28. The World Championship of Cricket, MCG, March 1985
Before there was the Champions Trophy in between World Cups there was the World Championship of Cricket in March 1985 neatly placed between the 1983 and 1987 World Cups. All seven test playing nations of the time entered teams in the event organised by the Victorian Cricket Association to mark the 150th anniversary of the founding of the state of Victoria.
Lights were installed at the Melbourne Cricket Ground for the event and were switched on for the first time, during the opening match between England and Australia, drawing a crowd of 82,494. Three was a group stage plus semi finals but Australia failed to make the semi finals. The final was between India and Pakistan under lights at the MCG with India victorious and collecting the $32,000 in prizemoney.
To coincide with the Americas Cup being held in Fremantle and the associated Festival of Sport, cricket got in on the act with Australia, England, the West Indies and Pakistan participating in a one day tournament, playing each other once plus a final, over 9 days across the New Year period.
All games were played at the WACA with the lights at the ground used for the first time. Dean Jones scored back to back centuries against Pakistan and England but Ian Botham destroyed Australia on New Years Day with a whirlwind 68 off 39 balls.
England went on to defeat Pakistan in the final lead by the familiar names of Botham, Alan Lamb and Mike Gatting as captain.
It definitely was a thing in the 80’s to have an ODI tournament to celebrate getting ground lights.
26. The Super Challenge, Docklands, Melbourne, 2000
Docklands stadium in Melbourne opened for AFL football in March 2000 and it wasn’t long before cricket got in on the act hosting South Africa in a 3 game ODI series at the roofed, indoor stadium just a few months later in August. August is most definitely winter and football season in Australia and this event, The Super Challenge, was part of a brief foray by Cricket Australia into playing matches during the Australian winter.
The ground was a slippery in patches and some fielders resorted to wearing football boots instead of cricket spikes to get traction in the outfield. The drop in pitches were grown in hot houses in Seymour in country Victoria under the careful eye of legendary Adelaide Oval curator, Les Burdett and dropped into place so cricket could be played just 5 days after an AFL game.
The 2001 series against South Africa attracted over 90,000 spectators and was tied at 1-1 with one match a tie. The Super Challange II pushed deeper into winter and out of cricket season being played in mid-June 2002. Australia took on Pakistan in 2 matches at Docklands and 1 match at the Gabba in Brisbane; Pakistan won 2-1. 11,000 people turned at the Gabba up to see Australia and Pakistan in a an ODI on a Wednesday night in June.
25. Top End Tours, Cairns & Darwin, 2003 & 2008
Cricket Australia pushed on with winter cricket scheduling unfurling the Top End Tours in July 2003 with the reason given to keep up with their commitments of the Future Tours Program.
Bangladesh toured playing 2 Tests in Australia’s most recent additions as Test venues – Cairns and Darwin – followed by 3 ODIs at the same grounds. Australia celebrated the Top End Tours by crushing Bangladesh 2-0 and 3-0 respectively. Sri Lanka toured in July 2004 for 2 Tests only and then the Top End Tours had a hiatus.
As per the Future Tours program Australia were meant play 2 Tests and 3 ODIs against Bangladesh in 2008 and so the Top End Tours were kicked back into life. But in a masterful piece of spin Cricket Australia downgraded the series to 3 ODIs only because the 2 Tests would have clashed with the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
Certainly this is one of the better reasons given for ignoring the Future Tours Program – points for creativity. I’m still trying to see how it was a clash (TV perhaps) and surprised that an event such as the Olympics might have slipped though unnoticed when the initial fixturing was done.
The points to note from the last installment of the Top End Tour (so far) were Brett Geeves made his ODI debut and in a small story Andrew Symonds was sacked from the Australian set up after going fishing instead of attending a ‘non-compulsory’ team meeting. Hmm, a long list of previous misdemeanors didn’t help Symonds cause.
