performances but the style and grace he achieved his feats.In the 1980s Viv Richards was the most fearsome batsman of his time because he had these attributes.Of all the allrounders i don't think any matched Imran Khan for consistency and grace.Imran was a success in all aspects of the game,bowling,batting,fielding and above all his captaincy.Sure i would say only Gary Sobers runs him close.The other factor to note is that Imran would easily have achieved 450 wkts and a lot more runs in his career had he not got injured and was out of the game for two years at his peak.

  • Ethan on November 19, 2006, 0:32 GMT

    I'd like to propose someone who isn't on the list and who I'm sure most people would disagree with, Tatenda Taibu. He managed to captain, keep, be one of his team's strongest batsmen and one of their best bowlers with his off-spin. All in an international (test) side. If that isn't a great all-rounder I don't know what is.