No current players in England all-time greats team

Published: Sunday, September 19, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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London:England may be riding high in world cricket after winning seven successive Test matches but the country's greatest post-War team unveiled in the October edition of Wisden Cricket magazine contained no members of the current side.

Indeed the most recent player to make it into the star-studded line-up was Graham Gooch, who played the last of his 118 Tests in 1994.

He was chosen to open the batting alongside Len Hutton, also chosen as skipper of this team and one of seven players who made their names in the 1950s to be included.

That reflects the fact that the decade was the only one since World War II when England could have been justly regarded as the world's best team.

However, the line-up also features stars from subsequent eras such as all-rounder Ian Botham.

And the Kent duo of left-arm spinner Derek Underwood and wicketkeeper Alan Knott, two of England's key players throughout the 1970s, have also been selected.

Botham said of his inclusion: "It's a huge honour to be included in a team like this and it's nice to see some of the guys that I played with like Graham Gooch, Alan Knott and Derek Underwood receiving recognition.

Among the 25-man panel who picked the team were six England captains - Ray Illingworth, Tony Lewis, Mike Denness, Tony Greig, Geoff Boycott and Bob Willis.

In an all right-handed top order batting line-up, the selectors also found no place for elegant left-hander David Gower, while Botham and Underwood were the only bowlers from the last 35 years to be included.

The attack is led by fast bowler Fred Trueman, the first man to take 300 Test wickets and Alec Bedser, rated by Don Bradman among others as the best fast-medium bowler of all-time.

England greatest post war-team (in batting order):

Len Hutton (Yorkshire, capt), Graham Gooch (Essex), Peter May (Surrey), Denis Compton (Middlesex), Ken Barrington (Surrey), Ian Botham (Somerset, Worcestershire and Durham), Alan Knott (Kent, wkt) Jim Laker (Surrey), Fred Trueman (Yorkshire), Alec Bedser (Surrey), Derek Underwood (Kent).

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