Monday, February 2nd, 2015

Will Moeen Join County’s Band Of Wisden Cricketers Of The Year?

Will Moeen Join County’s Band Of Wisden Cricketers Of The Year?

There has been speculation that Moeen Ali will be named as one of the Wisden Cricketers Of The Year after his picture was chosen to be included on the cover of the 2015 edition.

But it is an honour that has been already awarded to a possee of illustrious Worcestershire cricketers – including current Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes – particularly since the 1960s.

Don Kenyon (1963), Basil D'Oliveira (1967), Glenn Turner (1971), Norman Gifford (1975), Neal Radford (1986), Graeme Hick (1987), Phil Neale (1989), Rhodes (1995) and Alan Richardson (2012) have all been acknowledged during that period by cricket's 'bible' for their achievements.

Kenyon, who captained the county from 1959 to 1967, scored 1,941 runs in 1962 with two hundreds and fifties and he remains Worcestershire's leading run-scorer with more than 37,000 first class runs.

D'Oliveira broke into the England side in 1966, scoring three half centuries in six innings against the formidable West Indies.

He played the last of his 44 Tests in 1972 but continued to play for the county until 1980.

In 1970 Turner amassed 2,379 runs at an average of 61.10 with 10 centuries and nine fifties and the New Zealand Test batsman went onto score his 100th hundred at New Road against Warwickshire in 1982 as part of a score of 311 not out.

Norman Gifford led Worcestershire to the 1974 County Championship title, picking up 69 wickets at 19.31 apiece. He played the last of his 15 Tests in 1973.

In 1985 Neal Raford marked his first season for Worcestershire after leaving Lancashire by taking 101 wickets at 24.68 and two years later he picked up 109 victims. He made three Test appearances.

A year later the prolific Graeme Hick scored 2,004 runs at an average of 64 with six hundreds and 11 fifties. He appeared in 65 Tests and 120 ODIs.

Phil Neale was the next Worcestershire player to be honoured after skippering them to the 1988 County Championship title – a feat he repeated 12 months later. He passed 1,000 runs for the eighth time with four centuries.

Next in line was Steve Rhodes in 1995. He scored nearly 900 runs at an average of 56, took 59 catches and eight stumpings and made his England breakthrough, winning in total 11 Test caps.

Last but not least was Richardson who in 2011 played a major role in Worcestershire defying the odds and staying in Division One of the LV County Championship and in four years at New Road he amassed more than 250 Championship wickets.

Now it remains to be seen if Moeen is to join that illustrious band of players who have graced the county's proud history by getting the nod from Wisden.