It was the walrus who said “….. the time has come ….” - check out Lewis Carroll’s poem “The Walrus and the Carpenter” (first published in 1871).

Although in a different context, those few words are nonetheless appropriate here as I put together the final piece of my journey through Top End cricket over the past 40 (nearly) years.

So, the time has come to list my best DDCC team. No birthplace strings attached this time, the only restriction is the team must be ready to play either white or red ball matches and therefore I consider a squad of 15 players is necessary – all players have been selected from my DDCC best bowlers and batters lists.

At the top of the batting order, Shaun Williams and Jake Weatherald stand out as the ideal pairing. Williams for his dogged approach to the task and Weatherald for his more daring style. Each has shown they have the capacity to handle any attack and perform in all forms of the game.

Simon Lavers can have three but if the need arises, his ability as an opener, especially in shorter forms of the game, cannot be denied. The doyen of NT batting, Ralph Wiese, has four in the order all stitched up.

Greg Clarence, Ken Vowles and Nick Berry can slot in anywhere in the top/middle order – Berry is a genuine allrounder who can stand alone as a front-liner with bat or ball.

That done, Darren Treumer, is the wicketkeeper. It could be argued his best work is over the stumps and while others may be slightly more agile back to the quicks, Treumer was nevertheless pretty good in that capacity. His batting also tips the scales in his favour over a crop of wonderful ‘keepers with excellent credentials.

Top and middle order batting is full of riches and runs - that’s eight of the fifteen places already snapped up.

Jim Conroy, David King and Greg Connors are bowlers who pretty much demand selection based on their DDCC and representative performances. Each can be menacingly quick when the need arises, and each is miserly in their attitude toward giving batsmen a rest both physically and mentally.

Need spinner’s – and I like people who can bowl an opposition out in the last innings of a red ball game and do the job required at any time in white ball cricket. I’ve gone for David Andrews and Mark Hatton, and although both are left-arm orthodox, they are remarkably different in style. Andrews prefers a flat trajectory and has an arm-ball to die for, while Hatton tends to flight more and can extract turn in most circumstances.

Thirteen down – two to go.

On flat wickets, bounce can sometimes be the only weapon against batsmen who are set. I have always admired the way Brad Hatton uses his height to advantage as a bowler – too many bowlers of all variety, tend to bowl beside a bent front leg disadvantaging any height advantage they may have. Not Hatton, he goes right over the top and can extract bounce on the flattest of ‘road’s’.

I always want more runs and more wickets from any of my teams and a bloke who can be relied on to do both is Brad Schmulian. Although as a ‘leggie’ his stock ball goes the same way as Andrews and Hatton, he has all the tricks, can field close to the wicket and his batting record outstrips others of a similar mould. Schmulian can linger at the batting crease or explode as the need arises.

So here it is:

Shaun Williams

Jake Weatherald

Simon Lavers

Ralph Wiese

Greg Clarence

Ken Vowles

Nick Berry

Darren Treumer

Jim Conroy

David Andrews

Mark Hatton

Greg Connors

David King

Brad Hatton

Brad Schmulian