100 Top Cricketers Overview

The top 100 cricketers are nominated in the table below. Underneath that is a look at some that didn’t make it because they were only in the island for a short time, although they were very good cricketers and would surely have made the list had they remained.

100-96Jonathan Blad Paul Smith Nev Smith Mark BaconBill Druce
95-91Bob Kimber Roderick MaclarenGeoff Callaway Neil Hunter Gary Tapp
90-86Vince Kenny Terry NichollsCapt Francis Mockler Brain RoseRichard Kendall-Tobias
85-81Max Ellis Richard KirkpatrickRoss Kneller Blane Queripel Kris Moherndl
80-76Roger Self Mark CulverwellAlastair Tapp Vince ChapellAlan Hunter
75-71Tim DukeAndy CreedGeorge SandercockJulian WoodWill Peatfield
70-66Paul Le MasurierAndy BurkhardtHenry DaveyCarl BladHoward Stone
65-61Lucas BarkerJustin FerbracheMark ClaphamBryan PrestonRichard Veillard
60-56Jason MartinZak DamarellPhilip SarreBen FerbracheGH Smit
55-51Luke Le TissierIan AtchisonHugh MorresJosh ButlerGary Kimber
50-46Glen MilnesJohn BeasleyJohn Le PoidevinTom KimberBrian Anthony
45-41Tony ShepherdFrank ForteyTed EnevoldsenOllie NeweyDavid Hooper
40-36David HearseJohn MountfordKeith HowickEdward MorresMatt Oliver
35-31Hilary RichWilliam WatlingAlan LewisMicky MechemEdward Mockler
30-26Richard HeadingtonVernon CollenetteJon RavenscroftSimon Hollyer-HillAndy Biggins
25John Martel24Tim Ravenscroft23Peter Vidamour
22Miles Dobson21Stuart Mackay20Tony Taylor
19John Appleyard18Bill Robilliard17Ian Damarell
16Mike Webber15Mick Fooks14Mike Kinder
131Paul Wakeford132Gary Rich12Jamie Nussbaumer
11Alan Bisson10Ami Banerjee9Stuart Le Prevost
8Robin Roussel7Pierre Le Cocq6Ricky Mills
5Matt Stokes4Ralph Anthony3Lee Savident
2Warren Barrett1Jeremy FrithIsland all-time XIIsland all time XI

Searching for best hundred by Rob Batiste Guernsey Evening Press starting on Mon 5th July 2021

My first memories of island cricket date back to the mid-1960s when popping along to a King George V field that bore only a partial resemblance to what we see in 202l.

I vividly recall Old Jack Martel – there was an old and a young version – parked up in his big blue car every single weekday night watching the Division One Action. A Rovers fan, he never got out of that car and I often wonder whether actually he had legs. Other regular watchers were more Martels, Bonamy and Marie, who donated the Rozel Shield to be played for by the Division One sides and I excitedly recall another Martel, a vintage Johnny Martel, being applauded into the old pavilion as he saw Cobo home to their first title in 1967. I guess Johnny (J. A.) was in his late fifties that year when he brought the curtain down on a terrific and sporadic career which saw him shine for Pilgrims in the early post-war years and Elizabeth College in the early 1930s. My own cricket experience therefore amounts to closely following the game for 51 years – 30 years as a Division One player – and in search of a viewpoint on those cricketers who shone in the 10 years prior to my own recollections, I lent on wise old Brian Le Prevost who, it should be said, was a decent batsman himself.

John Mountford arrived on the local cricket scene in 1974 and as a player and then administrator and recorder, been heavily involved in the local game closely for 47 years since. Hearing how Brian viewed the players of the Fifties and keenly eyeing the statistical evidence provided by the Guernsey Press sports pages of old, John and I have scored the circa 150 candidates we considered for places in cricket’s all-time Top 100. Did we get it right? Probably not, but I doubt if any panel of experts could. The only other difference to the football series is that cricket’s top 100 will be wound up in no more than 40 daily episodes, spread over the remainder of July and throughout August. The first 75 players will appear in daily ‘bunch of fives’ and in each case we will feature an appropriate scorecard that highlights their excellence within their game.

THE scoring criteria for cricket’s Top 100 is, rightly or wrongly, markedly different from the formula used in the highly successful football version. Once again, the basic skills of the game are key components, but on this occasion we are also recognising overall contribution to the sport, in terms of playing career length and off-the-field roles.

