New telemovie: Australian cricket in the 1980s

Beardan Roar Guru

By Beardan, Beardan is a Roar Guru

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    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.

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    The Crowd Says (16)

    • March 5th 2013 @ 9:04am
      brian drian said | March 5th 2013 @ 9:04am | ! Report

      Great comparison…a bit harsh on marsh though.

      • March 5th 2013 @ 9:14am
        nachos supreme said | March 5th 2013 @ 9:14am | ! Report

        what’s the rule of thumb again? Average over 40 and you’re a successful test batsman?

        http://www.howstat.com.au/cricket/Statistics/Players/PlayerOverview.asp?PlayerID=1088

        • Roar Guru

          March 5th 2013 @ 9:45pm
          Rellum said | March 5th 2013 @ 9:45pm | ! Report

          Swampy could certainly hit the ball off the square. His only problem was the good length ball on off stump, or any sort of out swing 🙂 I loved swampy as a kid, my favorite player, but he was limited. But he knew it and made it work. His partnership with Boonie is still remembered fondly because they got the team off to good starts. I think Cowan and to a lesser degree Warner are learning the same thing.

    • March 5th 2013 @ 9:14am
      Fivehole said | March 5th 2013 @ 9:14am | ! Report

      Love your work – a good read

    • March 5th 2013 @ 9:29am
      ken oldman said | March 5th 2013 @ 9:29am | ! Report

      A good read…..how true it is
      AB was the only world class cricketer in the team,just like Clarke is today……took many years for the Australian team to perform decently but it did happen,and it will happen to Clarke,s team eventually.What we really need now is a coach like Simmo,some assistants who can support him in the field and get rid of the ‘high performance ‘people…….yes back to the drawing board,then improvement will follow

    • March 5th 2013 @ 10:10am
      TommyRedNose said | March 5th 2013 @ 10:10am | ! Report

      Not bad for a blue nose toffee!

    • Roar Guru

      March 5th 2013 @ 11:20am
      mds1970 said | March 5th 2013 @ 11:20am | ! Report

      Nice work – very enjoyable article.

      Plenty of modern-day injury-prone quicks to play the parts of the perpetually-injured Geoff Lawson & Craig McDermott.

    • March 5th 2013 @ 11:51am
      matt h said | March 5th 2013 @ 11:51am | ! Report

      That was uncanny! Well done.

      It’s pity you couldn’t squeeze in Graeme Wood for his running between wickets. Any of our current top 4 could play that.

      And it’s a real shame that two of the stars of the series simply do not have a counterpart in our current set up.

      1. Steve Waugh, the supremely talented but struggling individual with the mental strength to overcome his demons.

      But much much more importantly:

      2. Who can play coach Bobby Simpson??

      • March 5th 2013 @ 1:18pm
        ken oldman said | March 5th 2013 @ 1:18pm | ! Report

        Who can play coach Bobby Simpson?…………………Bit like asking who is the best bat after Bradman.
        There is only one of each.

        • March 5th 2013 @ 2:17pm
          matt h said | March 5th 2013 @ 2:17pm | ! Report

          Yep, I’m afraid so. At this point Arthurs is safe through the two Ashes, but if this ends as a train wreck, then we either throw everything at Tom Moody or go left field and ask Rick Charlesworth.

          • March 5th 2013 @ 4:33pm
            nachos supreme said | March 5th 2013 @ 4:33pm | ! Report

            I like the idea of Charlesworth. He’d dish out a few home truths…probably pad up just for the hell of it too.

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