Tag Archives: Shane Warne

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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Howzat?! Beach Cricket for the Olympics

It has taken me a few overs to process the fact those great Australians at Cricket Australia are calling for beach cricket to be included as an official sport in the 2024 Olympics.

There have been howls of laughter and protest at this visionary proposal, but I humbly suggest
if golf, rugby, and that bit where leotard-clad gymnasts prance around lobbing a ball and twirling a ribbon on a stick are Olympic sports, then why the hell not?

The Sri Lankan Olympic team is the gold medal favourite

Before the first Olympic beach cricketers proudly stride out onto the sand, there will need to be a lot of meetings in the hallowed chesterfield-stuffed rooms of Lord’s to nut out the details, though a few of the rules of Olympic beach cricket have leaked under the door.

*Holding an alcoholic beverage while batting, bowling or fielding is compulsory.
(Imagine seeing Mitchell Johnson thundering in from the Carpark End nursing a stubbie-holder.)

*Olympic beach cricket must be played with a mangy tennis ball (one that has been half-chewed / slobbered on by a Labrador).

*The stumps will be fashioned from bits of driftwood or random stuff scrounged from the beach
or garbage bins (“garbos” to use the correct beach cricket vernacular).

*In case of bad light and for day / night matches, headlights from player’s cars can be used.

*Tip-and-run is compulsory (this is apparently also known by some ignorant cricket heathens
as “tippety-run”).

*The “You Can’t Get Out First Ball” rule will be in play at all times.

*If any obstacles are blown / deposited on the pitch, i.e. runaway beach umbrellas
or nude sunbathers, they must not be removed. They will add a bit of turn.

*Sledging is compulsory (especially among family members).

*Bonus runs will be awarded for catching a ball in your hat. Even more for catching the ball in your boardshorts. Even more for catching the ball in your budgie smugglers / bikini.

*The “You’re Out If You Slog The Ball Into The Water” rule will be enforced. (I can foresee some pushback on this. Personally I’m not a fan, if you have a player positioned at deep backward point waist deep in ocean, it can lead to Classic Catches that would give Shane Warne apoplexy.

*There will be no umpires. Every decision on the field, even if bleedingly obvious must be met with cries of “That’s bullshit!”, with bonus runs for a tearful tantrum and knocking over the “stumps”.

*When a ball is hit for six, the youngest person on the field must retrieve it, proceeded by “goandgetthatwouldyamateandgimmeanotherbeerfromtheesky.”

*Once a batsman / batswoman? reaches fifty runs, they must start hitting catches (preferably to the dehydrated, sunburnt kiddie who previously retrieved the ball and the drinks).

*The act of “taking your bat and ball and going home” must be met with the response of “Aw, ya wanker!”

I look forward to Cricket Australia vigorously lobbying those IOC types for the inclusion of beach cricket into the Olympics, and eagerly await the bowling of the first dog-slobbered ball in 2024.

©Words and image Steve Williams 2015

*This piece also appeared in The Huffington Post Australia:
Beach Cricket: Howzat For An Olympic Sport?

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Abbott: There is nothing like a Dame (or Sir)

So. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott is heading back to the future by dusting off the titles of knights and dames, which were last seen down the back of a lounge in Government House nearly thirty years ago.

Greg Chappell knights a streaker











Tugging his forelock while facing Buckingham Palace, Mr Abbott said the honour would be extended to Australians of “extraordinary and pre-eminent achievement and merit”.

There have been howls of protest from the left-wing-socialist-climate-change-is-real types,
but I for one, am all for it.

My dear Prime Minister, may I be so bold to offer a few suggestions? From the realm of entertainment, Dame Kylie Minogue is a given — for “services” to music and hot pants and Dame Dorothy The Dinosaur (one for the kiddies and / or Wiggles fans) for services to alliteration.

Sir George Lazenby is long overdue — Australia’s only James Bond (and fellow Goulburn boy) would take his rightful place among the other martini shaking and stirring knights Sirs Connery and Moore. What about Dame Lara Bingle for services to… um… there’s gotta be something…

Us Aussies love our sport (and not constructing sentences properly). Dame Evonne Goolagong Cawley is as easy a pick as a simple forehand volley, Sir Newk should get the nod purely for that moustache, and Sir Pat Rafter for services to “sorry mate”.

Cricket tosses up a few juicy full toss choices — Sir Warnie for services to texting and servicing super models, “arise, Sir Boof Lehman” (on bended knee in batting pads) definitely has a ring to it, and Sir Greg Chappell should be rewarded for circumcising streakers with a cricket bat.

Prime Minister, please take my advice rather than anointing the likes of Dame Gina Rinehart
and Sir Alan Jones. Though that would do wonders for the Australian Republic push…

©Steve Williams 2014

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Thanks Amanda, but no thanks

Yeah, no, seriously Amanda, (can I call you Mandy?) we really appreciate you going into bat for us — especially against the Poms — but us blokes are good.

We’ve got it, we’re across it. We’ve got it firmly in hand.

In case you missed it, the former Howard government minister Amanda Vanstone is taking up the good fight for the honour of Australian manhood against those bastards of Fleet Street.

