Following on from Cricket Australia’s youth-skewed Test selection policy over the 2018/19 summer, Greg Chappell has announced that he is ‘keeping an eye’ on a kid who fielded one ball in an Australia v ACA XI Twenty20 match back in 2008 for a potential Ashes call-up.
Tom, who has yet to officially earn an international cap, was brought on to the field to replace Andrew Symonds in the 15th over of an exhibition T20 match over a decade ago and showed ‘promising signs’ according to selector Chappell.
While Tom hasn’t made an impact with the bat or ball at first class level in recent times, Chappell is keen to give the now 19-year old a chance at the highest level.
“He’s had a quiet run of form lately but he’s showed tremendous cool under pressure and a level-head, and sometimes that’s what you need in a high intensity series like the Ashes,” said former Australian captain Chappell.
“Some people think it’s a bit of a left-field idea but if it comes off we’ll look like geniuses.
“Plus, we’ve already tried literally everyone,” said Chappell before whispering “that we like” behind his hand.
Tom, who’s midway through a Bachelor of Economics, said he was up for the idea.
“Sure, I’ll give it a go,” said Tom.
“It lines up with a European Contiki tour I’ve got booked anyway. I’ll just have to cancel the bus trip to Prague and finish up early, but I reckon I can swing it.
“Well, when I say that, I mean I reckon I can make it happen. I doubt I could swing a cricket ball. I haven’t bowled since I played under-16s.”
The Ashes begins in August with the final squad to be announced closer to the date.
The Seven Network, in a joint bid with Foxtel, have won the rights to broadcast Cricket Australia fixtures for the next six years. However, fans of cricket have received the news with a mixed reception after it was revealed that One Day International fixtures would be exclusive to Foxtel and, in order to save costs, Basil Zempilas will be made host of everything on the network.
Zempilas is already juggling co-hosting duties on Weekend Sunrise with AFL commentating duties, as well as reading the news for Seven Perth. Most recently he has featured during the network’s Commonwealth Games coverage as main commentator at the swimming events, and has commentated the Australian Open tennis while also taking on the Master of Ceremonies on-court position.
It is expected that Zempilas will be added to the cricket commentary team ahead of this summer’s coverage to keep costs minimal in lieu of adding more knowledgeable and experienced cricket personalities.
Similar strategies are expected to be employed over the Seven Network’s other key programs.
Long-running soap Home and Away is expected to drop the axe on Ray Meagher who has famously played character ‘Alf Stewart’ since the show’s inception. Fans of Stewart can expect to see the character continue, however, with Zempilas affecting a more broadly Australian accent and recounting the character’s famous catch-phrases, such as ‘flamin’ galahs’, ‘flamin’ mongrels’ and ‘flamin’ mongrel galahs’.
Zempilas is also expected to replace both presenters of the Seven Network’s prized property My Kitchen Rules. While existing hosts Manu Feildel and Pete Evans both bring unique qualities to their roles, the Seven Network is confident that Zempilas can replicate the best of what both have to offer. It is said that, for Feildel’s role, Zempilas will talk in an offensively slurred French accent and for Evans he will just open his eyes unnaturally wide.
Finally, Zempilas will take over from Brynne Edelsten on Brynne: My Bedazzled Life. No cosmetic or character changes will be necessary.
Foxtel have not announced any of their presenters at this stage. Kevin Pietersen is not expected to play any part.
GILLESPIE WILL ENCOURAGE SANDPAPERING LEATHER FROM CRICKET BALLS IF HIRED AS AUSTRALIAN COACH TO REPLACE WITH ‘VEGAN ALTERNATIVE’
Former Australian test cricketer and current coach of Sussex, Jason Gillespie, has announced that if hired as Darren Lehmann’s replacement as coach of the Australian men’s cricket team, he will further encourage the use of sandpaper on cricket balls saying that Cameron Bancroft ‘didn’t go far enough’.
Speaking exclusively to ASW Gillespie, who is one of a handful of candidates touted as possible replacements for the outgoing Lehmann, revealed that ball tampering would be one of his main priorities.
“People are angry at Bancroft because he tried to remove the shine from the cricket ball with sandpaper. I’m angry at him because he didn’t remove the leather all together,” said Gillespie, an ethical vegan.
“The shine on a cricket ball is made with shellac, which is produced by lac bugs, so Cameron was already on the right track by removing that, but to not go all the way is criminal.
