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An ECB Recreational XI made up of players without county contracts is to make up the numbers in next year's county cricket one-day competition. This team isn't going to bring in the crowds, so what other sides could have made an appearance in their place?
Potential England Wicketkeepers XI
Qualification merely demands that someone in the world of cricket is tipping you as the best wicketkeeper in England. Phil Mustard, James Foster, Nic Pothas, Geraint Jones, Chris Read, Craig Kieswetter, Tim Ambrose, Steven Davies... bowling might be an issue, but they aren't going to struggle for players.
All-time Journeymen XI
Tony Cottey and Peter Bowler together at last. A batting partnership born in neither heaven nor hell.
Unofficial Cricket Videogame Players XI
Opening the bowling from the Pavilion End, Jamie Underson. From the Nursery End, Brian Sidebatten. When it's their turn to bat, watch out for their star batsman, Kelvin Pieterswoggle. All the batsmen in this side are adept at lifting inch-perfect yorkers for six, but equally, they're all dire at running between the wickets, frequently setting off for a third run when the ball's already in the wicketkeeper's gloves.
Ian Austin XI
This is a personal choice. Austin is brought back from retirement, bats in every position, and bowls from both ends.
Jaded Old Pro XI
Nagging line-and-length bowling from one-time fast bowlers who've learnt to rein themselves in, and obdurate batting with the emphasis on "not giving it away". The crowd goes wild with indifference.
South Africa Second XI
Like the ECB Recreational XI, this is a composite side with players culled from each of the counties. County cricket could probably provide a South African third and fourth XI as well.
Freakishly lanky cricketers whose clothing-defying physiques mean they can't help but expose a bit of sock when they're in the field. Finding bowlers shouldn't be a problem, but Will Jefferson's going to have to carry the batting.
Joe Public XI
Because if you're going to include a side who are by definition worse than all of their opponents, why not go the whole hog and just pluck people out of the crowd at random?
Alex Bowden blogs at King Cricket
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