Unusual Limited Overs Matches in Australia – Part 5


5. T20 begginings, January 12 & 13, 2005

What was the first t20 match played in Australia?

Cricket Australia fixtured Australia A and Pakistan for a t20 match at Adelaide Oval on January 13, 2005 but two domestic teams got a jump on this.

The first T20 match in Australia was a domestic match between WA and Victoria at the WACA the night before on 12 January 2005 . The WACA was a sellout with 20,000 fans turning up to see a Victorian side with Shane Warne take on Western Australia.

The Vics were in Perth for a 50 over game a couple of days later. My recollections and research have not unearthed how exactly this match was organised, but I do seem to recall the always innovative Western Australian Cricket Association making it happen.

The Vics made 141 batting first but were swept aside by Luke Ronchi (before he became a Kiwi) who belted 67 off 24 balls to guide WA to victory in just 12.1 overs

Dave Hussey batting for Australia A
Dave Hussey batting for Australia A

The next evening in Adelaide 21,000 fans turned up to see Australia A defeat Pakistan. Half centuries to Cameron White and Dave Hussey meant Australia A’s 185 was too much for Pakistan to chase.

It is easily forgotten now in the era of endless glove changes and unscheduled drinks breaks by the men in fluro vests but T20 was initially designed to be very fast paced with continuous action – new batsmen had 90 seconds to take guard after the fall of a wicket and ran out to the centre, timeframes for bowling overs were strict and incurred penalties. In this match both Australia A and Pakistan incurred a six-run penalty for a slow over-rate.

 4. Australian Cricket Association All Star XI v Australia, Gabba, November 2008, 2009, 2010

Cricket Australia are really keen to have matches where Australia plays against Australia.

In November 2008, as a prelude to the international Summer a T20 match was played at the Gabba the Sunday before the first test. The match was  between the Australian Cricketers Association All Stars XI (the best of the state based Big Bash from the previous season plus the recently retired Adam Gilchrist and Justin Langer) and an Australian XI featuring most of the Australian T20 team.

The Australian Cricket Association All Stars XI upset the Australian XI thanks to 65 to man of the match, Brad Hodge.

In 2009 the same format was repeated, with retired legends Shane Warne, (captain) Glenn McGrath, Matthew Hayden and Gilchrist joining the Australian Cricketers Association All Stars XI.

Glenn McGrath showed the crowd of 16,000 that he still had it taking 3/18 off 4 overs. Here is the master at work.

And Adam Gilchrist giving Australia some tap.

In 2010 the format changed slightly with the Australian Test players not involved in the match. Instead it was the Australian Crickets Association All Stars XI versus the Aussie Fans XI and it’s fair to say the concept fell flat.

It felt like Australia A v Australia B without the Test stars and of the retired legends that had played previously only Matthew Hayden fronted this time.

Hayden had a good time skippering the Fans XI to victory, making a few runs with his long handled Mongoose bat and, as all good captains should, brought himself on for a bowl and took a wicket.

Matthew Hayden led the Dutch team to victory. Sorry the Fans XI to victory.
Matthew Hayden led the Dutch team to victory. Sorry the Fans XI to victory.

Brad Hodge did what he does best making 85 off 50 balls for the ACA All Stars XI to win the man of the match award again.

In a low light, Dirk Nannes broke Tim Paine’s finger while he was batting, probably ending his international career. And it probably brought down the curtain on this match concept too.

3. Perth Scorchers v Legends XI, Aquinas College, Perth, 15 December 2014

The Western Australian Festival of Cricket organisation didn’t rest on it’s laurels when the Lilac Hill match was wound up instead they found a new location, Aquinas College, Perth, and a new format, T20, to start up another festival match tradition.

In 2013 the new era began with an Australia XI v World XI  match but in 2014 the game was a warm up match for the Perth Sorchers BBL campaign with the Scorchers taking on a Legends XI including many former Australian greats plus Brian Lara.

The match was streamed live on the Cricket Australia website and could well become an annual event – all Big Bash teams are looking for warm up matches prior to the BBL season.

2. Andrew Johns plays for New South Wales, January 7 & 10, 2007

T20 cricket was seen as a joke – well at least by the powers that be at Cricket New South Wales when rugby league legend Andrew Johns padded up for the Blues in 2 T20 matches in 2007.

This was the second season of the state t20 competition and it is fair to say it was very different to the current Big Bash League.

Johns presence was purely a promotional tool as he only played in NSW’s two home matches and the experiment was somewhat farcical.

The first match was against South Australia in Johns home town of Newcastle. Johns bowled 1 over and batted at number 11. He faced just one ball as Simon Katich refused him the strike in the last over.

In his second match against Tasmania Johns made 9 off 10 balls.

