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Cricket's Christmas list

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Jason Gillespie

Jason Gillespie wants to see snow for the first time, but what would please other cricket folk this Christmas?

During his unveiling as Yorkshire’s new first-team coach at Headingley Carnegie last week, Jason Gillespie revealed that, much to his disappointment, he had never seen snow.

Given that he is set to return to the White Rose county in January, it is fair to assume the former Australia paceman is unlikely to be kept waiting much longer.

Yet his comments did lead to ponder what would constitute the ideal festive gift for other people within the game.

Here’s what we came up with:

ALASTAIR COOK - A trip to Australia

This time last year, Cook was in the process of compiling a sensational 766 runs to help England secure Ashes glory against their oldest rivals. Runs have continued to flow from the left-hander’s bat throughout 2011, but his efforts Down Under are sure to remain a career highlight.

A return visit would allow England’s one-day skipper to bask in happy memories. Whether Australia would be so happy to see Cook again, however...

JONATHAN TROTT - A 17-ball century

It often seems as though Trott cannot escape criticism, even when he continues to churn out runs for England in such a magnificent quantity. Perhaps the 2011 ICC Cricketer of the Year could only fully win over his sternest detractors by clearing the ropes off the first 17 deliveries he faced in a one-day international.

Personally, I’m happy for him to carry on in exactly the same manner as before.

SACHIN TENDULKAR - A 100th international hundred

Any century would be enough to satisfy Sachin Tendulkar right now as he continues his pursuit of a scarcely believable landmark.

On two occasions, at the Kia Oval this summer and on his home ground in Mumbai last month, he moved ominously into the 90s, only to then be dismissed.

India’s tour of Australia represents his next opportunity to add to his glittering CV.

Marcus Trescothick

I would love to see Marcus Trescothick lead Somerset to success after a series of near misses over the last few seasons


Somerset’s skipper is undoubtedly one of the finest performers on the county circuit, yet a piece of silverware continues to elude the 35-year-old and his talented team.

Runners-up in all three domestic competitions in 2010, the Taunton outfit again reached the finals of the Friends Life t20 and Clydesdale Bank 40 this year, only to fall at the last hurdle yet again. Surely nobody would begrudge Somerset breaking their duck in 2012.

GLEN CHAPPLE - A time machine

After 20 years at Lancashire, and a host of close shaves, Chapple was able to celebrate the sweetest of successes this summer as his side secured the LV= County Championship crown.

The veteran seamer will now look to mastermind a title defence, but you imagine he would love to shoot back to April and experience the 2011 season all over again.

SRI LANKA - A Test victory

Any team would miss a player of Muttiah Muralitharan’s ability, but few could have predicted Sri Lanka would have suffered quite so severely since the legendary off-spinner’s retirement.

In 15 Tests post-Murali, they have failed to win and their latest defeat - against a rampant South Africa - provided little cause for optimism. A confidence boost is sorely needed.

As for my own Christmas wishes, it may be time to admit, as a 25-year-old who has never exhibited any hint of cricketing ability, that my chance of representing England in a Test match has passed.

With that in mind, I’ll settle for watching on as Andy Flower’s team secure a series victory over Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates, something that would surely cheer many of us over the winter months.

Merry Christmas!

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