Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Justin Langer walk out onto the ground - AAP Image/Jenny Evans

Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Justin Langer walk out onto the ground - AAP Image/Jenny Evans

Let’s cut to the chase. There are some big matches coming up this weekend. Take your pick: Ashes cricket, Bledisloe Cup, NRL, AFL.

What’s your favourite sport and which players that you’ve seen would you happily part your well-earned cash for to see play live?

Not necessarily the best to play the game, but guys who get your blood racing. For the way they play the game, that is!

It doesn’t have to be only entertainment value.

You might like a particular player for his toughness, for example, or his ‘never-say-die’ attitude, or his ‘team-before-self’ attitude. Or something else.

I’ve been watching most sports since the late 60s, so I’ll start with three sports: cricket, rugby union and rugby league.

My favourite Aussie cricket XI (c.1969-present):
Matt Hayden, Justin Langer, Ian Chappell (c), Greg Chappell (vc), David Hookes, Doug Walters, Adam Gilchrist (k), Gus Gilmour, Shane Warne, Dennis Lillee, Jeff Thomson. Allan Border (12th man).

My favourite Wallabies XV (c.1969-present)
Roger Gould, Mick O’Connor, Jason Little, Tim Horan, David Campese, Mark Ella (vc), Nick Farr-Jones, Mark Loane (c), Ray Price, Willie Ofahengaue, John Eales, David Hillhouse, Stan Pilecki, Billy Ross, Topo Rodriguez. Bench: Glen Ella, Ben Tune, John Hipwell, Simon Poidevin, Greg Cornelsen, Steve Finnane, Phil Kearns.

My favourite Kangaroos XIII (c.1969-present)
Graeme Langlands (c), Ken Irvine, Mal Meninga, Bobby Fulton, Greg Inglis, Wally Lewis, Billy Smith, Johnny Raper, Ron Coote, Bob McCarthy, Steve Price, Cameron Smith, Artie Beetson (vc). Interchange: Billy Slater, Andrew Johns, Ben Kennedy, Noel Kelly, Bobby Lindner (18th man).

Here’s another, my Aussie tennis Davis Cup squad (c.1969-present)
Singles: Rod Laver and Pat Cash; doubles: John Newcombe and Tony Roche; reserve: Ken Rosewall.

Remember, pick any sport and pick any favourite, not necessarily the best.

It’s about being entertained, or those you admire and who you would willingly pay to go see play.

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The Crowd Says (26)

  • July 17th 2009 @ 7:31am
    GaryGnu said | July 17th 2009 @ 7:31am | ! Report

    Mark Waugh and VVS Laxman. The ease and grace with which they played their shots made watching them a pure joy.

    On a football field Andrew Johns because he could make anything happen. I never had the chance but if he was as good as they say he was I would gladly pay to see Mark Ella.

  • July 17th 2009 @ 9:38am
    onside said | July 17th 2009 @ 9:38am | ! Report

    A fun concept Sheek.Time restraints stop me joining the party.
    The ‘pay to see’ prerequisite eliminates most supporters as
    couch potatoes rule.That said, any one with Fox does ‘pay to
    see’.If two percent of people that watch sport on TV went to
    the game ,it would be nearly impossible to get into most grounds.

  • Roar Guru

    July 17th 2009 @ 9:42am
    Chop said | July 17th 2009 @ 9:42am | ! Report

    What a sensational topic !

    Mark Waugh batting because he always looked in control, sometimes I think it was almost boredom that got him out because the bowlers couldn’t.

    Steve Waugh because no matter how uncomfortable he looked, you weren’t getting him out without a fight.

    Adam Gilchrist smashing balls out of the ground for fun, taking many a game away from the opposition when at 5 down they thought they were on top

    Matts Wilander playing Tennis, he looked like he was gliding on air when he was moving around the court.

    John McEnroe, the shots he made with wooden racquets still amaze me.

    Chris Evert again wooden racquets, calm demeanour and never looked flustered seemed to float around the court

    Martin Lang playing League, the guy just ran 100% straight and hard, often to his own detriment.

    Brett Kenny, I just loved the way he moved on the field and being part of the most successful era of the Eels doesn’t hurt

    Sterling Mortlock very hard running with the ball and tackles with 100% force regardless of the consequences to himself

    Jeff Thomson bowling, you could just see his mind ticking over as he came in ‘I’m going to bowl this as fast as I can and try to knock your head off’ (or break your toes)

    Mark Richards, I got too see him surf in Newcastle as a 5 time world champion doing things no one else was at the time.

    Mario Rivera closing pitcher for the Yankees, to do what he has done over the past 10-12 years in the highest pressure job in baseball is just amazing. As his pitch speed has dropped he’s developed other pitches to stay in front of the game.

    Tiger Woods/Greg Norman

    I’ve got plenty more, but I better go do some work….again sheek what a sensational topic!

  • July 17th 2009 @ 9:47am
    Andrew said | July 17th 2009 @ 9:47am | ! Report

    Shane Warne, Andrew Johns, Zin Zan Brooke, Sonny Bill (playing league where he is allowed to shoulder charge), Stacy Jones, Harry kewell and Thiery Henry

  • July 17th 2009 @ 9:50am
    Brett McKay said | July 17th 2009 @ 9:50am | ! Report

    wow Sheek, where might this start and finish… The problem I have is if I’m paying to see who I want to see, I don’t think I can limit it to Australians…

    Somehow, I’d like to see Larkham and A.Johns sharing the playmaking duties with Mortlock and Umaga running at gaps. I’ll then have El Masri, Halligan, Carter, Wilkinson and Fox ro-sham-bo’ing to decide who takes the conversion (perhaps rock-paper-scissors might be safer). I’d then like McGrath and Lillee to take the new ball against Gilchrist and Richards, with David Gower and Mark Waugh following in the most laid back middle order in the history of cricket. In the innings break, I want Warne and Muralitharan to have a bowl-off to see who has the most variations. Lockett, Dunstall and both Gary Abletts can then have a goal-a-thon a la the NBA All Star weekend slam dunk contest.

    Michael Schumacher, Peter Brock, Colin McRae and Jeremy Clarkson will share the driving; Tiger Woods can tee off with Phil Mickleson to do the putting; David Beckham and Christiano Ronaldo will begin a free-kick shoot-out from varying positions, while Federer and Laver settle once and for all who is the GOAT (which is a very unfortunate acronym for such a contest).

    Commentary will be shared between Richie Benaud, Ray Warren, Gordon Bray 15 years ago, Jim Maxwell, Martin Tyler, and Murray Walker, with Bruce McAvaney and John Madden providing expert comments.

    And I better start saving for the cost of the tickets…

  • Roar Guru

    July 17th 2009 @ 9:54am
    Knives Out said | July 17th 2009 @ 9:54am | ! Report

    In no particular order:

    Joe Calzaghe;
    Ronnie O’Sullivan;
    Usain Bolt;
    Dimitar Berbatov;
    Keith Wood.

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