All-time XI - World
ESPNcricinfo picks the best Test teams of all time

Gideon Haigh's XI of those who didn't make the ESPNcricinfo shortlist

The excluded

Our soon-to-be announced all-time world XI will be picked from a shortlist of 88. But there are plenty of stellar names outside those ranks, as this XI, chosen from those who weren't on the shortlists, proves

Gideon Haigh

October 12, 2010

Comments: 92 | Text size: A | A

A pair for Neil Harvey, bowled by Jim Laker in the second innings, England v Australia, Manchester, July 31, 1956
Neil Harvey b Jim Laker: not in this XI, though, where they're on the same side © The Cricketer International

Rodney Marsh, the footballer rather than the cricketer, once said of the sport he played something no less true of the sport he didn't: The club manager had only 11 men to keep happy - the 11 in the second team. Those in the first team were happy because they were in the first team.

ESPNcricinfo has taken precautions in picking its World XI by asking each voter on its jury to choose two teams from all time, whom it will be difficult to separate. But what of the more than 2500 other Test cricketers - and I'm afraid we are talking about Test players - who not only will not feature in either of these teams but didn't even make the shortlist of 88?

Out of a spirit of commendable internationalism, ESPNcricinfo asked representatives of each country to choose their teams from the players in the all-time XIs that the site picked for the leading Test nations over the last year and some. But can anyone say, hand on heart, that Ashantha de Mel or Rumesh Ratnayake, good players though they were, rank superior to Ray Lindwall or Wes Hall? That Daniel Vettori is a better left-arm spinner than Hedley Verity, or that Kevin Pietersen stands taller than that first flag-of-convenience cricketer Ranjitsinhji.

Haigh's best of the rest XI

  • Wilfred Rhodes, Herbert Sutcliffe, Ricky Ponting, Neil Harvey (capt), Everton Weekes, Rohan Kanhai, Ian Healy, Ray Lindwall, Joel Garner, Jim Laker, Ted McDonald, Bishan Bedi (12th man)

To keep the disappointed 2500 from insurrection, ESPNcricinfo agreed to my choosing a team from the best of the rest, which actually proved at least as difficult as permutating and combining the names on the shortlist. Think of the Australian names to be filtered: Stan McCabe, Charlie Macartney, Clarrie Grimmett, Bill Ponsford, Bob Simpson, Rod Marsh, Steve Waugh. Weigh up the competing Indian claims: Vijay Merchant, Gundappa Viswanath, Bhagwath Chandrashekhar. Brood on the Pakistanis: Majid Khan, Mushtaq Mohammad, Khan Mohammad. Consider the Englishmen: Sir Alec Bedser, Maurice Tate, Denis Compton, Peter May, Ted Dexter, Brian Statham.

Above all, I think, the shortlist gives shortest shrift to West Indians, when you factor in exclusions like the three Ws, Clive Lloyd, Jeff Dujon, Andy Roberts, Alf Valentine and Sonny Ramadhin, while you might have considered Learie Constantine and Roger Harper for fielding alone. Even some very tidy Sri Lankans escaped ESPNcricinfo's attention: Roy Dias, Anura Tennekoon, Frederick de Saram. And don't forget that a hundred years ago the best bowler in the world might have been American: John Barton King.

Anyway, here is my token of recognition to those who did not make our ESPNcricinfo squad. The XII includes three West Indians, two Queenslanders (one adopted), history's highest first-class wicket-taker with a fellow Yorkshireman as his opening partner, history's greatest orthodox offspinner and its loveliest left-arm spinner, Australia's biggest international run-getter and the only Tasmanian who might have matched him as a cricketer. All of them under a captain keenly motivated to demonstrate that the cricketers of the past are at least the equal of those of today.

Bring on those showponies. We'll give them a game.

Pick your all-time world XI here

Gideon Haigh is a cricket historian and writer

RSS Feeds: Gideon Haigh

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by hatrick26 on (October 14, 2010, 23:15 GMT)

@jsoops - Yours is pretty likely to be the closest to CricInfo's but my XI includes atleast one player from all major test playing nation to be bit democratic. Hobbs,Sunny,Don,SRT,Kallis,Sobers,Sanga,Hadlee,Marshall,Akram,Warne. 2-Oz,2-Ind,2-WI,1 -SA,Eng,SL,Pak,NZ. It includes players across decades- Hobbs to Sanga. My Excluded XI - Sutcliffe,Merchant,Ponting,Compton,Weekes,Border (capt), Lindwall,Evans,Roberts,Garner,Chandra.

Posted by cricketchopper on (October 14, 2010, 15:57 GMT)

@jasoops - Dear your sellected team is almost the same which is going to be selected. Only suspicious position is of Gilchrist. Due to strong Batting line, jury may include Alont Knot in place of Gilchrist.

Posted by jsoops on (October 14, 2010, 9:05 GMT)

My World XI will have: Jack Hobbs, Sunil Gavaskar,Viv Richards, Don Bradman (capt), Sachin Tendulkar, Gary Sobers, Adam Gilchrist, Shane Warne, Wasim Akram, Malcolm Marshall and Denis Lille.

Posted by Proteas123 on (October 14, 2010, 8:48 GMT)

cricketchopper - Good idea. Your 5th era team is not balanced though and the bowling would struggle outside of the subcontinent. Kallis should come in for Steve Waugh or Tendulkar and Waquar, Donald or Marshall should come in for Murli. You need some pace. Also could consider McMillan or Flintoff fitting in for more bowling options and to accomodate two spinners in Sub-continent or Sydney.

Posted by cricketchopper on (October 13, 2010, 22:31 GMT)

The cricket history should be divided in five parts. First, Before start of World War-I, before 1914, Second from 1914 to 1945. Third from 1945 to 1975, Four 1975 to 1989. The Fifth from 1989 to date. The players who played during two of those eras should be put into the era where they were at their peak and played most of their cricket.