1. Super 8s, Cairns, Townsville, Brisbane, July-August 1996.

Points to you if you have ever heard of this. It is real and it is strange.

In July 1996 Super 8s commenced with the six Australian states playing a weekend of matches in Cairns, followed by a weekend in Townsville and then a finals weekend at the Gabba. If you can explain the finals system used in Brisabane you are a smarter than me.

The rules of Super 8s were:

Teams of 8 players

Matches of 14 overs with 7 players (all except the keeper) having to bowl between 1 to 3 overs

Hits over the fence were worth 8 not 6

Batsmen had to retire at 50 but could return if the rest of the team went out

The last man standing rule applied – when only one not out batsman remained he continued batting with a runner until dismissed

Here is Justin Langer belting 84* off 18 balls in Townsville. The games in Townsville were played at the North Queensland Cowboys rugby league stadium hence the unusual boundaries.

For the record Western Australia chased down 179 in 12.4 overs to defeat Queensland in the Grand Final thanks to some crisp hitting by Justin Langer and Damien Martyn.

All the scorecards are here if you are Super keen.

The three weekends in Cairns, Townsville and Brisbane lost over $1 million and the annual event did not eventuate with 1996 being the first and last year of the domestic Super 8s.

An interesting footnote:

The ACB believed Super 8s would be a ‘third generation’ of cricket and held International Super 8s tournaments in Kaula Lumpur in July 1996 and August 1997. Plans were afoot to have a World Super 8s at the WACA in October 1998 but never eventuated. More info is here.

Australia A won the tournament in 1996.

Super 8 Aus A

Don’t take my word for it – here are the words of the ACB.

Super 8 1 Super 8 2


My Top 12 Michael Bevan One Day Innings

Michael Bevan was a one day cricket batting maestro.

Here are my top 12 Michael Bevan one day innings – some you may recall some you may never have heard of.


12. 105 Australia A v England, SCG, 12 January 1995

Australia A needed to win this match and overtake England on net run rate to make the finals of the World Series in 1994/95.  Bevan had been in the Australian team at the start of the tournament but dropped down to Australia A.

Batting first Australia A needed to set a big total and Bevan (105 off 102 balls) and Greg Blewett, who both made centuries as the team made 269, set England a total and a net run rate target that proved beyond them.

11. 106 Australia v South Africa, Docklands, Melbourne, 16 August 2000

In the first game of international cricket played indoors at the Docklands stadium in Melbourne Australia were struggling at 3 for 37 in the 12th over when Bevan, batting at number 4, combined with Steve Waugh for a 222 run partnership.

When Bevan was out for 106 in the 46th over the total was 259; the recovery mission was complete and Australia recorded an easy 94 run victory. South Africa must have been sick of the sight of Bevan and Steve Waugh by 2000.

10. 130 Australian Cricket Academy v Australia, Adelaide Oval, 28 October 1997

For the 10 year anniversary of the Australian Cricket Academy a match was played a the Adelaide Oval between the Cricket Academy and Australia.

The  Cricket Academy XI batted first and boasting a batting line up of Michael Slater, Adam Gilchrist, Greg Blewett, Stuart Law and Ricky Ponting ran up a total of  277.

Led by fast bowlers Paul “Blocker” Wilson (now an international umpire) and a young Brett Lee, 2 years before his test debut when he was still Shane Lee’s brother, the Academy team reduced Australia to 5 for 77.

Enter Micahel Bevan.

Bevan scored 130 off 129 balls to single-handedly save Australia’s blushes – the next highest score was 32. The match ended in a tie after number 10 Adam Dale (remember him) hit the last ball of the match for 4.

9. 87 * Australia v India, 5th ODI,  Goa, 8 April 2001 

Australia and India played a 5 game one day series after the famous 2001 India v Australia test series.

With the series locked at 2-2 after 4 matches it was winner take all in the final game in Goa. Cometh the hour, cometh the man. Australia had been set 265 for victory and were on track thanks to a whirlwind 76 to Adam Gilchrist. Regular wickets made the task harder but Bevan and Ian Harvey of all people guided Australia home with a couple of overs to spare.

It probably came as no surprise to Indian fans that Bevan would steer Australia home on Indian soil – he had done exactly the same thing almost exactly three years prior.

India, Australia and Zimbabwe played a tri-series in India in April 1998 with Australia and India meeting in the final. Despite Australia being unable to beat India in the preliminary round, they beat India in the final, chasing down 228 with 8 balls to spare thanks to 75 not out to Bevan.

8. 135* Western Australia v New South Wales, Mercantile Mutual Cup final, WACA, February 25 2001

Michael Bevan had never previously scored a domestic one day hundred and choose the perfect time to do so – the Mercantile Mutual Cup final in 2000/01.

