English greats ignored in ICC's greatest Test team

ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said that the selection mainly reflects modern players selected by present day supporters Getty Images

London: Jul 19, 2011

In the week when England host India at Lord’s in the 2,000th Test match, there was no room for any English players in an ICC poll to decide cricket fans’ greatest Test team of all time.

Names like W.G. Grace, Jack Hobbs, Len Hutton, Jim Laker, Fred Trueman and Ian Botham were all overlooked as a quarter of a million fans voted on the website of the International Cricket Council (ICC), the sport’s ruling body, for the top Test side over the last 134 years.

In contrast India, who are currently number one in the Test rankings, had four representatives including one, Sachin Tendulkar, who will play in Thursday’s landmark match. Australia also had four representatives in the team including the peerless Don Bradman, whose Test batting average of 99.94 remains head and shoulders above anyone else ever to have played the game.Bradman, whose last Test was in 1948, is the only player on the list to have played before the Second World War.

Indeed, he is the only one from before the 1970s.”Selecting from such greats is no easy job, and not surprisingly, the selection mainly reflects modern players seen by present day supporters,” said Haroon Lorgat, the ICC chief executive.

“There are many greats from the past who would have easily merited selection in this team, but it is nevertheless interesting to see the fans’ view on their greatest XI of all time.”Two West Indians make the cut — although there is no place for any players from their great sides of the 1970s or 80s such as Gary Sobers, Viv Richards or Malcolm Marshall — as well as one Pakistani, Wasim Akram.

Of the 10 Test playing nations, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, New Zealand and South Africa are also without representation.

ICC Test Dream XI: Virender Sehwag (IND), Sunil Gavaskar (IND), Donald Bradman (AUS), Sachin Tendulkar (IND), Brian Lara (WI), Kapil Dev (IND), Adam Gilchrist (AUS), Shane Warne (AUS), Wasim Akram (PAK), Curtly Ambrose (WI), Glenn McGrath (AUS).

India, who are currently number one in the Test rankings, had four representatives including Sachin Tendulkar.