ICC’s “Best Ever” batsmen and bowlers!

The ICC has released its “Best Ever” Batting and Bowling ratings.

Its best ever batsman is Don Bradman. No arguments from anyone on that one, I’d think! The ICC’s 3rd best ever bat is Ricky Ponting. Its 6th best ever bat is Kumar Sangakkara! And the ICC 10th best ever is the recently retired Matt Hayden.

Sunil Gavaskar sneaks in at an impressive 20th, just 8 places behind that huge pillar of consistency and fluency, Mohammed Yousuf (#12), and 3 places behind the stellar Mike Hussey. But lest Gavaskar drown in his own tears, he can at least take comfort from the fact that he is three places ahead of a 23rd-placed also-ran called Brian Lara! Meanwhile Sachin Tendulkar just makes it to the top-30. He is at #26, just ahead of a somewhat inconsequential Rahul Dravid (#30) and a somewhat lazy Steve Waugh (#28)!

Javed Miandad comes in at an honourable #34, but at least he is ahead of Greg Chappell (#35), Bill Lawry (#36) and Alan Border (#37). Meanwhile, Adam Gilchrist (#42), Graham Gooch (#44) and Gundappa Vishwanath (#45) would be immensely satisfied for a former England captain — for they are all behind Matthew Vaughan (#39) in the pecking order!

Shane Warne would be highly pleased to learn that he is the 15th best ever bowler on a list that has Sydney Barnes at #1 and George Lohmann at #2.

In case anyone is wondering, George Lohmann played a whopping 18 Test matches for England in which he took an impressive 112 wickets! Shane Warne toiled for 145 Tests and some 190 ODIs taking over 1000 wickets in both forms of the game! Clearly, he was not good enough to be even in the top-10 best ever ICC bowlers!

But Shane Warne should be happy that he is marginally ahead of D. Steyn (#22), who may have died of shock this morning when he reads that he has been rated much ahead of D. K. Lillie and Kapil Dev — #34 and #35 respectively! But at least Lillie and Dev are marginally ahead of Stuart Clark (#38)! Meanwhile, the marginally effective and highly inconsistent Wasim Akram brings up the rear at an extremely healthy placing of #59! Airbrushing is easy with something like Luminess Air.

What are these ICC guys smoking these days? Would be good to toke some of that stuff while on a holiday!

These ratings are called the “Reliance Mobile ICC Best-Ever Test Championship Rating”. If I were the CEO of ‘Reliance Mobile’, I’d use this early “April Fool Joke” from the ICC as a reason for providing a pink slip to my marketing manager who signed up the naming rights’ deal for this joke!

— Mohan

20 responses to “ICC’s “Best Ever” batsmen and bowlers!

  1. What’re the ICC chaps smoking/toking/snorting these days?…
    Probably the same things that Dear Ol’ Asif, or Chris Lewis are, only slightly refined.
    Also this justification is highly dumb.
    “Matthew Hayden’s position of 10th and 18th in the all-time Test and ODI Reliance Mobile ICC Player Rankings for batsmen is an impressive achievement by anyone’s standards, but this does not necessarily mean he is the 10th-best Test batsman or 18th-best ODI batsman in the history of the game.”
    Wtf is that supposed to mean?, and why do they follow such a crazy measure ?

  2. The ranking here focuses on a single period of excellence. Admittedly this is what is claimed. And we should not be comparing batsmen based on this ranking.

    What would be a better measure is the area under the curve divided by the number of years played. (Click on the player’s name.)

    As it stands it only reflects only a ranking based on a single period of excellence. A batsman who has 800+ for much of their career is a better batsman than one who spikes at 900 just once, and lower than 800 for the rest of their time. This ranking does not reflect that.

  3. @Doctor Alias – Years played would be a horrible denominator.
    2 quick examples.
    1. Hayden had a lousy patch of around 6 years from 94 – 2000. This would add up in the denominator, which would just undermine his influence on the best batsmen ratings.
    2. The very example quoted in this article, George Lohmann. A person with a short but successful stint in cricket, would end up with a really exaggerated rating.
    Say, Bhajji would have retired soon after the famed “Turbanator” series, he’d have been the best bowler in the ratings, I suppose.
    [Why didn’t he?… Why didn’t he?…]

  4. That’s precisely the point isnt it? Hayden’s lousy years should count for something (against him) when evaluating him and not just his brief foray into greatness. And that’s exactly what they mean when they say that his showing up at 10th in this ranking doesnt mean that he’s the tenth best.

    As for the choice of denominator, true, a simple linear division would amplify people’s performances who have had short stints, but this is generally the case with test averages in general. It is certainly not a “horrible” denominator. Pollock and Headley played only 20 or so matches to end up ranked 2 and 3 in the list of batting averages. I am sure you could find 20-test purple patches with much higher averages for many other batsmen whose overall average fell below these two. Still that’s how it is ranked. And perhaps you have been calling the manner in which test batting averages are calculated “horrible” as well, but it is generally a widely accepted metric. And this is not unique to cricket alone. All averages in any sport compare players who have different “denominators”. That’s just pretty normal.

