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A Meals XI – The Full Toss

At present we welcome new author Chris Eyes to TFT. Fed up with the present rows and angst in English cricket? This could present some gentle reduction…

In gentle of the Hundred kicking off just lately, with its snack based mostly branding and sponsors, and its chew measurement strategy to cricket, I believed it a superb time to choose a Meals XI from the broader cricket world. 

Now I’ll begin by saying I’m from New Zealand, and the Hundred doesn’t actually curiosity me, though I’ll verify on the scores and the odd spotlight if I can. However I choose the longer type of the sport, if I’m being sincere, and deride the ever rising results the shorter types of cricket are having on the first-class recreation and finally, Take a look at cricket. However such is progress.

And this train in choosing a Meals XI is an instance of the house and time that longer type cricket gives, to think about and full such whimsical and pointless, nicely, whimsys.

The choice standards is straightforward: a reputation that’s synonymous with meals and is derived to thoughts ideas of consuming or ingesting. It’s not essentially benefit based mostly, however fairly the chosen participant provides their very own flavour to the pot. 

Let’s start with an apparent selection, our quantity 11 and certain opening bowler, and work our approach down the listing.

11. Graham ONIONS

Onions didn’t shame himself throughout his 9 Take a look at profession for England, taking 5 for 38 on debut in 2009, towards the West Indies at Lord’s. He was one in every of Wisden’s 5 cricketers of the yr that summer season. In all he took 32 Take a look at wickets at 29.90, and even saved England from defeat with the bat on multiple event, earlier than a critical again harm successfully ended his Take a look at prospects. Onions performed his final Take a look at in June of 2012, and two months later took 9 for 67 for Durham towards Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge, denying himself the chance of all ten by operating out quantity 10 batsman Luke Fletcher. Wrapping up his first-class profession in 2019, Onions completed with 723 wickets from 192 matches, at a mean of 25.70. He’s now a bowling coach with Lancashire.

10. Michael BEER

There was multiple Beer to select from in cricket’s historical past, however I’ve gone with the Michael model, the sluggish left-arm orthodox spinner from Victoria, Australia. Beer needed to transfer states to get a crack at first-class cricket, being caught on a ready listing in Victoria, so he headed out West, the place he obtained an opportunity with Western Australia. Lower than a season later, and solely 5 matches into his first-class profession, he was a shock choice within the Australian Take a look at facet, making his debut at Sydney’s SCG as England accomplished a 3-1 sequence win, their first sequence win in Australia for twenty-four years. England racked up 644 of their solely innings of that Take a look at, and Beer completed with 1 for 112 from 38 overs, capturing the wicket of Paul Collingwood for 13. His first Take a look at wicket ought to have been Alastair Prepare dinner, however the wicket was overturned for a no-ball upon assessment. His second, and solely different Take a look at match, came to visit a yr later, on Australia’s tour of the West Indies. In a drawn match Beer opened the bowling in each innings on the Queen’s Park Oval, taking 2 for 56 off 25.4 overs, dismissing Adrian Barath and Carlton Baugh, within the first and 0 for 10 off 4 within the second as the sport petered out to a draw.

Beer finally relocated again to his dwelling state of Victoria, and as soon as took a hat-trick, unfold over two overs, throughout a home one-day match towards South Australia performed, for some cause, on the WACA in Perth. He performed his final high flight cricket within the BBL of 2018/19 with the Melbourne Stars.

9. Matthew BACON

My choice here’s a Horowhenua Kapiti boy from New Zealand, who made his first-class debut for Wellington in 2015/16 earlier than transferring south to Otago to additional his profession. In March 2019 Bacon took 10 wickets in a match as Otago beat Wellington by 3 wickets in a Plunket Protect conflict on the College Oval in Dunedin. He adopted his 6 for 73 within the first innings with 4 for 71 within the second, claiming amongst his scalps Black Caps Devon Conway, Tom Blundell, Michael Bracewell and James Neesham. In 20 first-class video games to this point, Bacon has taken 56 wickets together with his right-arm mediums, at a mean of 31.37. Different choices right here included the Bacon brothers of Hong Kong, John and Robbie, who represented their nation at Below-19 stage in 2007, John taking 4 for 16 towards Oman and Robbie hitting a fair 50 towards Kuwait. Francis Hugh Bacon was a Hampshire participant who was born in Colombo in 1869 and died in 1915 when a ship he was on was struck by a mine off the coast of Belgium.


