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Last Updated: Friday, 22 August, 2003, 09:00 GMT 10:00 UK
I'd pay to watch...

Test Match Special summariser Graeme Fowler names his favourite players past and present.


Garfield Sobers, Ian Botham, Viv Richards.....

It's impossible to pick just one player from the past who stands head and shoulders above the rest - I could list loads.

Garfield Sobers
Left-handed batsman
& left-arm bowler
West Indies
93 Tests (1954-74)
8,032 runs @ 57.75
235 wickets @ 34.04
Ian Botham
Right-arm medium fast bowler & right-handed batsman
England
102 Tests (1977-92)
383 wickets @ 28.40
5,200 runs @ 33.55
Viv Richards
Right-handed batsman
West Indies
121 Tests (1974-91)
8,540 runs @ 50.24
Garfield Sobers, Ian Botham, Viv Richards are just three, but even they have so many different qualities.

The one that I never played with, although I played against him in a very minor game was Sobers, who obviously had everything.

With me being a left-handed batsman he was my favourite, and I also took note of John Edrich from an England perspective, although I didn't have posters of them on my wall or anything.

I just liked what I saw and admired what they did.

From my playing days it would have to be Botham and Richards

Of all the players I played with I've never come across someone with as much self-belief and ability as Botham.

And of those I came up against Viv never cared about statistics, he just won cricket matches.

I could keep on going, and of the bowlers I faced Michael Holding and Malcolm Marshall were like syrup - fantastic, but I'll stop at six.


Mark Butcher

Like any cricket fan I enjoy watching good performances, but I really love watching Mark Butcher bat.

Mark Butcher
Left-handed batsman
England
54 Tests (1997-present day)
3,255 runs @ 34.26

I'm the drummer in his band, but that's by the by.

Like Sobers he is left handed so I can see where he's coming from in his batting, but I also like how he has sorted himself out.

He always had a bright talent, but that tailed off a few years ago.

Success is harder to deal with than failure because we all come from nothing, and he found it hard when he got into the England team.

But he has since found a way of coping and that is the sign of a class player.





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Graeme Fowler
03 May 03  |  Presenter profiles


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