The Floppy XI

George Bailey has brought back the Floppy Gold hat in 2016. Let’s have a look at an XI of committed floppy wearers across the years.

1.Tom Moody

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Moody was committed to the floppy gold cause during the 1992 World Cup, a high point in floppy gold wearing. Not only did he wear it fielding he also wore it batting.

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The 1992 World Cup team were committed to the floppy, as seen by a team of 4 floppys:¬†3 gold – Moody, Mark Waugh and Geoff Marsh (I think) –¬†¬†and strangely 1 white, Dean Jones I think.

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2. Mark Taylor

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Tubby loved a floppy, and his memorable 334* against Pakistan in Peshawar in 1998 was reached wearing a floppy.

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3. Richie Richardson

West Indies' captain Richie Richardson hits a four, Monday, Mar. 4, 1996 to help his team win against Australia during their match of the 1996 cricket World Cup. They played their match in Jaipur, India. (AP Photo/ Dave Caulkin)

Richie Richardson is more than just the spiritual leader of coloured floppy hats he is the patron saint.  Richardson made the floppy maroon his own whether it be one day internationals or test matches the maroon was ever present complete with a brim so wide it bordered on the ridiculous. No such thing as a white floppy for Tests for the patron saint.

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Richie Richardson – a brim so wide it bordered on the ridiculous
Richie Richardsonmade a lot of money from those wide-brimmed hats. they were pretty much a rip-off the Greg Chappell hat, just a bit wider and maroon in colour. Good work Richie. (Getty Images)
Richie Richardson made a lot of money from those wide-brimmed hats. they were pretty much a rip-off the Greg Chappell hat, just a bit wider and maroon in colour. Good work Richie. (Getty Images)

 

4. Mark Waugh (Captain)

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World Cup 1996: Mark Waugh scores a century against Kenya

Mark Waugh captains this side for his commitment to floppies across both formats of the game. Unfortunately his brother, Steve did not share his love for the floppy and as captain he mandated that all players had to wear the baggy green at certain times during test matches.

 

Nice shades Junior
Nice shades Junior

 

5. George Bailey

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George Bailey is bringing back the floppy gold hat. You can’t make up quotes like this:

“We’ve been pushing it for years, to bring back the coloured floppy,” Bailey said.

“I’d imagine in 10 or 15 years, the coloured floppy will have the same sort of significance as the Baggy Green.

“I think there’ll be youngsters growing up wanting to don the floppy. It’s got that sort of power.

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6. Michael Bevan

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The greatest one day batsmen of all time preferred the floppy gold at a time when it was being shunned by teammates. But if one wasn’t available a floppy white would do. Like the true floppy greats – Richie Richardson & Mark Waugh – Bevan batted in the floppy.

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Sometimes, the floppy was more popular with teammates – like when it was stinking hot in Sharjah.

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7. Alec Stewart

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Who says a keeper can’t wear a floppy?

Not many wicket keepers stray from the peaked cap, not Alec. In colour and in tests he wasn’t afraid to don the floppy.

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8. Shane Warne

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From the start of his career Warne has preferred the floppy. Some say the rift between he and Steve Waugh started over headwear issues – more here.

Get stuffed Steven - I don't like the Baggy Green
Get stuffed Steven – I don’t like the Baggy Green

Warne even preferred broad brim headwear when commentating

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1999 was another peak floppy time – but unfortunately the powers that be furnished the one day team not with floppy golds but floppy whites.

Here is the 9 slip field against Zimbabwe from September 1999.

1st slip – Warne (obscured), 2nd slip – M Waugh, 3rd slip – Moody, 4th slip – Martyn, 8th slip – Bevan

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And another angle

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9. Brett Lee

Peace man
Peace man

Brett Lee’s one day career was blighted by one thing – there were no floppy golds during his career and he had to settle for a boring old floppy white. Not fair.

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Even Brett’s brother Shane preferred the floppy – must run in the family.

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10. Merv Hughes

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There are a plethora of fast bowlers who preffered the floppy to the baggy, Mervyn G Hughes amongst them and his trademark stretching and moustache.

Sport, Cricket, pic: March 1991, 1st Test Match at Sabina Park, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies v Australia, Australia paceman Merv Hughes, pictured before play starts for the day (Photo by Bob Thomas/Getty Images)
Sport, Cricket, pic: March 1991, 1st Test Match at Sabina Park, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies v Australia, Australia paceman Merv Hughes, pictured before play starts for the day (Photo by Bob Thomas/Getty Images)

11. Jason Gillespie

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Jason Gillespie – goatee, mullet and floppy. That is all.

 

12th man – Darren Lehmann

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Lehmann, according to unconfirmed reports, scored two of his test centuries under the floppy. He was also committed to the floppy cause at South Australia from a young age.

