We love an exclusive club. Not the shit sort of exclusive club with all old Tories in leather chairs reading the Telegraph. No. We love the sort of club that has only a handful of cricketers – or better yet one cricketer – in it.
We’ve previously championed Chris Gayle’s Grand Slam Club here and now we’re very excited about another: Ross Taylor’s Triple Hundred Gang. It is only open to players who have made a hundred appearances in all three international formats and when Rossco walks out at the Basin Reserve on Friday morning to face India he will become the founding member. Lovely stuff.
And he might be the only member for a little while yet; let’s have a look at who could one day join Ross behind the RTTHG’s velvet ropes.
Ross Taylor (New Zealand): 99 Tests, 231 ODIs, 100 T20Is
Founder, leader, legend
Virat Kohli (India): 84 Tests, 248 ODIs, 82 T20Is
A certain future member, and very much the likeliest second member. Handy one as well. If you’re going to ruin everything and double the number of members in your exclusive club then Kohli’s not a bad choice, I suppose.
AB de Villiers (South Africa): 114 Tests, 228 ODIs, 78 T20Is
Will AB de Villiers come out of retirement for one last South Africa World Cup heartbreak? And will he then hang around for another one last South Africa World Cup heartbreak in 2021? If so, the consolation of those two last South Africa World Cup heartbreaks will be a place at the RTTHG top table alongside Taylor and Kohli. Back-to-back T20 World Cups and South Africa being a bit pony with the bat make it all seem tantalisingly possible.
David Warner (Australia): 84 Tests, 119 ODIs, 76 T20Is
There goes the neighbourhood.
Angelo Mathews (Sri Lanka): 86 Tests, 214 ODIs, 73 T20Is
Back in the T20 frame and another player for whom back-to-back T20 World Cups may be enough to nudge him over the line and get that box ticked before international retirement. Fourteen Tests is no gimme, though. That’s about three years’ worth for the two-match-series-loving Lankans.
Kane Williamson (New Zealand): 78 Tests, 150 ODIs, 60 T20Is
Going to take a little while yet for him to join his long-time team-mate but should probably make it. Will then immediately volunteer to be club secretary and treasurer. Leave it all to Kane. Lovely, lovely man.
Pakistan elected to bat under grey skies at Old Trafford.
The England and Yorkshire fast bowler saw his career cut slightly short by injury problems.
Nagging uncertainty over Stokes’ recent quad injury means England will not know how to balance their side until the eleventh hour.
Paul Stirling and Andrew Balbirnie both hit centuries in the shock victory.
Stuart Broad took his 500th Test wicket last month.
Derbyshire chased down 365 for victory.
David Willey added a rapid half-century at the end of the innings.