Top 100 Cricketers of All Time, by Christopher Martin-Jenkins
Sunday 23 May 2010
What's this? England's Ashes hero Freddie Flintoff languishing down at No 82 in the all-time pantheon, while some Aussie called Jack Gregory is up at No 71? Ah, but look at their Test averages: Flintoff 31.77 with bat and 32.78 with ball, Gregory superior with 34.96 and 31.15.
And the Australian all-rounder still holds the record for the fastest Test hundred (70 minutes on the 1921-22 tour to South Africa).
It's difficult to fault the sage of Test Match Special's judgement, and few would disagree with his top three: Don Bradman, W G Grace and Gary Sobers. CMJ admits to agonising over his selection, but there is much to charm, precious little to cavil at in these elegantly crafted pen portraits of these greats of the greatest game.
One might perhaps wish that in the entry for Colin Cowdrey (No 76) some mention was made of his shameful conduct in the Basil D'Oliveira affair, but CMJ sticks to events on the pitch, and it's hard to argue with that when the result is so richly enjoyable.
Published by Corinthian in paperback, £8.99
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