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Coach: John Buchanan

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No man has ever worn the floppy gold with such frequency or committment. At a time when the players were shunning them and Brett Lee couldn’t get hold of a gold one, this man just loved his floppy gold. Maybe even just a little too much.

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And a very firm floppy to finish. Perhaps not even a floppy at all.

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Selector: John Inverarity

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Most Australians thought John Inverarity was off his 3KZ when he was a national selector. What wasn’t in doubt was what he wore on his head – a floppy. Seems at least on one of these traditions has been passed onto current selector Rod Marsh. Rod added his own touch with his choice of sunglasses.

during an Australian training session at The Gabba on November 29, 2011 in Brisbane, Australia.

Physio: Martin Love

Batsmen Martin Love played 5 tests for Australia. Some say he wore many hats. Love is now the Queensland team physio.

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Mid Off Cricket Podcast – Episode 9

The team take a look at the BBL and One Day Internationals between Australia and India, Alex takes us on a trip to the Gabba, David tells all and sundry where to go, Mick looks at what happens on field in local cricket and Ross looks at a forgotten cricketer and the Floppy XI.

 

 

 

Every Australian One Day Unifrom – 1995-1999

In the 1990’s every ODI tournament or series meant a different uniform, here is the collection from 1995 – 1999.

February 1995: Centenary tournament in New Zealand РNew Zealand, Australia, India, South Africa

Greg Blewett and Ricky Ponting made their debuts in this tournament. Australia made it to the final against New Zealand and won comfortably thanks to 3/19 to man of the match, Tim May.

MWaugh NZ Feb 1995 MWaugh NZ Feb 1995 1 MTaylor NZ Feb 1995 1

Uniform: Some interesting stuff going on here: A white version of the Australian flag across each shoulder and arm. Tubby’s yellow hat look nice too.

 

April 1995: West Indies v Australia – played in whites

Australia lost the one day series 4-1

 

December 1995 – January 1996: World Series Cup – Australia, Sri Lanka, West Indies

Australia won the best of 3 finals against Sri Lanka convincingly. A series remembered for Bevan’s last ball four against the Windies and for Ian Helay telling Arjuna Rantangu, the Sri Lankan captain, he couldn’t have a runner for being fat – or words to the that effect. Shane Lee made his debut.

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Uniform: The first season for numbers on the back of playing shirts

March 1996: World Cup

In the first Australia played out a couple of classics to make the final. They chased down 289 against New Zealand in the quarter final thanks to a Mark Waugh century, then produced a miracle as the Windies collapsed spectacularly to win the semi final. Australia came unstuck in the final to a majestic allround display from Arivinda de Silva.

Mark Waugh won two man of the match awards.

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Uniform: Note coach Bob Simpson in full playing uniform, baseball coach style.

August 1996: World Series in Sri Lanka – Sri Lanka, Australia, India, Zimbabwe

Safety concerns meant Australia did not travel to Sri Lanka for the World Cup but just 5 months later they did travel there for this 4 team tournament. Mark Taylor missed this series due to back surgery and so Ian Healy captained the side. Shane Warne also missed due to a finger injury. One Day Internatioanl debuts were given to Brad Hogg, Jason Gillespie and Darren Lehmann.

Australia made the final but lost to Sri Lanka.

 

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October 1996: Triangular one day series in India РIndia,  Australia, South Africa 

Australia were woeful not winning any of their 6 matches against India or South Africa. They got closest in the last match, falling 5 runs short of 280 odd to defeat India. Adam Gilchrist made his debut for an injured Ian Healy.

South Africa won all 6 of their preliminary matches but then lost the final to India. Would it be appropriate to mention something about choking at this point?

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December 1996- January 1997: One Day Series – Australia, West Indies, Pakistan

Australia continued to plumb new depths of ineptitude in one day cricket, missing the final of the home triangular tournament for the first time since 1979/80. Pakistan were the eventual winners.
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Uniform: Pakistan mainly in blue – unusual. Green has usually been their colour.

 

April 1997: South Africa v Australia

A rare bright spot in one day cricket for Australia in the 2 years after the 1996 World Cup. Australia defeated South Africa 4-3 in a 7 match series that saw Australia use 3 captains – Mark Taylor, Ian Healy and Steve Waugh. Michael Di Venuto and Adam Dale made their debuts.

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May 1997: England v Australia – series played in white

Australia lost the three match series preceding the Ashes 3-0. Matthew Elliott played his sole ODI and Justin Langer one of his 8. Mark Taylor stepped down after two games and Steve Waugh captained the team in the final match. Adam Gilchrist played as a batsmen.

 

December 1997 – January 1998: One Day series – Australia, New Zealand, South Africa

Australia overhauled it’s one day team, dropping Mark Taylor and Ian Healy for good and making Steve Waugh captain, Adam Gilchrist took the gloves and Ian Harvey and Paul Wilson debuted.

The new look Australian’s struggled through the preliminary rounds just scraping into the finals by beating New Zealand¬†in the last match.