Western Australia had scored 272 off their 50 overs and New South Wales looked to be up against it with a line up of 4 batsmen, 2 all rounders and 5 bowlers. Opening with Brad Haddin, a young Michael Clarke made a half century but it was Bevan, batting at number 3, who guided NSW home with an unbeaten 135 of 137 balls against a bowling line up of Jo Angel, Brad Williams, Brendon Julian, Tom Moody and Brad Hogg (who went the journey: 7 – 0 – 47-0)

It is interesting to note in the WA innings, Michael Hussey, made a quickfire 84 from 68 balls with 11 boundaries batting at number 6 (below Brendon Julian!) Hussey had been a gritty opener for WA but after being dropped from their one day side reinvented him self as a dashing finsher batting down the order.

7. 65 Australia v South Africa, Edgbaston, 1999 World Cup Semi Final, 17 June 1999

Michael Bevan played his best when the stakes were highest, here he was the top scorer from both teams in what is considered by some to be the greatest one day game ever played.

Australia had been reduced to 4-68 off 16 overs by Shaun Pollock and Allan Donald; who else but Steve Waugh – fresh off his 120* against South Africa that got Australia into the semi finals – and Michael Bevan got Australia back on track with half centuries. After Waugh departed and Alan Donald blew away the tail, Bevan was last man out for 65 off 110 balls.

The end of this match is well known – here it is.

6. 69 Australia v West Indies, Mohali, 1996 World Cup Semi Final, 14 March 1996

Australia had already lost to the West Indies i the group stage of the World Cup and were in serious trouble when Micahel Bevan joined Stuart Law a the crease with the score 4/15 in the Semi final in Mohali.

The top 4 of M Waugh (0), Taylor (1 off 11 balls ), Ponting (0 off 15 balls) and S Waugh (3) had been blown away by Curtley Ambrose and Ian Bishop.

Law (72 off 105 balls) and Bevan (69 off 110 balls) survived and then slowly accumulated runs to give the Australian total some respectability. Australia managed 8 for 207 thanks to the 138 run partnership between Law and Bevan – at the time the 3rd highest 5th wicket partnership in World Cups.

The West Indies were cruising at 2/165 and Australia tried everything – even Stuart Law bowling leg spin.  The Windies then rearraned their batting order, promoting hitters Roger Harper and Otis Gibson, panicked and imploded in spectacular fashion losing their last 8 wickets for 37 runs to lose by 5 runs.

The collapse

5. 103 Australia v South Africa, Centurion Park, 10 April 1997

This was the 6th match of a 7 game ODI series against South Africa with Australia leading 3-2 after 5 matches.

Australia was a team in transition- Michael DiVenuto debuted opening the innings, Adam Gilchrist took the gloves for the suspended Ian Healy before playing as a batsmen only when Healy returned.

Mark Taylor was dropped after 2 matches and Australia had 3 different captains in the 7 games – Taylor, Ian Healy and Steve Waugh.

South Africa batted first and ran up 284. Australia were looking out of their depth at 3-58  before Steve Waugh and Michael Bevan shared a 189 run stand. Bevan scored 103 of 95 balls and Australia cashed down the target with 6 balls to spare.

Adam Gilchrist, batting at 6, and Ian Healy were at the crease when the winning runs were scored.

Australia had won the 7 match ODI series with a game to spare.

4. 102* Australia v New Zealand, MCG, 29 January 2002

A familiar tale, New Zealand ran up 245 and in reply  Australia collapsed to be 6 for 82.

Enter Bevan slowly accumulating at first, apparently unfussed by the climbing required run rate and then knowing exactly when and how to accelerate the scoring rate as his innings developed and the target came within sight.

Bevan shared useful partnerships with tailenders Shane Warne (50 in 84 balls), Brett Lee (50 in 38 balls) and finally Andy Bichel (13 off 5 balls) as Australia chased down the target with 3 balls to spare. Bevan finished on 102 not out off 95 balls.

It was another chapter in the Bevan miracle worker book and one that I witnessed first hand.

3. 74* Australia v England, Port Elizabeth, 2003 World Cup, March 2 2003

This was the final group match for England and Australia – England needed to win to make it through to the Super 6 stage, Australia were looking to maintain their unbeaten record so far in the World Cup.

Andy Bichel ripped through England’s batting line up taking 7/20 off 10 overs, leaving Australia chasing 205 for victory.

Australia slumped to 4/48 before Darren Lehmann momentarily stemmed tide with Bevan and then Australia collapsed again to be floundering at 8/135. This brought the irrepressible Bichel to the crease and he combined with Bevan to guide Australia home in the final over with 2 balls to spare.

At the same venue a week later Bevan and Bichel were at it again leading a recovery mission batting first against New Zealand in the Super 6 stage.

