Part 1 – Tournaments, trophies and tour matches
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.