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Who are your all-time favourite cricketers?

Viv Richards. (AAP Photo/Alan Porritt)
Roar Guru
21st January, 2014
269
2972 Reads

Who are your all-time favourite players? A question that is a nigh-on impossible challenge; to separate one player from another in a game that makes one feel such a gamut of emotions.

I came to my decision by remembering the ones who compelled me to share in their experience and walk a mile in their shoes.

These are the five I settled on, but Roarers, who are yours?

1) Allan Border (Australia)

They say that Sport embodies Life, and when Allan Border came to real prominence in the mid 80’s as Australia’s Captain, he became an inspiration.

He was the epitome of the little Aussie battler with everything against him, which mirrored my life at the time with skyrocketing mortgage rates forcing my family to the wall.

He made me live through his example, no matter the challenge, and taught me to find a way.

Through that strength, he inspired a steely determination inside one to rise.

Winning the 1987 World Cup was the first flicker of hope, with regaining the Ashes in 1989 adding to the revival.

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The 90’s saw Australia’s re-emergence, and eventually dominance, largely propelled by Allan Border.

2) Bhagwat Chandrasekhar (India)

The man known as Chandra was a vindicated genius with a reputation for bettering the batting greats in his time.

His bowling had a Cobras edge to it in its unpredictability, bowling leg spin off a long run at medium pace with an eclectic assortment of deliveries with real venom.

But it was only part of the reason why I loved the man so much.

He embodied the idea that success in the game is about ability, but it is as much about the determination to overcome obstacles, as well as the passion and enthusiasm one has for the game.

He overcame Polio as a child that withered his bowling wrist to be a test great.

That was a life lesson he gave to all, but he took it a step further in his on-field demeanour.

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Few would debate that he was a genuine star, but he possessed such self-effacing charm that saw him viewed as a man that was humble, proud, but still confident.

Sadly, these qualities are so foreign in this age of player histrionics.

3) Viv Richards (West Indies)

When I hear the new-age cricket fans claim how T20 had globalised the game, I laugh, for the great West Indies team did it back in the 1970’s.

The standout in that team was the masterful batsman Viv Richards, who was a combination of sublime genius and pervasive charisma that intimidated like no other.

People used to beg, borrow and steal to watch him play, as seen at his time at Somerset in the English County competition, with fans sleeping overnight at the ground to guarantee a sight of Richards.

He was unparalleled brilliance as a batsman, but it was more his character that made one idolise him – he was just that damned cool!

4) John Snow (England)

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I always loved the loosed-from-Hell quicks who were intent on destruction.

John Snow was one that stood out because of his unpredictable and untethered nature that never saw a line in the sand that he would not cross.

He paid scant regard to unwritten conventions as he tried to behead tail-enders, hip checked batsmen at the non strikers end sending them into the middle of next week, and even tried to decapitate superiors in net sessions.

Despite his unhinged nature, he was a great fast bowler, seen best in his bettering of Garry Sobers in a victorious English tour to the Caribbean in 1968, and his Ashes plunder Down Under in 1972.

5) V.V.S Laxman (India)

Everything about this great Indian batsman was pristine style, from his characteristic chic red scarf draped around his neck, to the sublime elegance in technique.

This captivated viewers, but his genius, coupled with his match winning substance from any position made one hang off his every move.

I loved his puristic style, which never saw him hit a ball in the air. His game was all about the dexterity of his footwork, fool-proof technique, and irresistible timing that saw the ball rocket off his every caressed shot.

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How he mastered Shane Warne belonged in the dream factory, with the leg spinner ripping deliveries out of the rough outside leg to Laxman just to see the genius of VVS hit against the rearing spin through the vacant leg side with an effortless flick of his wrists, or surgically dissecting the packed off side field.