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Team of the month: A June-born World XI

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Roar Guru
30th May, 2023

A few years ago I named twelve pairs of Australian and English teams, with each player eligible only for the side representing the month of his birth. I’m now naming World XIs using the same criteria.

The exercise has again produced sides of varying strength. Some of them can’t find room for an exceptional batsman or fast bowler. Others lack a great wicketkeeper or spin bowler.

It begs the question how a total pool of 1,320 Test cricketers could have produced such disparity in talent from month to month. The term “accident of birth” comes to mind.

Without further ado, here is a side drawn exclusively from players born in June. It is one of the strongest of the dozen sides. Additionally, a powerful second eleven could be formed from those that missed out and have been named as well.

1. Len Hutton (England, born 23 June 1916, vice-captain)

79 Tests, 1937-1955, 6971 runs at 56.67, 19 centuries

Hutton was one of the greatest and most technically-correct opening batsmen. His peak ICC batting ranking in 1954 is the third highest of all time, and in 2010 he was named in Cricinfo’s all-time World XI. He led England 23 times without losing a series, regaining the Ashes in 1953 and retaining them in 1954/55.

His highlights included scoring 364 against Australia at The Oval in 1938, averaging 88.83 in Australia in 1950/51, and carrying his bat for 202 against the West Indies and then 156 against Australia. His career was interrupted by WWII, which commenced when he was aged 23.


His post-war achievements were made despite a wartime injury that hospitalised him for eight months and shortened his left arm by two inches.

2. Charlie Macartney (Australia, born 27 June 1886)

35 Tests, 1907-1926, 2131 runs at 41.78, seven centuries, 45 wickets at 27.55

Macartney was an artistic batting genius, and worthy successor to Victor Trumper. He was also a skilful left-arm orthodox spin bowler who took 7/58 and 4/27 at Headingley in 1909. Against England at the SCG in 1911/12, he scored 137 and 56. His career was then interrupted by WWI, which commenced when he was aged 28.

In his final 22 matches he averaged 60.54 with seven centuries. In 1926 he scored 133 not out, 151 and 109 in successive innings at Lord’s, Headingley and Old Trafford. The second of those innings included a century before lunch on the match’s first day.

3. Wally Hammond (England, born 19 June 1903)


85 Tests, 1927-1947, 7249 runs at 58.45, 22 centuries, 83 wickets at 37.80

Hammond was Jack Hobbs’ successor as England’s finest batsman, and also a great fieldsman and medium-fast bowler. His cover-driving and slip-fielding were especially superb. In 2010 he was named in Cricinfo’s all-time England XI.

His career included scoring 905 runs at 113.12 in Australia in 1928/29, amassing a pair of centuries in Adelaide in that series, scoring 295 runs in a single day in Auckland in 1932/33, and twice opening the batting and bowling in the same Test.

4. Steve Smith (Australia, born 2 June 1989)

96 Tests, 2010-2023, 8792 runs at 59.80, 30 centuries

Smith is a prolific batsman, superb fieldsman and useful leg-spinner. His peak ICC batting ranking in 2018 is second only to that of Don Bradman in 1948. While his career batting average is the sixth highest of all time, for his 77 Tests since December 2014 it is even higher at 66.57.

Steve Smith of Australia celebrates after reaching his century during day three of the First Test Match of the 2017/18 Ashes Series between Australia and England at The Gabba on November 25, 2017 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Steve Smith of Australia celebrates after reaching his century during day three of the First Test Match of the 2017/18 Ashes Series between Australia and England at The Gabba on November 25, 2017 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)


His highlights to date include scoring 774 runs at 110.57 in England in 2019, and 769 runs at 128.16 including four centuries at home against India in 2014/2015, and 1474 runs at 73.70 in the 2015 calendar year.

5. Javed Miandad (Pakistan, born 12 June 1957)

124 Tests, 1976-1993, 8832 runs at 52.57, 23 centuries

Miandad is his nation’s highest run-scorer after Younis Khan, and arguably its greatest-ever batsman. During his entire career, his average never fell below 50.00. He debuted at age 19 and became his country’s youngest-ever captain at 22. In 2010 he was named in Cricinfo’s all-time Pakistan XI.

His highlights included an innings of 163 on debut against New Zealand in Lahore in 1976/77, a pair of centuries against the same opponent in Hyderabad in 1984/85, two centuries in the West Indies in 1987/88, and six double-centuries. During his 18-year career, no other batsman achieved a higher average.

6. Steve Waugh (Australia, born 2 June 1965, captain)

168 Tests, 1985-2004, 10,927 runs at 51.06, 32 centuries, 92 wickets at 37.44


Waugh was a hard-headed batsman and captain who led Australia to 15 of its world-record 16 consecutive wins. He was a capable medium-pace bowler, until restricted by back injuries. Only Sachin Tendulkar and James Anderson have played more matches, and only 11 players have scored more runs.

His highlights included a 385-run partnership with Greg Blewett in Johannesburg in 1996/97, a pair of centuries at Old Trafford in 1997, and ten centuries against England. In addition to his 32 tons, he reached the 90s a further ten times.

Steve Waugh

Steve Waugh (Credit: Ben Radford/Allsport/Getty Images)

7. Wasim Akram (Pakistan, born 3 June 1966)

104 Tests, 1985-2002, 2898 runs at 22.64, three centuries, 414 wickets at 23.62

Akram was a master of left-arm pace, swing and seam, with a devastating bouncer and slower ball as well. His tally of 17 player-of-the-match awards has been surpassed by only two others, and he also gained seven player-of-the-series awards. He was named in all-time World XIs by both Cricinfo and Wisden, in 2010 and 2013 respectively.

