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:
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.
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.
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.