Greatest XI: The near misses


Published: 12th November, 2019

Selecting 11 players from the 435 to have represented Surrey during our 175 year first-class history was always going to lead to the omission of some stellar names.

We revealed the Greatest XI you selected on Monday with names such as Sir Jack Hobbs and Alec Stewart at the top of the order, bowlers Sir Alec Bedser and Jim Laker lower down and Adam Hollioake taking the captain’s role.

With so many seasoned England and overseas internationals having played for Surrey through the years, who were the players who came close to the final team without making the cut?

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Kumar Sangakkara – 33%

Actually the 11th most selected player, Kumar missed out by virtue of being the fifth specialist batsman while Percy Fender, who gathered 30% of the vote, was in the all-rounder category.

Sangakkara came to Surrey in 2015 after ending his talismanic Sri Lanka career and stayed for three seasons as the Club’s overseas player. 5391 runs came in that time including a run of five consecutive centuries in 2017.

Mark Ramprakash – 29%

Ramps moved south of the river from Middlesex ahead of the 2001 season and stayed until his retirement from the game in 2012. He won the PCA Players’ Player of the Year in 2006 and Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 2007 and ended his stay with a total of 22626 Surrey runs to his name.

Graham Thorpe – 29%

With just one vote less than Ramprakash, Thorpe also proved popular amongst participants but not quite enough to get his name in the side. One of a very select group of players to have played 100 Test matches, the left-hander also made 19882 runs for Surrey.

Martin Bicknell – 28%

The first bowler on this list and the next in line after Waqar Younis, Bicknell took an incredible 1439 wickets for Surrey between 1986 & 2006.

Sylvester Clarke – 27%

Clarke, still discussed by Surrey fans as one of the quickest bowlers to wear the Three Feathers, played for Surrey between 1979 and 1988 and gave his all for the Club.

Saqlain Mushtaq – 25%

‘Saq’ is regarded by many as the man that turned Adam Hollioake’s Surrey at the turn of the century from a good side into the team that swept all before them. His off-spin picked up 544 wickets for Surrey between 1997 & 2008.

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