Guernsey Cricket’s Top 100 countdown

WHO has been the finest player to grace the Guernsey cricket fields?

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It is the latest question we at the Guernsey Press sports desk posed ourselves following on from our series that covered the top 100 of Guernsey Football.

The scoring criteria for cricket’s Top 100 is, rightly or wrongly, markedly different from the formula used in the highly successful football version.

Once again, the basic skills of the game are key components, but on this occasion we are also recognising overall contribution to the sport, in terms of playing career length and off-the-field roles. For instance, individuals who have followed successful playing days with years of administrative service within the four guises of the sport – Guernsey Cricket League followed by the Guernsey Commercial League, Guernsey Cricket Association, and, ultimately, Guernsey Cricket Board – or Guernsey Umpires and Scorers Association, have been given additional marks.

Those who chose simply to play their game and not put anything back, did not benefit from extra points which, in some cases, becomes quite clear with the overall positioning.

The other main difference to the football series is that while the winter list benefitted greatly from access to the record books carefully compiled by Richard Payne, nothing remotely like a complete record exists in cricket.

John Mountford, who has contributed hugely to the game as a fine player, umpire, scorer and statistical historian, has kept precise record of the local representative game since the 1950s and Guernsey’s performances since joining the ICC, but there is no such record of the game which existed quite successfully for the 60 years prior to that.

It should be remembered, that while Island cricket dates back to Victorian times, until the Commercial League came into operation in 1927 there was no competitive club cricket as such, yet plenty went on under the auspices of the Grange and then Guernsey Island Cricket Club, so long the mainstays of cricket on grass and full or half day matches.

You may justifiably ask that for individual placing purposes, how do you score performances of pre1945 GICC players in comparison to the 21st century player who has enjoyed the benefits of playing on the international stage and, in theory, more testing opposition?

Answer – with difficulty, but with a feel for the facts put in front of you by old match reports.

As with football, we tend to believe that outstanding batsmen and bowlers of the first half of the 20th century would have been equally able in the modern game, although they would be expected to sharpen up their fielding.

In the football series we chose to exclude the professionals who did not return to play a role in the local senior game. But, for cricket, everyone is in, the exceptions being those who only graced our fields for one summer only. That, in itself, takes out a dozen or more very fine cricketers, the vast majority of them from South Africa who could have walked into the Top 100.

Did we get it right? Probably not, but we doubt if any panel of experts could.

The only other difference to the football series is that cricket’s top 100 will be wound up in no more than 40 daily episodes, spread over the remainder of July and throughout August.

The countdown so far... (pen pics on each player are appearing in the Guernsey Press)

100 – John Blad

99 – Paul Smith

98 – Nev Smith

97 – Mark Bacon

96 – Bill Druce

95 – Bob Kimber

94 – Roderick Gair Maclaren

93 – Geoff Callaway

92 – Neil Hunter

91 – Gary Tapp

90 – Vince Kenny

89 – Terry Nicholls

88 – Captain F. G. R. Mockler

87 – Brian Rose

86 – Richard Kendall-Tobias

85 – Max Ellis

84 – Richard Kirkpatrick

83 – Ross Kneller

82 – Blane Queripel

81 – Kris Moherndl

80 – Roger Self

79 – Mark Culverwell

78 – Alastair Tapp

77 – Vince Chapell

76 – Alan Hunter

75 – Tim Duke

74 – Andy Creed

73 – George Sandercock

72 – Julian Wood

71 – Will Peatfield

70 – Paul Le Masurier

69 – Andy Burkhardt

68 – Henry Davey

67 – Carl Blad

66 – H. V. 'Bill' Stone

65 – Lucas Barker

64 – Justin Ferbrache

63 – Mark Clapham

62 – Bryan Preston

61 – Richard Veillard

60 – Jason Martin

59 – Zak Damarell

58 – Philip Sarre

57 – Ben Ferbrache

56 – GH Smit

55 – Luke Le Tissier

54 – Ian Atchison

53 – Hugh Morres

52 – Josh Butler

51 – Gary Kimber

50 – Glenn Milnes

49 – John Beasley

48 – John Le Poidevin

47 – Tom Kimber

46 – Brian Anthony

45 – Tony Shepherd

44 – Frank Fortey

43 – Ted Enevoldsen

42 – Ollie Newey

41 – David Hooper

40 – Dave Hearse

39 – John Mountford

38 – Keith Howick

37 – Edward Morres

36 – Matt Oliver

35 – Hilary Rich

34 – William Watling

33 – Alan Lewis

32 – Micky Mechem

31 – Edward Mockler

30 – Richard Headington

29 – Vernon Collenette

28 – Jon Ravenscroft

27 – Simon Hollyer-Hill

26 – Andy Biggins

25 – John A. Martel

24 – Tim Ravenscroft

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