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The (Tino) Best of.... with Andy Holmes

Name: Andy Holmes

Who (in your opinion) is the greatest cricketer of all time? And Why?

People will expect me to say Moeen, but he's more a flawed favourite of mine...I'll discounting anyone I haven't seen play, so I'm going to suggest Shane Warne. Made the hardest discipline in the sport look easy at times, and you never turned away when he was in action as he made things happen.

What is your favourite moment in Cricket - this could be either watching it or playing it and could be at any level of the game, and why is it such a good moment for you?

One from watching the pro game, I'll never forget seeing a certain G.A.Hick score a century for Worcestershire at New Road, was a privilege to see him bat for the Pears. From our standard, my highest score of 98, mainly because it had so many village cricket aspects to it. I rocked up to play for a club for the first time that I'd contacted about a game via Twitter, as I had a spare Sunday, I opened the batting on a slow and low track, and then got stumped, trying to get to my ton, off the bowling of a kid who was only playing for the opposition because they were short!

Who would be part of your "Cricket Dream 11" - this could be any players from any nation, from any standard of the game. I just need 11 names and why!

Here's eleven lads I've had the pleasure of playing with during my time in the village game. None will be household names but at our level they are/were decent!

  1. Michael Dunkley (FVCC) A calm presence to bat with and a cracking record for the club - humble about his success too.

  2. George Wood (Stony CC) Batted with him in Stony's Thirds and he makes the game look really easy at times, also ultra competitive and demands high standards of his team-mates which I like.

  3. Chris Morley (Wendover) Laid back lad who used to turn up at Wendover 2-3 games a season and just bat beautifully.

  4. Neil Fletcher (Cutnall) One from way back - was far too good for the level but just loved playing for his local club.

  5. James Harrington (Wendover) Like Chris, he didn't play every week, but whenever he did, he just looked great, and very calming to bat with too.

  6. George Robinson (Wendover) Annoyingly good in all three disciplines of the game and if he played well, Wendover normally won.

  7. Matt Smalley-Harris (Wendover) Keeper who worked harder than anyone I've played with at his game.

  8. Jon Green (Wendover) Captained me in the first team at Wendover and when he was on form, he was a real wicket taking threat.

  9. Mike Ralph (Wendover) Another who played below his standard at Wendover. Faced him in a practice game and couldn't get a bat on it.

  10. Steve Bellew (Stony CC) First game I played with him for Stony, he took 6 for 3!! Swings it round corners and a real clubman at Stony.

  11. Dave Gulliver (Wendover) Bowled such a tight line as a spinner, rarely going for more than 3 an over, and would allow the other bowlers to pick up the wickets. Was good enough to captain Alex Hales in County age-group cricket.

Let's look closer to home.. Who in your opinion is the best bowler you've seen play for FVCC - doesn't have to be a current player

I mean it's obviously a mystery why James Sheath (The Ashley Giles of his generation) hasn't played at a MUCH higher level than FVCC, but aside from him, Mark Harris has troubled me in the nets. Oh and I had to face Frankie Smith in a game once - would honestly have preferred to have lined up against Brett Lee!

Let's cover the batter's now. Who is the best batsman you've seen play for FVCC - again this doesn't have to be a current player.

Lord Michael Dunkley - love batting with him, apart from our running between the wickets!! But we normally seem to score a few between us, he's so calm at the crease and really humble for someone with his stats too.

Let's finish with a little bit of fun. Who from the international circuit (current or past) do you imagine you most closely resemble in terms of cricket style and why?

I was once told I had the same technique as Stephen Fleming (only I bat the other way round)!! But the reality is more like Mike Atherton with the bat as it takes me a while to get the ball off the square!! With the ball? Well if anyone bowled in an international like me, they'd launch a thousand memes and gifs!!

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