Miscellaneous charity matches, tour matches and other oddities
1. Bushfire Appeal Match, NSW Invitational XI v South Africa, SCG, 18 January 1994
This match was played for the victims of the Sydney bushfires that raged from January 6 to 10, 1994.
The New South Wales Invitational XI was pretty close to an Australian line up with the top 6 featuring Taylor, Slateer, M Waugh, S Waugh and a young Michael Bevan. The ‘Invitational’ part was the fact that two non-New SOuth Welshamn bolstered the ranks.
The ring ins were Australian captain Allan Border who, despite being born, raised and making his first class debut for NSW was, by this time, a proud Queenslander and Merv Hughes. Yes staunchly Victorian Merv Hughes played for New South Wales – hard to imagine!
The only player within the NSW side not to play for Australia at some stage in their career was 1993 Ashes tourist and fast bowling cult hero, Wayne ‘Cracker’ Holdsworth.
Despite the strength of the New South Wales line up South Africa were too strong and won convincingly in front of 11,000 spectators.
In contrast to a lot of other charity matches this was a List A match.
2. Victorian Bushfire Appeal Match, Australia’s Big Bash, SCG, 22 Febraury 2009
This match was played as a fund raiser for the Red Cross Appeal for the Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria in 2009.
Steve Waugh and Mark Taylor captained there respective sides in this T20 match using pink balls. The teams were made up of cricketers past and present both male and female plus footballers form various codes, a couple of pro surfers and Shannon Noll and Peter Garrett.
Despite the cause and big names playing in the match it wasn’t televised.
TAYLOR XI: Mark Taylor , Michael Slater, Lisa Sthalekar, Mick Fanning, Beau Casson, Lote Tuqiri, Joel Parkinson, Barry Hall, Matthew Burke, Anthony Minichiello, Moises Henriques, Jay Marmont. Coaches: Ricky Stuart and Laurie Daley.
WAUGH XI: Steve Waugh , Shannon Noll, Ellyse Perry, Anthony Mundine, Peter Garrett, Braith Anasta, Phil Waugh, Robbie Farah, Glenn McGrath, Matthew Hayden, John Aloisi, David Warner, Nathan Bracken. Coach: Robbie Deans.
3. Bradman XI v England, Bradman Oval, Bowral, 8 January 2003
Mark Waugh never had a testimonial match when he was omitted form the 2002/03 Ashes squad and promptly announced his retirement from international cricket in October 2002.
Waugh continued to play for NSW and turned this tour match against England into his own tribute match, captaining the side and producing a mach winning century.
With this match played just 2 days after the 5th test England rested most of it’s Test players and was captained by allrounder Ronnie Irani, who had an infamous 2002/03 one day series. Batting first England made 8/279 of their 50 overs.
The Bradman XI innings was all about Mark Waugh.
Defying poor light and playing through light mist he compiled an unbeaten 108 to lead the Bradman XI to victory.
Waugh brought up his century off 92 balls with a six over extra cover off the hapless Irani. In near darkness, Waugh closed the match with another six, this one off the gentle bowling of Nick Knight.
The Bradman XI is or was a curious team. They played each touring England team at Bradman Oval in Bowral between 1990 and 2003 but only played one other touring side – South Africa in 1998.
4. Australian Country XI, 1986 – 2003
Each January the best country cricketers from each state compete against one another in a 10 day championship. The NSW country XI play the Victorian Country XI and the Queensland Country XI and so on. At the end of the carnival the Australian Country XI is named.
This continues to the present day with the Australian Country Championships held in Bendigo in January 2015.
From 1986 to 2003 the reward for being named in the Australian Country XI was a match against one of the international touring teams usually in a regional centre. If the touring teams were not available the Country XI had to settle for a match against a state side.
One of the more memorable results was the Australian Country XI defeated India in a World Cup Warm up match at the Lake Oval in Melbourne.