His highlights included match figures of 10/128 in Dunedin in 1984/85 when aged just 18, and innings figures of 123 and 5/100 in Adelaide in 1989/90. Only three bowlers have exceeded his tally of 119 batsmen dismissed leg-before-wicket, and just four others his tally of 102 batsmen bowled out.


While inconsistent with the bat, his undefeated 257 against Zimbabwe in Sheikhupura in 1996/97 is the highest score by a number-eight batsman, and featured a record 12 sixes.

8. Niroshan Dickwella (Sri Lanka, born 23 June 1993)

54 Tests, 2014-2023, 2757 runs at 30.97, 22 half-centuries, 134 catches, 27 stumpings

Dickwella is a wicketkeeper and aggressive left-handed batsman who has been in and out of the Sri Lanka team for the past nine years. Only seven other glovemen have effected more stumpings. He has a career scoring-rate of 66.46 runs per 100 balls, with a highest innings of 96. Only Shane Warne has amassed more runs without attaining a century.

9. Alan Davidson (Australia, born 14 June 1929)

44 Tests, 1953-1963, 1328 runs at 24.59, 186 wickets at 20.53

Davidson was a superb left-handed pace bowler, hard-hitting lower-order batsman, and outstanding fieldsman. He was able to move the ball in the air late and off the pitch in either direction. His peak ICC bowling and all-rounder rankings, both in 1961, were the sixteenth and seventeenth highest of all time respectively.


In Kanpur in 1959/60, he took 5/31 and 7/93. In the tied Test against the West Indies at the Gabba in 1960/61, he scored 44 and 80, and took 5/135 and 6/87. His most significant other batting feat was an innings of 77 not out at Old Trafford in 1961, enabling a 98-run last-wicket stand which led to a miraculous 54-run win.

10. George Lohmann (England, born 2 June 1865)

18 Tests, 1886-1896, 112 wickets at 10.75

Lohmann was a medium-fast bowler known for his movement, accuracy and variations. He was also a useful batsman and brilliant slip fieldsman.

In the ICC’s all-time bowler rankings, he is second to SF Barnes. No-one has bettered either his average, or his strike-rate of a wicket per 34 deliveries, or reached 100 wickets in fewer games. Having debuted aged 21 he contracted tuberculosis at 27, dying of it at 36.

In 15 matches against Australia he took 77 wickets at 13.01. His Ashes highlights included 7/36 and 5/68 at The Oval in 1886, 3/20 and 8/35 at the SCG in 1886/87, and 8/58 and 2/84 at the SCG in 1891/92. In three games on matting pitches in South Africa, he took 35 wickets at 5.80.

11. Derek Underwood (England, born 8 June 1945)


86 Tests, 1966-1982, 297 wickets at 25.83

Underwood was a medium-pace left-arm orthodox spin bowler. He was known for his devastating use of rain-affected pitches and accuracy, and took ten wickets in a Test six times. In 2010 he was named in Cricinfo’s all-time England XI. His ICC bowling ranking peaked in 1971 as the seventeenth highest of all time. Only four bowlers have caught-and-bowled more batsmen. His career was interrupted by World Series Cricket, and ended by a rebel tour to South Africa.

His match-winning Ashes performances included 2/89 and 7/50 in a dramatic win with four minutes remaining at The Oval in 1968, 4/37 and 6/45 at Headingley in 1972, and 1/53 and 6/66 at Old Trafford in 1977. He also returned match figures of 13/71 against Pakistan in 1974, and 11/70 against New Zealand in 1969, both at Lord’s.

Honourable mentions

Terry Alderman, Sid Barnes, Marnus Labuschagne, Graham McKenzie, Ian Redpath, Mark Waugh, Andrew Symonds, Shane Watson (Aus), Moeen Ali, Stuart Broad, KS Duleepsinhji, John Edrich, Tom Graveney, George Gunn, Kevin Pietersen, Brian Statham, Ben Stokes, Frank Tyson (Eng), Dinesh Karthik, Ajinkya Rahane (Ind), Shane Bond, Chris Cairns, John R Reid (NZ), Asif Iqbal, Mohammad Rizwan, Mushtaq Ahmed (Pak), Peter Heine, Vernon Philander, Peter Pollock, Dale Steyn (SA), Somachandra de Silva, Angelo Mathews, Sanath Jayasuriya (SL), Kemar Roach (WI).

This side has a distinctly Anglo-Australian feel with eight members. Pakistan and Sri Lanka are the only other nations represented.

Captaincy is one of its strengths. Neither Waugh nor Hutton would be intimidated by anyone, let alone a changeroom containing six Test skippers.


The batting goes all the way down to number ten and is a match-winning combination of ruthlessness and flair. The list of great eligible batsmen who missed selection is a long one, starting with Kevin Pietersen.

The bowling’s strengths are diversity and control, rather than sheer pace. Ironically, while this team’s top-six lacks a left-hander, its bowling line-up contains four of them.

Underwood has claimed the spin bowler’s spot ahead of Mushtaq Ahmed. While in the right conditions he might be unplayable, at other times he might lose his place to an extra paceman.

Waugh might advocate for the inclusion of Shane Bond or Dale Steyn, while Hutton might push for his 1954/55 series-winners Brian Statham and Frank Tyson. Interestingly South Africa provided four top-class candidates in Peter Heine, Vernon Philander, Peter Pollock and Steyn.

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June-born wicketkeepers are few and far between. Accordingly Dickwella, cricket’s twenty-eighth most-prolific one, takes the gloves. One-gamer Phil Emery is the only eligible Australian. England’s most-capped contender Steven Rhodes made a mere 11 appearances.


It’s a more than useful fielding side, too. Hammond, Smith, Lohmann and Davidson would form a superb slips cordon, while Macartney was equally good at mid-off.

Next month, I’ll name a July-born team that is just as strong, if not stronger.