My team for fifth era is: Mathew Haden,Sehwag,Ponting,Tendulkar,Lara,Stewag,Gilcrisht,Shahe Warne,Murli,Magrah,Waseem

My team for fourth era: Gavaskar,Greenidge,Richards,Greig Chappel,Jawed,Imran,Hadlee,Alon Knot,Marshal,Lillee,Qadir,

Posted by NALINWIJ on (October 13, 2010, 14:01 GMT)

There are various means of selecting two separate world xi. It is impossible to compare players from 19th century and selecting 2 teams since 1900 it would be reasonable to select a team before SOBERS and after and as SOBERS achieved his greatness after 1956 and most invincibles retired by then this method would be true to two separate eras. ERA 1- 1.TRUMPER 2.HOBBS 3.BRADMAN 4.HEADLEY 5.HAMMOND 6.MILLER 7.LINDWALL 8.G.EVANS 9.O'RIELLY 10.GRIMMETT 11.BARNES ERA 2- 1.GAVASKAR 2.B.RICHARDS 3.V.RICHARDS 4.TENDULKAR 5.SOBERS 6.IMRAN KHAN 7.GILCHRIST 8.R.HADLEE 9.WARNE 10.LILLEE 11.MURALI 12.BOTHAM AND the 2nd era is composed of the big 8 test playing nations. I agree with GIDEON of the domination of his X! with AUS,ENG and WI players as they had a surplus of great players. Omitted XI-1.PONSFORD 2.SUTCLIFFE 3.PONTING 4.WORRELL 5.WALCOTT 6.RHODES 7.LINDWALL 8.DAVIDSON 9.G.EVANS 10.GARNER 11.GRIMMETT 12.CHANDRASEKHAR apart from BRADMAN this X! will give any world XI a good fight.

Posted by   on (October 13, 2010, 10:01 GMT)

Im going to post two teams: The best Australian team, I have seen and the best non-Aussie side I have seen.

AUS: Hayden, Langer, Boon, Border, S.Waugh, Ponting, Healy, Warne, Lee, McDermott, McGrath. 12th man: Taylor

World: Jayasuriya, Smith, Lara, Kallis, Tendulkar, Ul Haq, Sangakarra, Akram, Pollock, Ambrose, Mururitharin. 12th Man: A.Flower

Posted by HLANGL on (October 13, 2010, 7:27 GMT)

Where's Clyd Walcott, Roy Fedricks, Richie Richardson, Craig McDermott, Stuart McGill, Michael Slater, Justin Langer, etc.. ? ... Far better players to be omitted given the pretty ordinary players who had come in to all-time XIs from some countries in the absence of genuine greats from their respective countries ...

Posted by miza3342005 on (October 13, 2010, 6:48 GMT)

How can you choose Mr Ted, he only played 11 test matches at took 43 wickets @ 33.27, hardly a good bowler, even more so a great bowler!!! Anyway my 11 is:

1. Boycott 2. Sutcliff 3. Compton 4. Lara 5. S Waugh (c) 6. Rhodes 7. Marsh (wk) 8. Lindwall 9. Bedser 10. Garder 11. Chandrashekhar.

Posted by Proteas123 on (October 13, 2010, 6:27 GMT)

Thanks NickHughes, I missed that Rhodes is an all-rounder. Think they could do better but guess it is hard to compare between era's and will normally come down to the selector's preference. REXYCP123, this list is for those excluded from their country's best eleven, hence it is supposed to be the best of the rest. Ponting a head of Tendulkar is not such a stretch anyway, although Bradman was worlds better than everyone else (all most twice as good as Tendulkar). Xolile, i agree about Flower. He should be in the final world eleven, or at least be considered with Gilchrist and the great pure keepers. Sangakara is a part time keeper and should not be in any world eleven as a keeper.

Posted by cantwaittosee on (October 13, 2010, 5:54 GMT)

H Sutcliffe.....V Merchant....R Ponting... E Weekes.......C Walcott.......S Waugh(c). ....A Flower...... C Grimmet .......J Garner........ S Akhtar..... D Steyn . The tail is a little weak for my liking but gotta go with four best bowlers. Akhtar plays provided we consider only player peaks....otherwise Alec Bedser plays for Akhtar.

Posted by cantwaittosee on (October 13, 2010, 5:32 GMT)

Sorry...Merchant in for Boycott.

H Sutcliffe.....V Merchant....R Ponting... E Weekes.......C Walcott.......S Waugh(c). ....A Flower...... C Grimmet .......J Garner........ S Akhtar..... D Steyn .

Posted by cantwaittosee on (October 13, 2010, 5:29 GMT)

H Sutcliffe.....G Boycott....R Ponting... E Weekes.......C Walcott.......S Waugh(c). ....A Flower...... C Grimmet .......J Garner........ S Akhtar..... D Steyn .

Posted by sudhindranath on (October 13, 2010, 4:33 GMT)

For my World XI, I thought it is best if the team had no tail! So here is my XI : Sunil Gavaskar, Gordon Greenidge, Sachin Tendulkar, Don Bradman, Garry Sobers (capt), Vinoo Mankad, Alan Knott (wk), Jacques Kallis, Keith Miller, Imran Khan, Richard Hadlee.

Posted by   on (October 13, 2010, 3:44 GMT)


- Concentrate on post world war - particularly from 70s and on -where induction of ODIs changed entire nature of the game - whether batting or bowling. - Besides no one can break Bradman's record - yet, he did not play in the new era cricket against atleast two formidable sides as Sri Lanka and Pakistan. - A batter needs to be judged on atleast a dozen factors beyond just records:-There is the quality of batsmanship in style- perfection- range of strokes - ability to play aginst all type bowing - the circumstances/pressure - type of wicket- the opposition- the batting position and the role/expectations in the batting line up. Ofcourse, very important factor is records. But say, so many centuries made - GREAT -but how many missed - is it a short coming or bad luck, partcularly at an important stage of an innings.

- I will pick up only single batter today in the most difficult role of an opener - Shewag.