24. Chappell-Hadlee Trophy, 2004-2010
Remember this? It was meant to be cricket’s answer to the Bledisloe Cup an annual best of 3 one day cricket series. The first series was in Australia in December 2004 and the result was a tied series 1-1 with a washout.
The second series in New Zealand in December 2005 was won by Australia 2-1 thanks in part to some great death bowling by Victorian paceman Mick Lewis. His international career would unravel in South Africa a few months later.
Notably in February 2007 Australia sent a weakened team to New Zealand, with a number of stars rested prior to the World Cup, and were beaten 3-0. Mike Hussey captained this team.
The Trophy was contested in 2008/09 and 2009/10 in 5 match series but then things got a bit strange and the most recent time the Chappell Hadlee Trophy was contested was when the two team met at the 2011 World Cup – Australia won.
Australia and New Zealand are not due to meet in a bilateral one day series until February 2017 so the Chappell Hadlee trophy is on hold for now.
23. Lilac Hill Festival Match, Perth, 1990-2008
The Lilac Hill Festival match in Perth was designed to be a semi serious tour opener for international teams in the mold of the Arundel Castle match on tours of England. The matches commenced in 1990 and featured some retired greats of the game, most notably Denis Lillee who played in the first 10 matches for the ACB/CA Chairmans XI against the touring nation.
The concept is best described by Mark Weinman, from the LHFM Committee, “Each year for the last twenty but one, eight to ten thousand people have made their way on a summer day to a field in semi-rural Caversham, on the banks of the Swan River. The field was transformed into an arena and the event was the Lilac Hill Festival Match – a unique combination of world class cricket, entertainment, food, beverage and crowd diversity.”
Probably the most memorable game was the 10th anniversary game in 1999 when when Dennis Lillee played his final match for the Chairman’s XI alongside his son Adam and they combined to rip through the touring Pakistan team.
By 2008 tighter touring schedules and reluctance of international touring teams to participate meant the Lilac Hill match died but the good people of Perth have resurrected the concept in another way using T20, which is elsewhere in this list.
22. Champions Cup, WACA, April 2001
Points to you if you have ever even heard of this. Before there was the Champions League T20 there was the Champions Cup in Perth in April 2001. It brought together the domestic one day champions of Australia, South Africa, India and New Zealand in a week long tournament at the WACA.
The teams were:
Western Australia (Australia)
KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa)
Central Districts (New Zealand)
Western Australia and KwaZulu-Natal met in the final with the locals victorious fielding a batting line up of Marcus North, Justin Langer, Simon Katich, Murray Goodwin and Mike Hussey. The powerful WA XI contained only 2 player who didn’t play Test cricket – wicket keeper Ryan Campbell (who played for ODIs for Australia) and allrounder Kayde Harvey. The bowling attack contained future and past test players in Brad Hogg, Matthew Nicholson, Brad Williams and Jo Angel. Western Australia pocketed $35,000 prizemoney for their efforts.
As far as I can see there is no record of another Champions Cup being played and it wasn’t until 2009 that the T20 version was introduced, the Champions League.
Luke Feldman – injured in last Shield match. Not sure when he will be available.
Marcus Stoinis – I’m hearing he has broken a finger no word on a replacement player as yet
Peter Handscomb – injured a finger and will be out for 3 weeks replaced by Tom Triffit from the Supplementary list.
Glenn Maxwell and probably Cameron White will be called up for ODI duty at the back end of the season, but it really shouldn’t cause too much concern for the Stars given the depth and quality of their squad.
The Stars went all out in October announcing the signing Alex Keath, Marcus Stoinis and James Muirhead to multi year deals. In November they then traded 22 year old Muirhead to Perth Scorchers in return for 31 year old Michael Beer. It’s been a topsy turvey year for Muirhead – selected to play for T20 Australia in January, World T20 in March, sign an extension at your club in October then be traded out in November. Bizzare.