2.  185* Rest of the World XI v Asia XI, Dhaka, Bangladesh, April 8 2000

For something called ICC Cricket Week in Dhaka, I think to celebrate Bangladesh’s inclusion as a Test playing nation, a one day game was played between an Asia XI and a Rest of the World XI.

Batting first the Asia XI made 320 and the Rest of the World XI were up against it facing a monster chase. Enter Michael Bevan who made 185 not out off 132 balls with 19 4’s and 5 6’s when no other batsmen made more than 28.

At 7/196 after 37 overs Bevan found an unlikely allie in number 9, Andy Caddick (batting ludicrously high up the order) and the pair put on 119 in 13 overs.

With 20 runs required to win off the final over Caddick managed a leg bye off the first ball then Bevan hit three consecutive 4’s off Abdul Razzaq.

2 balls left and 7 runs required, Andy Caddick didn’t bother grounding his bat returning for the second run and was run out. It left 6 runs needed off the last ball, Bevan hit it for 4 and the Asia XI won by 1 run.

1.  78* Australia v West Indies, SCG, January 1 1996

The original and still the best – the game that made Michael Bevan’s reputation as a one day player.

In a rain affected match at the SCG on New Years Day 1996 Australia had slumped to 6 for 38 chasing 173 for victory in 43 overs.

Bevan expertly worked with the tail notably Paul Reifell who made 34 off 48 balls to get Australia close. But when number 11 Glenn McGrath took strike with 3 balls left Australia still needed 5 runs for victory.

We all know what happened next. Here it is.

The long version

The short version

Have I missed any great Bevan innings? Let me know in the comments below.

Unusual Limited Overs Matches in Australia – Part 4

Australia playing…. Australia


10. Quadrangular World Series Cup, Australia, Australia A, England, Zimbabwe, 1994/95

The World Series Cup consisting of Australia and two touring teams playing triangular one day competition had been a staple of the Australian summer for more than a decade when the Australian Cricket Board decided to do something a little bit different in the summer of 1994/95.

England were touring for the Ashes and the other national team to make up the three cornered hat was Zimbabwe. Judging that Zimbabwe wouldn’t provide stiff enough opposition or draw a crowd or something along those lines the powers that be decided adding another Australian team – Australia A – into the mix to make it a 4 team competition and have more games featuring an Australian side was the way to go.

Australia on the left, Australia A on the right
Australia on the left, Australia A on the right

The Australia A team from 1994/95 reads like an Australian Test batting line up line up from about 2003/04. Nearly all the batsmen had either represented Australia or went onto careers for Australia in one form of cricket or another. The bowling was not as strong with a number of players who didn’t even have notable first class careers appearing.

Australia A
Australia A tema for the first final. Other squad members included Darren Lehmann, Tom Moody and Merv Hughes.

Australia and Australia A met twice in the preliminary rounds and both times Australia was victorious. They met again in the best of three finals series and once again Astralia won both matches however Australia A was closest in the first final when Ian Healy scored the winning runs for Australia off the last ball of the 50th over.

The series had a few notable controversies:

The matches in involving Australia A were not One Day Internationals but instead had List A status.

Paul Reiffell, who was the leading wicket taker for Australia A, was drafted into the Australia team for the finals and was made 12th man so did not play.

The idea of touring national teams playing Australia and Australia 2nd XI wasn’t greatly received and the idea was shelved.

Glenn McGrath and Matthew Hayden exchange pleasanteries
Glenn McGrath and Matthew Hayden exchange pleasantries. Note Hayden’s fasionable light green Australia A helmet.

9. Quadrangular A Team One Day Series, Darwin July 2014

For many years Cricket Australia have run an Emerging Players Tournament from the Centre of Excellence in Brisbane, usually inviting a couple of another nations to send along a team of up and comers to test themselves out against one another in the cricket off-season of July-August.

In 2014 Cricket Australia revived memories of 1994/95 by holding Quadrangular A Team limited overs series featuring India A, South Africa A, Australia A and NPS in Darwin.

The NPS (National Performance Squad) not to be confused with the NSP (National Selection Panel) another important TLA (Three Letter Acronym) from CA (Cricket Australia) regularly heard within the COE (Centre of Excellence)

Sean Abbott of the NPS in yellow, with an Australia A batsmen in green behind.
Sean Abbott of the NPS in yellow, with an Australia A batsmen in green behind.

The NPS consisted of younger, up and coming players who hadn’t made the Australia A team and I guess is just a new term for EP (Emerging Players) but it’s hard to think it’s not the Underperforming Squad when Alex Keath captained the team for a game….

Back to the cricket, NPS defeated Australia A in the first of two games in Darwin. It wasn’t even close with the NSP winning by 52 runs however it was their only win of the tournament.

