Tuesday, 13 September 2011


Once again Fantasy Bob has to come to terms with being overlooked for a position he seemed destined to fill.  No sooner has he got over his extreme disappointment of not featuring alongside Lulu and Edwina Currie in Strictly Come Dancing - or to put it another way, the mild disappointment of not featuring alongside Lulu and the extreme relief of not appearing alongside Edwina Currie - than he has to deal with the frustration of being ignored by the ICC Panel whose selection for the world ODI XI based on performances between August 2010 and 2011 has just been announced.

Lloyd says no to FB
FB accepts that the fact that he did not play any ODIs during the period in question, or indeed at any time in his ever lengthening career, may have swayed the panel unduly.  Nevertheless he hoped that they might adopt an imaginative approach to selection particularly since this XI will not have to play anyone so there is no risk of FB not being able to deliver.  FB suggests that his selection would have been a boost to senior cricketers everywhere who week in week out have to put up with the energy, athleticism and complete inability to score displayed by assorted junior members in their clubs' lower sides.  The ICC awards seem to ignore such important considerations.

Instead, the panel, headed by Sir Clive Lloyd and including Paul Adams, Mike Gatting, Danny Morrison and  Zaheer Abbas, played it safe and went for a majority of Indian and Sri Lankan names.   The chosen XI is:
Amla - average of 60.61 not good enough
Tillakaratne Dilshan, Virender Sehwag, Kumar Sangakkara, AB de Villiers, Shane Watson, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni (capt & wk),Graeme Swann, Umar Gul, Dale Steyn, Zaheer Khan, and 12th Man - Lasith Malinga
Not a bad side, and FB would be pleased to welcome most of them into his All Star 4th XI should they have a free weekend next season.  But even in this selection there are some surprises - particularly the omission of Hashim Amla who has carried all before him this year.   Strangely, he was also nominated as ODI player of the year, as was Gautam Gambhir who also failed to make the final XI.

No place for Sachin
There is of course the usual outburst from all Tendulkar supporters who are outraged at his omission from any award.  They have also complained that their hero failed to secure a nomination for the Mann-Booker prize last week.  Outrageous.

Tendulkar did make the ICC Test XI which was announced 2 weeks ago.  It is predictably and justifiably dominated by English players - 5 in all. 
Pre hair weave
Alastair Cook, Hashim Amla, Jonathan Trott, Sachin Tendulkar, Kumar Sangakkara (capt/wk), AB de Villiers, Jacques Kallis, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, Dale Steyn, James Anderson, Zaheer Khan (12th man)
The only issue FB has with this selection - accepting that his own Text performances did not justify serious consideration - is with Sangakkara as wicket-keeper since he gave up keeping in Test matches several years ago.  On present form Matt Prior should be behind the stumps.  Batting Kallis at 7 seems a mild insult to such a great player - could it be a punishment for his hair transplant?

Who would be a selector - even of teams that aren't going to play.

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