Like many of you, I have very much enjoyed All Day Roseville’s series on Ashes teams by month of birth.
While he is finishing that series, I thought it might be a bit of fun to put together a Zodiac XI, with a 12th man.
But this is a compilation team article with a bit of a difference.
What I would like to do is put the team down on paper and ask you, dear readers, to match the player with the star sign and tell me why.
Some of the links from the player to the star sign will be straightforward but some will be a bit cryptic and at times a bit of a stretch. You should also keep nicknames in mind.
In the usual spirit of these things, I am more than happy to hear improvements to the team, but urge you to remember that you still need to keep it as a proper cricket team.
A couple of things to note. I have chosen one person to represent each star sign, while at the same time trying to keep it as a properly complied cricket team, which, I must say, proved a little challenging for wicketkeepers and openers. I have also limited the team to men’s Test players and while there were a number of first-class players with even more appropriate names, I will leave it to you readers to see if you can find those as well.
To save you some time, I can confirm that there are no first-class cricketers called Jack Pisces or Frank Sagittarius.
I do want to apologise to readers from the subcontinent because none of your players are represented. This was almost entirely due to names from those regions not easily transferring to English in the absence of a Billy Birmingham-style stretch. But if I have missed anyone good, please let me know. I couldn’t manage to find a spot to anyone from the West Indies either, although there were a few who could have made it.
Finally, as a prize to the person who can match the full team with the star signs (and why) in a single post, I promise to like your next ten The Roar comments, regardless of how good or bad they are!
So, my all-time Zodiac XII is:
1. Ken Archer (Australia)
2. Mark Ramprakash (England)
3. Gary Ballance (England via Zimbabwe)
4. Graeme Pollock (South Africa)
5. The Waughs (Australia)
6. Clarence Pellew (Australia)
7. Tony Dodemaide (Australia)
8. Ron Oxenham (Australia)
9. Barry Jarman (wicketkeeper) (Australia)
10. Craig McDermott (Australia)
11. Nathan Lyon (Australia)
12. Brian Hastings (New Zealand)
It’s a pretty eclectic mix, although a little Australia-centric. There are one or two all-time greats there and one or two names that only hardcore cricket fans will find familiar. The bowling perhaps lacks a cutting edge with only McDermott being categorised as quick. But Dodemaide and Oxenham did take over 900 first-class wickets between them.
And how about that number five? Nearly 300 Tests, just shy of 19,000 runs at 47 with 52 tons. Not to mention over 150 wickets and close to 300 catches for good measure!
And now, dear readers, over to you to decipher and improve my Zodiac XII.