The Seventh Test Sydney 1971

On Wednesday August 1 2018 at Edgbaston an England team walks on the field to begin a Test match for the 1000th time.

Among the reflections, the listicles and the shallow on-line polls, people have been choosing their greatest and/or favourite Test matches of the previous 999 (actually 1004 if you count washouts and cancellations). Headingley 1981 and Edgbaston 2005 are both, quite rightly, very popular selections. Lack of television footage and eyewitness recollections from The Oval 1882 have prevented it from polling as high.

I’ve chosen a different Test as a personal favourite, an eventful match that occupies a seminal place in England’s Test cricket history. I give you 1970-71’s Seventh Test against Australia.

Continue reading “The Seventh Test Sydney 1971”

The grim trial of strength that went mainstream: women’s Test cricket

Before the Australian women’s cricket team played their touring England counterparts in Brisbane in December 1934, the following directive appeared in the Courier Mail:

Excerpt Courier Mail 28 Dec 1934
“The word “test” must not be applied to any of these games, for both the Australian council and the English team refuse to associate with the games any suggestion of the grim trial of strength which the term applies.”


No one in the press or elsewhere paid any attention to this instruction, and the first women’s Test match concluded at the Brisbane Exhibition Ground on New Year’s Eve 1934, the visiting English winning by nine wickets.

It’s taken 83 years for Australia and England to come together for their 49th women’s Test (plus one washed out), and their four-day meeting at North Sydney Oval beginning on Thursday 9 November 2017 was a special occasion as the first to be played as a day-night fixture. Continue reading “The grim trial of strength that went mainstream: women’s Test cricket”

A bit of light reading about the 1999-2000 England womens tour

England’s women’s cricket team headed to the Antipodes in January 2000 to play one-day internationals in Australia and New Zealand. By the time they were ready to head east across the Tasman, England had lost the ODI series to Australia 0-4 and Karen Smithies had resigned as captain.

Working for Cricinfo at the time I covered every ODI of the Australian leg of the tour, and I believe I have the only comprehensive documentation of these games. Continue reading “A bit of light reading about the 1999-2000 England womens tour”

2015: A year in cricket (or at least the start of it)

January 1, Kirribilli House, Sydney. Two of these three men still had their job at the end of the year:

Now we have the entire Australian eleven in shot. #AusvInd #Cricket

A photo posted by Rick Eyre (@rickeyre) on

While you sleep, I train. While you eat, I train. While you party, I train. February 21 is my goal!

A photo posted by Michael Clarke (@michaelclarkeofficial) on

The Big Bash, And Juggling Cricket’s Three Formats

What started as a midsummer diversion in the English cricket season of 2003 became a multi-million dollar enterprise in India in 2008, and now almost every Test playing nation has its own professional Twenty20 competition, squeezed into their domestic program.

The 2011-12 season saw the transformation of Australia’s state-based “Big Bash” competition into the franchise-based Big Bash League. Continue reading “The Big Bash, And Juggling Cricket’s Three Formats”

Essex takes revenge for 1948

Essex v Australia, Chelmsford, 3-4 September 2005
Stumps Day One

Essex First innings  				Runs  	Balls  	4s  	6s
WI Jefferson 			b MS Kasprowicz 64 	73 	10 	1
AN Cook 	c JN Gillespie 	b MS Kasprowicz 214 	238 	33 	1
RS Bopara 			b SW Tait 	135 	220 	17 	2
ML Pettini 	c ML Hayden 	b SW Tait 	8 	16 	1 	0
+JS Foster 		not out 		38 	61 	0 	0
JD Middlebrook 		not out 		26 	30 	0 	0
Extras 	(b 4, lb 5, nb 8, w 0) 	17
Total for 4 wkt 	(105 overs) 	502 	 
Bowling  	Overs  	Maidens  Runs  	Wickets  Extras
B Lee 		13 	0 	69 	0 	-
JN Gillespie 	22 	3 	80 	0 	-
SW Tait 	15 	1 	72 	2 	-
SCG MacGill 	24 	0 	128 	0 	-
MS Kasprowicz 	19 	2 	85 	2 	-
BJ Hodge 	12 	1 	59 	0

Continue reading “Essex takes revenge for 1948”