Posted by   on (October 13, 2010, 3:37 GMT)

MY team of the excluded would be 1 Herbert Sutcliffe 2Wilfred Rhodes 3 Ricky Ponting 4 Niel Harvey 5 Steve Waugh 6 Tony Greig 7Jeff Dujon 8 Allan Davidson 9 Joel Garner 10 Clarie Grimmet 11 Ray Lindwall 12 Richie Benaud

Posted by   on (October 13, 2010, 2:40 GMT)

My excluded XI

Surinder Khanna, Chris Tavare, Jonty Rhodes, Larry Gomes, Asanka Gurusinghe, Dinesh Mongia, Rashid Latif, Raju Kulkarni, Ewen Chatfield, Roger Harper and Derek Pringle.

Posted by vparisa on (October 13, 2010, 1:47 GMT)

I did not read all the comments before i posted my previous comment, but very happy to see that lot of folks share the same sentiments about the best wicket keeper batsmen - Andy Flower. I loved him when he scored back to back double centuries in India. Technically, he was the best player of spin, bettering SRT. His wicket keeping was way better than Gilly/Sanga and was very much comparable to that of Ian Healy.

Posted by vparisa on (October 13, 2010, 1:41 GMT)

Sad to see that Gideon missing out on Andy Flower. He was arguably the best wicket keeper batsmen ever. Definitely better than the like of Gilly and Sanga. And as expected no Asian players in the XI

Posted by waspsting on (October 13, 2010, 1:35 GMT)

People querying against Ted Macdonald.... Don Bradman rated him the best fast bowler in history (this was round about 1949). just cause you haven't heard of him, doesn't mean he wasn't the goods

Posted by redneck on (October 13, 2010, 1:04 GMT)

@K-amps if you want to talk bias then why the hell is ricky pontings name not even on the short list for the world XI. granted its hard to fit him in the team but there are far less acomplished cricketers on that list for the sake of including every team. no bangledeshi or zimbabwean deserves to be ahead of punter. couldnt care less that flower apparently was ranked no.1 batsmen in the world at one stage, as it was only because zimbabwes ranking was so low that runs against any test playing nation was given alot more weighting than australian batsmen in the no.1 team at the time! anti asia bias pull the other one mate!!! most asian teams have only started preforming consistently well in the 90's! thats 100 years after tests started! in all honesty maybe 4 pakistanis (miranad, imran, and the 2 W's) and 4 maybe 5 indias (dev, gavasker, bedi, tendulker & kumble) deserve nomination and as for sri lanka prehaps murali if you think his actions fine but no one else would be close!

Posted by MiddleStump on (October 13, 2010, 0:53 GMT)

Yawn! This article appears weeks after some people had posted such a XI. It would be a much more interesting exercise to come up with a Forgotten XI for each country. An Indian XI for example would be: 1.Prince (KS) Indrajitsinghi 2. Jayantilal 3. Gandotra 4. Ambar Roy 5. TE Sreenivasan 6. Ramesh Saxena 7. Milkha Singh 8. Narain Swamy 9. P. Krishnamurthy 10. R. Bhatt 11.Mhambrey. You may have difficulty even recognizing these blokes played Tests. Hey, even their mothers might. The fun of it that these guys indeed played tests. Hardly matters if the bowlers have averages like batsmen, and the batsmen batted like bowlers. Check it out. It is a lot more fun than these idiotic articles. On to the England XI next.

Posted by kirksland on (October 13, 2010, 0:36 GMT)


I have deceided to go with two spinners for the team and they are Jim Laker, who once took 19 wickets in a test and spun the ball furiously and the leg spinner Subhash Gupte, who was named by no less that the great Sobers as the greatest leg spinner he has ever seen. In summery then, Matthew Hayden, Herbert Sutcliffe, Rickey Ponting (c), Everton Weekes, Denis Compton, Clyde Walcott (wk), Tony Greig, Ray Lindwall, Joel Garner, Jim Laker, Subhash Gupte. Reserves Alan Davidson, Neil Harvey, Godfrey Evans, Clarrie Grimmett and Rohan Kanhai. This team might actually challenge my pick for the Cricinfo All Time XI, Jack Hobbs, Barry Richards, Don Bradman, Brian Lara, Sachin Tendulkar, Gary Sobers, Adam Gilchrist, Imran Khan, Shane Warne, Malcolm Marshall and Glen Mcgrath. Reserves Allan Knott, Mutiah Muralitharan, Dennis Lillee, Viv Richards and Len Hutton.

In my hunble opion PEERLESS.

Posted by kirksland on (October 13, 2010, 0:21 GMT)

Con't. Batting at 4, Everton Weekes would have made most teams first XI, and with an average of over fifty-eight is an automatic inclusion, first rate slip fielder as well, #5 would be Dennis Compton who too should have been included in his team first 11 and along with Hutton was the foundation of the post war English bating line up. Keeping wicket for this team is the fearsome Clyde Walcott, who while not the most atletic keeper around kept more that admirably to Ramdin and Valentine in England and was the most destructive batsman of his or most generations. The all rounder position would be held down by Tony Greig the under rated former Bitish captain who averaged 40 in the time of the West Indian fearsome foursome, potential match winner with bat or ball. The bowlers and their records speak for themselves, Ray Lindwall along with Miller was among the graetest and most feared new ball pairs of all time, Joel Garner averaged 20 with a strike rate of 50, both could be deadly quick.

Posted by kirksland on (October 13, 2010, 0:03 GMT)

Now that I have some more time I will expand on my 11, which unlike the named XI lacks any controversial picks. Also to defend Gideon, I dont see an anti asian bias, as the asia teams have been the last teams to the table and have a smaller pool of players to choose from, and as such most of their better players would have been included in their teams first 11. They are no players from N.Z either, does that bias exist as well, they are no realistic players available from Sri Lanka, and only really Bari or Yousuf from Pakistan, while at leat one of the Indian spinners could have been included, but that is also a matter of preference. The strongest teams in history has been Australia, West Indies and England, and as such has had greater players. As far as my 11 goes, Matthew Hayden was the rocket that propelled that great batting order, Herbert Sutcliffe was part of the greatest opening pair ever and averaged 60. At 3 Ponting should have been in Aussie 1st XI, 2nd highest test scorer.

