IT is fair to say this year’s Cricket World Cup hasn’t been the most boring ever. There have been shocks – Ireland’s thrilling run chase against the West Indies – and more spectacular performances, with New Zealand’s demolition of England being particularly celebrated this side of the border. But this World Cup has also been notable for the performances of the other “Home Nations”, including Scotland and Ireland.
Under the current system, cricketers in Wales must play for England if they are to compete internationally. There has been criticism of this set-up with many believing Wales should be represented by its own national team, as it is in other sports. But h0w would Wales fare if they formed their own team? To answer this question, The Cardiffian has put together its best “Welsh XI”, featuring homegrown players who have previously turned out for England:
Hugh Morris (1963-)
Born in Cardiff, Morris played three tests for England in 1991 against the West Indies. Despite an unsuccessful campaign – Morris scored 115 runs at an average of 19.16 – he played county cricket for Glamorgan, captaining the club and later working for the England and Wales Cricket Board. Colin Bateman, cricket correspondent, described Morris as “a talented, easy-going cricketer”.
Gilbert Parkhouse (1925-2000)
Like Morris, Parkhouse spent most of his career as an opener for Glamorgan. He was known as a fast scorer as well as an expert stroke-maker. Parkhouse made his debut for England in 1950 against the West Indies, facing 30 balls in his first innings without scoring before being bowled. In the same year he beat Glamorgan’s record for the number of centuries in a single season, and for the fastest time to 1,000 runs.
Allan Watkins (1922-2011)
Watkins was the first Glamorgan player to score a test hundred for England, and the first to appear in an Ashes test. The all-rounder was a key figure as Glamorgan won the County Championship for the first time in 1948, and in 407 appearances he scored 17,419 runs, passing 1,000 runs in every season bar one from 1947 to 1960. After touring India and Pakistan with the MCC team in 1951-52, he was also named Indian Cricket Cricketer of the Year.
Cyril Walters (1905-1992)
Having launched his career at Glamorgan, Walters achieved most of his success as captain and secretary of Worcestershire. He made his test debut against the West Indies in 1933, and quickly established himself as England’s opening batsman. Walters was even named as stand-in captain in 1934 in an Ashes loss to Australia. But a year later he announced his retirement at the age of 30 on health grounds.
Maurice Turnbull (1906-1944)
A talented all round sportsman, Turnbull excelled at rugby union, field hockey and squash alongside cricket. He captained Glamorgan for 10 seasons and played nine tests for England between 1930 and 1936. During that time he scored 224 runs at an average of 20.36, with a top score of 61. During the Second World War he was a Major in the First Battalion of the Welsh Guards, but was killed by a sniper while fighting in France.
Robert Croft (1970-)
Croft was the first Welshman to score 10,000 runs and take 1,000 wickets in first-class cricket, achieving the feat in 2007. He played for Glamorgan between 1989 and 2012, and captained the county from 2003 and 2006. Croft made his England debut against Pakistan in 1996, and also played in the 1997 Ashes series. After retiring in 2012 he is now a commentator for Sky Sports.
Pat Pocock (1946-)
Born in Bangor, Pocock spent his entire first-class career with Surrey County CC, and made his debut for England on the 1967/68 tour to the West Indies. But he was dropped the next year after taking 6-79 against Australia, and only appeared sporadically after that, finishing his test career with England’s 1984/85 tour of India. Pocock is best known for taking seven wickets in 11 balls for Surrey and Sussex in 1972.
Simon Jones (1978-)
A member of England’s victorious 2005 Ashes side, Jones spent most of his career with Glamorgan before retiring in 2013. He made his England debut at Lords in 2002 against India, aged just 23. After making an impressive 44 from 43 – a career best – with the bat, Jones took 2-61 in India’s first innings, taking the wickets of Ajay Ratra and Ajit Agarkar. Jones’s performance earned his selection for the 2002/03 Ashes tour, but it was his 2005 exploits which made him an England hero – most notably his 6-53 in the third test at Old Trafford.
Steve Watkin (1964-)
A reliable seamer for Glamorgan, Watkin played three test matches for England in 1991 and 1993. His debut came unexpectedly after Chris Lewis pulled out on the morning of the first test against the West Indies. Despite this Watkin took five wickets including those of Viv Richards and Carl Hooper to help secure an England victory. In 2000 he scored 51 against Gloucestershire, the only half century of his career. A year later he retired to become director of the Welsh Cricket Academy.
Sydney Barnes (1873-1967)
Generally regarded as one of the greatest ever fast bowlers, Barnes was an abnormality in his first-class career lasted little over two years. Instead, most of his career was spent in minor counties crickets, mostly for professional reasons. Barnes played 27 tests for England between 1901 and 1914, taking 189 wickets at 16.43, one of the lowest Test bowling averages ever achieved. In 1963 Barnes was named by the Wisden Cricketer’s Almanack as one of the “Six Giants of the Wisden Century”, alongside Don Bradman and W. G. Grace.
Jeff Jones (1941-)
Father to Simon, Jeff Jones played 15 Tests for England between 1964 and 12968, taking 44 wickets. Renowned as one of the best fast bowlers in county cricket at the time, Jones was England’s top wicket taker in the 1965/66 with 15 wickets. Most famously, in the 1967/68 tour of the West Indies he played out the last over of the match at number 11 to ensure England escaped with a draw, giving them a 1-0 series win. After retiring he left cricket to take up a career in breweries.