Who higher to go along with Beer than Crisp, on this case Robert James Crisp, or Bob, who in keeping with his Wisden obituary was probably the most extraordinary man to ever play Take a look at cricket. Born in Calcutta (Kolkata) and educated in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) Crisp performed 9 Checks for South Africa in lower than a yr, from June 1935 to March 1936. He took 20 Take a look at wickets at 37.35, together with 5 for 99 towards England at Previous Trafford. His finest first-class figures have been 9 for 64, for Western Province towards Natal within the 1933-34 season, throughout which he took 4 in 4, a feat he achieved twice in first-class cricket. 276 wickets (together with 107 on South Africa’s 1935 tour of England) at 19.88 from 62 first-class matches communicate of an honest sufficient cricketer, a quick bowler who might get the ball to bounce and swing.

However his cricket might be the least fascinating factor about him. He realized of his choice for the England tour having simply climbed Mt.Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, and was closely concerned in World Battle Two, principally in Greece and North Africa. After the struggle he labored as a journalist and author, even operating off to the Greek Islands the place he supposedly cured himself of most cancers by strolling round Crete! A person whose life was so stuffed with journey you might make a film out of it, Crisp was no angel both, ashamedly admitting to his son that “he cherished the struggle” and being nicely often known as a drinker, gambler and womanizer. Nonetheless he was a person of his time and positively appeared to earn the title given to him by Wisden. 

As an fascinating sidenote, there was a UK born cricketer named David Crisp who performed for Costa Rica on the ICC World Cricket League Americas Division 4 event in 2010. Held in Mexico, David had a blinder in a T20 towards the Falkland Islands on the seventeenth of June, hitting 56 off 39 balls and taking 4 for 29 off 4 overs, serving to his facet to a 65 run win in Naucalpan.

7.Louis BURGER 

As with the Beers, there are various Burgers to select from, however I’ve gone with Namibian worldwide Louis Burger, a medium tempo all-rounder who performed within the early 2000s. Louis performed all 6 of his ODIs on the 2003 World Cup in Southern Africa, the place he struggled with the bat however took 6 wickets, together with 3 for 39 off 10 towards a rampant Australian facet, the Cup’s eventual winners. He obtained Michael Bevan caught and bowled earlier than he clear bowled Matthew Hayden, who was in full flight, out for 88 off 73 balls. In his subsequent over he had Ricky Ponting caught at level for simply 2 and the Australians, at 146 for 4, needed to consolidate. They ended up 301 for six off their 50 overs, then skittled the hapless Namibians for simply 45, Burger one in every of McGrath’s 7 victims that day, caught behind by Gilchrist for 1. One other sufferer of his at that World Cup was Pakistan’s Younis Khan, whereas he took 2 for 49 towards the Netherlands at Bloemfontein. No mug with the bat, he hit three first-class centuries for Namibia, all in Windhoek: 103* towards Limpopo, 120 towards the United Arab Emirates and 125 towards Western Province. His youthful brother Sarel additionally performed for Namibia, as did different Burger’s like Jan-Berrie and Kola.


