Former Australian captain Steve Smith has made his return to cricket in Australia, hitting 85 from 97 deliveries in NSW grade cricket. However, his innings for Sutherland came to an abrupt end.
The bushfires and whirlwinds in parts of Sydney on Saturday had nothing to do with weather conditions. Even renowned climatologists were stunned and befuddled.
The sound of the thunder was typical of the former TV mogul and one of the masterminds of World Series Cricket, white ball and colour clothing. The mighty Kerry Packer.
“Whaaat!” he thundered from up above. “Cricket’s TV rights go to Foxtel and Channel Seven! Certainly should not go to Channel Seven! Absurd! Ridiculous! Incongruous! How dare they? What’s wrong with my Channel Nine?
“There can be only one free-to-air channel for Test cricket broadcasting in Australia and it is Channel Nine!”
He immediately sent for Richie Benaud and Tony Greig, his right-hand men. Both were equally perplexed and bewildered at the switching of channels for Test coverage in Australia.
Brilliant minds started working. World Series cricket is history. It is now time for Heavenly Series cricket. With my contacts up above, I could overhear the names of two teams: Australia against England for the real red-hot Ashes.
All cricketers will play/fly in white robes but the Aussie greats will have yellow halos for hats and England legends will float in red halos.
John Arlott, Alan McGilvray, Tony Cozier, Benaud and Greig will commentate on Paradise’s Channel Nine.
Benaud and Greig were the chief selectors.
Australia’s Archangels in batting order:
Victor Trumper, Bill Ponsford, Don Bradman (captain), Stan McCabe, Lindsay Hassett, Keith Miller, Bert Oldfield (wicket-keeper), Fred ‘Demon’ Spofforth, Ray Lindwall, Bill O’Reilly and Clarence Grimmett. 12th angel: Clem Hill.
Lindwall and Miller will open the attack followed by Spofforth. O’Reilly and Grimmett will be the spinners.
Reserve seraphs: Archie Jackson, Bill Woodfull, Alan Kippax, Jack Gregory, Norm O’Neill, Don Tallon and Wally Grout.
England’s Divinity in batting order:
Jack Hobbs, Len Hutton, Wally Hammond, WG Grace (captain), Peter May, Colin Cowdrey, Godfrey Evans (wicket-keeper), Harold Larwood, Jim Laker, Hedley Verity and Fred Trueman. 12th angel: KS Ranjitsinhji.
Larwood and Trueman will open the attack followed by Hammond and the spinners will be Verity and Laker.
Reserve seraphs: Herbert Sutcliffe, Patsy Hendren, Maurice Tate, Denis Compton, Alec Bedser, Frank Tyson and Ken Barrington.
As the selectors could not locate all Wisdens in the Paradise library, they may have left out worthy candidates in the heavenly abode.
It’s up to you, Roar readers, to correct their choice or give your opinion on their selection.
Anyway, let’s give this imaginative concept a flying start. The heavens can wait, but not forever.