Who Would Be on an All-Time Xi Worcestershire Dream Team? - The Worcester Observer

Who Would Be on an All-Time Xi Worcestershire Dream Team?

Worcester Editorial 20th Feb, 2023 Updated: 21st Feb, 2023   0

Founded in 1865, the Worcestershire County Cricket Club is one of the best-known clubs between England and Wales. It is a first-class-rated club that has been the birthplace of some truly impressive cricketing masters.

These great players all formed part of the XI team in the county at one point. However, many of them played at different points since the club’s formation, so they weren’t part of the XI line-up at the same time.

Knowing that these exceptional sportsmen weren’t on the team simultaneously doesn’t mean we can’t think about the spectacular squad they would have formed. Read on to find out who the best cricketers from Worcestershire are that would make up the best starting XI in history.

What Is an XI team?

If the term is unfamiliar, let’s quickly look at what an XI team is. Also commonly known as the first 11, the XI team is the main line-up representing a cricket team in matches. These are the ones that actively play and exclude any substitutes that may be called upon.

Now with that out of the way, let’s look at the top players that would comprise this team.

#1 Ted Arnold

Ted had a stellar career spanning 66 years between November 1876 and October 1942. Playing in test matches for the English national team, he is known best for contributing to the Worcestershire cricket scene.

Ted played around 343 first-class matches for Worcestershire and is credited for being one of the most crucial players in helping Worcestershire achieve first-class status. Some of the most impressive statistics from his career include bowling almost 1,000 wickets and running 18 centuries.

#2 Graeme Hick

Born in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Graeme Hick is one of the most iconic players on both the Worcestershire XI and English cricket teams. He began his professional career in his homeland in 1984 and continued playing professionally until 2008.

Scoring over 100 centuries in first-class cricket, he is known for having over 40,000 runs attributed to the games he played in. He was made captain of the XI team for three consecutive cricket seasons and remained part of the club throughout his career in England.

#3 Don (Donald) Kenyon

Known for his prolific career spanning between 1942 and 1967, Don was just 18 years old when he began playing cricket professionally. During his career in the sport, he played for the WCC (Worcestershire Cricket Club) and the national team.

With an average run rate of 192 runs per match, many remember him for his high scoring in many big games. These cumulated in over 37,000 first-class runs and scoring over 1,000 runs in a single season on an incredible 19 different occasions.

#4 Iftikahar Ali Khan Pataudi

Born a prince in India, Iftikhar is one of the few players ever to have played for both India and England’s national teams. He began his career in 1932 and continued playing until 1938. His performances for the WCC resulted in an invitation to the English squad.

Playing in a total of 127 first-class games, he played much less than many other players on this list. However, he made quite an impact during the games he did play—gaining 29 centuries in the process. He also scored over 8,750 runs. From these, almost 1,000 runs came during one of his last tours before he retired.

#5 Norman Gifford

Starting his career in 1960, Norman played until 1982 and represented the English team, WCC, and the Warwickshire Cricket Club during his tenure. Famous for his incredible bowling, he held the second-highest record for wickets taken in the WCC.

Norman attracted the spotlight early by taking 10 wickets in a game against Cambridge University. However, this was only the start, as in his second year of playing (1961), he took 33 wickets. In total, he took 1,615 wickets during his career.

#6 Ian Botham

Ian Botham is recognised as one of the best all-round players to ever play for England between 1987 and 1991. After retiring, he became chairman of Durham County Cricket Club and a cricket commentator.

While he only played for Worcestershire for five years, his sporting statistics show that he is a player that anyone looking for cricket betting tips should take note of. Achieving 7,313 runs in his career, he is also responsible for taking 528 wickets.

#7 Reg Perks

Even though he is known for having 156 ducks in his first-class game career, Reg Perks is still revered for his fantastic bowling skill. Playing between 1930 and 1955, he first worked as ground staff for WCC. Soon, however, he began playing professionally after his talent was noticed.

In the more than 500 games he played for the club, he managed to bowl 2,143 wickets during his run out of a possible 2,233. This skill got him recognised by the national team, and he also played two tests for the English squad.

#8 Basil “Dolly” D’Oliveira

Born in Cape Town, South Africa, Basil caused a massive scandal when he was selected to play for the English national team between 1968 and 1969. However, considering his fantastic track record from when he started playing in 1964, it was no surprise as to why he was chosen.

Known as a spectacular all-rounder, he began playing for WCC in 1964 and quickly established himself in the sport with impressive performances. Amongst these were 55 centuries and over 550 wickets during his professional career.

#9 Richard Illingworth

In 1982, Richard Illingworth started his professional career and continued until 2000. During this time, he played predominantly for WCC but also did a stint with the English national team, Derbyshire Cricket Club, and the Natal team from South Africa.

Even though he currently works as an umpire of the famed sport, he made impressive plays when he was a player. Known for his bowling, he is responsible for hitting 831 wickets during his 18-year career. He also didn’t slouch when batting and recorded over 38,000 runs.

#10 Moeen Ali

Known as “the beard that’s feared,” Moeen started playing professionally in 2007. Of Pakistani descent, he is a great all-rounder who has represented the English nation on multiple occasions, particularly in Twenty20 matches.

Titled one of the world’s best all-rounders, he has achieved over 19 centuries in his 170 first-class matches. The 330 wickets he has bowled also add to the impressive statistics he has established for himself.

#11 Thomas (Tom) Moody

Born in Australia, Tom Moody’s career ran from 1987 until 1999. After moving to the UK, he joined the WCC and soon garnered a stellar reputation with his high runs and incredible batting ability.

Aside from scoring over 64 centuries, he also gathered over 20,000 first-class game runs. This performance led to him captaining the team for four years between 1995 and 1999. While predominantly a batsman, he didn’t slouch in bowling and took over 50 wickets as well.

Article written by Rohit Sankar


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