To mark the 50th anniversary of overseas players coming to county cricket in large numbers, we’ve asked an expert on each county to pick their top three for that club. Here’s Hampshire, as selected by Ed Kemp, wisden.com editor and Hampshire supporter.
1. MALCOLM MARSHALL
West Indies (1979-93)
The perfect choice to represent all that an overseas player can be. For the combination of playing greatness, universal popularity and long-term investment in Hampshire as a home from home, it has to be Malcolm Marshall. Probably cricket’s finest-ever fast bowler took 826 wickets at 18.64 for the club and was a well-loved friend to all he played with and against. No former player is held in greater affection.
2. BARRY RICHARDS
South Africa (1968-78)
Perhaps the greatest-ever batsman to grace the county game for an extended period. In 11 seasons with the county Richards made gloriously stylish runs – 15,607 of them – for fun, and those who knew him suggest it would have been more if only they’d come as more of a challenge. His partnership with Gordon Greenidge propelled Hampshire to their most recent Championship title in 1973.
3. SHANE WARNE
The fact that Gordon Greenidge – who scored 19,840 runs at 45.40 for the county between 1973 and 1987 – doesn’t make the list tells you a little about the extraordinary calibre of overseas players with which Hampshire have been blessed. But for making Hampshire his home, and investing so much of himself in the club as captain and inspiration, the great Shane Warne deserves his place.