The Stars have moved smartly on their internationals, and selected two English players, Luke Wright and Kevin Peitersen who are out of favour with the national set up and therefore will be available for the entire tournament. Luke Wright is a proven BBL performer add to that the Big Cheese, sorry, Big Dog, KP and it equals ego time at the MCG. Kevin is a winner so he will want to win the BBL, the World Cup will pale in comparison for Kevin, because Kevin is all about Kevin. Good luck! The loss of Brad Hodge probably won’t even be felt with a middle order of KP, Glen Maxwell and Dave Hussey.
The squad is full of Australian representatives. Look for James Faulkner to be given extra responsibilities as the number one allrounder, and the back ups outside the XI are pretty handy too – Rob Quiney and Clint McKay for example.
Clive Rose is a handy back up spin option to Michael Beer. Jackson Bird is on the return form injury and Queensland Luke Feldman joins the sqaud – on his 4th BBL team in just 4 seasons: Hurricanes, Sixers, Thunder and now Stars – joins the squad.
I expect Dave Hussey to play the sinker role as perfected by Simon Katich – ie sinking down the order so that he doesn’t bat and giving more oportunities to young bucks like Faulkner and Marcus Stoinis when he recovers from his broken finger
The wicket keeping position is the only one presenting any issues with Matthew Wade departing and Peter Handscomb a ready made replacement until he broke his finger. Former WA and Tasmanian keeper Tom Triffit has been drafted in as a replacement until Handscombe regains fitness.
With the amount of Australian representatives at their disposals the Stars have been big underachievers in the BBL despite regualrly being pre tournament favourites. This year with regular internationals I’m predicting they will improve but not enough to win the Big Bash.
Jayde Herrick – injured his back and replaced by Andrew Fekete from the Supplementary list.
International duties will hit the Renegades particularly with their inspirational captain Aaron Finch available only for the first half of the season. Fortunately the Renegades have strengthened their top order batting with Callum Ferguson crossing the border form Adelaide and Matthew Wade crossing the CBD from the Melbourne Stars.
Tom Cooper and Ben Rhorer, who has recovered from a head knock in early November, are the middle order mainstays. From the practice matches it seems Wade will have the keeping gloves, but don’t be surprised if the keeper for the past two seasons, Peter Neville plays as a batsmen only given his intelligent middle order batting.
Dwayne Bravo returns and brings fellow Windies all-rounder Andre Russell ‘The Love Muscle’. The West Indies depart for World Cup preparations in January but Jesse Ryder will be available for the remainder of the tournament as he has missed out on the New Zealand World Cup squad of 30. He shapes as a likely candidate to replace Aaron Finch at the top of the order.
Peter Siddle being dropped from the Test team is a bonus for the Renegades, but it remains to be seen how many games James Pattinson will play in his carefully managed comeback from a back injury. Nathan Rimmington is the constant of the pace bowlers and Nicholas Winter is a rookie paceman from South Australia.
Andrew Fekete replaces Jayde Herrick and the Half Volleys – It could be career over for the cult hero with the shaved bongo, headband and tattoos who was the poster boy of the Renegades last season but broke down with injury in the first match and wasn’t seen again. Herrick moved to Tasmania seeking opportunities after he was cut by Victoria at the end of last season but to date is yet to add to his first class career. His current back injury could mean curtains on his career.
Muttiah Muralitharan is a big loss but leg spinner Fawad Ahmed is ready to step out of his shadow and onto the big stage. Aaron O’Brien provides variety with his off spin.
Feel good story of BBL|03 Zimbabwean rookie Solomon Mire has returned to Zimbabwe and might be seen here during the World Cup. The Renegades back up batsmen are Alex Doolan, former Perth Scorcher Tom Beaton and young Victorian Matthew Short, who also bowls a bit of off spin.
The backbone of the Renegades line up are heading into their third season together now (Finch, Cooper, Rhorer, Neville, Rimmington, O’Brien) and the squad has definitely been strengthened in the top order batting but it remains to be seen how the Renegades can cover the losses of the West Indies allrounders and Aaron Finch come the business end of the season.
