11 is for “My Greatest XI”
Listening to an old audio-book of Richie Benaud’s, in it he devotes a couple of chapters to what he calls “My Greatest XI.” By his definition they had to:
* Be brilliant cricketers, characters and good mixers on & off the pitch as they would be representing him.
* Have a beneficial effect on the game, be champions and have left an influence on cricket.
* Play on good pitches with pace, good for shots and fast bowlers, with spin to come into the game later on.
Getting to a final XI was obviously tough; so he applied the same formula he used to pick sides when he played:
– 2 opening bats
– batsmen 3, 4 and 5
– batting all-rounder at 6
– bowling all-rounder at 7
– keeper/keeper-bat at 8
– spinner at 9
– fast bowlers at 10 and 11
…but being limited to just an XI he allowed himself two subs for each position, giving him a tour party of 33!
He came up with this as his final XI:
…and he couldn’t fit these in:
Opening Bats : Gordon Greenidge, Len Hutton, Arthur Morris and Victor Trumper.
Middle Order Bats : Ian Chappell, Wally Hammond, George Headley, Brian Lara, Graeme Pollock and Frank Worrell.
All-Rounders : Ian Botham, Richard Hadlee, Kapil Dev and Keith Miller.
Keepers : Ian Healy and Rod Marsh.
Spinner : Bill O’Reilly and Abdul Qadir.
Fast Bowlers : Glenn McGrath, Harold Larwood, Jeff Thomson and Fred Trueman.
So we put a call in to our own Richie, and the Parrett has looked at the list of Stokers he has taken the field with in his 223 game career to date, and he has come up with the following 33, (well, 31):
1. Sid Lahiri, Alistair McMillan and Robbie Parrett
2. Malcolm Dickson, Gavin Gresse and Jack Raimondo
3. Tim Handel, Nick Lo and James Trower
4. Alex Chamberlen, Andy Page and Graham Tufts
5. Sonny Cott, Steve Finch and Will Gudgeon
6. Johnny Lawes and Greg Routley
7. John Crisp and Sam Levido
8. Tom Frost, Shahil “Paulie” Ramdin and Keith Watson
9. Will Frost, Matt Gottschalk and Ian Hopton
10. Gary Harkett, Roy Johns and Richie Parrett(!)
11. James Cope-Morgan, Adrian Mills and Jack Townsend
…and this as his final XI:
1. Alistair McMillan
2. Jack Raimondo
3. Nick Lo
4. Andy Page (Captain)
5. Will Gudgeon
6. Johnny Lawes
7. John Crisp
8. Keith Watson (wk)
9. Matt Gottschalk
10. Gary Harkett
11. Adrian Mills
Congrats to those who made Richie’s final squad of 31 and even bigger congrats if you’ve then made his final XI!
If you have a squad of 33 and a final XI of your own, (it can be a Stoke XI, an all-time World XI – or both!), please e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org)