Strong performances by Sean Abbott in this series lead to him being selected for Australian limited overs honours in Dubai few months later.

Also the rarely seen 3rd place playoff was back with the NPS losing to India A


8. Australia v Australia A, SCG, 14 December 1997

Three years after the quadrangle experiment in 1994/95 it was decided it would be a good idea to revive the Australia v Australia A concept.

It was a particularly fractured time to do so given that Australia had for the first time in 1997 decided to go with separate one day and Test captains on a permanent basis:  Mark Taylor was Test skipper and Steve Waugh was one day captain.

The Australia A team

Ian Healy had also been dropped from the one day side for Adam Gilchrist but remained as Test keeper and played in this match as the Australia A keeper.

Australia won, making their record against Australia A 5-0

Australia A were held together by Darren Lehmann’s 84* and similarly Ricky Ponting guided Australia’s successful chase of 204 with an over to spare by scoring 79*

11,000 fans obliged at the SCG and Australia v Australia A games haven’t been part of the summer since.


7. Australian Cricket Academy v Australia, Adelaide Oval, 17 October 1997

For the 10 year anniversary of the Australian Cricket Academy a match was played a the Adelaide Oval between the Cricket Academy and Australia.

Cricket Academy XI



The  Cricket Academy XI batted first and boasting a batting line up of Michael Slater, Adam Gilchrist, Greg Blewett, Stuart Law and Ricky Ponting ran up a total of  277.

Led by fast bowlers Paul “Blocker” Wilson (now an international umpire) and a young Brett Lee, 2 years before his test debut when he was still Shane Lee’s brother, the Academy team reduced Australia to 5 for 77.

Enter Micahel Bevan.

Bevan scored 130 off 129 balls to single-handedly save Australia’s blushes – the next highest score was 32. The match ended in a tie after number 10 Adam Dale (remember him) hit the last ball of the match for 4.

The names that stick out in the Cricket Academy XI are Dan Marsh as he was the only one not to go on to represent Australia and I’m pretty sure Michael Kasprowicz didn’t go to the Cricket Academy.

Here is Brett Lee dismissing Steve Waugh and his brother Shane Lee in the same over.


6. New South Wales v Australia, North Sydney Oval, 18 February 1992

This match was a warm up match for the 1992 World Cup. The New South Wales line up included Australian World Cup squad members Mark Taylor, Steve Waugh and Mike Whitney, experienced Australian players Greg Matthews and Geoff Lawson and a young Michael Bevan.

Batting first Australia made 277 thanks to a David Boon century and some late hitting by Tom Moody. All 4 wickets to fall were taken by New South Wales stalwart Brad ‘Burger Flipper’ McNamara.

In reply it was the lesser known Steve Small who led the way for New South Wales opening the batting with a run a ball hundred. Over to Cricinfo to describe the finish:

“Scores were level after 49.2 overs of NSW’s innings. No run was scored on the third ball and wickets fell on each of the final three balls of the match ([Greg] Matthews being run out attempting the winning run off the final delivery).”

The result was a tie, 277 runs apiece. Remarkably the same score as the Cricket Academy v Australia game 5 years later.


Some other notable games of Australia playing with itself in warm up matches:

A. Australia v NT Cheif Minister’s XI, Darwin, 6 August 1992

A warm up match for Australia’s tour of Sri Lanka which soon followed. Strangely the two NT players were put into the Australian XI captained by Allan Border.

The Chief Minister’s XI did inlcude one Territorian – Damien Martyn, who was born in Darwin.

It was Martyn (83) and South Australian keeper Tim Neilsen with a run a ball 40 that secured victory for the Chief Ministers XI over Australia. Shane Warne copped a bit of tap too: 9-0-67-0.


B. IA Healy XI v SR Waugh XI, Allan Border Field, 11 August 1999

A practice match in preparation for Australia’s tour of Zimbabwe. Steve Waugh’s team was basically the 1999 World Cup winning team and Healy’s was the rest. Despite Michael Slater making a century for the Healy XI, the Waugh XI were too strong.


C. Victoria v Australia, Junction Oval, 9 January 2001

The day Victoria nearly upset Australia. A full strength Australian team, including Victorian’s Shane Warne and Ian Harvey, played this match as preparation for the ODI tri-series starting a few days later.

Australia scored 271 off their 50 overs with Damien Martyn allowed to bat twice. In reply Victoria was led by 84 to Matthew Elliott and fell just 3 runs short of victory – all out for 269 in 49.1 overs.


