This has come about as a bit of fun, but we have some fabulous professionals at Heywood Cricket Club from as far back as records begin and we thought it would be apt to select an All-Time Heywood Pro XI.
We had such greats as Frank Watson – a sometime amateur too – LL Cranfield, T Simpson and Freddie Slater in the years from 1900 to the Second World War. Conditions were different then, of course, and in general it was a bowler’s game. But there were some great feats of batsmanship that stand the test of time too, all of which can be found in our records.
Our first major overseas pro was Ellis Achong, the originator of the ‘Chinaman’, who came to England at the same time as the legendary Lord Learie Constantine and his fellow West Indians.
We went through Heywood’s record wicket-taker for a season – George Pope – to the first man to do the double for Heywood, New Zealand great John Reid.
We’ve had Subhashchandra Pandharinath ’Fergie’ Gupte, Keith Slater, Clairmonte Depeiza and the ultimate pro – Colin Lever.
In later years we had Geoff Lawson, Cheshire’s Bob Cooke – a brilliant league pro – Steve Wundke and Curtly Ambrose. You may even want a skipper in the team in John Abrahams. And in recent times we have had England coach Andy Flower, long-standing pro Alan Badenhorst, one-time South Africa skipper Johan Botha and West Indian star Sherwin Campbell.
The links to their ‘promanship’ are below.
So this is our challenge:
Who would make your all time Heywood Professional Team?
At Heywood we have been lucky enough to see some of the finest cricketers of all time, but which of them would make your all time team? Would it be the pace and bounce of a young Curtly Ambrose or Geoff Lawson, the stroke play of an Andy Flower or Sherwin Campbell, the all round skill of Steve Wundke or Johan Botha?
Many of the younger readers will not have had chance to see some of the players concerned but to help out the link below will give you the statistics over the years. But remember that the earlier batsmen had to bat on uncovered wickets and it is generally agreed that league cricket was stronger in the 70′s and 80′s than it is now.
There is obviously no right or wrong answer and for some it will be one particular memory that defines whether a particular player makes your team. You may select your side on the strength of what the player did for Heywood, but some people will prefer to look at how a player did in international cricket, it is entirely your choice.
The only criteria is that we ask for a balanced side. There is no need to select a wicket-keeper unless you wish to, but there should be a fair balance of batsmen and bowlers.
Feel free to post your side below and if you feel like it you can explain your choices or give us some of your memories of a player that you enjoyed watching. It is just a bit of fun and we look forward to seeing your teams.
Look through the stats and enjoy picking a team that would compete against any team of all time. And don’t be afraid to use the stats. Some of the early pros’ records are astounding, so why not pick them?
The stats are available on the links above. Get involved, Heywood supporters or not, and give us your thoughts.
Although they don’t know it yet, an all-time team will be selected by Bob Cross, David Fare and Bobby Cross, an almost unbroken link that goes back 60 years.
It’s just for fun but I will shortly post my all-time team. And remember, this team has to be good in the field, so there may be some names from above that have been left out.
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