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Joe Root and Mike Brearley at the England players dinner last year
Joe Root and Mike Brearley at the England players dinner last year

Press release -

ECB begin search for the nation's best-ever England Men's Test XI to celebrate 1000th Men's Test

Hutton or Cook? Botham or Stokes? Trueman or Anderson?

It’s been a debate up and down the country for decades but now, for the first time ever, the ECB has decided it is time to ask the nation pick the best-ever men’s Test XI.

To mark England’s 1000th men’s Test match in the first Specsavers Test against India at Edgbaston, which begins on Wednesday 1stAugust, the ECB is launching a nationwide survey to, once and for all, find the nation’s favourite men’s Test XI.

Cricket fans from across the country, have the choice of over 100 players ranging from W.G. Grace in 1880s to current Test captain Joe Root in an exclusive survey.

The team will feature five specialist batsmen, one all-rounder, one wicket-keeper, a spinner and three pace-bowlers.

After two weeks of voting the best XI, as chosen by the nation, will be revealed during the Test.

Speaking about the search for the nation’s best-ever XI and the 1000th men’s Test, England captain Joe Root said: 

“To captain the England men’s Test side on their 1000th ever Test is going to be a very special moment for me.

“As a lifelong cricket fan, this is a debate that I’ve had with friends, family and teammates for many years and I’m looking forward to seeing the final XI.

“Having grown up watching the likes of Michael Vaughan and Andrew Flintoff in their prime as well as currently playing alongside with some of the best players to ever represent England, it will be a very hard decision for the public to pick an all-time XI. One thing is for sure, it will create some great debate amongst cricket supporters.”

The oldest England Test player on the list, Ray Illingworth said: 

“It’s important to recognise the history of Test cricket and to celebrate the players who make it great. The 1000th men's test match provides the perfect opportunity to do just that and I'm intrigued to see who will be voted into the Nation’s Best XI. I am not sure whether I will be included but I will keep my eye out for it."

To see the longlist in full and vote for your own favourite XI click here

Voting will close at midnight on Sunday 22nd July and entrants will be in with the chance to win a host of prizes. We Are England Cricket Supporters will get an extra chance to win a pair of tickets for day three of the first Specsavers Test at Edgbaston.


You'll find all ECB Media Releases and associated resources on our Newsroom >

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Ben Walker

Ben Walker

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