D. Queensland  v Australia, Allan Border Field, 1 August 2014

The Queensland side was bolstered by some Australian players and Dave Warner made headlines for refusing to wear the Queensland Bulls uniform when offered by Queensland coach Stuart Law. It was a bit of a beat up really as explained in the Courier Mail:

Cricket Australia officials were at pains to point out that all non-Queenslanders in the Bulls line-up wore Australian training apparel.

The ‘Queensland’ side containing Warner (84 off 60 balls) finished on 9-345 off 45 overs, with Bulls batsman Joe Burns hitting 117 off 102 balls at the tiny Allan Border Field.

In response, Australia got off to a strong start thanks to Aaron Finch (90 off 66 balls), and some late big hitting from Steve Smith (66 not out off 40 balls) and James Faulkner (43 not out off 16 balls) got Darren Lehmann’s men over the line.

Young all-rounder Mitchell Marsh (2-24) bowled well at the death and backed that up with the bat, hitting 42 runs.

Dave Warner opening the batting for Queensland in his Australian gear.
Dave Warner opening the batting for Queensland in his Australian gear.

Unusual Limited Overs Matches in Australia – Part 3

World XI Matches

17. World Cricket Tsunami Appeal, Asia XI v ICC World XI, MCG, January 10, 2005

The Boxing Day Tsunami of 2004 affected hundreds of thousands of people across South East Asia and beyond, in terms of cricket nations India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka were affected with the Sri Lankan team abandoning a tour of New Zealand that was occurring at the time.


This match was 50 overs per side and was given one day international status – the first time a match not featuring two cricket nations was given this status. Some cricket statisticians don’t acknowledge this as an international match and it is hard to imagine Glen McGrath batting at number 6 for Australia in an ODI as he did in this match.

The significance of this decision to recognise this match as an international match is probably better understood when put in the context of the next entry on this list.


Both sides were made up of current players with the ICC World XI containing Australians, New Zealanders and West Indians including Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist, Shane Warne and Brian Lara plus Darren Gough and the Asian XI featuring players from India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka including Sachin Tendualker, Muttiah Muralitharan, Anil Kumble and Sourav Ganguly. The scorecard is here.

Ricky Ponting thrilled the crowd of 70,101 with a century at better than a run a ball and won the man of the match award. The match raised $17 million for the Tsunami Appeal.

This match was meant to be one of two World Cricket Tsunami Appeal matches but the second, due to be held in Kolkota in February, was first rescheduled to April and then cancelled.

16. ICC Super Series, Australia v ICC World XI, Docklands, Melbourne, October 5,7,9, 2005


Due to Australia’s dominance of both Test match cricket and One Day cricket across the preceding 5 or so years years, the ICC decided to hold the ICC Super Series with a World XI taking on Australia in 3 One Day matches under the roof of the Docklands stadium in Melbourne followed by a 6 day Super Test at the SCG. To give the matches credibility and gravitas they were conferred international status – following the precedent that was set by the Tsunami Appeal match.


The World XI featured Chris Gayle, Brian Lara, Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendaulker, Jaques Kallis and Muttiah Muralitharan plus two tormentors form the recently completed 2005 Ashes in England – Andrew Flintoff and Kevin Peitersen.

Shaun Pollock hugs Brian Lara for reasons unknown.

The 3 matches drew crowds of 18,000, 29,000 and 31,000 people. Australia dominated the series and won 3-0. Batting first in each match Australia ran up a total that proved beyond the World XI and none of the three matches were close with the margins being 93 runs, 55 runs and 112 runs. The World XI batting line up was limp in it’s efforts and failed to make 200 in two matches and in the final match was bowled out for just 137 in 28 overs.

Shane Watson was named Man of the Match in the first match (8 & 3/43) and the third match (66* & 4/39), while Adam Gilchrist was Man of the Match in the second match for his century and was also named Man of the Series.


Some interesting notes from the Australian line up was Simon Katich opening – that brief period of time I have tried to erase from my memory – plus Mike Hussey and Shane Watson batting at number 7 and number 8 respectively.

KP had a series to remember scoring 2 and 16 (batting at number 8) and was omitted from the 3rd match.

Behind the facade of disinterest Chris Gayle was extremely excited about playing in the ICC Super Series
Behind the facade of disinterest Chris Gayle was extremely excited about playing in the ICC Super Series

Another thing these matches had was the short lived Super Sub. One player could be replaced by the 12th man or Super Sub at a point in the game but each team 11 players bat and field. Makes sense? Not really, and I can’t be bothered explaining it any further as it was as pointless as it was shortlived.

Cameron White made his ODI debut in the first match as the Super Sub

First match White was Super-subbed for Damien Martyn to field but did not bowl. Second match White was Super-subbed to field  for Simon Katich and bowled 3 overs for 22 runs. Third match White made it into the starting XI but didn’t bat or bowl. So in his first 3 ODIs Cameron White bowled 3 overs and did not bat. Super.