Hobart present a very experienced line up and have recruited well on the international player’s front. Alex Hales is a destructive top order batsmen when he gets going and Hobart did well to prise him away from the Strikers. Darren Sammy can hit a long ball and will bring a lot of showbiz to proceedings, he also brings some new rhyming slang to the warm ups, ‘Don’t forget to stretch your Darren Sammys (hammys)’ Hobart have done well to secure a like for like replacement for Sammy in the form of England’s Tim Bresnan.
The line up includes two recent T20 international debutantes Ben Dunk and leg spinner Cameron Boyce plus Hobart performed strongly at the Champions League T20 in September with a similar line up. It will be interesting to see who takes the gloves for Hobart. Tim Paine is the incumbent, but Dunk kept for Australia in November’s T20 internationals. And will Hobart play both Paine and Dunk? Paine was recently dropped from the Shield line up and Dunk handed the gloves.
Dunk has been in career best form so far this summer, blasting a double century in the Matador Cup and earning national T20 honours. He was player of the tournament ion BBL|03 and Hobart will be hoping for more of the same at the top of the order this season.
The top 6 look set and ready to fire but Hobart will be hoping Travis Birt can recapture his form from BBL|02. None of the top 6 bowl so there may be a need to bring in another bowler and promote allrounder Evan Gulbis higher up the order. All rounder Luke Butterworth is an unfortunate omission from the squad as his career appears to tail off due to injury – this season he has captained the Tasmanian Futures League team.
The Hurricanes will lose Bailey and maybe Hilfenhaus and Doherty to ODI duty but have replacement batsmen and pace bowlers to handle this. Despite losing two quality experienced t20 pacemen in Bollinger and Laughlin they should be able to cover these losses with their international siginings and the younger Sam Rainbird and Joe Mennie. George Bailey will be harder to replace, Tim Paine is a very capable replacement skipper, but the batting options of Michael Hill and Dom Michael haven’t got the runs on the board nor the explosiveness of The Guv.
Timm van der Gugten is one of those guys you go, ’Has this guy really been on the same BBL list for three years and still not played a game?’ And the answer is yes. He’s made more appearances for the Dutch national team than in domestic cricket in Australia. He must have signed a 3 year deal but at just 23 years old time is on his side. Nonetheless there is probably more chance of seeing him playing in the World Cup than the Big Bash, if only the Netherlands had made the World Cup.
This is a very settled and experienced line up that know how to play as a team, plus the international signings fill the deficiencies in the line up nicely. Hobart will be a very hard team to beat and will be astutely lead by The Governor, George Bailey.
Chris Sabburg – the gun fielder who according to some ‘deserved a Baggy Green’ for his fielding efforts in the Gabba test last year.
Daniel Vettori (New Zealand)
Samuel Badree (West Indies)
Replacement: Andrew Flintoff (England)
1. Joe Burns
2. Dan Christian
3. Peter Forrest
4. Chris Lynn
5. Nathan Reardon
6. Ben Cutting
7. James Hopes *
8. James Peirson +
9. Daniel Vettori
10. Alister McDermott
11. Samuel Badree
The Squad players
Mitchell Johnson Simon Milenko
The squad looks to have plenty of all rounders, who can produce a firepower innings but may lack a batsmen or two. There are plenty of fast bowlers in the line up but surprisingly a couple of very low profile ones have been preferred to more credentialed candidates – NIck Buchanan (son of John), Mark Stekete, who has played a handful of matches for the Heat and Queensland, Cameron Gannon who has had chucking problems in the past and hasn’t been seen in Queensland colours for a while.
Interestingly the supplementary list of players, which can be used if a squad player gets injured, includes fast bowlers Ryan Harris and Peter George as well as batsmen Ben McDermott, son of Craig.
The Heat have some low profile players, none more so than Simon Milenko, the best player in Brisbane grade cricket last season. The allrounder managed 3 Matador Cup games this year scoring a rapid half century and snaring some wickets until injury struck. Milenko is a highly credential young buck over the injury and making his way on the domestic cricket scene. If he gets a game, remember you heard the name here first at the Milenko fan club.
