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Top 10 England cricketers of all time

A close look at ten of the greatest cricketers to represent England at the international level.

Top 5 / Top 10 03 Oct 2017, 11:49 IST

Kevin Pietersen James Anderson
James Anderson and Kevin Pietersen helped England reach the top of the Test rankings in 2011/12

It has been more than 140 years since England began their journey in international cricket. They have played a whopping 1783 matches across all three formats of the game. Only Australia (with 1802 games) have made more appearances.

Grouping Tests, ODIs and T20Is together, as many as 728 players have represented England at the international level. It is comfortably the most among all countries even as their traditional rivals come a distant second by virtue of giving 507 players to the sport.

In order to normalise numbers and peer opinions across different eras, Tests are accorded more importance than the limited-overs formats while ranking the England legends. The ability to shift the momentum of the game as well as capacity to perform against the best in the business are given higher value. Defining performances in the Ashes series as well as game-changing contributions in ICC tournaments (for players of recent times) are considered to hold greater significance.

In ascending order, let us take a close look at ten of the greatest cricketers produced by England during their illustrious history.

Honourable Mentions: Alastair Cook, Derek Underwood, Ken Barrington, Harold Larwood and Jim Laker

#10 Alan Knott

Alan Knott
Alan Knott remains the finest wicket-keeper produced by England

Alan Knott's tally of 269 dismissals remains the highest among all wicket-keepers in England's Test history. Whether it was dealing with Derek Underwood's deceptively vicious spin or Bob Willis's menacing pace, he was at complete ease behind the stumps. In particular, his impeccable prowess with the gloves on unpredictable and sharply deteriorating pitches was a sight to behold.

Apart from being an extremely reliable wicket-keeper, he was also a useful batsman who could defy in-form bowlers with his doggedness and overcome testing spells with a vast array of shots. Before Adam Gilchrist sparked a major revolution, the affable Knott was the gold standard for aspiring glovemen.

Career Span: 1967-1981

Tests: 250 catches and 19 stumpings from 95 matches; 4389 runs at an average of 32.75 with 5 centuries and 30 fifties

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