The articles are rather rapid at the moment, so here's a recap. Just had to share this latest article with the lot of you:
Sylvester's look at our bowlers ahead of the Ashes: VIEW ARTICLE
I took a look at the probable Squad (confirmed) as well as some thoughts: VIEW ARTICLE
* This article is by Dan 'Stapo' on of our regular contributors. I'm posting on his behalf.
It was as an amazing trip to Brisbane last weekend for the All Stars Weekend in Brisbane. After winning a competition for a rare chance to compete being the 12th man for a team of stars, the Australian Cricketer's Association (ACA) All Stars, which was made up of the best players from the KFC Big Bash last season, while the Aussie Fan team was selected by the Australian fans via the Johnnie Walker web site.
Friday November 19
Arrived at the Gabba for the selection process of the 12th men.
Former Australian test batsmen Darren Lehmann and Australian fast bowler Michael Kasprowicz are present.
The first test was bowling and batting in the Gabba indoor nets. Everyone batted and bowled at each other and then faced the bowling machine in the nets.
Then it was outside for slips catches and high catches on the Gabba playing field.
“Boof” looked after the slips catches and Kaspa looked after the high catches towards fine leg.
At the end of the process the 12th men were selected. Michael Lloyd and Michael Small were the most deserving and took their places along side the teams for Sunday’s match.
After the 12th man had been selected, Kaspa joined us for a long discussion on the current Australian test team make up and noted the number of spinners that Australia has had since Shane Warne retired after the last Ashes test in Sydney in 2007.
The likes of Nathan Hauritz, Stuart MacGill, Bryce McGain, Beau Casson, Steve Smith, Daniel Cullen, Brad Hogg and Xavier Doherty have been tried in the almost 4 years since Warne’s retirement. Kaspa also mentioned he felt that “too many fast bowlers” had also been tried since Glenn McGrath’s retirement in early 2007 from test and one day international cricket.
Saturday November 20
Was a relaxing day doing nothing much until night time and out and about to meet with some the players who had arrived early for the big game the following night. Had a few beers with “Boof” and learnt a few interesting things while the English Premier League on the TV. Not a bad way to spend a night in Brisbane!
Was more a more relaxing day before the biggest day of the weekend.
Sunday November 21
Early morning wake up for the All Stars fan day at Allan Border Field.
Arrived at the ground to meet with some of the players from both the ACA All Stars and the Aussie Fans team. David Warner, David Hussey, Xavier Doherty, Dirk Nannes and Matthew Hayden arrived on stage for some media work and then signing for the fans.
Spoke Haydos for a while after the media commitments and he noted the recent discussion of the Australian test team and said Australia would win the series. Interesting to note Haydos will be going in the Sydney to Hobart race this year and will not be at the Boxing Day test as he so often was during his outstanding career.
Had a chat with Warner and Doherty before leaving the fan day was good to meet Doherty and he seems a confident bloke given that he has just only arrived in the test team this week, hopefully he goes well and his left arm spinners can cause the English batsmen some trouble in the series.
Sunday afternoon was off to the Gabba for the pre game dinner with “Boof” as the guest speaker, Darren can certainly drink as I saw first hand over the weekend but his knowledge of cricket is just as impressive. Darren really is like David Boon and I am sure in his playing days really did push “Boonie” to the drink!
The game starts with Haydos and with his “Mongoose” bat it was a very impressive display from a man who has not played much since the IPL earlier this year. One thing you have to say about the former stars of the Australian team is that they never lose their ability, as Warne and McGrath have also shown in the IPL and in the All Stars game last year. They never lose that competitive edge and desire to win!
Was a fitting end to the night for Haydos to bowl his rarely seen spinners (he used to bowl medium pace in his playing days very occasionally for QLD and Australia).
Only downer of an entertaining night was seeing wicket keeper Tim Paine break his finger opening the batting for the ACA All Stars against left arm quick Dirk Nannes. Hopefully he's back on the park soon.Rest of the night was the real highlight of the weekend after the match it was off to the after match function with the finalists from the weekend and the players from the match.
Had a good chat with Callum Ferguson who happened to be in a great mood considering it was his birthday....why not! This guy really could one day captain Australia.
Now all the fun is done lets bring on the Ashes and lets support the great Australian cricket team. No more worrying about who's in, let's just support the guys 100% as Ian says.
Well worth supporting the Baggy Green.
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