The Colonel, as he was recognized, performed 10 ODIs for England in 2007 and 2008, having a highest rating of  83 off 74 balls in a tied recreation towards New Zealand at Napier. He additionally performed 2 T20Is on that NZ tour, however it was with Durham the place he spent a lot of his profession as a swashbuckling wicket-keeper batsman. He performed 210 first-class matches in whole, scoring 8700 runs at a mean of 30.41, and took 670 catches behind the stumps, with 19 stumpings. He performed home cricket world wide, showing for Auckland within the 2012/13 T20 HRV Cup, the place he hit 97 not out towards Wellington, earlier than a horrible run towards Otago. On New Years Eve, 2012, he was out for a golden royal duck in Queenstown, earlier than a return match in Auckland 4 days later, the place he was run out second ball of the match for 0 with out having confronted a ball himself. He additionally performed domestically in Bangladesh and Zimbabwe and frolicked in Tasmania with the Glenorchy membership early in his profession. As a younger footballer he frolicked with Manchester United and Middlesborough, and is now doing the rounds as an umpire. 

5. Rahkeem CORNwall

In all probability a little bit of a stretch for this staff, and much too excessive up the order if I’m being sincere, however the huge man is such an enormous character and a favorite of mine that I’ve included him right here. At virtually two metres tall and weighing in round 140kgs, when Cornwall is out within the center he makes his bat appear to be a toothpick and he towers over the opposition. Born in Antigua, Cornwall has performed 9 Checks for the West Indies between 2019 and 2021, and took a ten wicket bag in simply his 2nd Take a look at. Taking part in towards Afghanistan in Lucknow, Cornwall claimed 7 for 75 and three for 46 because the Windies received by 9 wickets. He has 34 Take a look at wickets at 37.76, and a highest Take a look at rating of 73, scored towards Sri Lanka on his dwelling island at North Sound. His right-arm offies have claimed him 354 first-class wickets and counting, at a a lot more healthy common of 24.82 and he has probably the most wickets in first-class cricket for the Leeward Islands, with 250. His uncle Wilden is in eighth spot, with 105. Cornwall’s better of 8 for 51 was achieved in a match towards Trinidad and Tobago in 2020 at Basseterre in St.Kitts, and his solely first-class hundred got here towards the identical staff, this time in Trinidad, in what was a match profitable innings in his debut season of 2014/15. Cornwall struck 101 not out off 84 balls with 11 fours and 6 sixes to assist Leeward Islands to a 5 wicket win. He additionally has 4 Checklist A a whole lot and has typically appeared within the Caribbean Premier League as a pinch hitting opening batsman, enjoying with the Antigua Hawksbills and St.Lucia Kings,  and this yr is signed on to play for the Barbados Royals.

4.Clive RICE

Maybe the best participant NEVER to play Take a look at cricket, Rice was a sufferer of South Africa’s exclusion from worldwide competitors. Making his debut in 1969, South Africa have been despatched into isolation a yr later. In 1992 he performed 3 ODIs towards India, captaining his facet of their first official sequence since reintroduction. He was by then 42 years previous, and his finest was behind him. His finest, nonetheless, was fairly bloody good, and he spent a lot of the 80s tearing up the County Championship, profitable titles with Nottinghamshire in 1981 and 1987, and was named Wisden Cricketer of the 12 months in 81 for his exploits. With New Zealand’s Sir Richard Hadlee he fashioned a lethal duo at Notts, and within the English winters Rice would return to South Africa, the place he received the Currie Cup 5 instances with Transvaal. His first-class numbers communicate volumes of his capacity: 482 matches and 26,331 runs at a mean of 40.95, with 48 centuries and a highest rating of 246 towards Sussex in 1976. On the bowling crease he took 930 scalps at 22.49, in what was supposedly his weaker self-discipline. In Checklist A cricket he performed 479 matches, scoring 13,474 runs and taking 517 wickets. 


Pepper was an Australian cricketer who performed within the Bradman period, and in reality was adequate to get him out occasionally. It was, nonetheless, a time when he didn’t get him out that probably price him an opportunity at Take a look at cricket. Taking part in for New South Wales towards South Australia at Adelaide throughout the 1945/46 season, he grew to become enraged on the umpire’s fixed denial of his appeals towards Bradman, to the purpose the place he misplaced his cool and “let off his mouth”. Bradman, by this stage a member of the Australian Board, was not impressed by this and it’s thought this incident, and Pepper’s spicy angle and “overripe” language, could have contributed to his omission from Australian choice.

