My Favourite Cricketer


The art of Z
The art of Z

Watching Zaheer Abbas bat from the other end was a study in the art of elegant batsmanship. And a lesson in running yourself out

The stolid buccaneer
The stolid buccaneer

As batsman, Taylor was safe as houses; as captain, he was an adventurer

Graceful and gracious
Graceful and gracious

Bishan Bedi's talent was vast and he had the heart to match. The beauty of his action was bewitching and he had the cruelty to go with it

The flawed, the fabulous
The flawed, the fabulous

Imran was a true hero and he had the cracks in his armour to prove it

A boy's own idol
A boy's own idol

Les Favell was an inspiration to many - one lad in particular

A princely state
A princely state

Pataudi brought to Indian cricket a dash of hauteur and a touch of heroism

Emperor, empowerer
Emperor, empowerer

With his magnetic presence and enormous talent, Richards instilled a sense of self-belief in every team he played for

Past perfect
Past perfect

Talent, skill, cricketing smarts and a ferocious will to achieve: the world's most romanticised player had it all

The smiling spoilsport
The smiling spoilsport

He may be remembered for one delivery, but there was rather more to the Falstaff-like Warwickshire leggie born 98 years ago today

Mine's a pint - or 72
Mine's a pint - or 72

To everyone else he was "the rat who joined the sinking ship" but to one impressionable teenager he was a six-foot-tall lamb in need of protecting

First and dearest
First and dearest

A Parsee from Bombay who captured the imagination of an eight-year-old in Lancashire

 Piece de resistance
Piece de resistance

An Englishman who made an art out of obduracy

Beefy to the max
Beefy to the max

In the 80s in England, Ian Botham transcended cricket alone - he represented the spirit of achievement in all areas of life

A flashing blade, a canny mind
A flashing blade, a canny mind

He may have seemed a trigger-happy dasher, but he also had the sharpest of cricketing brains

The promise of Fred
The promise of Fred

Flintoff did for British cricket what Botham did, invigorating and replenishing. He brought fresh hope for the game's future

Hard and fast
Hard and fast

Take no prisoners, show no mercy. So what if you've got to wear pink on occasion?

Portrait of the workman as artist
Portrait of the workman as artist

To one teenager at least, Fraser made relentless application and sweaty doggedness glamorous. Almost

Swing with a smile
Swing with a smile

Meeting one's heroes can often be a disappointment but not for this loyal Queenslander

The artful stodger
The artful stodger

In a team of strugglers and second-stringers, one man stood upright and unsmiling against the tide

Baggage claim
Baggage claim

An emblem for a nation, he came to be defined by one stark image… and for one boy growing up in Zimbabwe at the time, an item of cricket kit