World XI players want official status to the matches they represented
Few World XI players, who played the so-called ‘unofficial’ Test matches against England and Australia five decades ago, want these matches to be given official status by the ICC.
Earlier this week, Alan Jones earned England Test cap No. 696 for the 1970 match against Rest of the World played at Lord’s.
“The match hasn’t been given official Test status – that decision would need to be made by the ICC, who made the original decision to withdraw Test status in 1972,”
Stuart Clarke, the Communications Executive Performance of England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said.
“Alan is the first player to be awarded an ENGLAND cap without playing an official Test. Everyone else who made their debuts in that series went on to play official Tests for England as well,” he added.
Mike Procter, who played in the Test, says exclusively, “Sir Garry Sobers was the captain and he only agreed to play if the Test series was official Tests which they were until the ICC renegade on the deal with the great man. Nobody was at all happy about the situation and Sir Garry must have been very upset as they were certainly full of tests and very competitive against an excellent England side.”
“The good news for me personally is I had a good series and the team spirit in our team was brilliant and I remain good friends with all the team. We had a great time.
“No doubt they should be given full Test status. Wasn’t there a one off ‘Test’ given official Test status in Sydney about 10 or more years ago?” Procter, who later became the ICC match referee added.
Another South African, Barry Richards also echoed the same views and added, “Packer (cirus) was the most competitive cricket I have ever played. Ask any players and they would endorse my views on making them official.”
India’s Farokh Engineer, who kept wickets for the World XI says, “These matches certainly deserve Test status.”
“I was primarily responsible for him not being selected for England again as despite the top form he was in scoring tons of runs for Glamorgan, he could not score many runs in this Lord’s Test. He was caught behind by my (brilliant diving catches which would not have carried to second or even 3rd slip) In both innings.”
“I am delighted that Jones has at last been awarded his England cap he thoroughly deserves.”
“Like the other debutants in the series, Alan was given the cap, shirt, blazer etc given to all England players at the time, so yes he now has two physical caps as we sent the new cap to his home,” the ECB official confirmed.
“When the matches were downgraded from Test status he unfortunately could no longer call himself a ‘capped’ England player and his name didn’t appear on the list. So there’s a difference between owning a cap and ‘being capped’.”
“Awarding Alan Jones cap 696 is ECB’s recognition that he represented England, even though the history books say that he is not an international cricketer.”
“The next Test debutant will receive #697 to continue the tradition,” Stuart Clarke concluded.