Posted by PSr1 on (October 12, 2010, 23:08 GMT)

Bishan Singh Bedi for 12th man, seriously, mate? Worst fielder ever, and I'm counting my grandmother.

Posted by peterhrt on (October 12, 2010, 22:47 GMT)

As jury member for the All-Time Australian XI, Gideon Haigh himself excluded from his own selection all five of the Australians he has listed here. He chose Davidson, who did not make the final eleven, but left him out of this team, which is inconsistent. Grace was not excluded as such from the England XI, but rather deliberately ignored. The English panel were obviously told not to pick him, presumably because his peak occurred before the start of Test cricket. This should have been made clear. CMJ is on record as ranking Grace the second greatest cricketer ever, yet did not select him. Judging by players' status in their own time, Ranji and Macartney rate higher than any of the middle order batsmen here, Spofforth higher than any of the bowlers, and Blackham or Oldfield should be keeping wicket. In general, too little account has been taken of the earlier cricketers. Test matches began in 1877, yet 97 of the 99 players chosen in this exercise played Test cricket after 1920.

Posted by Ozbuck on (October 12, 2010, 22:38 GMT)

Gideon mentions him in passing, no one selects him but the greatest (THE greatest) batsman of all time said that Alec Bedser was the best bowler he faced; and that Bill O'Reilly was the best spinner. I think DG Bradman had a fair knowledge of the game.

Posted by PatrickJM on (October 12, 2010, 22:11 GMT)

Interesting article, though just goes to show compiling a world XI is basically just an exercise in undeservedly excluding some outstanding cricketers. Best to just enjoy cricket itself - Ponting's 72 and Tendulkar's 214, Warne's wizardry and Viv's violence, Wasim's swing and Mikey's menace. For me, cricket is about remembering performances first and foremost.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (October 12, 2010, 22:05 GMT)

Interesting chioices for this team of the best of the rest and still no room for May or Gower. I am glad to see Laker got the place though. Perhaps as recompense we could select a Aesthetician's team.

Posted by rson on (October 12, 2010, 21:27 GMT)

My team has Bill Ponsford opening with Herbert Sutcliffe ,followed by Everton Weekes,Denis Compton,Clyde Walcott(wicketkeeper),Mushtaq Mohammad,Wilfred Rhodes,Richie Benaud(Capt),Alan Davdson ray Lindwall and Joel Garner.

Posted by K-amps on (October 12, 2010, 20:27 GMT)

@Mohammad Akhlaq: MoYo? Are you kidding ? There are times where he does not make current Pakistan teams and this is a very weak batting team. Granted he is a good batsman, but he has several weaknesses for example, his tendency of running out his partners, this alone disqualifies him as a worthwhile contender.

Posted by grug76 on (October 12, 2010, 20:12 GMT)

I do not envy the people who compile such lists... So many great players to choose from and so many who miss out! I think In could probably field a team of Aussies from the 80s to today who could give any team a run for their money... this is of course presuming they are all at the top of their game! 1. M Hayden 2. J Langer 3. R Ponting 4. M Waugh 5. M Clarke 6. S Waugh 7. I Healy 8. J Gillespie 9. C McDermott 10. S Magill 11. J Thomson A fearsome and aggressive fast bowling line-up (one of whom as a double hundred to his name!), a wicket taking spinner, one of the safest keepers ever who can score handy runs, middle-order batsmen who are more than handy with the ball and a top order that can destroy any bowling attack.. and that's leaving out names like Merv Hughes, Michael Slater, Mark Taylor, Darren Lehmann... As I said, such a hard task!!!

Posted by Robin1 on (October 12, 2010, 20:05 GMT)

Excluded XI : J Mubarak (SL), J Arun Lal (India), Asif Mujtaba (Pak), RG Twose (NZ), RIC Holder (WI), D Williams (WI), DJ Capel (Eng), IDK Salisbury (Eng), S Madan Lal (India), Akram Raza (Pak), DR Gilbert (Aus)

Posted by farazzubair on (October 12, 2010, 19:58 GMT)

1.Sutcliffe 2. Weekes 3. Ponting 4. Walcott 5. Barrington 6.Wilfred Rhodes. 7. Dujon 8. Spofforth 9. Grimmett 10. Garner 11. Roberts

Posted by K-amps on (October 12, 2010, 19:56 GMT)

So before I saw Gideon's list, (and in the light of some people asserting his anti Asia bias) I asked myself, will I find any Asians in his 11? ..............................Well indeed... a 12th man!! .......................................So does this strengthen the case of Gideon having an Anti -Asian Bias or just pure coincidence... that no Asian was good enough for the final 11?

Posted by Rake1 on (October 12, 2010, 19:54 GMT)

My Excluded XI: H Sutcliffe, M Hayden, RT Ponting, ED Weekes, SR Waugh, R Benaud (c), Rod Marsh (wk), RR Lindwall, CV Grimmett, J Garner, C Walsh

Posted by   on (October 12, 2010, 19:47 GMT)

It is always difficult if not impossible to compare players from different eras. The equipment, laws, technology et al create serious differences to adjuicators. All the World XI's are great as the eras they played. Anyway, here goes my XI : Sunil Gavaskar, Geoffrey Boycott, Brian Lara, Vivian Richards, Sachin Tendulkar, Don Bradman, Wally Grout, Garfield Sobers, Wasim Akram, Malcolm Marshall and Shane Warne. This team shoud beat anything the rest can offer. The Selection Committee rests its case.

