England’s 100 Greatest Cricketers of All-Time

My barometer for greatness incorporates the following:

  • success is valued over simple longevity.
  • success over a prolonged period is given a yet higher premium.
  • allowances are made for previous eras having less Test matches.
  • for eras where Test matches were rarer some credence is given to First Class performances & success.
  • as England’s traditional rival – success against Australia is given a slightly higher premium than success against other Test playing nations.
  • success against lesser Test nations – Zimbabwe; Bangladesh; Sri Lanka (1982 to 1992 – up until the occasion of their first consecutive Test wins) – are given less credence.
  • success is taken as a function of both individual contribution & team success.
  1. Jack Hobbs. 3,636 Test runs against Australia @ an average of 54.27 – including 12 centuries – no other Englishman has more than 9. Then there is the small matter of him scoring more First Class runs than anyone in the history of the game – 61,760 at an average of 50.70. All of this despite perhaps the prime years of his career being interrupted by the First World War. Interestingly enough Hobbs was once employed as the assistant to the professional cricket coach at Bedford School – a School that would 104 years later produce Alastair Cook who’d go on to become the leading run-scorer in English test history.
    “On all kinds of pitches, hard and dry, in this country or in Australia, on sticky pitches here and anywhere else, even on the “gluepot” of Melbourne, on the matting of South Africa, against pace, spin, swing and every conceivable device of bowlers Hobbs reigned supreme.”