Of the internationals, Daniel Vettori returns yet again for the Heat and new signing, West Indies leg spinner Samuel Badree will depart mid January to be replaced by the comeback king Andrew Flintoff for a few matches – I’m not expecting much from Freddie to be honest.
Chris Hartley departs for Sydney Thunder meaning the keeping gloves are handed over to Jimmy Pierson – who? Peirson has only managed 3 one day games for Queensland (but did score a couple of half centuries) and a T20 tour match for the Cricket Australia XI but gets his opportunity in the big time now being the only keeper on the Heat’s list.
Nathan Hauritz also departed for the Thunder meaning that the Heat’s spinners are all internationals. Luke Pomersbach retired from professional cricket at the end of last season and his clean striking will be missed.
Australian players Mitchell Johnson and Shane Watson won’t play. Chris Lynn hasn’t played yet this season for Queensland due to a shoulder reconstruction in the off season, so he must be considered an unlikely starter.
Underestimate this team at your peril. Yes, they may have an unknown keeper and low profile fast bowlers plus the enigma that is Simon Milenko but the Heat have plenty of experienced allrounders and some very clean strikers if correctly deployed, Ben Cutting being a case in point.
The squad looks a bit light on for batting but has plenty of variety in the bowling options with plenty of pace bowlers and 3 spinners to choose from plus a few middle of the road all rounders.
The batting will rely heavily on new recrtuits, Craig Simmons and Brad Hodge. Simmons, who was brought over from the Scorchers following an impressive rags to riches, from Powercor worker to century maker and BBL matchwinner, debut season in BBL|03.
39 year old Brad Hodge is also a massive signing as he continues to be one of the world pre-eminent T20 batsmen in the world. Hodge was in fine form for Wellington in the recently completed Georgie Pie Super Smash the New Zealand T20 competition.
Look for keeper Tim Ludeman to be given more responsibility in the batting order and Kieron Pollard will provide the late innings firepower for the first half of the tournament prior to the Windies departing for World Cup preperations in early January.
South African born Dutch player Ryan ten Doeschate has been the leading all rounder of the Associate nations for a number of seasons and has previously played for the Hobart Hurricanes.
Shaun Tait broke down during his ill-fated retuen to domestic one day cricket in October and it will be interesting to see if he can get through the full 8 game schedule of the BBL.
Adelaide have an indefinite extension to contract to their 18th players following the passing of Phillip Hughes.
Spectacular Day 4 collapses and two twin century makers highlighted this round.
Tasmania v South Australia, Bellerive Oval
South Australian bowlers Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa and Dan Worall chose not to play following the death of Phillip Hughes; in their absence Trent Lawford earned a recall.
Tasmania made a big selection call dropping Tim Paine and picking Ben Dunk as wicket keeper. Paine’s modest batting record – 1 first class century, 8 years ago, without the gloves – may have prompted the selection change. It is a big story because, when fit, Paine has been Tasmania’s first choice keeper since 2007/08.
Ed Cowan, with a remodelled technique and more attacking attitude, dominated this match scoring twin centuries – 147 and 158 for a total of 315 for the match.
Batting first and lead by Cowan’s 147, Tasmania managed 362. South Australia’s best bowlers were Joe Mennie with 4/68 and Trent Lawford returned to first class cricket in style taking a five wicket haul with 5/82.
In reply South Australia could only manage 302 with a collection of individual half centuries. Tasmania’s second innings was once again built around Ed Cowan who scored more then half the team total with 157 out of 8/298 declared.
Set 359 for victory South Australia were abysmal collapsing to 4/5 as Ben Hilfenhaus ripped through the top order taking 3 for 0 in 4 overs. Hilfenhaus finished with bowling figures of 14-11-11-5 as South Australia were routed for 45 all out in 39 overs. Callum Feguson top scored for the Redbacks with 11 off 94 balls in an innings containing 5 ducks.
