Speaking on the latest episode of the Wisden Cricket Weekly Podcast alongside Wisden Cricket Monthly magazine editor Jo Harman and host Yas Rana, Test Match Special commentator Dan Norcross heaped praise on arguably one of the most underrated English fast bowlers of recent years, Martin Bicknell.
Bicknell was picked on the 1990/91 Ashes tour of Australia at the age of 21, but only went on to claim a total of four Test caps over the course of his career. Bicknell wasn’t given a Test cap that tour but went on to make his Test debut against the same opponents in 1993. He would have to wait another 10 years before he was called back into the international fold, this time for England’s home series against South Africa in 2003.
Norcross, while picking Wisden’s County Championship team of the 2000s, chose Bicknell as one of his three fast bowling picks for the team, along with Glen Chapple and Ryan Sidebottom.
He said: “Martin Bicknell, not just because I am a Surrey man. He has 6,000 runs to go with his 1,000 wickets. Not many people get a 1,000 first-class wickets. 281 wickets in this decade with an average of 25. His longevity and understanding of the county game – I adore him. One of my favourite cricketers, so I had to pick him.
“6,740 runs, three 100s, 26 50s and an average of 24.86. In County Championship cricket, where if you’re batting at eight, it’s quite tricky to average 24-25 because the opportunities aren’t as much,” he said.
Norcross heaped further praise on Bicknell – who took 268 first-class wickets at 19.68 between 1998 and 2001 – labelling him the “Glenn McGrath of County Championship.”
“Bicknell is one of these guys who would toil away and toil way in unfriendly conditions. I might be unfair on Kabir Ali but if we put them both on a Test match pitch, Bicknell will be the one with relentless line and length. The Glenn McGrath, if you will, of county championship cricket,” he concluded.