I hope you enjoy solving the puzzles I shall be setting.
The clues are standard cryptic clues. My trusty band of test solvers make sure that I don't use English-only cultural references, although since Elizabeth II is head of the Commonwealth, "Queen" may well mean ER. My Western cultural bias means that the occasional reference to films or music will be to Hollywood, Beethoven and the Beatles rather than Bollywood and bhangra.
On the other hand, this is a cricket website, so you can expect clues to assume cricketing language and knowledge. "Point" could refer to a fielding position as well as a point of the compass, "spinners" can mean "spin bowlers" as well as "propellers", and "go in" can mean "bat" as well as "enter".
The puzzles all have themes, either explained by the title or becoming clear once a few clues have been solved. The themed clues may not be fully defined: in this first puzzle, players are defined as "bat" or "bowls" rather than "New Zealand opening batsman" or "South African spin bowler".
An unqualified "player" will refer to a cricketer (unless it's a musician or actor); where an indication of the era is necessary, "player" means currently in the team or likely to be, "recent player" to someone who hasn't retired from domestic cricket but is unlikely to play internationally, "former player" is someone who retired after about 1970, "old" about 1920 to 1970, and "very old" would be pre-WW1.
Comments are welcome, but please try not to spoil things for others by spelling out the answers
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