Shane Watson souvenirs a stump
Shane Watson souvenirs a stump

The highlight – Mike Hussey hitting the roof at Docklands stadium, a feat that had previously been thought to be unachievable.

15. Victoria v World XI, Junction Oval, October 2, 2005

What could be stranger than a country playing against a World XI? A state playing against a World XI in a warm up tour match at a suburban venue that is now considered unfit for cricket.

The Junction Oval in St Kilda is apparently so dilapidated that it’s not even fit for a dog to poo on it let alone for it to host a first class cricket match for Victoria [except that there will be a World Cup warm up match there between UAE and Afganistan in February]

The Junction Oval in it's hey day when it hosted cricket matches.
Makhaya Ntini and the Junction Oval in it’s hey day when it hosted cricket matches.

Thankfully that wasn’t the case back in 2005 and 13 of the world’s best cricketers took on the might of Victoria featuring Michael Klinger, Brad Hodge, Dave Hussey, Cameron White, Mick Lewis and Shane “Stickers” Harwood.

There was no toss and the ICC World XI batted first (perhaps that was a mistake – they had to chase in each game against Australia) and slumped to 7/195 before captain Shaun Pollock saved there blushes with a half century to lead the team to 281. KP’s tour started brightly with 5.

KP had a day out at the Junction Oval with 5.
KP had a day out at the Junction Oval with 5.

In reply Victoria manged 9/269 thanks to 92 to Brad Hodge and 62 to Michael Klinger and fell just 13 runs short of victory against a team of the world’s best cricketers.

14. Australia v World XI, MCG, March 21, 1996

This match was arranged for the centenary of the Victorian Cricket Association and $25,000 prizemoney was on offer. The match was held just 4 days after Australia had lost the 1996 World Cup final to Sri Lanka in Lahore,Pakistan.

The Australian team was similar to the line up in the World Cup final with squad players Michael Slater, Shane Lee and Jason Gillespie replacing Ricky Ponting, Stuart Law and Glenn McGrath.

The World XI featured current players from the World Cup including Sanath Jayasuriya, Romesh Kaluwitharana and Arivinda de Silva  from the victorious Sri Lankan team plus South Africa’s Shaun Pollock and Jonty Rhodes and Zimbabwean’s Heath Streak and legspinner Paul Strang.

Victorian hero Dean Jones who hadn’t played for Australia for 2 years played for the World XI against Australia. He scored a century, brought up with a six of Mark Waugh in the last over, which the ACB claimed to be his only international century at the MCG. However this match was not classed as a One Day International although the ACB and VCA did initially include it in their records.

Dean Jones
Dean Jones scores a century against Australia at the MCG

Australia chased down the World XI’s 210 comfortably and Dean Jones was Man of the Match for his hundred. The games was televised by Channel 9 and 35,561 people attended the match.

I can’t find any video footage of this match but if you find some let me know.

13. Bradman XI v World XI, SCG, 18 December, 1994

This was a charity match which, if I remember correctly, was organised to raise money to build the Bradman Museum in Bowral. If you know otherwise please let me know.

The teams consisted of former international cricketers, a few celebreties like Fatty Vautin (a year after ‘that’ catch), Ernie Dingo and Gary Sweet plus current cricketers notably Brian Lara and Australian Women’s cricketer Zoe Goss. And it was these two players who provided the moment everyone remembers from this match, when Zoe Goss dismissed Brian Lara – here it is.

Here are the full teams and 1 hour highlights of both innings can be watched here and here.

Bradman XI 1 Bradman XI 2

One strange thing about the match was why did the teams wear outfits that looked like baseball uniforms? It was a charity cricket match for the greatest cricketer of all time, Sir Donald Bradman. Was it Ian Chappell’s idea? He does love baseball.

Graeme Pollock was man of the match for his 89 off 71 balls for the World XI but it was the Bradman XI that won by 1 run. 17,500 spectators made it to the SCG and approximately $150,000 was raised.

Jeff Dujon and man of the match Graeme Pollock

12. World Legends of Cricket in Australia, Australian Masters v World Masters, March 1998

In the mid 1990’s there seemed to be a bit of a push to get a “Masters” circuit running with former legends of the game much in the way there is a seniors tour for golf and tennis. There had been a 4 game South Africa Masters v World Masters series 6 months prior to this and a World Legends Cup in May 1999.

The promoters of this three match series of Australia Masters v World Masters, whoever they were, didn’t quite hit the mark. Despite attracting a decent contingent of legends from overseas the Australian XIII was underwhelming with fewer big names and more fringe players. For example Trevor Chappell played in these matches rather than Greg.

