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. The Middlesex selection comes from Angus Fraser, former Middlesex seamer and now the club’s managing director of cricket.
1. WAYNE DANIEL
West Indies (1977-88)
Wayne Daniel is without doubt Middlesex’s greatest-ever overseas player. The effect he had on the team was huge (taking 685 first-class wickets at 22 and 316 one-day wickets at 17). Mike Brearley called him ‘Black Diamond’ because they are so rare and so valuable.
I was fortunate enough to play with him a couple of times at the end of my career. He was rarely in the West Indies side so he could regularly commit to six months with Middlesex. It was a very physical contest with Wayne. He was quick, hostile and loved getting after batsmen – they didn’t like facing him at all. I remember asking him what his favourite way of getting a wicket was. He said it was a bumper round the batsman’s ears and then getting them to play all around a long half-volley because they weren’t too interested in sticking around for the next ball.
2. DESMOND HAYNES
West Indies (1989-94)
An unbelievable cricketer and someone who was very committed to Middlesex. I was fortunate enough to watch him bat for a long period in the 90s. He was one of the toughest cricketers I’ve ever come across.
3. CHRIS ROGERS
This was a very tight call between Justin Langer and Chris Rogers. Justin scored thousands of runs for Middlesex in the late 90s and made a hugely positive impression on us. But I’m going to go for Rogers, because while Justin played for Middlesex during a difficult time, Chris was one of the main reasons we went from being a team that was loitering around the bottom of the second division to a side challenging for the title.
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Pick up issue 7 of Wisden Cricket Monthly, featuring a 21-page special to mark the 50th anniversary of overseas players in county cricket