The batting greats that missed out on T20 cricket: Nasser Hussain and Rob Key pick top five
Sir Vivian Richards and Saeed Anwar among top batsmen who played before era of T20 cricket, but would have flourished in it, say Sky Sports' Rob Key and Nasser Hussain, who also sing the praises of the late Ben Hollioake
Last Updated: 30/10/20 10:10pm
T20 has lit up the cricketing world for getting on for two decades - but its advent came too late for a number of the sport's legends.
On the latest episode of The IPL Cricket Show, Rob Key and Nasser Hussain, with assistance from Sky Cricket statistician, Benedict Bermange, picked their top-five batsmen from the pre-T20 era that would have flourished in it, including the Master Blaster, Sir Vivian Richards.
Our trio, after much deliberation and with the rule that the picks must not have played in an official T20 match, came up with the following formidable five, which included three knights…
Sir Gordon Greenidge (West Indies), Saeed Anwar (Pakistan), Sir Vivian Richards (West Indies), Mark Waugh (Australia), Sir Garfield Sobers (West Indies)
Let us know if you agree with that quintet on Twitter @SkyCricket
You can watch the selection process in the video at the top of the page but read below for more on some of the key inclusions and for chat about some of those who missed out…
THOSE WHO MADE IT…
Nasser Hussain on Saeed Anwar: As we have seen recently from Babar Azam and KL Rahul, it is not all about muscle or being built like Chris Gayle. If you have a flick of the wrists, timing and class, if you can find the gap, then you will be a very fine T20 player. Saeed Anwar had all of that, he was 360 using his wrists and so pleasing on the eye.
Nasser Hussain on Sir Vivian Richards: If you speak to most people and ask who was the greatest of all time, a lot of them will mention him. He had an ODI strike rate of 90, which back then was just unbelievable. He was a gun fielder, could field in any position and bowled a bit of off-spin. He has to walk into any side, in any era, in any format.
THOSE WHO MISSED OUT
Rob Key on Aravinda de Silva: I once asked Muttiah Muralitharan how Aravinda de Silva was such a good player of spin, how do I learn. He said he had one leg shorter than the other so he could pick length better! Other than chopping my foot off, which I'm not sure would help, I'm not sure what I could do about that! Aravinda was so good and was loved at Kent.
Rob Key on the late Ben Hollioake: I loved watching talent and this lad, when he scored a fifty against Australia on his ODI debut at 19, it made us all think it was accessible. He smashed it to all parts with effortless David Gower-esque ease. It was one of those moments I will never forget watching and it was so, so sad for so many reasons [his death in 2002 at the age of 24]. If you give talent opportunity they can do extraordinary things. I think he would have become one of England's best batsmen.
Nasser Hussain on Hollioake: Ben burst on the scene. You speak to Bumble, you speak to all those lads in the Surrey dressing room, they loved him because he was a talented lad. He would have loved the razzmatazz of T20. He would have been front of stage with social media. It was a massive loss for the game of cricket.
Watch the next episode of The IPL Cricket Show at 6pm on Sky Sports Cricket next Friday.