He finally headed for England and have become one thing of a cult hero enjoying within the Lancashire Leagues. His solely first-class century, a rating of 168 in 146 minutes with 17 fours and 6 sixes, got here in a match for an Australian Companies XI towards H.D.G Leveson-Gower’s XI at Scarborough, together with one big hit out of the bottom. His finest bowling figures of 6 for 33 have been achieved whereas enjoying for a Commonwealth facet in India, towards Holkar in 1949-50. A batsman who cherished to hit an extended ball and a leg-spin bowler of some reputation, he might have actually made a reputation for himself within the trendy recreation. One other participant who grew to become an umpire, he had an entire different profession in that discipline and was reportedly fairly the colourful character. 

2. Phil SALT

Salt is a quick scoring batsman who has turn into extra of a white ball specialist, traversing the world and its T20 leagues. He’s performed for Sussex and Lancashire, for Barbados within the CPL, Adelaide within the BBL, Lahore and Islamabad within the PSL, Dambulla within the LPL and now performs for the Manchester Originals in The Hundred. Having been born in Wales and grown up partially in Barbados, he was certified to play for both the West Indies or England. Chosen within the covid alternative staff of 2021, he made his ODI debut for England towards Pakistan, and this season featured within the highest ODI rating ever made, when he contributed 122 off 93 balls as England racked up 498 for 4 towards the Netherlands in Amstelveen. Salt has hit 4 first-class centuries, his highest rating being the 148, from solely 138 balls, he hit for Sussex towards Derbyshire on the County Floor in Hove throughout the 2018 season.

1. Sir Alastair COOK

We’ve got our elements, now we’d like the Chef to convey all of it collectively. Sir Alastair is the very man for the job, a legend of the English recreation and the fifth highest Take a look at run scorer of all time. He retired from Take a look at cricket in 2018, going out in fashion at The Oval towards India, hitting 71 and 147 in an English win. The sport was held up for a number of minutes as an appreciative crowd applauded his thirty third and ultimate Take a look at century. Knighted for his companies to cricket, he continues to ply his commerce for Essex, including 4 centuries this summer season to take his first-class tally to 73 and counting. His 12,472 Take a look at runs got here at a mean of 45.35, from a whopping 161 Checks. In all first-class cricket he has amassed 25,576 runs from his 334 matches, at 47.18. An Ashes profitable captain on multiple event, he’s the proper foodie to sluggish cook dinner this aggressive and eccentric staff to red-ball success.

Particular mentions and additional squad members:

Eden APPLE Tom, a younger and uniquely named spinner from Kerala, India, who took 4 for 41 and a pair of for 30 on first-class debut as a 16 yr previous towards Meghalaya in February of this yr. Darren BERRY, an distinctive wicketkeeper who performed for South Australia and Victoria all through the 90s and early 2000s. Lahiru KUMARA (Maori for candy potato) a right-arm quick bowler from Kandy who has 70 Take a look at wickets for Sri Lanka since debuting towards Zimbabwe in 2016. Bradley CURRIE, a Scottish teenager who took 6 for 93 on debut for Sussex towards Middlesex at Lord’s this summer season, and Anuj DAL, an all-rounder having fun with a advantageous summer season for Derbyshire, together with scoring 55 and 112* and taking 5 for 40 as he helped his staff to victory over Worcestershire at New Highway.

So in amongst all of the sponsors’ merchandise, vibrant lights and fireworks, take time to think about the elongated great thing about the multi-day recreation, its nuances and characters who enliven and embolden the sport in several methods, extra than simply the crash bash of a success and giggle match made for TV. There haven’t been any Hula Hoops or Butterkist’s to play first-class cricket, though there was a KP and a handful of McCoys. 

Be at liberty to remark with anybody I’ll have missed. 

Chris Eyes



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