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Ryan Sidebottom picks his All-Time XI: No Indians, South Africans or West Indians make it.

Englishman Ryan Sidebottom picks a fascinating XI made up of players he's played together with, ignoring international opponents.

Ryan Sidebottom
‘Surprise surprise’: Ryan Sidebottom picks a very unique greatest XI

England’s left arm seamer Ryan Sidebottom recently selected his all-time XI that featured 7 of his compatriots, 2 Australians and 2 cricketers from New Zealand. Instantly recognizable due to this unkempt crop of hair, he was always a very popular player among the fans. He had a few good years in international cricket between 2006 – 2010, where he shined in both Test matches and ODI cricket. He was a part of the England setup that won the 2010 World T20 and while injuries curtailed his international career, it is in county cricket where he really made his name.

Having played prominently for Yorkshire for most of his career, it might not come as a surprise that his line-up features a number of players he has had the privelege of playing with/against in county cricket as well. His decision to leave out a number of world class cricketers, however, has certainly ruffled a few feathers and caught the eye. Ryan Sidebottom, surely, wouldn’t have had it any other way. He later took to Twitter to clarify that he only picked players who he has been teammates with. 

Read: Jonny Bairstow, Jason Gillespie pick their all-time XIs 

To open the batting, we have, surprise surprise, Alastair Cook, who has featured in all of the line-ups chosen by his compatriots. At the age of 28, he is already England’s leading run-scorer. The stylish Kiwi Stephen Fleming walks out to open the innings with Cook, having played with him at Notts, Sidebottom believes that Fleming was easily one of the best Test captains ever and he’s picked him to lead the side. 

At #3, he picked Darren Lehmann, he adds that Lehmann was very easy on the eye and was a man of his word, if he said he would score a 100, he mostly would. Joe Root walks in at #4, Lehmann believes that Root plays cricket the right way, with a smile on his face and will go on to become one of the best batsmen in the world. David Hussey is next at #5, who was a remarkable slip fielder and a great guy to have in the dressing room with his wit. 

At #6, he’s picked Mark Ealham, who was a father-figure in his life and Sidebottom learnt a lot watching him play as a young 20 year old. He’s picked another Englishman Chris Reed as his wicket-keeper at #7, who had great hands and was a natural at keeping, very easy on the eye. Graeme Swann is next, a very successful Test spinner, he’s exactly the kind of guy you needed in the dressing room to lift you up on a dark day. Darren Gough at #9, who Sidebottom believes played the game the hard way, exactly the way it should be played while always having a smile on his face. 

With his big 6ft 7inch frame and his ability to hit the deck hard consistently at over 90 miles per hour, he’s gone with Steven Harmison at #10. To finish up the squad, he picked the Kiwi Andre Adams.  Sidebottom adds that he had a number of bowlers to choose from, but he picked the Kiwi as he used to absolutely terrorize the batsman, his short run up proved to be deceptive and effective. 

Full team: Alastair Cook, Stephen Fleming (C), Darren Lehmann, Joe Root, David Hussey, Mark Ealham, Chris Reed (WK), Graeme Swann, Darren Gough, Steven Harmison, Andre Adams 

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