There was also the venues for the matches. Rather then being played at international venues the three matches were played at Princes Park in Melbourne – a venue better known as home of Carlton Football Club but which did host some Victorian Shield matches in the mid 1990’s, North Sydney Oval in Sydney and Coffs Harbour.

The crowd at Princes Park was a miserable 1000 people. It improved a little in NSW with 5000 at Coffs Harbour and 6500 at North Sydney.


I do recall listening to the first match on ABC radio but as far as I remember these matches weren’t broadcast on Channel 9 or another TV network. I can only imagine whoever organised this series of matches lost a lot of money.



Unusual Limited Overs Matches in Australia – Part 2

Testimonial Matches

23. Alan Border Tribute Match, Gabba, 19 December 1993


This was the game made famous by Paul ‘Fatty’ Vautin’s one handed catch and then etched in my memory as ‘Fatty’s F***cken Catch’ by Billy Birmingham on the Wired World of Sports tapes where you could win “Five Dollars CASSSSH Cold Hard Cash” for picking the favourite classic catch. In case this hasn’t jogged your memory here is the catch.
This match was 40 overs per side with the International XI playing the Alan Border XI with a mix of current Australian cricketers, retired international stars and some rugby league legends on both sides.


The Alan Border XI included:
Alan Border
Ian Healy
Carl Rackerman
Craig McDermott
Greg Ritchie
Jeff Thompson
Paul Vautin
Alan Langer
Wally Lewis


Allan Border 1


The match was ahead of it’s time. If you think players miked up and cameras on helmets are new concepts brought about by T20 cricket and the Big Bash League – think again. Admittedly they are much more bulky than the current versions, but check out the cameras worn by the umpire and Peter Stirling back in 1993.
And finally Ian Healy bowling and doing impersonations
22. Dean Jones Testmonial Match, MCG, November 1994
30,000 people turned out to watch this 40 over tribute match featuring an Allan Border lead team against a Dean Jones lead side. The usual ensemble cast of AFL footballers and current and former international cricketers plus, of all things – Plucka Duck.
Fair to say that Garry Ablett could turn his hand to any sport and Stephen Kernaghan was no good at cricket.
21. David Boon Testimonial Match, MCG, November 1996


David Boon had two testimonial matches in November 1996, one in Launceston at the NTCA ground followed by this one televised by Channel 9 at the MCG.


A yellow ball was used for the 40 over a side game game which featured split innings of 2 lots of 20 overs per side.
The players were a similar mixture to the Allan Border match but replace the rugby league players with AFL players.


There were two odities: the two teams were David Boon’s “Southern Sons” and Alan Border’s “Island Kings” and both teams wore giant shirts.


David Boon 1


David Boon 2
Here is Richard Hadlee taking the long handle to Shane Warne and Michael Slaterhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoEp8TbzJRk

20. Ian Healy Testimonial Match, Gabba, 21 December 2000


Ian Healy was not happy when he was cut form the Australian test team in October 1999 and pleaded for a farewell Test match at the Gabba. It wasn’t to be, instead Ian Healy lead his Australian XI against the Rest of the World XI in a 45 over match at the Gabba in December 2000.


The teams were current or former cricketers save for tennis player Pat Rafter and rugby league legend Allan Langer.


Ian Healy 1


Australian XI
Mark Taylor
Michael Slater
David Boon
Mark Waugh
Ian Healy
Pat Rafter
Allan Border
Stuart Law
Shane Warne
Merv Hughes
Craig McDermott
Andy Bichel


David Boon made a century and Ian Healy’s team won with 8 overs to spare. Healy also got the opportunity to do some more bowling impersonations.
19. Shane Warne Foundation Match, MCG, February 18, 2007


Just over a month after Shane Warne retired from international cricket the MCG played host to the Gillette Fusion charity match between the Shane Warne XI and the Pat Rafter XI.


The T20 match lacked any international stars or current players as the Australian team was touring New Zealand at the time and instead the teams were filled with Channel 9 personalities and comedians. It was a more low key affair than previous testimonial matches despite being televised on Channel 9.




Here is some of Bryan Strauchan bowling in the match
18. Ricky Ponting Tribute Match York Park, Launceston, 30 January, 2014


The Ricky Ponting XI took on the Adam Gilchrist XI with teams packed full of former Australian cricketers plus some AFL footballers.




The Ponting XI wore the marroon and gold of Ponting’s junior club, Mowbray, whose home ground is just a short distance away from York Park in Launceston.


One of the lower profile players was Shaun Young, the Burnie local who played 1 test for Australia in 1997.Tasmanian wicketkeeper Tim Paine missed the game after he was bitten by an insect while walking his dog on a beach and was hospitalised.


The T20 match drew the biggest crowd ever for a cricket match in Tasmania with 17,771 fans attending but strangely the match wasn’t televised.