Plans for Heavenly Series cricket are on the way

Kersi Meher-Homji Columnist

By Kersi Meher-Homji, Kersi Meher-Homji is a Roar Expert

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    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.

    Kersi Meher-Homji
    Kersi Meher-Homji

    Kersi is an author of 13 cricket books including The Waugh Twins, Cricket's Great All-rounders,Six Appeal and Nervous Nineties. He writes regularly for Inside Cricket and other publications. He has recently finished his new book on Cricket's Conflicts and Controversies, with a foreword by Greg Chappell.

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    The Crowd Says (5)

    • April 15th 2018 @ 12:33pm
      Dave said | April 15th 2018 @ 12:33pm | ! Report

      Nice one Kersi. But I can’t see all those ex-MCC nabobs allowing Tony Greig to be chief selector. Although maybe they went to the “other place”!? Like the Aussie team, assuming Neil Harvey is still on this side of River Styx, though I might suggest Charlie Macartney for Lindsay Hassett or 12th man. On the English team, Barrington at his peak had a statistical record second only to Sutcliffe and could be preferred to May or Cowdrey.

    • April 15th 2018 @ 1:03pm
      Kersi Meher-Homji said | April 15th 2018 @ 1:03pm | ! Report

      Thanks Dave, point taken. Personally, I can’t drop May or Cowdrey, being my childhood heroes.
      The Aus XI should also have included Richie Benaud but he refused to select himself, saying “That’sh not done. It wouldn’t be marvelloush then”.

      The best thing about writing for Roar is that you receive learned comments.

      Actually I wanted to select a Rest of World Angelic XI to play against Australia’s Archangels to follow the lead of WSC in 1977. But found it too hard; who to leave out?

      Can roarers help me out? Come on, no one has attempted it.
      Else, I’ll have to add Frank Worrell as the third selector.

    • Roar Guru

      April 15th 2018 @ 3:02pm
      Anindya Dutta said | April 15th 2018 @ 3:02pm | ! Report

      Lovely piece Kersi! Made me smile when I read it! I am not sure I agree with the exclusion of The pair of Hobbs and Sutcliffe though. They are the best opening pair in the history of the game. I would pick them every time even when the angels are keeping a strict watch! So i would include Sutcliffe in the team.

    • April 15th 2018 @ 3:59pm
      Kersi Meher-Homji said | April 15th 2018 @ 3:59pm | ! Report

      Thanks Anindya, I’ll send a tweet to Tony Greig re your suggestion. It’s for him to change the opening combination.

      Will you also help Frank Worrell in picking a World XI of departed souls against the archangels from Ozland for the Heaven Series Cricket? Also the colour of their helmet halos? Would Amarnath or Amarsingh make it in their squad of 20? For non-Indian roarers, “Amar” means immortal.

      No, I have not lost my marbles! Only got obsessed.

      • Roar Guru

        April 15th 2018 @ 4:04pm
        Anindya Dutta said | April 15th 2018 @ 4:04pm | ! Report

        Haha. Will do. Let me give it some thought!

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