Posted by   on (October 12, 2010, 19:34 GMT)

is cricket going to die or what there is so much future for all time greats to evolve through the coming years i dnt subscribe for the idea of all time greats yes if u want the best team as on today my team would be 1) smith 2)shewag 3)ponting 4)tendulkar 5)kallis 6)pitersen 7)sangakara 8)johnson 9)swann 10)styen 11)bollinger

Posted by pxm1969 on (October 12, 2010, 18:41 GMT)

1. Sutcliffe 2. Boycott 3. Ponting 4. Worrell 5. S. Waugh (c) 6. A. Flower (wk) 7. Rhodes 8. Lindwall 9. Roberts 10. Garner 11. Davidson

I'd put my team against any other. Tons of grit in the batting, four outstanding and varied fast bowlers plus a left arm spinner

Posted by   on (October 12, 2010, 18:41 GMT)

@Gayan Gunewardana so wat do u want people to make a team of.ok lets do it ur way. hasan tilakratne, chamara kapugedara, mahanama, kaluwitrana,vandort,dharamsena,,wikramasinghe,kandambi,thilan thushara,gunawrdene, mubarak, zoysa nd 12th man ranatunga to carry bags.....he is very strong.... kewl man...!!! plz dnt cry happy....:)

Posted by Murtaza. on (October 12, 2010, 18:39 GMT)

I think so many people do not know about west Indien wicket keeper jeff Dujon, the best man behind the wickets I ever have seen. My XI is : 1. Herbert Sutcliffe 2.Vijay Merchant 3. Ricky Ponting 4. Everton Weekes 5.Dennis Compton 6. jeffry dujon 7. Alec Bedser 8. Ray Lindwall 9. Clarrie Grimmet 10. Joel Garner11. B Chandrashekhar 12th Azharuddin, was very good batsman and a great fielder too. I am again soory for Stev Waugh, he was great batsman and in early his career he was very good all rounder.

Posted by   on (October 12, 2010, 18:32 GMT)

@Gayan Gunewardana so wat do u want people to make a team of.ok lets do it ur way. hasan tilakratne, chamara kapugedara, mahanama, kaluwitrana,vandort,dharamsena,,wikramasinghe,kandambi,thilan thushara,gunawrdene, mubarak, zoysa nd 12th man ranatyunga to carry bags.....he is very strong.... kewl man...!!! plz dnt cry happy....:)

Posted by   on (October 12, 2010, 17:59 GMT)

@REXYCP123 ... did you even read this article and what is it about?

Posted by pxm1969 on (October 12, 2010, 17:38 GMT)

Anyone who says there is no all-rounder in the side needs to do some research on Wilf Rhodes - he averaged 30 with the bat and 26 with the ball in Test cricket. Although he did open in Test matches (famously he started out as a number 11 and ended up as an opener) I think he's a bit high in the order in a team like this.

Clyde Walcott would be an asset to this team - an all-time great batsman and also a wicket keeper early in his career. Bring him in for Kanhai and you can have another fast bowler - Andy Roberts perhaps?

Posted by Beertjie on (October 12, 2010, 17:38 GMT)

I agree with the sentiments of @Testcricfan, so I'd like to add my six penny's worth: Merchant, Sutcliffe, Grace, Weekes, Worrell (capt), Walcott, Lindwall, Davidson, Steyn, Wardle, Chandra with Spofforth as 12th man. His purpose, I believe, Mr Haigh, is not to carry drinks but to play depending on conditions; e.g., omit Wardle on softer wickets in place of the Demon. Most decades and quite a few countries are covered in my list, but this is not my point. I'd like to think that this lot could take on and beat the official XI when it's published! Chandra could deliver that ball to end Bradman's innings, as could Davidson to Sobers. Lindwall would get the openers (he regularly accounted for Hutton,etc) re while Steyn would do for SRT (as we'll see later this year!). Wardle would flummox the great Viv, so I say bring 'em on!

Posted by Mahesh.R on (October 12, 2010, 17:10 GMT)

My Rejected XI: 1. Herbert Sutcliffe 2.Vijay Merchant 3. Ricky Ponting 4. Everton Weekes 5.Dennis Compton 6. Ian Healy 7. Alec Bedser 8. Ray Lindwall 9. Clarrie Grimmet 10. Andy Roberts 11. B S Chandrashekhar 12th man: Clyde Walcott

Posted by itzvinay on (October 12, 2010, 16:38 GMT)

cricinfo's all time elevens initiative is the biggest blunder the fraternity has done...I have so much respect for this website for being so truthful to cricket but in the process of looking at thing objectively, practically...the jury members have overdone it...not one XI but most of them have pointless inclusions and surprise exclusions..I know everyone cannot be satisfied but in general, the response of the readers has been unfavorable. If there are problems with all the elevens, then the catch is at the fundamental level not at an individual level.

Posted by SangakaraFan on (October 12, 2010, 16:32 GMT)

Mr Haigh@ Have you gotten over John Howard sacking yet??? If not, then include him in your Rest XI.

Posted by   on (October 12, 2010, 16:17 GMT)

Most writers and TV commentators just go with big names and characters. Cricters should be judged on cricketing skills. Where does Mohammad Yousaf fit? Is he not a better player than the Pakistanis mentioned in the article,

Posted by   on (October 12, 2010, 15:48 GMT)

I agree with most of Haigh's squad. Few teams have had so many outstanding players that they have contenders who didn't make it to their own national all time XIs. England, Australia, and the West Indies have an advantage.

This team has a balanced bowling attack, a strong top order, and pretty good depth:

Sutcliffe, Haydn, Weekes, Ponting, Walcott, Flower (wk), Rhodes, Lindwall, Davidson, Garner, Laker.

I'm not sure who the captain would be. Not Ponting.

(For what it's worth, my first and second all time XIs, drawn from the short list of 88, are:

Hutton, Hobbs, Bradman (cap), Headley, Hammond, Sangakkara (wk), Sobers, Imran Kahn, Marshall, Barnes, Muralitharan.

Richards, Gavaskar, Pollock (RG), Tendulkar, Chappell (cap), Kallis, Gilchrist (wk), Miller, Warne, McGrath, Ambrose.

Picking the XXII was surprisingly easy; I only feel bad about leaving Shewag out. Sorting the first XI from the second was much harder, and some of these choices are inevitably hard to defend.)

