The Powerspots….The Scoops…..the Dynadrives…The Elites…..Gray-Nicolls bats made everyone at schools across the country drool. They still came from the same willow as their rivals, but they looked a whole lot better.

Anyway, so I, Alex Ferguson – who had his best-ever season slogging a GN Elite before it was broken by a schoolmate who nicked it for a match – have compiled my top all-time Gray-Nicolls XI.

For the record, we could have easily opened up with Atherton-Cook, but we went with Hayden and Gavaskar instead. It combines quick runs with solidity, and we think it’ll set the team straight.

The middle order I think ANYONE would be overjoyed with, starring arguably the world’s best player at the moment (Willliamson), and three of the best players ever (Lara, Gower and Miandad).

The wicketkeeper is a star in Jeffrey Dujon, although if we put this list up in five years’ time it would be great to see Ben Foakes on the list. Dujon managed to keep brilliantly against some of the West Indies’ best bowlers so that’s why he’s here.

Picking the bowlers was tough. The Rabada – Lawson link isn’t pleasant to look at (Lawson less than Radaba), but we’ve put in Sandeep because he’s going to be the most explosive talent on show. What’s more, the fact that he comes from a team that’s NOT a big ICC country makes it all the more fun. Anyone with other suggestions, please let me know!

Oh, and good morning everybody. We’ve put Richie Benaud as our captain. I have beautiful memories of Richie from the days when I watched test match after test match on the BBC growing up. He was loved and respected the world over as a commentator. Oh, and he wasn’t a bad cricketer, either.

So here goes:

  1. Matthew Hayden (Australia)
  2. Sunil Gavaskar (India)
  3. Kane Williamson (New Zealand)
  4. Brian Lara (West Indies)
  5. David Gower (England)
  6. Javed Miandad (Pakistan)
  7. Richie Benaud (Australia, captain)
  8. Jeffrey Dujon (West Indies, wicketkeepr)
  9. Sandeep Lamichhane (Nepal)
  10. Kagiso Rabada (South Africa)
  11. Geoff Lawson (Australia)

Alex Ferguson

@viewfromamerica