Cricket has long been called a gentleman’s game but is this still the case?
In light of the recent on-field ‘sledging’ that has stolen some of the limelight from the opening two Tests of this Ashes series, many pundits have questioned whether the etiquette that once defined cricket still exists.
(Whether or not it ever did is an entirely different matter.)
With this is mind, I turned my thoughts to current players, and those whom are only very recently retired, and came up with an XI I believe exemplify the gentlemanly spirit on which cricket was supposedly founded.
A ‘Gentleman’s XI’ if you will.
This team, following the general outline of a normal Test 11 – six batsmen, a ‘keeper, three seamers and a spinner – is made up of player whom no matter who they were playing for I always found myself cheering them on, hoping they would do well, even if I hoped their team would not.
1. Graeme Smith (South Africa 2002-present).
2. Andrew Strauss (England 2004-2012).
3. Rahul Dravid (India 1996-2012).
4. Mahela Jayawardene (Sri Lanka 1997-present).
5. Jacques Kallis (South Africa 1995-present).
6. Michael Hussey (Australia 2005-2013).
7. MS Dhoni (India 2005-present).
8. Andrew Flintoff (England 1998-2009).
9. Darren Sammy (West Indies 2007-present).
10. Brett Lee (Australia 1999-2008).
11. Rangana Herath (Sri Lanka 1999-present).
Honourable mentions going to the following (unfortunatly a team is only limited to 11 players, not 16):
• Daniel Vettori (New Zealand (1997-present).
• Shivnarine Chanderpaul (West Indies 1994-present).
• Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka 2000-present).
• Morne Morkel (South Africa 2006-present).
• Ryan Harris (Australia 2010-present).
While this team was not supposed to be based on skill, obviously the deeds of more well known players are going to be at the forefront of people’s minds, hence this team would not look out of place in a world XI of the last five years for example.
Well Roarers, what do you think, is there anyone you think should not have been included, any notable omissions or any thoughts on players past who similarly upheld the ‘spirit of cricket’?