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on 13 September 2009
Picking the greatest cricketers of the last century is not an easy task, but deciding who you would employ for this post is much easier in comparison. Richie Benaud is the ideal candidate to take on the role as he has played the game and also commentated on it in a long lifespan in cricket. He was also one of the greats himself as a player. It is easy to forget how great a player he was and this is due to his immense contributions to broadcasting. Richie is knowledgeable, likable and his influence is unmatched. Often dubbed the voice of cricket, he is also the face of cricket as well. He has been part of the international scene since 1953, and has attended more tests than anyone else.

Richie picks his team and gives his reasons in an interview which lasts one hour forty minutes. The interview is long and insightful and the enthusiastic Mark Nicholas acts as the interviewer. During the interview Richie also chooses two back up players for each eventual player in the side. He comments on the back up players and tells us why he left them out of the eventual Xl. There is player coverage and the video footage is excellent especially that of Bradman, Hobbs and Hutton. This is good insight for anyone who hasn't seen these early 20th century players before. We get to see the statistics of the players he chooses in terms of wickets and runs scored. The countdown is constructive and Ritchie deals with each category of his final Xl in steps.

There are bound to be people who disagree with Richie's selection but I for one will not be one of them. I may have my own personal favorites such as Wasim Akram and Steve Waugh, but compared to Richie, I am vastly under qualified to challenge the greatest Xl of a whole 100 years. Others will argue that discussions regarding some of the key players are sparse, but in your observations it's important to realise that this is a personal account from one man and he will structure his views in a way he thinks fit.

The bonus features are also pleasing and this includes a twenty minute documentary on Richie's career. Anyone who felt short changed at the Ashes 2005 DVD for not providing a documentary on Richie's broadcasting life, should turn to this extra feature, to totally redeem themselves. There are also useful statistics of the other back up players who did not make it into the final Xl.

Richie's Greatest Xl is a surprise package; well presented, organised and with good graphics proving that there has been time spent on this DVD. It's also educational, and being the team of a century (20th) which has long gone; it's an evergreen DVD and a must buy for any cricket fan. On the quiet words of Richie himself - " it's a great honour ".
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on 12 February 2012
It is no mean feat to assess all the greatest players the wolrd has seen and condense them into one team- so Richie Benaud seems the perfect choice to achieve such a feat. The programme is very well presented and it is a joy to see Richie -surely THE voice of television cricket-talk and wax lyrical on the games greatest. However, despite his unparalleled knowledge i find myself dissagreeing with his selections. There is an obvious Australian Bias - four australians make the team with two indians/one pak/and two west indians and two englishmen. What I find inexplicable is the preference for SF Barnes and Dennis Lillee above Malcolm Marshall and Michael Holding - though sobers and viv Richards are included it seems most odd that only two members of what must surely be THE greatest team of all time are featured. No Greenhidge. No Headley either. Until his retiremenmt Lara seemed as good if not better than Tendulkar-who is included. Wally Hammond and Alan Knott are two omissions that are hard to fathom. Gilchrist was great but better a keeper than A.P.E? The problem is even for a great like Benaud , it is impossible to pick a greatest ever team - there just isnt space. Still the DVD is a fun watch but whilst a lot of choices - Imran, Richards,Hobbs,Bradman, Warne, Sobers and Lillee are superb choices - the rest of the selection is open to debate? An interesting watch...but no Marshall? For many he is the greatest fast bowler of all time...A thought provoking DVD -Benaus is a treasure and one hates to dissagree-but at the end of the day it is only his opinion-and great watching it is too- even if the great four pronged fearsome windies attack was only a "millimetre from selection"...
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on 30 June 2013
This is a marvellous review of the best of world cricketing over the past 100 years. Richie Benaud looks at the the top players in each category (for example opening bat, fast bowling, spin bowling), discusses their skills and chooses his best eleven on this basis. It's a testament to this great cricketer and commentator that the team he chooses covers all eras and all nationalities. This DVD should be a 'must see' for all aspiring young cricketers.
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on 10 September 2005
As a cricket player and watcher I was a little disappointed with this. A lot of talk but not enough action. Trying to pick X1 players and then review and brief on those plus the ones left out meant that the detail was sparse and highlights of the players playing quite brief. Despite that it was a nostalgic trip down memory lane with some interesting facts and opinions brought to life. One for a rainy Sunday afternoon.
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on 25 May 2015
What amazed me, was that it had come from England and it played in the Australian DVDs, which need to be, Zone 4. So this was EXCELLENT and made me VERY HAPPY!!!! So I have been able, to pass on the second copy, to close friends!!! It was in PAL format, so are most DVDs from England, the UK, suitable for Australian viewing????
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on 2 February 2014
Although I would have had the brilliant South African Graeme Pollock in the team, I can't argue with any of the other ten choices by the 'voice of cricket', Ritchie Benaud. Superbly presented and a brilliant description as to why he selected who he did, this is a 'must' to have in every cricket lover's collection
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on 29 January 2014
Perfectly justified, and in 5 or 6 places in the order, totally undisputed. However, I can think of a few lads who could give this lot a game. More chat than bat, but no one would be under any illusions other wise. Richie is an education, so consider this schooling.
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on 6 May 2008
Very entertaining. Benaud is at his charming, informative best eagerly aided by Mark Nicholas. As well as selecting an awesome XI, they put together a guide to the art of playing test cricket in each position and assess a wide array of greats who didn't quite make the final cut.

I can't think of any significant contenders who are left out. Benaud is so awesomely knowledgeable and states his case with such erudite clarity that it's hard to disagree with his selections. And his criteria for comparing players from different eras is fascinating.

The only criticism is that the clips and the editing don't quite do justice to the quality of Benaud's insights. But it's still a highly enjoyable watch. I learnt alot from this.
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on 29 February 2016
If you like cricket and have at least a scant knowledge of it's history you will love this.
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on 30 July 2015
Superb account by the master, sadly no longer with us.
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