South Africa had beaten Australia each of the four times they met in the round robin stage and won the first final but Australia finally broke through and won the remaining two finals to win the series. South Africa choking?

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Uniform: South Africa with red and teal for the kiwis. Also numbers on trousers

 

February 1998:  New Zealand v Australia

Australia lead this 4 match series 2-0 after 2 matches but New Zealand fought back to tie the series at 2-2. Why no 5th game?

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March 1998: Triangular Cup in India РIndia, Australia, Zimbabwe Рplayed in whites.

Australia lost to India but defeated Zimbabwe each time they met. The final was India and Australia and Australia managed to turn the tables and defeat India. According to Steve Waugh the Australian’s weren’t given the trophy or prizemoney for winning the tournament.

 

 

April 1998: Triangular Cup in Sharjah – India, Australia, New Zealand

Nothing screamed pointless ODI tournament in the 1990s like the venue being Sharjah. Immediately after the tour of India,  Australia won through to the final against India but were outplayed by a Sachin Tendaulker masterclass in the final.

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Uniform: Looks a bit South African to me.

October 1998: ICC knockout event in Bangladesh

Australia bowed out immediately from this precursor to the Champions Trophy losing their first match to India, due to another Sachin Tendaulker century.

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November 1998: Pakistan v Australia – played in whites

Australia won this series 3-0 after chasing down 315 in the final match thanks to centuries to Gilchrist and Ponting. Andrew Symonds made his one day debut.

 

January 1999 – One Day Series – Australia, England, Sri Lanka

Steve Waugh was injured for all but two matches of this series so vice captain Shane Warne captained the team – his one stint at the Australian captaincy. Warne led Australia to victory over England in the finals.

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April 1999: West Indies v Australia

The 7 match series that ended 3-3 with one tie. The tie was an controversial result with play abandoned due to spectators running onto the ground before the match had finished.

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May 1999 World Cup

After a shaky start losing to New Zealand and Pakistan in the group stage Australia did it the hard way beating Zimbabwe, India and South Africa in the Super Six stage to make the semi finals. In one of the most memorable games of ODI cricket Australia advanced to the final after Australia and South Africa tied in the semi final.

Australia easily accounted for Pakistan in the final.

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August 1999: Triangular Cup in Sri Lanka – Sri Lanka, Australia, India

Australia make the final against Sri Lanka but were defeated by a batting masterclass by wicket keeper, Romesh Kaluwitharana.

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September 1999: Zimbabwe v Australia 

Unsurprisingly Australia won all three matches in this series, notably a field of 9 slips was set at one stage.

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Uniform: By then end of the 1990s Australia was starting to use it’s own ODI uniform at all tournaments.¬†

Cricket World Cup thoughts

Here are a few of my World Cup thoughts that have appeared elsewhere:

Fixing the World Cup format

The biggest problem with the cricket World Cup is its format.

Two groups of seven teams with the top four qualifying for the quarter finals is junk. With six group stage games, three wins should see you through to the knock out rounds.

There is too little riding on each of the group games with qualification for the quarter finals too easy to achieve. It makes the group stage a phoney war. Having weaker nations play six games each is also far from ideal as it diminishes the quality of the product on offer.

Read my solution and a new World Cup format here:

http://dennisdoescricket.com/fixing-world-cup-format/

And over at The Roar this one has got 5000 reads already

Where’s the Cricket World Cup on free-to-air?

So after a big summer of cricket on Channel Nine and Channel Ten, we have the 2015 Cricket World Cup beginning.

Read more here:

http://www.theroar.com.au/2015/02/10/channel-nine-drop-the-ball-again-for-the-cricket-world-cup/

Unusual Limited Overs Matches in Australia – Appendix

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.

Steve Waugh slog sweeps the pink ball
Steve Waugh slog sweeps the pink ball

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.

Mark Waugh and Jamie Cox in their state helmets for the Bradman XI
Mark Waugh and Jamie Cox in their state helmets for the Bradman XI

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.

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White ball and white clothing? No problem.

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.

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Mark Waugh leaves the ground after his match winning century.

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 ATSIC Chairman XI in the field in replica uniforms form the 1868 Aboriginal tema to England. Geoff Clark looking like WG Grace in the background.
The ATSIC Chairman XI in the field in replica uniforms form the 1868 Aboriginal team to England. Geoff Clark looking like WG Grace in the background.

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 three matches were played on the April 10th at the WACA, April 13th at Adelaide Oval and April 17th at the Gabba.

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

Remember this?

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?

Unusual Limited Overs Matches in Australia – Part 5

T20

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 Рsome you may recall some you may never have heard of.

Michael-Bevan-is-also-known-as-the-finisher-of-the-game-for-Australia

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 Рhe 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 Рthe 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 Р0 Р47-0)

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 Рfresh off his 120* against South Africa that got Australia into the semi finals Рand 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 Рeven 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.