Tasmania won by 313 runs.
Points: Tasmania 8.73, South Australia 2.02
New South Wales v Queensland, SCG
For New South Wales Nic Maddison elected not to play in this match and captain Moises Henriques returned from a calf injury. 31 year old New Zealand born off spinner William Somerville was recalled. In a topical matter, batsmen Ben Rhorer has not played since he was struck on the head and concussed against Victoria on November 3.
Queensland played two spinners at the SCG – legspinner Cameron Boyce and debutante off spinner Cameron Brimblecombe. Brimblecombe has now replaced Sam Rainbird as having the best name in Australian domestic cricket.
Batting first Queensland were bowled out for 268 with veteran skipper James Hopes top scoring with 85 at number 8. The New South Wales first innings was hampered by rain on Day 2 and more so on Day 3 with only 47 overs bowled on the day.
Opener Ryan Carters put in a marathon effort batting on all 4 days of the match to score 198 off 432 balls before being bowled by a ripper delivery form legspinner Cameron Boyce just 2 runs short of his maiden first class double hundred. Carters was ably supported by Kurtis Patterson who made his second first class ton with 126.
During the New South Wales innings Queensland were severely hampered with injuries to Ben Cutting, who managed just 4 overs and Luke Feldman who bowled 12 overs. The Bulls were left with only 3 bowlers who bowled plenty: Hopes (47 overs), Cameron Boyce (43.2 overs) and Brimblecombe (43 overs)
Queensland’s second innings was a disaster with them collapsing from 3/74 to 99 all out losing 7/25 as Sean Abbott ripped through the middle and lower order taking 6/14 off 7 overs.
New South Wales won by an innings and 80 runs.
Points: New South Wales 8.07, Queensland 0.68
Western Australia v Victoria, WACA
For Western Australia opener Marcus Harris was dropped and replaced by 24 year old batsmen Tom Beaton, who hadn’t played a Shield match since Novemeber 2011. Instead of easing Beaton back into the team at number 5 or 6 Beaton was thrust into the number 3 position with Michael Klinger, who has been a rock at number 3 this season, moving up to open.
For Victoria, their best batsmen this season, Peter Handscomb missed due to a finger injury suffered at training the day prior to the game. Marcus Stoinis who has batted at number 3 this season moved up to open and Dan Christian came in at number 3 to make it two unlikely number 3 batsmen in this match.
Batting first Victoria made 350 thanks to 92 to Rob Quiney and a quick fire half century – 53 (51 balls) – to Aaron Finch batting at number 5, a position at which he had some success playing county cricket for Yorkshire in the winter and perhaps he is better suited in red ball cricket rather than opening.
In reply Western Australia were bowled out for 287 with the innings held together by 101 to Adam Voges.
Victoria’s second innings was a blitz, the Bushrangers ran up 3/341 off 58 overs at 5.8 runs per over. Marcus Stoinis made 99 off 92 balls, Dan Christian made 105 off 99 balls and Cameron White made 91 off 97 balls. The only sour note for Victoria was there was only one century maker not three. The WA bowlers to suffer the most were Sam Makin 10.4-1-81-2 and in particular Ashton Agar 11-0-105-0 at 9.5 runs per over.
Set 405 for victory, WA got off to the worst possible start with Cameron Bancroft dismissed off the second ball of the innings. The Warriors slumped to 5/111 before Adam Voges and Ashton Agar, 62, steadied with a 150 run partnership. Agar was dismissed by Dan Christian who collected three lower order wickets in quick succession to snuff out any hope of a WA revival. The Warriors were bowled out for 287, as per their first innings with Adam Voges not out on 139, his second century of the match.
Victoria won by 117 runs
Points: Victoria 8.83, Western Australia 1.37
New South Wales
With the Sheild season now at it’s half way point it’s time to have a look at the leading run scorers and wicket takers