Monday, November 14, 2011

Those exciting 70s...

In reaction to Smokin' Joe Frazier's death, Gideon Rachman muses that the 70s (with, inter alia, the boxing greats, and the apotheosis of Welsh rugby) may have been the greatest sporting decade of all.

Well, I'm probably a bit biased by my great preference for cricket above all else, but seriously? The 1970s? In the aftermath of England's superb Ashes series last year, the Times (not linked because I read it on my iPhone, and thus don't get pagelinks) interviewed Peter Lever, grumpy but useful quick bowler in Ray Illingworth's successful Ashes tour of 1970/71 and asked him how he would assemble a composite team from the two victorious sides. Lever noted, incidentally, that he wouldn't be considering either Pietersen or Trott for selection because "this is supposed to be an England team" (Basil d'Oliveria famously being from Basingstoke).

The point I wanted to make, however, was that Lever didn't think that his England's opening combination should be broken up, and suggested batting Alistair Cook at 3 to accommodate them. Which would have left a top 3 of Geoff Boycott, John Edrich and Alistair Cook. If those three were batting in your garden, you'd get up to close the curtains.


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