A brooding, brilliant stylist with more than 50,000 first-class runs to his name. An outstanding fielder, and underrated seam bowler as well. But for a certain Australian contemporary, his reputation would be matchless.
When he got going, there were few more stylish cricketers than the left-hand batsman Woolley, who possessed all the shots and exhibited them with languid ease. Unfortunately the First World War robbed him of his prime.
The first man to play in 100 Tests, and in many ways an embodiment of the English game. An establishment figure with initials to match, Cowdrey's only flaw was a perceived lack of killer instinct, which denied him the chance to captain England in Australia, despite six tours Down Under.
"Lord Ted" batted as if teeing off on the first at Royal Troon, and had he not been a cricketer, golf would doubtless have been his calling. A mighty sight in full flight, particularly against fast bowling, when his cover-drive came into its own.
Domineering and uncompromising at the crease, and possessed of a talent that few can match. Capable of turning a Test in a single session of counterattacking bravado, although his path to true
greatness may be hindered by his desire to play one shot too many.
An obdurate hunk of oak at the heart of England's batting, Barrington jettisoned a free-spirited style to transform himself into the most fomidable stonewaller of his generation. With an average of 58.67 over 82 Tests, he was indispensable for a decade.
If the Ashes is the zenith for any England cricketer, then who better to lead than Jackson, whose deeds in 1905 secured a 2-0 win. In all five Tests he won the toss, and with 492 runs at 70, and 13 wickets at 15.46, he led from the front as well.
Elegant, upright and classically brilliant, May's record of 20 Test wins as England captain was not exceeded until Michael Vaughan came along. A stalwart of the Surrey side that swept all before it in the 1950s. Success came as second nature to May.
The unflappable ease of his run-scoring masked a steely competitive edge that often seemed hidden beneath his trademark golden curls. The classiest cricketer in England's 1980s line-up, and arguably the last of the game's great amateurs.
The original Brylcreem boy, and the pin-up for the post-war generation. Whether dashing down the wing for Arsenal or crashing raffish drives off Ray Lindwall, Compton lived his sporting life with panache, and left it thick with memories.