Amanda models the fair dinkum Aussie bloke (photo via news.com.au)

Vanstone suggests that the scurrilous British press have been besmirching the fine reputation of the Antipodean male, “I am furious. It really is atrocious that they are making out Australia as a colony, a hick country, a back water where men guzzle beer all day and are rude about women,” she says.

She continues, “they are going on this misogynist thing as if that was the reason why she (Julia Gillard) was ousted.”

Hang on Amanda, so you think they think we’re all Foster’s-spewing extras from The Adventures of Barry McKenzie circa 1972 and anyone sans vagina is responsible for the death of democracy and the resurrection of Kevin Rudd?

Ok, so I drew a slightly long bow, but we really don’t need your help Amanda, and speaking on behalf of all Aussie blokedom, we’re a bit embarrassed by the thought you found it necessary to jump on a plane to London to “set the record straight” for the hounds of Fleet Street “perpetuating the myth”.

Don’t you see? That’s just going to make it worse.

It’s like your mum coming down to the oval after school when some kid had challenged you to a fight ‘cause you wouldn’t give him your Tommy Raudonikis or Kevin Sheedy footy card.

With Amanda putting her nose to the vanstone to recover our sullied reputation in the UK, can you see how confusing it is to be an Aussie of the male persuasion on July 8, 2013?

Everywhere you turn, you have to decipher more mixed messages and cryptic symbols than Tom Hanks in a Dan Brown film. Is it now OK to wear a blue tie? Or will I be eviscerated by malevolent stares from the Q&A faithful? Do you hold the door open to let a woman go through first? If so, will she think you’re a chauvinist?

Now “chauvinist” – that’s a word that hasn’t had a run lately. It’s been replaced by “misogyny” which only up until this year conjured in my mind the sultry visage of the hot French student teacher I had in year 11.

You look for bloke-ish role models to steer your path — you’ve got David Beckham, the poster boy for metrosexuality, until he opens his mouth, and then there’s Warnie — but what about his WTF come-to-sex selfie the other week? I would assume this would definitely be the cold spoon antidote to anything that old Golden Balls puts on the (bedside) table.

All of this is Hugh Jackman’s fault. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, he makes all us other Aussie blokes feel totally worthless and inadequate, the bastard. I stand by my comments Madam Speaker.

This being confused business is ok — as long as you don’t totally f*ck it up.

Radio 2UE in Sydney did just that on Friday with an appalling ad in the Sydney Morning Herald for their sports program. Really? “let her go shopping?” A stupid stunt.

You would have thought 2UE would have had more sense than going for a cheap shot like this, considering the dramas its mortal enemy 2GB has been embroiled in — think Alan Jones discussing chaff bags and how Julia Gillard’s father died of shame and so on. If 2UE want to continue promoting the station with lumbering dinosaur views like that, maybe it should change the frequency from “954″ to “1954″.

Even as I write this, a firestorm has erupted over the normally genteel strawberry fields of Wimbledon. Following Marion Bartoli’s win in the Women’s Singles Final, a BBC radio commentator suggested that it was always going to be tougher for her as she was “never going to be a looker”.
Again, rampant stupidity.

Though this is where that confusion rears itself like a pissed off scorpion — are the comments about Bartoli any worse than The Sun newspaper running an article about tennis player Jerzy Janowicz with the headline “Lankenstein” and photoshopping green skin and bolts on him? I don’t think The Sun is suggesting Jerzy is an avid Mary Shelley reader. Discuss.

So I’ve gone off on the occasional tangent here, but in reality as a man (and I use that only in the sense of gender) you’ve gotta be comfortable in your own skin — whether that’s regularly moisturised, plucked, and exfoliated, or merely sees a sporadic swipe of Coles Smart Buy soap every third day.

Speaking of Wimbledon and moisturiser, there was a hilarious back-and-forth exchange in the comments of Wendy Harmer’s post on The Hoopla website  Men. The New Vanity Units. It was a far more entertaining than anything we saw on Centre Court over the past two weeks.
You need to read them — Mick and Dave traded screaming crosscourt forehands, lobs and sneaky dropshots, all while inserting the delightful terms “letting fluffy off the chain”, “man cards” and “wank territory” into the vernacular.

So we get it, us blokes are works in progress, we’re doing our best, we’re across it, we fail as often as we succeed — but we stand together — even with our stupid imperfections like saying “gotta zip” and “fair suck of the sauce bottle” (though only one bloke in the universe says that).

It may, or may not surprise you that we understand, we actually listen, talk about and process all this stuff.

We live in times far removed from when Raudonikis and Sheeds were running around windswept suburban footy grounds. We know, respect and simply couldn’t give a flying whatever that the PM’s wife earns more than he does. We’re aware that Tony Abbott lives in a house awash with oestregen.

It’s all good.

The last bloody thing we want or need, is Aunty Amanda trying to help, by turning up at the front office at school brandishing our forgotten lunch, or stomping down to that oval in an attempt to defend us.

Like I say, we’ve got it all, firmly, in hand.

©Steve Williams 2013

*Originally published (with bonus amusing comments) here: thehoopla.com.au/thanks-thanks-amanda/

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