Spotted at the recent Lord’s Ashes test match, the retired Governor of the Bank of England now has plenty of time to indulge in his passion for cricket. If his target run rate is anything like the interest rates at the BoE, we should expect a leisurely two an over from this knight of the realm, making him the perfect choice to open the batting for our All-Star side.
The Rolling Stones frontman sang “Start me up” on the 1981 hit of the same name – now he has been granted his wish. Jagger would be the perfect opening partner to the more sedate King:expect Sarwan-esque fireworks from the ageing rocker.
Frederick, Prince of Wales
Son of George II and father of George III, Frederick Louis, a German by birth, was determined to ingratiate himself to his new countrymen, and became a passionate follower of what was then the country’s most popular team sport. He was said to have given a guinea to each player in a Surrey vs Middlesex game at Moulsey Hurst , while he awarded a silver cup to a combined Surrey & Middlesex team which had just beaten Kent, the first reference in cricket history to any kind of trophy (other than hard cash) being contested. Unfortunately the Prince’s love affair with cricket was not to last, as he died at the age of 44 from a burst abscess in the lung, commonly thought to have been caused by a blow from a cricket ball, but that won’t stop him being a solid presence at number three for our side.
The Aussie actor is a passionate follower of the game: he captained the ‘Australian’ Team’, containing Steve Waugh, against an English side in the ‘Hollywood Ashes’ Cricket Match, while in 2009 he took to the commentary box for Sky Sports during the second Test of the 2009 Ashes series. His cousins, Martin and Jeff Crowe, are former captains of the New Zealand test side, so hopefully some of their talent will have passed to Russell, allowing him to slot into number four in our batting order. His experience as a Roman general in Gladiator, meanwhile, makes him perfectly fitted to captain the side.
The war poet apparently had three passions: poetry, cricket, and fox-hunting. At school, he played respectably for his House team for two summers, once capturing 7 for 18 in a Lower House match, and later appeared for the Blue Mantles alongside fellow All-Star member Arthur Conan Doyle, posting an average of 19, “quite a creditable record for a poet”apparently. Creditable or not, it’s enough to earn him a place as our number five batsman.
Arthur Conan Doyle
The author was fond of naming characters after cricketers – some say as many as 240 Conan Doyle names came about that way. The first name of Sherlock Holmes was derived from Mordecai Sherwin and Frank Shacklock, both cricketers, while Holmes’ brother was named after William Mycroft, a Derbyshire fast bowler. As well as being an ardent cricket fan, Conan Doyle also appeared in goal for Portsmouth, so would be a solid presence behind the stumps for our team.
Another writer to make the final XI, Wodehouse played with Conan Doyle for the imaginativey-named Authors side, and was another to name his eponymous hero after a cricketer, gentleman’s gentleman Jeeves being named after Percy Jeeves, a Warwickshire fast bowler whom Wodehouse saw facing Gloucestershire at Cheltenham’s annual cricket festival in 1913, and who was later to be killed on the Somme.
The archetypical Englishman, it is hardly surprising that the Cambridge graduate is an ardent lover of the game, and claims to be related to former cricketer C.B. Fry. As an actor, author, journalist, poet, comedian, television presenter, and film director, Fry would make the perfect all-rounder in our team, although his claim that “I can’t bat, I can’t field, I bowl off the wrong foot” may hinder the side somewhat.
The actor has a firm interest in the game, and once made a pitchside appearance in the dugout at a Twenty20 finals day. Famous for his role as a young magician, Radcliffe should be able to send down a few magic deliveries as his role as the side’s off-spinner, while you’d hope that the “boy who lived” would be able to survive any LBW appeals against him when batting.
Another famous face spotted at Lord’s this summer, the PM claims to be a great lover of cricket, but once embarrassed himself upon meeting the England cricket team, greeting batsman Paul Collingwood with a cheerful “Hello, Colin.” In any case, Cameron should make an effective swing bowler for our team, with his tendency to veer to the right under pressure causing problems for left-handers.
England football legend and knight of the realm, the West Ham striker was also a promising cricket, and made one first-class appearance for Essex in 1962. Hurst also later recalled that the first time he played alongside Bobby Moore was for an Essex school’s cricket team. An outstanding fielder and occasional wicket-keeper, Hurst however takes his place in our team as opening bowler, with the hope that his penchant for hat tricks applies to cricket as well as football.