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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.
Peter Handscomb leaving the field at the Sydney Cricket Ground on November 18 after completing his highest first-class score of 215 for Victoria against New South Wales. It was this innings that sealed his selection for Australia in the Adelaide Test team against South Africa. Photo: Rick Eyre
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Victoria Bitter? No, that’s just the advertising.
New South Wales defeated Victoria by an innings and 48 runs in two and a half days at the Sydney Cricket Ground on 14 February 2014. This was despite the best efforts of Glenn “The Big Show” Maxwell who scored 94 for the Vics in their first innings of 218.
(Stay to the end, there are video highlights)
A Big Show by the Big Show (With Tweets) · Rickeyre · Storify by Rick Eyre on Scribd
Not since the Harlem Globetrotters last beat the Washington Generals has a foregone sporting conclusion been so rapturously and emotionally received by a sell-out crowd. Continue reading “Sydney Day Four: Goodbye, farewell, amen, and John did you drop something?”
“You got an MBE, right? For scoring seven at the Oval? It’s an embarrassment.”
– Dr Shane Warne to Paul Collingwood MBE, Sydney Cricket Ground, 4.1.07.
Continue reading “Sydney Day Three: You did *what* for an MBE?”
Imagine an artist at the canvas on the boundary fence of a packed SCG on the opening day of the New Years Test. Imagine Jack Russell, brush in hand, white floppy hat, characteristic moustache, outlining the curves of Aussie Stadium peeking from behind the Noble Stand, the clock on the Members Stand showing a quarter past four.
A man neatly dressed in a suit appears in the middle of the arena. But it’s not the CEO of one of the myriad of sponsors – not unless he is a classically-trained opera singer. Suddenly, the painter’s hat flies away, the moustache curls up, Jack Russell has morphed into Salvador Dali, and the SCG clock melts away. Continue reading “Sydney Day One: Con te partiro”
In the end it took about an hour short of four days for Australia to wrap up the series. Not quite as close as the equivalent Test on the SCG 32 years earlier which set alight my interest in the game. Continue reading “Australia by 9 wickets”
For giving Pratten Park Golden Boy Michael J Clarke a “far cough” after having him stumped at the SCG yesterday, Danish Kaneria is coughing up. Continue reading “Day 2: Cough up Danish”
Five wickets for twenty runs. If Pakistan were consistent, they’d be dangerous. Continue reading “Day 1: Enter the pantheon, Salman Butt”