My Favourite Cricketer


Bluey the indomitable
Bluey the indomitable

The embodiment of doughty Yorkshire spirit, David Bairstow made the county's cricket watchable through its most dysfunctional era

Gooch, with a side of chips
Gooch, with a side of chips

The most English of English batsmen turned an eight-year-old into a lifelong fan of the game

The outlaw I adored
The outlaw I adored

Harold Larwood was a great who was made out to be a villain - the perfect replacement for Robin Hood in the eyes of a young ten-year-old

Love before first sight
Love before first sight

First-class batsman Yere Goud caught a 13-year-old's attention with his unusual name and news-making runs

Top dog of the underdogs
Top dog of the underdogs

Jack Russell brought brazen, cartoonish villainy to the game, and a neatness to the keeper's art that was matched by his meticulous scruffiness in other regards

Automaton, man, inspiration
Automaton, man, inspiration

Twenty years on, Shivnarine Chanderpaul continues to be understated, underestimated. And that doesn't bother him. What's not to like?

Never another like Geoffrey
Never another like Geoffrey

Boycott represented a peak moment in the evolution of the game - the natural conclusion of a long era

They broke the mould after Sir Garry
They broke the mould after Sir Garry

Even today - and not just to those of a certain vintage - Garry Sobers remains above every other claimant to the title of cricket's greatest allrounder

The saint
The saint

His purity of technique and image make him an icon with more than a touch of the divine

The responsible Mr Wog
The responsible Mr Wog

Steve Waugh always fulfilled his duties, and managed to never be crushed by them: he was the kind of man any bookish 11-year-old would aspire to be

The idol who went too soon
The idol who went too soon

Raman Lamba was a feisty strokeplayer, a stern mentor who brooked no passengers, and a hero to a generation of Indian cricketers

The leggie who was one of us
The leggie who was one of us

It's hard not to admire the story and spirit of a club spinner who believed he would one day make it to the big leagues - and briefly did

The bowler who wiped the smile off batsmen's faces
The bowler who wiped the smile off batsmen's faces

Waqar Younis made a young English fan believe that the opposition could be dismissed in the space of balls, not days

That languid, Gower summer
That languid, Gower summer

In 1985, at the height of his powers, David Gower was flawless, influential, and a lesson to eight-year-olds on what style meant

Attack and revel
Attack and revel

Les Favell didn't play for numbers or records but to entertain; and he lived his life that way as well

Howard Roark via Atticus Finch
Howard Roark via Atticus Finch

Not lovable on first sight, Younis Khan grows on you with his determination and commitment

Saved for the best
Saved for the best

Few have been bred tougher than Peter Willey, who specialised in fronting up to West Indies head-on

The most underestimated batsman of his era
The most underestimated batsman of his era

Derek Randall played the game as we thought we would if we were in his shoes, only with 2000 times more natural ability

The commoner's colossus
The commoner's colossus

A Lahore urchin, Lala Amarnath grew to walk with princes, but never lost sight of his roots

Lambie and I
Lambie and I

'Twas a bond that brooked neither stats nor sense