New telemovie: Australian cricket in the 1980s
After the success of Channel Nine’s mini series Howzat: Kerry Packers War last year, if Channel Nine ever thought about making a movie discussing Australian cricket’s embarrassing years between 1984 and 1988, it wouldn’t be hard to find a cast.
You would just have to cast the current 11 players in this Australian team.
This is who would play each character.
Ed Cowan as Geoff Marsh
Both lack an essential ingredient to play Test cricket: talent. It would be a perfect fit as both have an inability to hit the ball off the square too. I realise Ed Cowan is left-handed and Marsh right, but Cowan can switch around for the movie, as it shouldn’t make much difference.
Dave Warner as Andrew Hilditch
Hilditch wasn’t the brightest batsmen. The Windies bowlers would bounce him, he would hook and get out. Then next time they tried it, the same thing would happen.
You only need to listen to Dave Warner to realise he isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed. Probably hooks a bit too well to play Hilditch, but as a right hander should hit a few down fine leg’s throat.
Phil Hughes as Dirk Welham
Welham made a Test century on debut, but it was all downhill from there. Hughes made twin centuries in his second Test, and its pretty much been down hill from there.
Hughes will need to wear some glasses for the role and practice taking wild swings at the gate (and hitting a nearby person) upon dismissal.
Shane Watson as Greg Richie
Richie made three centuries in 30 Tests, Watson has made two centuries in 38 tests. Watson would have to work on his Mahatma Cote impersonations for the ‘what happened to the cricketers?’ segment at the end of the show.
Michael Clarke as Allan Border
AB suffered from a sore back from carrying the team and Clarke’s back must be getting pretty sore from carrying these other ten alleged cricketers.
AB used to look around the dressing room and think how am I meant to win a Test match with these 10 boneheads before taking on a great West Indies bowling attack.
Clarke looks around the dressing room with his coach, high performance manager, other selectors, manager and trainer and thinks ‘how am I meant to win a Test match with these 10 boneheads’ before tweeting something about being ready for the challenge ahead.
For the TV series, Clarke would have to grow a legendary moustache and become about a million times grumpier than he currently is.
Matthew Wade as Wayne Phillips
Both can bat. Both can play shots. Neither can catch. Wade should fit into the role comfortably.
Moises Henriques as Tony Dodemaide
Both made great starts to their Test career, though it would seem that would also be the best Test matches they both ever would play.
Glenn Maxwell as Greg Matthews
Both can bat but given Matthews averaged 48 at Test level with the ball and given Maxwell will be flat out achieving that score once, they seem a good fit.
Playing Matthews shouldn’t be too hard, you just have to finish each sentence by saying the word ‘cat’ or ‘man’ a lot.
James Pattinson and Bruce Reid
Tall, fast, excellent bowlers. But both break down more often than my old Ford Laser. Pattinson will need to diet and ban the gym.
Peter Siddle as Mervyn Hughes
An easy choice here. Both big hearted Victorians who play above their weight for their country.
Siddle would need to cut out the boring vegetarian food and revert to a ‘all you can eat pizza and pasta’ style diet and grow a huge moustache that may be beyond him.
Xavier Doherty as Murray Bennett
Both left arm orthodox spinners probably better suited to the sport of darts. Doherty will need the help of the make up team to look about 25 years older than what he currently is.
It should be an interesting show. There is enough material for several series.
The show can cover when AB carried the team through the Windies tour of 1984, the Ashes of 1985, the home series versus India and New Zealand and when he carried the team in the Pakistan tour of 1988.
The Australian players won’t need any acting coaching to work on how to get out cheaply or get hammered all around the park, they can just simply do what they are currently doing in India.