For instance, individuals who have followed successful playing days with years of administrative service within the four guises of the sport – Guernsey Cricket League followed by the Guernsey Commercial League, Guernsey Cricket Association, and, ultimately, Guernsey Cricket Board – or Guernsey Umpires and Scorers Association, have been given additional marks. Those who chose simply to play their game and not put anything back, did not benefit from extra points which, in some cases, becomes quite clear with the overall positioning. The other main difference to the football series is that while the winter list benefitted greatly from access to the record books carefully compiled by Richard Payne, nothing remotely like a complete record exists in cricket.

John Mountford, who has contributed hugely to the game as a fine player, umpire, scorer and statistical historian, has kept precise record of the local representative game since the 1950s and Guernsey’s performances since joining the ICC, but there is no such record of the game which existed quite successfully for the 60 years prior to that.

It should be remembered, that while Island cricket dates back to Victorian times, until the Commercial League came into operation in 1927 there was no competitive club cricket as such, yet plenty went on under the auspices of the Grange and then Guernsey Island Cricket Club, so long the mainstays of cricket on grass and full or half day matches.

You may justifiably ask that for individual placing purposes, how do you score performances of pre-1945 GICC players in comparison to the 21st century player who has enjoyed the benefits of playing on the international stage and, in theory, more testing opposition? Answer – with difficulty, but with a feel for the facts put in front of you by old match reports. As with football, I tend to believe that outstanding batsmen and bowlers of the first half of the 20th century would have been equally able in the modern game, although they would be expected to sharpen up their fielding. In the football series we chose to exclude the professionals who did not return to play a role in the local senior game. But, for cricket, everyone is in, the exceptions being those who only graced our fields for one summer only. That, in itself, takes out a dozen or more very fine cricketers, the vast majority of them from South Africa who could have walked into the Top 100.

In this series introduction they deserve a name-check. Certainly, no overseas Test playing country has given us more quality cricketers than South Africa. One of the first exciting South Africans to arrive on our wickets was the vastly talented Howard Taylor. He had already been starring on the rugby fields for Fermain when St Saviour’s benefited from his presence for one summer only in 1990. Educated at the same school as Allan Lamb – Wynberg Boys’ High School in Cape Town – the 25-year-old had not played any cricket for eight years until he took up a job on the island.

A fine batsman and positively the best runner between the wickets Guernsey has ever witnessed, one of his best performances was an 18-ball half-century against a strong Pessimists side 31 years ago. He told me at the time that he liked to bat under pressure and, as I replied, a target of 90 runs in seven overs could be described as pressure.
His 69 in a remarkable run-chase against Pessimists still ranks as one of the finest knocks I have seen in Evening League, but disappointingly he was all-too-soon off again on his world travels.

The same was true of another Springbok, Mark Wright, who had played for St Saviour’s for one season only in 1984. Guernsey had more than half-a-dozen quality keepers at the time, but none better than Wright who could also bat very competently. Just before he departed the island, headed for the USA, he was rewarded with a place in the league side to play their Jersey counterparts in what for many years was the ‘second inter-insular’. With Warren Barrett’s spin playing havoc that day, Wright stumped three and caught two in a big Samian triumph.

Fast forward to the early 2000s and suddenly more South Africans arrived, this time invariably fast bowlers. In their short stays, Bruce Ricketts, Divan Van Den Heever and Andre Van Rooyen all added a certain lot of pep to an already handy Optimists’ attack, while having Division One batsmen ducking and diving in the real heydays of the shorter game. All three were capped at a time when there was quality pace in abundance in our domestic game.

Nick Derbyshire had a season with Rovers in 2004 and was very rapid when he got it right. At the other end of the pace scale but no less skilled was the Kiwi Glen Milnes, a former first-class player with Central Districts, who played for St Pierre and the Island in 2002. Five years later along came another brilliant South African keeper in Ryan Bishop, who was an even better bat than Wright. Having left the island he went onto greater things, playing for Cardiff MCCU in List A one- day cricket in the UK and then Gauteng in his home country.
Among the English ‘fly-by-nights’ who were good enough to be on this list if they had remained more than one season, is Alan Conway, who arrived in 1966 and walked into the Island side that year. A banker, he then moved down to Jersey where he was not only capped by the Caesareans at cricket but football too.