Moises Henriques disagreed with George Bailey when informed of his remarkable slide down the Test pecking order, but the allrounder appreciated the chief selector’s honesty.
Hello. My name is Dan and I am a Glenn Maxwell addict.
At the time of writing, it’s been ten hours since I last watched Glenn Maxwell bat and I’m already craving my next fix.
I’d been so proud of myself. I’d been able to resist watching Maxwell in the first T20 against Sri Lanka. I had an international flight early the next morning and didn’t want to arrive at the airport strung out and coming down off a Maxwell high. So I’d summoned all my strength and gone to bed early.
It didn’t help.
I woke the next morning to dozens of notifications telling me that I’d missed out. That Maxwell had made 145 not out from 65 balls opening the batting.
Any semblance of resistance evaporated.
On the taxi ride to the airport, I watched every replay of the innings I could find.
At check-in, I went back through live blogs.
Waiting in the lounge, I scrolled through Twitter.
It wasn’t the same.
* * *
I can’t even remember the first time I was introduced to Maxwell. I know I was curious. I’d heard a lot of talk about how much Indian high-rollers were willing to pay for a Glenn Maxwell innings. A million bucks? Just for a taste of Maxwell? Surely nothing could be that good.
Of course, I didn’t have to pay that much the first time I tried Maxwell. In fact, I didn’t have to pay anything. It was just offered to me for free. Probably by Channel Nine, if I were forced to guess.
Some of you will be horrified by that. Channel Nine just pushed Glenn Maxwell on me? Without any kind of warning?
And all I can say in their defence was that it was a different time. Nobody knew back then quite how addictive Glenn Maxwell’s batting could be.
“Just watch a little of his innings,” they said. “Just one reverse sweep. You’ll love it.”
I know better now, of course. We all do.
There is nothing more dangerous than a Glenn Maxwell free hit.
I was addicted almost immediately.
* * *
I am aware that there are plenty of you who have watched Glenn Maxwell and not become addicted to his batting. There are some of you who don’t even like Glenn Maxwell’s batting. Who find him too inconsistent for your tastes.
I envy your resistance to this terrible disease.
But I also pity you.
Because there is nothing quite like the rush a Glenn Maxwell addict feels when he finds a high-quality strain of pure Maxwell.
To watch ball after ball fly to and over the rope from effortless strokes of seemingly infinite variation is like being given a glimpse into a different reality. A better reality.
Your senses blend together in a thrilling blissed-out mashup. You see staccato melodies of symphonic music. You taste a whirligig of unimagined colours. You hear a blend of the finest, richest spices known to man.
And yes, there are lows. The ducks. The soft reverse-sweeps straight to the gully positioned precisely for that shot. The leaves that crash into his stumps.
The lows are bad. I’d be mad to deny that.
But the highs make it worth it.
* * *
There was a second T20 match in which Glenn Maxwell would bat. I didn’t even try to avoid watching that. Quite the reverse. I roamed the streets of Singapore, searching frantically for a Maxwell supplier who could supply the fix I needed.
I found one. A sports bar.
It’s always the sports bars.
And I watched this second Maxwell innings. Watched him equal his fastest fifty record from eighteen balls. Watched him average 211 for the series. At a strike rate of 224.
I got my fix.
But now what?
There will be a terrible withdrawal period. Sure, there are treatments available. Some doctors point out, for example, that you can get similar strike rates without any of the addictive Maxwell thrills just by watching Aaron Finch bat.
But that’s not a cure.
There is no cure.
Once you’re addicted to Glenn Maxwell, you’re a Glenn Maxwell addict forever.
And all you can do to get through the cold, empty days without his batting is to focus on one day at a time.
As impossible as that might seem.
Our Cricket Australian government should be applauded for having purged the Test and ODI side of the danger of Maxwell innings. But they mustn’t rest on their laurels. Glenn Maxwell in concentrated T20 form is arguably the most dangerous strain of Maxwell available and Rod Marsh and his co-selectors now need to stamp it out before others suffer my terrible fate.
Please help me.