Posted by BellCurve on (October 12, 2010, 15:32 GMT)

@jokerbala - couldn't agree with you more. Andy Flower scored 4400+ runs as a wicket keeper at an average of 53.70 against very strong opposition and playing for a losing side. He was consistantly ranked ahead of Lara and Tendulkar in the ICC Test batsmen ranking. That makes him statistically by far the best batsman among all wicketkeepers, including Gilchrist. Sangakarra is a good bat too, but not when he also has the responsibility of the gloves. Flower's recent exploits as the head coach of England further underline his technical and leadership abilities. If I go on much further I am going to convince myself that he should be included in the all-time XI ahead of Gillie!

Posted by Crazy_Cricket_Fan on (October 12, 2010, 15:17 GMT)

@Mannix16@ Gilly was choosen as a better keeper than Sanga..Sanga might be a good batsmen but not a good keeper.

Posted by REXYCP123 on (October 12, 2010, 15:09 GMT)


Posted by   on (October 12, 2010, 14:59 GMT)

To BabaKR, how about Shewag, M Vijay, S Patel, R Lamba, V. Kambli, M Prabakar, K More, V Parsad,Aswin,R Jadeja and V Kuma.

Posted by   on (October 12, 2010, 14:52 GMT)

Mr.Haigh has done a wonderful job,it is very difficult to select some really Great players of similar class.i.e. We can think of K.S.Ranjitsingh in place of E.Weeks.Yet it is a splendid job. Cricinfo should start this type of competition for One Day sides of various countries very soon. Best Luck. dr.shrikant.desai.

Posted by vivek_200 on (October 12, 2010, 14:37 GMT)

i am shocked not to see ricky ponting in the short listed players for all time XI ...............he is the best batsman produced by Australia after Sir Donald Bradman

Posted by NickHughes on (October 12, 2010, 14:31 GMT)

Wolver: There is an allrounder in Haigh's team. Wilf Rhodes.

Posted by AsherCA on (October 12, 2010, 13:50 GMT)

Mr. Haigh, B S Bedi should never be a 12th man. I am not saying this because I am an Indian, OR because he is one of the best left arm spinners ever, just because the only thing a 12th man can do is - field ! Do you really want Bedi to field for you ?

Posted by Proteas123 on (October 12, 2010, 13:32 GMT)

There is no all-rounder. What about Rice, Greig and McMillan. The team needs balance. There are also no Saffers who have some great players that could easily make this squad.

Posted by jokerbala on (October 12, 2010, 13:25 GMT)

andy flower for me was " the overlooked cricketer " in the world XI. He is 2nd best only to adam gilchrist as far as batting is concerned.

Posted by narenvs on (October 12, 2010, 13:15 GMT)

The team is well chosen. I'd be however inclined to pick W.G. Grace, Compton, Gregory and Gupte over Rhodes, Harvey, Kanhai and McDonald. Aside from Compton, I'd pick the likes of Walcott and Worrell ahead of Harvey and Kanhai.

Posted by popcorn on (October 12, 2010, 13:00 GMT)

It would be very hard to leave out some players, so let's just accept this list as the one picked by the greatest cricket historian who has seen it all, dug deep, and balanced the list. Well done,Gideon Haigh.

Posted by andrew.henshaw on (October 12, 2010, 12:16 GMT)

Re: the perceived bias - you have to remember that Aus/Eng have played Test cricket for 130 years - hence a much larger player pool and hence more great players that were excluded from the XI - that and the fact that the subcontinental teams were generally quite weak until the 1970s means all of their greats made their countries XI's

Posted by kirksland on (October 12, 2010, 11:16 GMT)

Here's my team of the excluded .

Herbert Sutcliffe Matthew Hayden Ricky Ponting(c) Everton Weekes Denis Compton Clyde Walcott(wk) Tony Greig Jim Laker Joel Garner Ray Lindwall Subhash Gupte Neil Harvey (12th)

Posted by StarveTheLizard on (October 12, 2010, 10:33 GMT)

If you were an Englishman in 1921 then the words you would have used to describe McDonald would not have been "obscure". Nice pick,Gideon.

Thanks for the interesting eleven. I was really surprised at your choice of captain, though. I think it's probably wise not to argue cricket with a professional cricket-historian. I'd better read up on him.

Posted by   on (October 12, 2010, 10:08 GMT)

@ Markus 971 your post has many problems... 1. Sangakkara andl is already in the dream team nominees, so he is false inclusion 2. Your dream team of all time includes just Bradman and Tendulkar, and it does not suit to any of 6 formats of dream team. minimum of 3 middle order bat are necessary,,, dont tell me that sobers is your middle order bat,, he is in all rounders category

Posted by pom_basher on (October 12, 2010, 9:59 GMT)

Looking again at the list... Not a single player from INDIAN SUBCONTINENT!!! amazing, just amazing... but then it has come from gideon, so no surprises there. In future I should not be bothered to read his articles

Posted by pom_basher on (October 12, 2010, 9:55 GMT)

So you want an Indian to carry the drinks!!!

Posted by Engle on (October 12, 2010, 9:42 GMT)

T.McDonald was just thrown there, bcuz as any experienced AT XI selector knows, there must be at least 1 controversial selection made to attract attention. Mine : WG, Sutcliffe, Ponting, Compton, Jardine (c), Rhodes, Dujon, Davidson, Thomson, Garner, Ramadhin

Posted by   on (October 12, 2010, 9:24 GMT)

I love the concept - however I can't see how Ian Healy makes it ahead of Andy Flower. I would have probably had Flower as my overall keeper, but with Zimbabwe not even making the cut, he wasn't an option.

Posted by anush222 on (October 12, 2010, 9:00 GMT)

6 Australians, 3 English, and 0 sub-continent players in Gideon's rest of the world XI. Gideon for fair journalism! Or may be his brain is too small to keep track of anything that goes on outside the Ashes.

