When I was growing up it was all about the West Indies and how dominant they were at the time in World Cups, winning Test series after series, and the manner and style in which they played their cricket.

So for me playing cousins in the back garden, or in matches with friends and older boys in the street, they would always have liked to be Australian teams and players while I always wanted to be Desmond Haynes when batting, closely followed by Malcolm Marshall when I was bowling.

Trent Johnston bowling against the West Indies in 2009 (©CricketEurope)

They were two very flamboyant West Indians who went about their work in different ways. You had Marshall swinging it both ways and nipping it off the seam at high 80mph, always keeping the batsmen guessing. He was such a master of high quality seam and swing bowling, able to adapt his game depending on the local conditions. He certainly wasn't a one-trick pony.

Desmond Haynes went on the attack from ball one in Test cricket. You read about the Aussies and how they changed the course of Test cricket with their high strike rates and four and five an over, but the West Indies were the first to embrace the higher stroke rates and they took cricket to a different level. The Aussie then took over their mantle and really dominated for a decade or more.

Allan Border hits a six against Ireland at Clontarf in 1993 (©CricketEurope)

I always admired Allan Border as well, his toughness, mental fortitude, and that never give up spirit. All-rounders who I admired were Imran Khan and Richard Hadlee, and just to watch the way they went about their business was inspirational. They could do it with both bat and ball and were rarely out of the action at any time. They were incredibly consistent and their performance levels and longevity in the game provides a great example to any young cricketers. Their skill levels were just exceptional.