The only criteria for selection is you have had to have seen the player live in any format or level of cricket!
Alastair Cook – Rock at the top of the order, you just knew you had that solid base to start the innings, played his own game, exactly what was needed for test cricket. One of the nicest blokes as well.
Marcus Trescothick – Coming though as I was starting to attend and watch more cricket, Tres was polar to Cooky, but you couldn’t help be excited watching him, he could dominant attacks and if it wasn’t for his issues he had, I can’t think he could have gone on to break records himself.
Jonathan Trott – Perfect number 3 for test cricket, really sorted out that problem position we had for years, and made it his own. Perfect foil for what we needed for test cricket, blunt the attacks, play his own game and did a great job over his time.
Kevin Pietersen – Love or hate him, the talent the guy possessed was something else. Dominated attacks, and at times did frustrate getting out, as we knew how good he was, but he was box office. You wanted to watch and not miss a ball when KP was batting. The pleasure of seeing some of his best innings from his double hundred in Adelaide 2012, to the 150 odd Colombo 2012, are two of the best test innings I have had the pleasure of witnessing.
Ian Bell – Just a class batsman to watch, pleasing on the eye, and that cover drive. Harsh his career finished early, when he was just the sort of bastmen we needed going to places like India in 2016.
Ben Stokes – Another pure box office player, that innings in Cape Town 2016, will live with me for a long time, not to mention the World Cup and Headingley. Gives everything to the team, pure team man.
Matt Prior – This was hard for me, as Chris Read, being a Notts man, was harshly treated by the selectors for years, and as the best wicketkeeper, should have played more for England, but had to go on what they achieved for England and Matt Prior gave everything, worked so hard to improve his keeping and make that position his own and in Dubai 2012 paid tribute to the late great George Summerside which said everything about the guy as well.
Andrew Flintoff – Controversial number 8 selection and it looks a bit like the England selectors muddle thinking when they used to bat Stokes at 8 in ODI’s, but hard to get everyone in. Box office, made me fall in love with cricket even more, gave everything, and when he come on to bowl, just always felt like he would get a wicket. That 2005 Ashes, his bowling to Ponting, Gilchrist etc, two of the greatest to have played the game, he had them in his pocket at times.
Graeme Swann – For me the best England spinner we have had in my time. Wicket taking spinner, he was part of that golden era to make us number one
Matthew Hoggard – Loved the way the guy played the game, always with a smile on his face, and those inswingers to the left handers, he was skilful for sure. Funny and friendly bloke.
James Anderson – Not much that can’t be said, that hasn’t been sent for Jimmy, stats speak for himself. Unreal talent with that swinging ball, and when his time is up, we’ll probably realise even more just what a special talent we had