Wednesday, 13 April 2011

An April Shower

Mike Brearley 
Skipper supreme
Born 28 April 1942
Fantasy Bob has not done all the research necessary to confirm this proposition categorically, but he hazards a guess that his England XI drawn from players born in the month of April could be a match for any XI drawn from any other month.

Mike Brearley      39 Tests, 1442 runs at 22.88
Dennis Amiss       50 Tests 3612 runs at 46.30
Graeme Fowler    21 Tests 1307 runs at 35.32
David Gower       117 Tests 8231 runs at 44.25
Ian Bell                62 Tests 4192 runs at 44.12
Alec Stewart        133 Tests 8463 runs at 39.54 (nb when playing only as a bat 46.90)
Alan Knott           95 Tests 4389 runs at 32.75
Liam Plunkett       9 Tests 23 wickets at 39.82
SF Barnes           27 Tests 189 wickets at 16.43
Phil Tuffnell         42 Tests 121 wickets at 37.68
Norman Cowans 19 Tests 51 wickets at 39.27

....and a list of 12th men including the media trio Mike Selvey, Jonathan Agnew and Dermot Reeve who would ensure that the side did not go without positive coverage.

Norman Cowans
Born 17 April 1961
Maybe a top drawer pace bowler short but good depth in batting.  It is interesting too that apart from SF Barnes - the best bowler ever - this April richness is post war.  The only other April old timer that FB could find in the records is the greatest all round sportsman ever CB Fry.  FB has assumed CB Fry would not be available since he might be playing football or doing athletics - or even being King of Albania.

Why should April bring this richness?  Were April babies put in outdoor nets as soon as they were born?  FB has no idea.


  1. Possibly it does have something to do with April being the start of the cricket season and it would be interesting to know if FB has conducted this exercise for a later month of the year. I note that a certain G.Boycott has an October birthday and wonder what sort of side the Barnacle of Barnsley could put together - assuming he was speaking to any of them.

  2. Silly Point - thanks - FB would be happy for other selectors to pit their XIs against his April XI.

  3. I must hesitantly state my vehement disagreement to the XI. If the discussion is about the best XI "drawn", then I must indulge in some blatant self promotion and state that the best XI ever "drawn" has got to be this...

    Ravi Shastri
    Dilip Vengsarkar
    Ricky Ponting
    Michael Clarke
    Imran Khan (Capt)
    Yuvraj Singh
    Dhoni (WK)
    Ian Botham
    Shahid Afridi
    Shoaib Akhtar

  4. Goloandaaz - truly excellent work - you put FB's extremely modest portrait skills to shame - - and that is a fine XI too.