21 FEBRUARY 1964, Page 9

Green Caps After close scrutiny of the seventeen Australian cricketers

selected to tour England this year, I have no hesitation in pronouncing them the worst Australian team ever to visit these chilly islands. The captain, Simpson, has stopped short (so far) of his promise to be one of the great all- rounders, Lawry and Booth are workmanlike batsmen who may get a lot of runs, McKenzie can be relied on to bowl his heart out. The only member of the side (Norman O'Neill) who seemed touched with greatness has lost his magic.

The prospects for England are somewhat worse. No opening batsman is sure of his place, we haven't a partner for Trueman, heaven knows who will be our spinners and our wicket- keeper will be Parks or Murray or Rinks or Snooks. And yet the purpose of this jeremiad is to proclaim the glory of cricket. The heroes of next season are still unborn. When they appear under' their vast green caps, all Aus- tralians are giants. We will match them.

Apart from Freddie Trueman, only Ted Dexter is absolutely certain of his place, and he may have to take time off to defeat Mr. Callaghan in Cardiff South-East. At least the strong West Indian community there should be able to recognise true talent.