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. Former wicketkeeper for the team and the county’s current coach Paul Nixon selects Leicestershire’s.
1. PHIL SIMMONS
West Indies (1994-98)
In his first game for us Simmo scored 278 not out and we won two County Championships with him as our overseas (in 1996 – when he scored 1,244 first-class runs and took 56 wickets – and 1998). His sheer will to win was awe-inspiring. He could bowl quick when called upon and caught amazing catches at slip.
2. MICHAEL KASPROWICZ
Kasper ran in hard every ball of every day and gave it 100 per cent in training and games. He would give good practice to our batters in the nets on days when he could have rested and was always a positive voice in the dressing room.
3. HANSIE CRONJE
South Africa (1995)
Hansie was a huge team player and he had time for everyone. He would be in before everyone else, doing extra practice in the indoor centre, and would give his time to junior pros or the senior players 24/7. He was physically as fit as any cricketer has ever been and his influence at Leicestershire was massive in so many areas.
Pick up issue 7 of Wisden Cricket Monthly, featuring a 21-page special to mark the 50th anniversary of overseas players in county cricket