    Neville CardusJack Hobbs

  2. Wally Hammond. 2,852 Test runs & 9 centuries against Australia @ an average of 51.85. 7 of those 9 centuries came on Australian soil where he averaged 61.90. Accumulated 22 centuries & 24 fifties – a remarkable conversion rate once in. Represented England before & after the Second World War – scoring 51,573 First Class runs which included 167 centuries & 185 fifties – again showcasing his ability to convert fifties into hundreds almost as often as not. Educated at Cirencester Grammar School was regarded as something of an aloof snob among team mates & was even hated by some.Wally Hammond
  3. Fred Trueman. 307 wickets @ an average of 21.57 in Test cricket. Achievement five 5 wicket hauls against Australia @ an average of 25.30. Enjoyed a career strike rate of one wicket every 49.43 balls bowled. The finest fast bowler England has ever produced.Fred Trueman
  4. Sydney Barnes. 189 wickets from just 27 matches including best bowling in an innings of 9/103 & in a match of 17/159. Managed a wicket every 41.6 balls bowled. Took 24 five wicket hails – almost one a match.Sydney Barnes
  5. Leonard Hutton 6,971 Test runs @ average of 56.67. 2,428 Test runs vs. Australia. His 364 in 1938 against Australia remains an England Test record to this day.Leonard Hutton
  6. W. G. Grace. Grace was cricket’s first mainstream superstar who scored an incredible 54,896 First Class runs over a 878 game/44 season career. Whilst respectful of his status as a pioneer in cricket’s growth & the sparse frequency of Test match cricket during his career I feel he is often over celebrated – Grace managed 2 Test centuries & averaged less than 40 in his First Class career & 32.29 in Tests. Ironically given his stature as the first great Test batsman it was his bowling figures in the First Class game that make remarkable reading – 2,864 wickets at an average of just 17.99.W. G. Grace
  7. Herbert Sutcliffe. 4,555 Test runs at an average of 60.73. Holds the 1st wicket partnership record at Lord’s with Jack Hobbs of 268.Herbert Sutcliffe
  8. Graham Gooch.  2,632 Test runs against Australia at an average of 33.32.Graham Gooch
  9. Ian Botham. Botham would likely feature higher were this a listing of Most Famous English Cricketers of All-Time. This has led to some hyperbole bordering on blasphemy including an infamous SkySports World’s Greatest Sporting Legend Cricket Episode which included Botham in a Top 3 but no Bradman. Meanwhile back on planet earth Botham should get credit for 148 of 383 career wickets & 1,673 of 5,200 career runs coming against the Australians. He is one of the few modern English bowlers who holds a better average against the Australians than against everyone else. Indeed his 148 wickets against the Baggy Green is more than anyone else in history. He enjoyed less success against the other giants of his era, the West Indies, averaging just 21.41 with the bat & 35.18 with the ball against Viv Richards & company. Additionally he never played against South Africa & the Sri Lanka he’d have faced during his career were not yet the force they’d go on to become. His record as captain was 0 wins from 12 matches.Ian Botham
  10. Alastair Cook. 2,117 Test runs @ an average of 39.2 against Australia.Alastair Cook
  11. Geoffrey Boycott. 2,945 Test runs against Australia.Geoffrey Boycott
  12. Kevin PietersenKevin Pietersen
  13. David Gower.  3,269 Test runs against Australia – second only to Jack Hobbs.David Gower
  14. Colin CowdreyColin Cowdrey
  15. Denis ComptonDenis Compton
  16. Ken BarringtonKen Barrington
  17. Jim LakerJim Laker
  18. Bob WillisBob Willis
  19. Michael Vaughan. 5,719 runs at an average of 41.44 on tell half the story of a man who captained England to their first Ashes series victory since 1986. It will be for the 2005 Ashes series Vaughan will be remembered. His record as England Test captain finished at 26 wins against 11 losses with 14 drawn. Managed 959 runs @ an average of 47.95 in 10 matches against the Australians.
  20. James Anderson. 105 wickets by clean bowling batsman – 3rd most in history by any bowler. 87 wickets at an average of 35.87 against Australia. Failed to take a single Australia wicket in 16 of 50 innings against them. Averages 35.36 away from home against all Test opposition vs. 24.29 at home where he has taken 335 of 506 career Test wickets.James Anderson
  21. Michael Atherton
  22. Frank Woolley
  23. Stuart Broad
  24. Andrew Flintoff
  25. Ranjitsinhji
  26. Joe Root
  27. Ian Bell
  28. Alec Stewart
  29. John Edrich
  30. Tony Greig
  31. Alan Knott
  32. Alec Bedser
  33. Dennis Amiss
  34. Peter May
  35. Marcus Trescothick
  36. Trevor Bailey
  37. Andrew Strauss
  38. Matt Prior
  39. Graham Thorpe
  40. Wilfred Rhodes
  41. Brian Statham
  42. Mike Gatting
  43. Godfrey Evans
  44. Nasser Hussain
  45. Ted Dexter
  46. Patsy Hendren
  47. Allan Lamb
  48. Keith Fletcher
  49. John Snow
  50. Darren Gough
  51. Tom Graveney
  52. Mark Butcher
  53. Basil D’Oliveira
  54. Andy Caddick
  55. Arthur Shrewsbury
  56. John Emburey
  57. Graeme Swann
  58. Mike Brearley
  59. Derek Underwood
  60. Eddie Paynter
  61. Tony Lock
  62. Matthew Hoggard
  63. Paul Collingwood
  64. Jonathan Trott
  65. Robin Smith
  66. Ben Stokes
  67. Phil Mead
  68. Angus Fraser
  69. Steve Harmison
  70. Colin Blythe
  71. Moeen Ali
  72. George Lohmann. Lowest strike rate of any bowler in the history of Test cricket with 2,000 balls bowled or more of just 34.12. That’s better than 1 wicket every 8 overs bowled. Took 77 wickets @ an average of just 13.01 against Australia.George Lohmann
  73. Maurice Tate
  74. Chris Old
  75. Johnny Briggs
  76. Maurice Leyland
  77. Dominic Cork
  78. Graeme Hick
  79. Ken Higgs
  80. Cyril Washbrook
  81. Monty Panesar
  82. Frank Tyson
  83. Jonny Bairstow
  84. Ray Illingworth
  85. Chris Broad
  86. Geraint Jones
  87. Tom Richardson
  88. Steven Finn
  89. Gary Ballance
  90. Jos Buttler
  91. Tich Freeman
  92. A. G. Steel
  93. Bill Bowes
  94. Mike Hendrick
  95. Graham Dilley
  96. Billy Barnes
  97. Walter Robins
  98. Keith Fletcher
  99. Devon MalcolmDevon Malcolm
  100. K. S. DuleepsinhjiK. S. Duleepsinhji