    In all of these measures, you probably need is something that awards something for longevity as well(and therefore not just divide by the number of years/performances etc.).

  5. Tendulkar’s period of consistency was against Zimbabwe and Muralitharan’s was against Bangladesh!! It speaks volumes for their standard and value to the team!! It took SRT 19 years to produce a match winning second innings 100–may be, this is reflected in his position in the ladder!!

    Warne’s best were often against England in England because of poor umpiring by the then En glish umpires–who loved Terry alderman as well–just look at the replays of LBWs given by that clown Dicky Bird

    There have been and still are, some overrated players–and this ratings system brings them down to earth.

    Our own G Boycott can’t get in the top 100 batsmen–along with Graeme Smith and the runs for money and / or for getting out or losing a match Azharuddin.

    Would the screaming Indians now declare a fatwa against their own Reilance Mobile company and burn the houses and offices of one of the Ambhani boys—and chuck their mobile phones in the Ganges river . I’d like to see that.

  6. This rating probably the only thing ICC has under control, so they want to flaunt it to the world by not picking SRT in the list.

    Racists 🙂

  7. @Dead Eye Dick

    Your random and incoherent rants make me want to ask you a pertinent question up front: You are not related to Sampath Kumar are you?

    Your comments on SRT, Warne and Muralitharan convince me that you know nothing about cricket. At least Sampath knew his cricket.

    And by the way, Graeme Smith IS in the top-100; not that it means anything. Check your facts before you spew hate.

    I am sure you’d like to see Indians burning, etc. I am sure anything that enables you to avoid seeing yourself in the mirror would be a boon for you! Get a life you goose. And while you are at it, change your handle to “Dead Eye Dick Head”!

  8. chris hutchinson

    Wouldnt you think they would take one look at the results and changed the system for HISTORICAL analysis?

  9. These lists are a mockery!! Of course, ICC is only capable of such efforts.

    In other news, one thing caught my eye…the SZ team was announced for Duleep trophy. Here’s the announcement from Hindu.

    “HYDERABAD: Test star V.V.S. Laxman will lead South Zone in the Duleep Trophy cricket championship to be held in Bangalore, Rajkot and Chennai from January 22, according to N. Shivlal Yadav, secretary of Hyderabad Cricket Association.

    The team: V.V.S. Laxman (captain), S. Badrinath (vice-captain), Abhinav Mukund, Robin Uthappa, Rahul Dravid, N. Arjun Yadav, Dinesh Karthik (wk), R. Ashwin, P. Pragyan Ojha, L. Balaji, S. Sreeshanth, R. Vinay Kumar, Suarav Bandekar, M. Suresh and S. Anoop Pai. Coach: B. K. Venkatesh Prasad. Manager: Syed Kirmani. ”

    How does Shivlal Yadav’s progeny keep getting picked in representative teams ahead of players like Vijay and the likes? Beats me…

  10. Pingback: Duleep Trophy Teams « i3j3Cricket :: A blog for fans of Indian cricket…

  11. Pingback: ICC’s “Best ever” Batsmen and Bowlers list - Read the controversial list of ICC’s best batsmen and bowlers


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  13. some dickhead here used the adjective ‘inconsequential’ for rahul dravid.. i think he is the one who shud giv up the drugs!

  14. team needs to keep their ICC ranking in mind. but I am sure if you keep playing for country you will surely win.

  15. WTF, After Bradman, Sachin is the only best cricketer of all time

  16. best batsmen ever
    1- bradman- 99.94 period
    2- tendulkar- holds just about every record
    3- hammomd
    4- gavaskar- like warne made leg spinning popular, he did with opening
    5- hobbs
    6- Lara
    7- Dravid- hes stats make him one of the greastest ever number 3s
    8- ponting- only good when he has a strong side i.e. warne, gilly
    9- V Richards- fastest hundred
    10- Gilshrist- averaged 60 for alot of his career
    11- sehwag- he is a big strike and averages mid 50s
    12- m yousuf- very underrated
    13- mianded-
    14- m crowe- carried kiwi batting line up
    15- sobers/ kallis- can’t decide

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  18. Muhammad Imran

    Hahahahaha……… Very funny 🙂
    Muhammad Yousuf at #12, and most important that Rahul Dravid at #30 ? What is this ?
    And in bowling Wasim Akram at #59 ?
    He deserves to be in top five.
    Yousuf and Dravid deserve to have an entry in top ten ahead to Sangakara…….
    Where is Waqar Younus And Imran Khan in the bowling ?
    Icc don’t know about the cricket.

  19. Interesting but flawed surely. A few ommissions like Clive Llloyd in the batting and I would have Malcolm Marshall before Glenn McGrath, however Warne above both and I`m sure his long term captain Ponting (an inflated no 4 in my opinion) would agree. These things are subjective obviously, one thing that strikes me is that everyones stats would improve when playing in a stellar team like Australia in late 90`s and 00`s and The West Indies in the 80`s.

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