I have decided to post something a bit different for all of you.
Before I do, Australia A begin their 4 day encounters versus Zimbabwe XI shortly, which will end on July 24th. The limited overs tour to Sri-Lanka will begin a while after, which should also be good viewing and marks the beginning of some mighty challenging months ahead for both the Baggy Green & Green and Gold sides.
I did follow the Sri-Lankan tour to England very closely. Their batting looked solid for the test matches, their bowling was questionable. In limited overs they were a bit mixed up, so I'm confident of a limited overs series victory, but don't want to get ahead of myself here.
The Australia A fixtures will be three matches I shall watch very closely.
Now, if you have been following the blog (atleast on and off) over the last 3 years and a bit you would have noticed I often make references to some memorabila items I have. I have also decided it may just be interesting for some of you to see what I have stashed away. I have unfortunately (and frustratingly) misplaced or lost some items of the years.
Three of these items include Glenn McGrath's autograph he gave to me after I had an unforgettable chat with him when I was 14. It lasted no more than 5 minutes but the time he gave me to talk about swing bowling and just a general interest in my brief story is something you just don't forget. He is of course my favourite bowler of all time...isn't he for all us anyways!
The other was Damien Martyn's autograph which was on a small bat, but I don't have a clue where it has gone.
I am a huge fanatic of fast bowling in test cricket, although I hated facing fast bowlers during my cricket days I couldn't get enough of the challenges they presented a top order batsman in test cricket! So sadly I don't have my Curtly Ambrose autograph anymore. The man is a giant!
Anyway, a few items I can share:
Middle stump (with removable bail top to input the stump camera) from the 1996 Wills Cricket World Cup. The lens is just below.
These two autograph sheets are vintage! One was for the Australian Squad to tour South Africa during years when South Africa had sanctions against them for Government policies, better known as Apartheid.
The other was a bit before the situation intensified, notably the touring Squad of 1957-58 led by Ian Craig, who was the youngest batsman at the time for Australia to represent his state and score a double century. He then led Australia but his prolific start ended when he retired at 26.
Neil Harvey, Richie Benaud, Wally Grout (the best Keeper before Rod Marsh) and Bob Simpson are on there to. You may have heard of them?
The touring team of 1969/70 was led by the bloke we all know as a "past his sell by date" commentator, but his voice is unique...Bill Lawry.
Ian Chappell was Vice-Skipper and Doug Walters (an Australian Great all-rounder) are also very well known Australian legends.
This helmet belonged to Graeme Pollock, a batting great for South Africa who would have been even bigger had the sport teams not been banned due to Apartheid.
This is Ricky Ponting's Captains Diary he signed for me, regarding what was unquestionably his most insightful book which is also based upon the best two years in Australian cricket history. The World Cup win of 2007 and the 5-0 Ashes win, all of which Punter contributed to in maestro-like style.
I got Mike Hussey to sign my copy of his book, Mr.Cricket, which is a book I actually find very inspiring for my life in no way cricket related whatsoever. This book gave me a huge appreciation and understanding of his dedication, sacrifices and hard work to the game.
Given the fast bowler junkie I am, this original photograph of Allan Donald (aka "White Lightning") receiving his Cap ahead of debut for South Africa is a valuable one, which is also signed. He is receiving it from Dr. Ali Bacher.
A poster of the man with four fingers...Waqar Younis! What a mean seamer he was with his partner in crime, Wasim Akram. It was the era for epic fast bowling.
This isn't signed but was my first cricket poster ever and was of a cricketer who would become not just a legend of the game, but my personal favourite non-Australian batsman along with Gary Kirsten. I have often mentioned it in articles.
Brian Lara! I used to look at this poster and imagine the execution of this pull shot in live time. The front leg lifted up as he gets bat on ball is a trademark Lara shot. Still time to get it signed!
My Australian flag. The two signatures on the stars are those of Brett Lee and Shane Watson. They were super blokes to chat too (even after I'd had a few beers) and it was special to just see how friendly they were. My respect for them just became totally cemented.
A poster of Jonty Rhodes which a family mate got him to sign for me. Rhodes was the sharpest and most entertaining fielder the game had produced at the time. In my opinion Ricky Ponting followed but proved to be far more versatile in the field and had a better direct hit ability, but Rhodes was still pure class and made every kid love fielding.
The signature (a bit blurry in the photo) of Sir Garfield Sobers. Really special.
You have to have your teams gear!
My South Australian Redbacks shirt, T20 shirt, current away ODI shirt and the last issue of the home ODI shirt.
I STOLE THE URN!!! The ECB better check their cabinets.
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