Posted by chad_reid on (October 12, 2010, 8:49 GMT)

ricky ponting not being in the in the first choice XI is a joke i was looking for his name but couldn't find it and checked again coz its baffling i was going to choose him but i guess who cares about the XI its more about individual and team accomplishment and leadership that matters the most and ricky ponting is number one at that

Posted by   on (October 12, 2010, 8:45 GMT)

Bishan Bedi is the only wrong choice he is good to carry the bags of these players

Posted by BabaKR on (October 12, 2010, 8:36 GMT)

My choice from the available options was Barry Richards;Virender Sehwag;Sachin Tendulkar;Sir Donald Bradman;Sir Viv Richards;Sir Garry Sobers;Sir Ian Botham;Adam Gilchrist;Dennis Lillee;Harold Larwood and Shane Warne

However Sunil Gavaskar; Len Hutton; Ricky Ponting; Brian Lara; Neil Harvey; Imran Khan; Kapil Dev; Rodney Marsh; Muthiah Muralidharan; Richie Benaud and Jim Laker would be an equally brilliant team

My favourite team ( not repeating some of the names mentioned above)however is: Mathew Hayden; Glenn Turner; VVS Laxman ; GR Vishwanath; Denis Compton; Doug Walters; Mohinder Amarnath; Keith Miller; Richard Hadlee; Glen Mcgrath and EAS Prasanna

Posted by Mannix16 on (October 12, 2010, 8:23 GMT)

really sad that gilchrist will be chosen above sangakkara in the actual test 11. sangakarra average is almost 10 above gilchrists and came #6 of all time in test batsman rating behind bradman, hutton, hobbs, ponting, and may. he truly is a world class cricketer and his record would have more dismissals to his name if he did not quit being wicketkeeper halfway in his career

Posted by mqry on (October 12, 2010, 8:04 GMT)

Ponting misses out because of the presence of Great Don Bradman and his record in India.. Forget all the hoopla, Ponting misses out on his own Aussie all time xi

Posted by DanyalRasool on (October 12, 2010, 6:46 GMT)

It is SUCH a farce that Ricky Ponting isn't on the original list.

Posted by   on (October 12, 2010, 6:40 GMT)

Good selections. McDonald is a rather obscure name. I would pick Alan Davidson in his place. And as good as Harvey and Kanhai are, I will prefer Walcott and Waugh in their place.

Posted by guchaaa on (October 12, 2010, 6:35 GMT)

Dude u might be kidding .... where is VVS Laxman ??!!

Posted by george204 on (October 12, 2010, 6:08 GMT)

Excellent Gideon, nothing could better illustrate some of the daft choices made in the original exercise. The omission of Lindwall from the Australian team is probably the worst of the lot.

Posted by kris_mg on (October 12, 2010, 5:59 GMT)

wow... this 11 is almost as good as the world 11... and can really give the world 11 a run for its money any day... seriously.. just look at the talent.. anyday.. anywhere... wow.. i love test cricket...

Posted by bingohaley on (October 12, 2010, 5:08 GMT)

My father has seen some 65 years of cricket. He says that Neil Harvey was one of the most exciting of batsmen he has seen. He loved Kanhai too!

Posted by Lovetesh on (October 12, 2010, 4:59 GMT)

Ponting's exclusion from the first choice XI was really baffling. Second highest scorer in the test cricket, most successful player in terms of wins, part of most number of test wins in the history of game and not even mentioned in the list. I was searching for his name but then settled for Dravid at #3 position.

Posted by DelRibeiro on (October 12, 2010, 4:46 GMT)

...Cont. from previous post... Rice is chosen instead of an indisputably greater allrounder, Jack Gregory ( for both leadership skills and having a class seamer instead of a 4th out and out quick), while arguably a greater one still, (and even better captain) Monty Noble, also misses out. Which brings us to the likes of Benaud, Armstrong and fellow Aussie, Davidson. Perhaps the latter or Bedser for Roberts? (with Gregory going in at 6. But who wld skipper, as Grace bowled himself far too much? Although I am astonished he got nowhere near selection...). Should Healy, after all, be keeper? We could go on and on- these are the perennial conundrums faced by the selector! lol

Mind you, a more thorough re-read of the chosen names on World XI article, I think that Gooch and Rice ought to be replaced by Ponting and new skipper Steve Waugh, to read :- H.Sutcliffe, Grace, Ponting, Weekes, Compton, S.Waugh (capt), W.Rhodes, Evans (wkt), Lindwall, Roberts, Garner


Posted by Markus971 on (October 12, 2010, 4:26 GMT)

& R.Benaud 12th Man.. &cricket guru

Posted by Markus971 on (October 12, 2010, 4:22 GMT)

Nice One!! -T.McDonald? I'm not sure about that . -- --o.k. then I'll give mine.. -- --W.G.Grace , A.Shrewsbury , R.Ponting , K.Sangakkara , K.Ranjitsinhji , F.Worrell L.Ames , A.Davidson , J.Laker , D.Steyn , F.Spofforth .... proud of that!! -- --Seeing as though I'm ineligible to give an ESPN Cricinfo World Team, because of criteria?? (which also excludes D.Bradman giving His best Team). I'll give it here -- J.Hobbs , V.Sehwag , D.Bradman , S.Tendulkar , G.Sobers , I.Khan , A.Gilchrist , M.Marshall , W.O'Reilly , M.Muralitharan , C.Ambrose .... Damn proud!!

Posted by DelRibeiro on (October 12, 2010, 4:03 GMT)

Wonderful- EXACTLY what I wanted to do yesterday when logging in! But comments were closed...Thank you Gideon, always one of the top cricket writers in the world, and one of Australia's best ever, to allow me (and everyone else) the chance to indulge in one of my all time favourite pastimes... :) So, with apologies to innumerable greats :-

H.Sutcliffe, G.Gooch, W.G.Grace, C.Weekes, D.C.S.Compton, C.E.B.Rice (capt), W.Rhodes, T.G. Evans (wkt), R.R.Lindwall, A.M.E.Roberts,J.Garner (12th man) R.Appleyard

Would have been wonderful to include Andy Flower, as Zimbabwe didn't get a line-up, but brilliant Evans loses out to Knott on these, so gets in. Tallon equally valid. I have chosen Appleyard's versatility as reserve as he was decent inswinger addition to demon offcutter. Ponting edged out by Compton- Grace (easily good enough to be 2nd spinner) could easily move up to open instead of Gooch to accommodate him. CONT...l

Posted by ygkd on (October 12, 2010, 4:01 GMT)

Would definitely have picked Bart King. But gee, wouldn't this mob be number one if they were all playing together now? Good to see Ted McDonald get a mention. They could even make the other Taswegian (Ricky Ponting) captain and it wouldn't even stop them winning.

