1. JUSTIN LANGER – Retired
I played a lot under JL and he’s now my current coach at Western Australia, so I’ve had a lot to do with him. His record speaks for itself and he’s a very driven and determined person. He’s relaxed a little bit now as a coach, though I think he’ll hate me for saying that! Over the last 18, 24 months that he has been at WA he has turned into a brilliant coach.
2. CHRIS ROGERS – Victoria
I’ve had the opportunity to play with Matthew Hayden but I’d put ‘Bucky’ in there, purely because I played a lot with him and in that season he scored 1,200 runs for Western Australia – which was the record. Before I came out here he hit a century against us for Victoria, he is just a brilliant batsman who is getting better with age.
3. RICKY PONTING – Retired
The best way to sum ‘Punter’ up is that when I first entered the Australian team, he treated me exactly the same as the blokes he had played 100 times with before. As a young guy, to have a captain that approachable spoke a lot of about who he was as a person. He is the best I’ve played with, and the stats back that up as well.
4. MIKE HUSSEY – Sydney Sixers
Massive contributor to Australia and Western Australian cricket, I’ve played a lot with Huss. The way he came into the Test team at the age of 30 and the success he had in the lead-up to that, his work ethic needed to be incredible. Watching him go about it with Justin Langer, nobody worked harder.
5. MARCUS NORTH – Retired
He’s one of my best mates in the game, I played 13 seasons with him at WA and we have young kids about the same age. He’s in Northumberland playing club cricket at the moment so I’m hopefully going to catch him at some stage – he scored five Test hundreds in very few games so he made an impact in that Australia squad.
6. EOIN MORGAN – Middlesex
I’ve played with him at Middlesex before and he’s a very, very talented cricketer. I still think he can play Test cricket for England, and with some of the shots he plays I believe he has been a big part of the revolution that has gone on one-day cricket in the last few years.
7. ADAM GILCHRIST – Retired
I got the opportunity to play with him at WA early in my career and I remember having a lot of good batting partnerships with him. I enjoyed the way he went about it and he changed the role of the wicketkeeper forever. Your keeper has to be able to bat now, and the likes of John Simpson here at Middlesex will bat six and is good enough to bat in the top six.
8. SHANE WARNE – Retired
I played in the IPL at Rajasthan and in the Big Bash with Melbourne Stars with Warney, and he goes into everyone’s best team. It’s incredible how much of a cricket nerd he is, he loves it – and that shows in his commentary now, he understands the game so well. Picking his brains was always really interesting and that’s half the reason why he had all his success.
9. BRETT LEE – Retired
Fast. Full stop. Fastest I’ve faced, hit me in the head in a one-day game and I was seeing stars, the scariest I’ve ever come up against for sure.
10. NATHAN COULTER-NILE – Western Australia
In terms of an athlete he’s the best I’ve seen in a game of cricket, bowls fast and an incredible cricketer. A modern cricketer and if injury had not struck him he’d have been a part of Australia’s World Cup squad. He’s mid-20s now so has a fair bit of cricket ahead and I believe he’ll be back up there.
11. JASON GILLESPIE – Retired
I only played a little bit with Diz, but I found him unbelievable. When he was bowling well it was fast, out-swinging, and gave you nothing. I was having a drink with him after a game once and got on to talking about red wine somehow. The next time we visited Adelaide, in my room was a bottle of the wine we’d been talking about courtesy of him. That’s the type of bloke he is.
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