30 overs in, India was cruising toward victory chasing a small target but then rain intervened and brought an end to the game. The ‘highest scoring overs’ formula to be used in the World Cup, the Country XI’s best 30 scoring overs were combined to leave India 25 runs short of victory.
Perhaps then alarm bells should have been ringing about the dangers of the highest scoring overs rule for rain affected matches.
As an aside on the venue, the Lake Oval was the home of South Melbourne Football Club (now Sydney Swans) until 1981 and South Melbourne Cricket Club until 1994.
Two years after the World Cup warm up match the cricket was banished from the Lake Oval with the cricket pitch removed and the ground redeveloped into a soccer stadium for South Melbourne Hellas.
5. Prime Minister’s XI v ATSIC Chairman’s XI, 2001, 2002, 2003
The annual Prime Ministers XI one day match against an international touring team held at Manuka Oval in Canberra is well known and dates back to 1951 with matches played regularly since 1984.
What is less well known that the only other matches the Prime Ministers XI played an annual one day match against an Indigenous team, the Australian and Torres Straight Islanders Commission Chairman’s XI in 2001, 2002 and 2003.
The first match in 2001 was played as a Centenary of Federation event to commemorate the 1868 Aboriginal team that was the first representative team from Australia to tour England. It was the brainchild of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission chairman Geoff Clark and was embraced by the Prime Minister John Howard, who hosted the teams at the Lodge.
The inaugural match for the Johnny Mullagh Trophy was a 40 over match played on April 19th, 2001 at Manuka Oval. The PM’s XI was captained by Steve Waugh and included Belinda Clark and Joe Hockey (who made a golden duck.) The ATSIC Chairman’s XI, captained by Jason Gillespie and including Kyle Vander Kuyp and Geoff Clark, successfully chased 195 in the 40th over for victory.
The second installment on March 8th 2002 was also at Manuka Oval but didn’t feature Australian players with the PM’s XI made up of first class cricketers and the ATSIC Chairman’s XI contained indigenous players.
The third match on March 21 2003 was held at Adelaide Oval with Mark Cosgrove scoring a century to lead the PM’s XI to victory.
Despite promising it would be an annual event on the cricket calendar and a showcase for reconciliation the Prime Minister’s XI v ATSIC Chairman’s XI cricket match was short lived because the Government decided to scrap ATSIC in 2004.
6. Old Australia XI v Old England XI, April 1988
Before the charity and testimonial matches and the ‘masters’ tours of the 1990’s the Old England XI toured Australia to play three matches against an Old Australia XI in April 1988.
The Old England XI featured names like Bob Woolmer, Tony Grieg, Derek Underwood and Bob Willis whilst the Old Australia XI contained the recently retired Greg Chappell, Rod Marsh and Denis Lillee plus Doug Walters, Max Walker and Kerry O’Keefe. Curiously the Old Australia XI also included 33 year old David Hookes who was still playing first class cricket for South Australia.
The timing was a little odd, the 6 month cricket season has just concluded by April and most sports fans thoughts have turned to football codes by this time of year.
7. Beach Cricket, January 2007, 2008 & 2009
In a made for TV product, Channel 10 launched the XXXX Gold Beach Cricket Tri-series in January 2007. Matches played at beaches around Australia with teams featuring retired players from years past.
The 2007 series featured Australia, England and West Indies with England victorious and matches played at Scarborough beach Perth, Coolangatta beach on the Gold Coast and Maroubra beach in Sydney.
In 2008 the competing nations were Australia, England and New Zealand and Glenelg Beach in Adelaide
By 2009 all matches were played at Coolangatta beach on the Gold Coast with New Zealand having he better of Australia and South Africa.
It is interesting to note that the commentators used by Channel 10 for their beach cricket coverage were Andy Maher and Mark Howard, the same commentators that are now used in the networks Big Bash coverage. Was Beach Cricket a trial run for getting the Big Bash onto Channel 10?