Posted by Testcricfan on (October 12, 2010, 3:50 GMT)

Nice try Mr.Haigh, but for the inclusion of couple of names like Ted Mcdonald and Neil Harvey as captain. It seems too much to pick someone who did even captain his country to be the leader of an all-time world 11. How about Sir Frank Worrell in place of harvey as captain? Can you honestly say your Mr.Mcdonald was a better bowler than the great West Indians like hall, roberts or other australian greats like Mcdermott or Gillespie? and I would pick a specialist Opener for an all-time 11, when you have people like Geoff boycott and Vijay merchant, why would you want your allrounder to open the Innings? No wrist spinner or left arm seamer either when we have Benaud and davison. Sorry to say this Mr.Haigh, but you have given into personal favouritism and lost objectivity. This is not a team worthy of a world 11 status.

Posted by Tom_Griffin on (October 12, 2010, 3:32 GMT)

Yes, I can say hand on heart that Daniel Vettori is a better left arm spinner than Hedley Verity. Uncovered pitches are an incalculably large factor when it comes to the statistics of spinners. On today's roads, I would, without hesitation, pick Vettori to bowl over Verity

Posted by kirksland on (October 12, 2010, 3:25 GMT)

Herbert Sutcliffe Matthew Hayden Ricky Ponting (c) Everton Weekes Denis Compton Clyde Walcott (wk) Tony Greig Jim Laker Joel Garner Ray Lindwall Subhash Gupte Neil Harvey (12th) This is my team of outsiders, would pit this againts the all time team, good balance

Comments have now been closed for this article

Email Feedback Print
Gideon HaighClose
Gideon Haigh Born in London of a Yorkshire father, raised in Australia by a Tasmanian mother, Gideon Haigh lives in Melbourne with a cat, Trumper. He has written 19 books and edited a further seven. He is also a life member and perennial vice-president of the South Yarra CC.

World Jury

Intikhab Alam
Intikhab Alam
Former Pakistan allrounder. Captained the side in 17 Tests and three ODIs between 1969 and 1975 and later served as team manager and coach.
Ali Bacher
Ali Bacher
Captained South Africa in 1970, when they defeated Australia 4-0; was managing director of the South African cricket board through the 1990s, and executive director of the 2003 World Cup.
Ian Chappell
Ian Chappell
Captained Australia in 30 Tests and 11 ODIs between 1971 and 1975. Now a cricket commentator and columnist.
David Frith
David Frith
Cricket historian, writer and archivist. Author of the definitive history of Bodyline
Tony Greig
Tony Greig
Former England allrounder who captained the side in 14 Tests and two ODIs in the mid-to-late 1970s. Currently a cricket commentator and presenter on television.
Ramachandra Guha
Ramachandra Guha
Historian and cricket writer. Author of A Corner of a Foreign Field, Wickets in the East, Spin and Other Turns, and editor of the Picador Book of Cricket
Gideon Haigh
Gideon Haigh
Cricket historian and writer. His books include acclaimed biographies of Warwick Armstrong and Jack Iverson, and the definitive history of the Kerry Packer era.
Clive Lloyd
Clive Lloyd
Captained the all-conquering West Indies team of the 70s and 80s in 74 Tests and 84 ODIs. Served as ICC match referee and chairman of the ICC's cricket committee.
Duleep Mendis
Duleep Mendis
Captained Sri Lanka in 19 Tests (including in their first Test and series victories) and 61 ODIs, between 1982 and 1987. Currently chief executive of Sri Lanka Cricket.
Peter Roebuck
Peter Roebuck
Former captain of Somerset; author of It Never Rains and Sometimes I Forgot to Laugh among other books.
Ajit Wadekar
Ajit Wadekar
Former India captain, between 1971 and 1974, during which period the team notched up their landmark first wins in the West Indies and England. Later a manager of the national side.
John Wright
John Wright
Former New Zealand opener and captain, and later India coach. Led in 14 Tests and 31 ODIs between 1983 and 1987.

    'Kenya cricket is dead'

Aasif Karim's dream spell against Australia in 2003 symbolised a brief golden period for Kenya, but since his retirement, the country's cricket has nose-dived. By Tim Wigmore

    Wicket-taking oldies, and English centurions

Ask Steven: Also, playing against most teams, highest ODI scores by batsmen out hit-wicket, and Flying Stumps

    'McGrath never talked about luck'

My Favourite Cricketer: Michael Kasprowicz admired Glenn McGrath's consistency and positive nature

'He's the rock of West Indies' batting'

Modern Masters: Rahul Dravid and Sanjay Manjrekar on the impact of Shivnarine Chanderpaul's run-scoring

The work that is county cricket

Jon Hotten: Players toil all season, but fans don't really get a sense of the scale of effort involved

News | Features Last 7 days

Shiv's not-outs, and hit-wicket victims

Also, top-scoring in both innings, most Test dismissals caught, and the oldest Test centurion

Dhoni clears the stadium

Plays of the Day from the Champions League T20 match between Chennai Super Kings and Perth Scorchers, in Bangalore

'You can't survive 66 Tests on the basis of a quota'

Ashwell Prince talks about proving critics wrong, scoring hundreds against Australia, and that unending partnership in Colombo

Nine-ball mayhem: Seven boundaries, broken bat, and a wicket

Chasing Chennai Super Kings' 242, Dolphins opener Cameron Delport played nine action-packed deliveries in his innings. Here's what happened ball by ball

Umar Akmal gives Raza the glare

Plays of the day from the CLT20 match between Dolphins and Lahore Lions in Bangalore

News | Features Last 7 days