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It has recently been confirmed that Michael Atherton,the Lancastrian opening batsman and former English captain,has played his very last test match for his country. How can we judge him and his contribution for England over the last twelve years ?
The gritty opener has played in some 117 tests for his country and scored around 7,625 runs in test cricket. This,I believe, is the fourth highest number of runs scored by an English batsman in tests.He also managed to hit some 16 centuries and get well over 40 half centuries.
The former captain of Manchester Grammer School, Mike made his debut for Lancashire in 1987. Two years later he was in the England team.
In assessing Mike Atherton one can mention that he has been a very determined player.Mike technically is very gifted,although arguably he lacks the flair of Gavaskar, Graham Gooch or some of the great West Indian openers of the past. He has gone out to win. The Lancastrian has a rather dour,gritty,personality,no doubt shaped and influenced by his upbringing in the North of England. He has a good average and usually has been the rock on which England’s batting has depended in recent years.
However,he has also got himself out rather cheaply on occasions and will I am afraid not be regarded by this reviewer as the best opener England has ever produced. In my opinion Cyril Washbrook, Len Hutton, Graham Gooch and Geoffrey Boycott would have to rank higher in the all time rankings. Taking world players then Sunil Gavaskar, Arthur Morris, Gordon Greenidge and a number of others were I feel considerably superior to Mike Atherton.
I suppose in conclusion I would describe Mike as a very good batsman,a reliable opener, a determined player but one who falls just a tad short of the title ’’ Great ’’.
This album is based on a challenging idea: Try to recreate a musical form from a culture ... more
and period that left behind no recordings or musical notation, using only history, a description of the instruments, and some historical artifacts. It takes intuition as much as scholarship and craftsmanship to recreate the ancient instruments of Egypt--from simple percussion and flutes to boat-shaped and triangular harps and trumpets. Atherton, with his musicians and singers, exhibits both innovation and skill, offering not so much a look at how the music actually was, but more an intuitive guess at how it might have been, keeping the music first and history a close but well-heeled second. It can be frantic one moment and somber the next, as each of these lengthy song suites develops organically around a song or a piece of poetry--offering both early music and improvisational music aficionados something unique. Excellent recording quality is augmented by well-documented notes on history and instrumental research. --Louis Gibson