Tag Archives: Dennis Lillee

The Ashes On Ice – Cricket Doesn’t Get Hotter™

So the “leadership group” (I use that term advisedly) of the Australian cricket team has sanctioned premeditated ball-tampering… cheating.

An early prototype of The Ashes On Ice™

Cricket Australia needs an urgent fix. Something to restore the faith of the Australian and global cricket fraternity.

Fear not. I’ve been rummaging around the team kit bag and next to the stained and battered protector, I discovered something that may just save Australian cricket: The Ashes On Ice.

This concept is an absolute jaffa* as Shane Warne says during British TV cricket commentary when he’s pretending to be English. *A jaffa in Australia has a different, orange / chocolatey meaning.

The Ashes On Ice. Just let that sink in.

Imagine the crowd chanting “LILLEE LILLEE” as Dennis Lillee circa 1975 slides to the top of his mark… turns, and comes steaming in from the Nursery End. Gold necklace bouncing…
moustache bristling… ice shredding… that look of unbridled fire towards W.G. Grace who is stoically anticipating a bouncer aimed at his throat. Oh, I didn’t mention the animatronics?

Think about it. Imagine seeing the long-departed Our Don Bradman, Fiery Fred Trueman,
Keith Miller, Richie Benaud and other legends of the game get off the ice and promptly back on it?

I already have boffins working in the shed on the technology where Jeff Thomson would try and knock over Sir Leonard Hutton, Beefy Botham at his prime sledging Victor Trumper who promptly hits him into his own stand at the SCG. Ian Chappell dancing down the pitch to Alec Bedser.
Tony Greig sticking his keys into the ice. The possibilities are endless.

Why ice? Why not.

We can recreate the infamous Bodyline series with those arch-villains Larwood, Jardine and Voce taking on the courageous Aussies.

It doesn’t have to stop at Australia v the old enemy. Imagine the unbeatable West Indies,
with the great Viv Richards just chilling out on the ice. Viv never wore a helmet when he batted,
he wouldn’t need ice skates.

The greats of India, South Africa, Pakistan and New Zealand… all battling it out.
Don’t tell me you wouldn’t want to relive the infamous underarm bowling incident… on ice?
Then there are the streakers…

“Yes, hello… is that Cricket Australia…?”

©Steve Williams 2018

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Cricket memories — as summer as cicadas

Officially, summer starts in Australia on December 1, but to me it’s when the first ball is bowled in the first cricket test.

To mark the occasion, here are some of my random childhood cricket memories.

“Don’t rub ’em, count ’em” — Balls of Steel circa 1980

*Watching two blokes carry a polystyrene esky chock-full of beer bottles (KB?) in front of The Hill at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 1975, when the arse fell out of it. The beer shattered, they were shattered. The crowd roared, the players laughed.

*Foraging in a box of washing powder (OMO?) to discover a cricket card. That smell has stayed with me for forty years.

*The religious experience of buying a brand new Kookaburra cricket ball. Opening the box, unwrapping the paper, gently taking it out. Earnestly polishing (one side) until you could see your beaming face, and never letting it touch the ground.

*My World Series Cricket t-shirt that I wore until it had to retire hurt.

*Tony Greig walking out to bat wearing a motorbike helmet to much laughter. Later sticking his car keys in the pitch while solemnly discussing the mythical “player comfort level” off the high-tech “weather wall”.

*Getting that first “cherry” on your new cricket bat.

*The body-trembling / mind-numbing nervousness of approaching your favourite cricket player on the fence for an autograph, then the exalted glee as you float away gazing at the scrawled signature. I felt exactly the same way meeting Viv Richards when I was 37.

*Missing seeing a test hat-trick. A day at the cricket with dad, who wanted to leave early because the car park “is a shitfight”. We heard the crowd erupt — three times — from said car park.

*The terror of facing a “rep” fast bowler who started his run-up in the next suburb, and was so fast he had to stop and rest before he actually unleashed the red missile.

*Inventing day / night cricket as a kid in 1977: playing backyard cricket until mum called you in for dinner, then resuming after turning on the single Portaflood light, until mum called “stumps”.

*The voice of Alan McGilvray.

*The “Balls of Steel incident” of 1980. Bowling in a school cricket match, the ball slipped out of my hand and hit the batsmen on the full, in the, er, groinal region. He didn’t flinch. I raced down the pitch “Sorry, mate, are you ok? Good thing you’re wearing a protector.” — “I’m not.”

*Getting into fights for supporting the West Indies instead of Australia (I just preferred the way they played the game). Coruba rum is still a beverage of choice.

*The sound of the stitching of that new Kookaburra cricket ball whizzing past your nose as you missed a hoik over cow corner.

*The image of Dennis Lillee flicking sweat off his brow at the top of his run-up, then that bouncing gold chain as he thundered into bowl.

*Walking into bat, being handed a still-warm protector the just-dismissed batsman had just removed. Talk about player comfort levels.

C’mon Aussie, c’mon…

©Steve Williams 2013

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