The Roar
The Roar


The partnerships that will save Australian cricket

Burns, Khawaja and Warner - the future of Australian cricket. (AAP Image/Julian Smith)
17th April, 2016
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Earlier this week, Mitchell Starc finally noticed that Alyssa Healy was a keeper and married her.

If Game of Thrones has taught us anything, it’s to be wary of Starc weddings, but happily this one went off without the brutal massacre of everybody in attendance. As a result, it has brought Cricket Australia’s mad plan for world domination one step closer.

By now, we’ve all noticed how the spouses of some of Australia’s current and recent cricketing superstars seem almost deliberately chosen to provide a future generation of cricketers even more powerful than the last.

So, for example, while some might argue that Mitchell Johnson at times lacked the mental strength to remain at the fearsome top of his game for extended periods of time, the fact that his wife, Jessica Bratich, is a former karate champion suggests that their children will embrace the required discipline to avoid such infamously shite troughs of form. And besides, what’s more fearsome than a moustachioed fast bowler hurling down thunderbolts? Answer: A moustachioed fast bowler hurling down thunderbolts who starts their run-up in the crane position.

David Warner is an excellent opening batsman, particularly in Australian conditions, where he averages over 60 in Test cricket. But having married Candice Falzon, a former iron woman and surf lifesaver, we can expect his children to not only be brutally daunting on home soil but also much more comfortable than their father on both the sand-like pitches of India and the wet environment of sodden old England. Also, they’ll be fully prepared when future cricket bats inevitably morph into the shape and size of a double-bladed surf ski paddle.

And Ryan Harris? He’s married to Cherie Lewis, a woman with fully-functioning knees.

But it’s not just about improving the batting, bowling and cruciate ligaments of the next generation. With more and more players being required to talk to the commentators while playing, the future children of Shane Watson will hopefully inherit their mother Lee Furlong’s sports reporting prowess, and provide not just on-field feedback on the mindset of the players, but also a call of the card, musings on how the game is poised and a seamless promotion for Here Come The Habibs, Season 25: The Racism Awakens.

How about captaincy? Michael Clarke was renowned as one of Australia’s most tactically astute skippers, always willing to move the game forward with clever and handsome ploys. Or so Shane Warne kept insisting. But Clarke was not necessarily a great leader of men, often struggling to win the loyalty of one or ten of his teammates. A good thing then, that he married Kyly Boldy, a woman who just a few weeks ago released a book full of mantras, quotes and wisdom to enhance the mind, body and spirit of readers. Cricketing smarts, with the added bonus of inspirational leadership qualities? That’s a future Australian captain I want to see.

Has Ellyse Perry’s hand-eye co-ordination and footwork been subtly enhanced in some way by the fact that she’s not only one of the Southern Stars finest players, but also an outstanding soccer player? Maybe, maybe not. But it surely doesn’t hurt to marry rugby union star Matt Toomua, in order to ensure that their children have as diverse a dominance of ball sports as possible. It can only make their cricket better and their education privater.


Now, admittedly, while those other relationships make cricket-improving sense to me, I’m not completely certain how the most recent pairing of Starc and Healy will lead to superior cricketing offspring. Still, Adam Gilchrist changed the way cricket was played when he combined wicket-keeping with his breathtaking style of batting. Perhaps a combination of wicket-keeping with left-arm swing bowling will somehow provide a similar quantum leap in how the game is played. Who am I to second-guess the experts in such matters?

So, as you can see, it’s all falling into place for the boffins at the Cricket Australia Institute of Optimised Spouses and Arranged Marriages. Oh, sure, some said it was crazy to put the love lives of Australia’s best cricketers in the hands of a team of scientists, interested only in breeding some kind of futuristic superteam. But if it means Australia can somehow win an Ashes series in England by 2039, then I’m all for it.