If Tasmania was a sovereign state, David Boon, number 8 on our list with 107 caps, would be a strong candidate for Prime Minister.
Arguably the region’s favourite son, Boon was a major player in the resurrection of not only Tasmanian, but also Australian cricket.
While his moustache and off-field antics drew plenty of attention, Boon let his cricket do the talking when it mattered most.
7,422 runs in a time where Australia often struggled shows what a vital cog he was in the country’s top-order.
Debuting against the West Indies in 1984/85, the burly batsman did not enjoy the cosiest start to his career.
Mediocre returns against the Calypso kings, as well as England, coincided with Australia’s poor showing on the international stage.
Inconsistent form saw him move up and down the batting order on a regular basis.
A decision to move to opener rejuvenated the Tasmanian maestro, with Boon producing some of his best cricket in back to back series against India.
Scores of 123 and 131 cemented his spot in the team.
Another century against India almost stole victory for the Australians in the famous Tied Test in Chennai.
After a successful World Cup campaign, Boon returned to the Test side where he once again dominated.
A smooth 143 kick-started the Summer against New Zealand, but it was his fighting 184* in the Bicentennial Test that earned the most praise.
It was a dogged knock that few saw coming.
Boon’s 1987 form saw him win the International Cricketer of the Year Award.
Boon’s irresistible Summer was infectious, with Australia shooting up the rankings in both forms of the game.
Despite his success as opener, Boon was dropped down to number three for the 1989 tour of England.
The move didn’t seem to affect the talented Tasmanian, with Boon smashing a career best 200 against New Zealand in 1989/90.
Although he had success against every cricketing nation, Boon seemed to save his best for India and England.
He blasted three centuries against the Indians in front of Australian crowds to open the 1991/92 season.
His 556 runs throughout the series ensured another series victory for the Australians.
Boon cemented his position as the country’s best batsman when he nailed three centuries in as many Tests in the Ashes tour of 1993.
The magnificent run of form continued with hundreds against Pakistan and New Zealand.
Retirement looked the furthest thing from his mind when the 1995/96 season began, but a lack of runs against the West Indies and Pakistan suggested the end was near.
Deservedly, Boon was able to go out on his own terms when he made a stylish 110 in the Second Test against Sri Lanka.
The top-order star retired one match later, bringing to a close a stellar 107 match career.
Since his retirement, Boon has maintained his relationship with cricket.
He was a national selector for a number of years, before deciding to pursue a role as Match Referee.
Number 5 – Indian Feast
Boon’s sparkling skills were on show in the 1991/92 home series win against India.
After having enjoyed success against the sub-Continent rivals earlier in his career, Boon played a month of perfect cricket to install himself as the nation’s best batsman.
Scores of 129, 135 and 107 in the final three Tests wrapped up the 4-0 series win, and earned him the Man of the Series honours.
Number 4 – Double Trouble
In a glittering career, it is somewhat surprising that Boon only registered one double century.
Against the Kiwis in Perth, Boon plundered a strong attack (including Sir Richard Hadlee) to all parts of the ground.
It was an important innings for Boon, which worked as a catalyst for his future imperious form. The 200 finished as his highest score in test cricket.
Number 3 – Trio of Test Tons
The 1993 tour of England was a magical experience for Boon, who entered the history books with three consecutive centuries.
It all started in the Second Test, where Boon belted a classy 164* to guide Australia to a crushing innings victory.
His brilliant form continued with a gritty 101 in the drawn Third Test.
The record breaking series marched on when he smashed 107 in another innings victory in the Fourth Test.
Number 2 – The Hat Trick
While he dominated many Ashes campaigns with the bat, Boon’s best memory, or maybe Shane Warne’s, was his role in the famous MCG hat-trick in 1994.
With Phil de Freitas and Darren Gough falling meekly, the leg spinning legend found himself on the verge of glory.
Positioned at back-pad, Boon sensed something was on the cards when Devon Malcolm strode nervously to the crease.
As expected, Malcolm managed to glove the ball to the on-side, where Boon produced his best impersonation of an Olympic diver to snare the stunning grab.
Number 1 – Bicentennial Man
The Bicentenary test of 1988 was one of the most important matches in Australia’s short history.
Three days into the SCG Test, and it looked as if touring England had failed to read the script.
After having amassed 425, the visitors rolled Australia for a miserly 214.
With the follow-on enforced, Australia were left with a monumental task to save the match.
On a slowish wicket, Boon carried his bat for one and a half days to save Australia from the jaws of defeat.
It was innings built around grit and determination that put Boon’s name on the international stage.
The 184* was easily his most important, and arguably best innings of his career.
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia
First Posted 07 December, 2012 9:00AM AEST