Former Yorkshire off-spinner and President-elect of the Yorkshire CCC Players’ Association, Peter Whiteley, has evidently been busy during lockdown.
There have been many stellar performances by Yorkshire cricketers since the club’s formation in 1863 but he has posed the question: can cricketing success be ruled by the stars?
The Yorkshire CCC Handbook lists 673 players who have represented the county in first-class cricket (or its equivalent).
Listed below are the 12 teams that have been selected by Peter, based on each player’s star sign.
Which is your favourite squad? Who’s in your star sign? Who would win in a Yorkshire CCC Zodiac Cup?!
The teams have been selected based on career records for Yorkshire but also careers with other clubs and on the international stage; taking into account that modern-day players get the opportunity to play in many fewer County Championship matches than their predecessors.
Thanks to Peter for this comprehensive look at those who’ve worn the White Rose with this astrological focus. It blends players across different eras and throws up intriguing matchups!
The squads are between 11 and 13 players – Cricket Yorkshire readers can select their XI and determine the batting order.
Played as an amateur *
Capped player ©
Born outside Yorkshire §
Aries: March 21 – April 19 (Mars)
Bird, H D
Drake, A ©
Hartley, P J©
Smailes, T F© §
Fleming, S P
Gillespie, J N© §
Plunkett, L E©
Whilst not, on the face of it, the strongest team, there are some outstanding performers and the overseas players’ statistics belie their likely contribution to this team.
Also, a couple of players who had successful careers elsewhere in England and a couple of useful umpires, should they be required. They will relish the challenge and will come out fighting.
Taurus: April 20 – May 20 (Venus)
§ Rudolph J A©
Love, J D©
Moxon, M D©
§ Kruis, G J©
Batty, J D
Middlebrook, J D
§ Bevan, M G
§ Tendulkar, S R
There could be a lot of work for Deon Kruis as this team is short of pace bowlers. The spin attack is lead by the great Hedley Verity and Sachin Tendulkar, for one, will be well able to score runs if pitches help the spinners.
Current Director of Cricket, Martyn Moxon and County Age Group Performance Manager, Jim Love should be able to bring the best out of the Taurus team.
Gemini: May 21 – June 20 (Mercury)
Bore, M K
Cowan, M J ©
Fletcher, S D©
Foord, C W
Hutchison, P M©
§ Raval, J A©
§ Brooks, J A ©
Hannon-Dalby, O J
Rhodes, S J
Taylor, T L *©
Ray Illingworth could have his work cut out here. He has plenty of bowling back-up but will be looking to Jeet Raval to be supporting him with the bat.
Steve Rhodes can also be handy with the bat as well as being back-up keeper. This looks like one of the longest tails in first-class cricket – let’s see it wag so Mike Cowan can tell us all about it.
Cancer: June 21 – July 22 (Moon)
Hutton, L ©
Lowson, F A©
Padgett, D E V ©
Carrick, P ©
Jarvis, P W©
Nicholson, A G©
§ Lehmann, J S
§ Marsh, S E
What a formidable team with some of the most prolific run-scorers as well as a balanced attack of wicket-takers.
The past players association play annual golf matches in memory of Phil Carrick and Tony Nicolson, both taken too soon and the YCCC Charitable Youth Trust was formed by merging charities linked to Sir Leonard Hutton and Bob Appleyard – their legacies live on.
Leo: July 23 – August 22 (Sun)
§ Hawke, Lord *©
Brown, J T (Driffield) ©
Bowes, W E ©
Dawson, R K J ©
Robinson, E P©
§ Katich, S M
§ Williamson, K S©
Lord Hawke will surely get this team performing to the best of their ability. Runs shouldn’t be a problem, particularly with the overseas players.
Leo has some strong wicket-takers as well with top spinners Don Wilson and Richard Dawson extending their involvement with cricket through coaching. Bill Bowes was a gentle giant but had no problem knocking batsmen over.
Virgo: August 23 – September 22 (Mercury)
Hirst, G H©
Hutton, R A ©
Byas, D ©
§ Hamilton, G M ©
Emmett, T ©
§ Best T L
Bairstow, D L ©
This is a balanced side with strength in depth and outstanding skills in the field (and on the dancefloor), especially behind the stumps where Bairstow and Wood will share the gloves.