“If I were appointed coach I’d make Australia sandpaper the leather from each and every cricket ball and replace it with compacted, fermented soybean. I’d call it ball tempeh-ring.”
This wouldn’t be the first time Gillespie had flown in the face of cricket tradition to maintain his vegan principles. In 2004, in a Test against New Zealand, Gillespie replaced all the bowlers’ baggy green caps with replicas made of hemp, to protest the use of sheep’s wool. Shane Warne and Michael Kasprowicz each took four wickets in the first innings, while Glenn McGrath and Jason Gillespie each made half-centuries with the bat.
Gillespie says he may re-introduce the hemp caps if appointed coach.
“I would have kept the hemp cap tradition going back then, because they were so successful, but Warney smoked them all.”
Cricket Australia are expected to announce their decision on the soon vacant position in the coming weeks.
Hours after Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland announced that Darren Lehmann would be retained as coach of the Australian men’s cricket team after recent ball-tampering controversies, Stalag 13 commander Kommandant Colonel Wilhelm Klink has held a press conference to announce that Sergeant Lehmann would also be kept on as a Nazi guard.
Speculation has grown in recent days that Sergeant Lehmann had involvement in the recent escape efforts from the famed Nazi P.O.W. camp and that his position as the main guard on duty was in jeopardy.
Video footage was captured of several prisoners, including Colonel Robert Hogan, concealing contraband materials in their underwear, potentially to be used in escape efforts. Further damning footage was seen that appeared to show Sergeant Lehmann using a Feldfu A1 radio transceiver to warn Corporal Louis LeBeau that they were under suspicion in exchange for his delicious apple crumb cake.
When asked by ASW directly after the allegations were raised whether there was any truth to the rumours, Sergeant Lehmann strongly denied involvement.
“I see nothing!” said Lehmann defiantly.
“I hear nothing! I know nothing!” he continued, apple crumb cake still on his chin.
Colonel Klink accepted Lehmann’s denial of any knowledge of the escape plan and said that he was looking forward to continuing to work with Sergeant Lehmann.
“Like Sutherland before me, I believe him when he says he had no involvement,” said Klink.
“Now we just have to get down to the business of eating apple crumb cake together…I mean…running an efficient Nazi prisoner camp together.”
Lehmann’s next immediate duty will be in his position as Australian cricket coach, with the fourth Test against South Africa due to begin on the 30th of March.
Nathan Lyon has enjoyed another impressive home Ashes Test series taking 21 wickets and moving closer towards overtaking Nelly Yoa as Australia’s leading wicket-taking off-spinner.
The Ashes series concluded yesterday with Australia claiming victory in the final Test at the SCG, with the series 4-0 in Australia’s favour.
Lyon’s 21 wickets takes his career tally to 290 Test wickets, putting the former member of Adelaide Oval’s groundstaff to within 400 wickets of Yoa’s famous tally of 687.
Lyon’s 21 wickets also included the dismissal of Moeen Ali seven times, a feat which sees Lyon join Clarrie Grimmett as the only Australians to dismiss the same batsman seven times in a five Test series.
It is unlikely that Lyon will reach Yoa’s legendary figure, but the player nicknamed ‘GOATBY’ (Greatest Of All Time Besides Yoa) says he is happy just to be mentioned in the same breath.
“Just to be associated with Nelly is an honour,” said Lyon.
“You’ve got to remember that while Yoa was playing for Australia he was also juggling his commitments as Carlton (Football Club)’s full forward, and fly-half for the Wallabies. It puts him in another echelon.
“Still, I’ve always felt an affinity with Nelly, what with us both coming from unorthodox backgrounds. Me as a groundskeeper before I was plucked out of nowhere, and Yoa as an astronaut on the International Space Station.”
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, speaking to ASW, was quick to shower praise on Lyon after Australia’s Ashes victory.
“I called Nathan after the series to congratulate him and the team on their performance which has made this country very proud. He and the team can hold their heads up high,” said the PM.
When asked if he thought Lyon would ever surpass Yoa’s tally, the PM replied jokingly “I hope not! I’d never hear the end of it. We need Yoa to be focusing on the job I’ve given him – negotiating a peaceful resolution in the Israel-Palestine conflict.”
For fans of both off-spinners, Lyon is scheduled to appear on Nelly Yoa’s television chat show Yoa Joking! on Friday on the Nine Network.