Wood famously said he was “the man for a crisis” when he went in to bat at 770-6, after Richard Hutton’s father was out for 364. Tunnicliffe averaged 1.4 catches per match throughout his long career.
Libra: September 23 – October 22 (Venus)
Athey, C W J ©
Patterson, S A ©
§ Martyn, D R
§ Maxwell, G J
§ Morkel, M 8
Bairstow, J M©
Binks, J G ©
This team should score well and we might see Boycott and Bairstow opening together. Libra is another excellent fielding side with Jimmy Binks behind the stumps. He appeared in 412 consecutive matches for Yorkshire.
Good balance in the bowling with Ulyett, Patterson and Morkel bringing pace and left-arm spin from Wombwell-born, Kilner.
Scorpio: October 23 – November 21 (Pluto)
Balderstone, J C
§ Vaughan, M P©
Jackson, Hon F S *©
§ Harmison, S J
§ Blewett, G S©
§ Finch, A J©
Coverdale, S P
Scorpio should perform well on the field with all-time high wicket-taker Wilfred Rhodes supported by Hill, a round-arm fast bowler who took the first wicket in Test cricket. There is plenty of batting, with strong overseas batsmen to support Vaughan and Balderstone.
Dream up some interesting dressing room banter with the Aussies and Tykes mixing with the Hon F.S. Jackson. Perhaps those with radio or TV experience (Vaughan and Coverdale) can analyse it.
Sagittarius: November 22 – December 21 (Jupiter)
Macaulay, G G©
§ Ballance, G S ©
Holmes, P ©
Booth, M W ©
Stevenson, G B©
§ Brathwaite, K C
Gale, A W©
Tattersall, J A
§ Brophy, G L©
This team’s bowlers will be looking for hard, green wickets as it will focus on pace rather than spin. Whether that will suit the finest opening pair Yorkshire has ever had will be open to debate.
Holmes and Sutcliffe had 69 century opening partnerships including the record 555 v Essex in 1932. Hard-hitting support is available in the lower order if this pair can get the team off to a good start.
Capricorn: December 22 – January 19 (Saturn)
Old, C M ©
Metcalfe, A A©
Sharpe, P J©
Wilson, J V©
Coxon, A ©
Hoggard, M J©
Sidebottom, R J©
Wardle, J H©
§ Richardson, R B©
Root, J E©
Dolphin, A ©
Blakey, R J ©
This is one of the strongest teams of the more modern era with four England seam bowlers and Jonny Wardle with his left-arm spin. England captain Joe Root might build on his success with off-spin and there should be no shortage of runs.
Lancashire all-rounder Barry Wood makes the team, going back to his roots and Richard Blakey will likely hand over the gloves to Arthur Dolphin.
Aquarius: January 20 – February 18 (Uranus)
§ Lumb, M J©
Bolus, J B©
Hampshire, J H ©
Lester, E I©
Rashid, A U©
Trueman, F S©
§ Lehmann, D S©
§ Pujara, C A
§ Starc, M A
Brennan, D V *©
Spin pairing Rashid and Peel will be able to keep the pressure on while Trueman, Waddington and Starc rest between fiery spells. A strong, modern-day batting line up should score quickly enough to force several early wins with Darren Lehman, an honorary Yorkshireman, supported by John Hampshire and former team scorer, Ted Lester.
Keeper, Don Brennan is a safe pair of hands behind the sticks.
Pisces: February 19 – March 20 (Neptune)
Close, D B©
Hartley, S N ©
Yardley, N W D *©
Lumb, R G©
Watson, W ©
Cope, G A ©
Silverwood, C E W©
§ Willey, D J©
Bresnan, T T©
Hunter, D ©
This Piscean team is packed with all-rounders so whatever the conditions or state of play of the match should be able to pull something out of the bag.
Brian Close did the ‘Double’ in his first season as a cricketer aged 18 and ended with nearly 35,000 runs after his careers with Yorkshire, Somerset and England. David Hunter has made more dismissals than any other Yorkshire keeper. Definitely a team to watch.
Career stats for every player (by star sign)
Click to read/download the full statistics of all the Yorkshire CCC players for each squad.
Image credit: The zodiac star symbols are from Icons8
Peter asked me to flag up the work of the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation and the Yorkshire CCC Charitable Youth Trust which I’m happy to do.
Click through their links to find out more about their excellent charity work.
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