Australia v New Zealand – Gabba Test, Day 2: Beach Cricket, Olympics & Bondi

On one of the most tumultuous days in cricket history, a late flurry of wickets to Mitch’s Johnson & Starc, saw New Zealand, after a promising start to their innings, collapse to be 5/157 at stumps. Martin Guptill and Tom Latham had batted without trouble against the new ball, while Kane Williamson immediately looked in good touch at the crease. By stumps he was all that stood between Australia and a first innings annihilation.

But it was earlier in the day, as Khawaja and Voges were flaying the Black Cap attack, that the cricket world was turned upside down. In an interview on ABC Grandstand before play, Cricket Australia (CA) CEO James Sutherland was asked about the push for cricket to be included at the Olympic Games. When asked which format would be best suited for the Olympics, Sutherland favorited the Twenty20 format, but also mentioned indoor cricket and beach cricket. By the time Adam Voges had reached his 50, high level talks at CA had abandoned the 2015/16 Big Bash League (BBL), replacing it with a new competition, the beach cricket based Beach Bum Big Bash League (BBBBL).

Three Voges reverse sweeps later, only the third of which was successful, it was announced that Channel 9 had secured exclusive rights to the inaugural BBBBL, on the proviso that all games be played in Sydney, at Bondi Beach. So ‘Slats’ and ‘Binga’ don’t have to travel too far. Cricket Victoria agreed, as long as the Boxing Day Test can be played at St Kilda beach in a 5 day beach cricket format for the next three years as a trial. It was announced that the AFL would help fund the new St Kilda beach stadium in return for the use of the MCG over the holiday period. “Finally we can press ahead with our desire to start the AFL season over the Christmas weekend and incorporate 16 weekends off per season for our overworked players” said AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan. North Melbourne and Carlton have expressed a desire to start the season on Christmas Day, with McLachlan saying it was certain the season would kick off with a Christmas Day fixture. The AFL CEO then ruled out a Good Friday game, saying “some things are sacrosanct”.

Usman Khawaja’s wonderful innings ended on 174, out to part time spinner Kane Williamson. Made off just 239 balls with 16 fours and 2 sixes, he will now be given an extended run in the number 3 position. Smith declared straight away, with Voges unbeaten on 83.

During the break in innings CA unveiled Sandy Crack, the Operations Manager for the new BBBBL. Ms Crack revealed the existing BBL franchises would be disbanded, replaced by newly formed teams that would appeal more to a younger market. “Too much tradition surrounds the likes of the Sydney Thunder and Hobart Hurricanes that won’t necessarily translate to today’s youth. A fresh, innovative competition needs fresh, innovative teams. While it will be vastly different to not see a Hobart team in traditional Tasmanian purple, we’re confident the next generation of beach cricket followers will fully embrace our exciting new teams.”

At 1/102, New Zealand seemed in control and able to challenge Australia’s first innings total. Meanwhile the first BBBBL team was unveiled, the ‘Bondi Budgie-Smugglers’. Former PM Tony Abbott was appointed President of the new franchise and pledged to recruit economical bowlers who would “stop the runs”. Malcolm Turnbull is reportedly keen to help out with the new franchise but happy to “bide his time”.

The Mitches then ran through the Kiwi top order. Taylor, McCullum & Neesham gave little resistance. At the same time Starc sent Neesham’s stump cartwheeling, Victorian Premier Dan (formerly Daniel) Andrews trumpeted a state government led bid for a Melbourne BBBBL franchise. Speaking at a rally to shorten the name Melbourne to ‘Melb’, Mr Andrews confirmed the proposed “Melb Melanoma’s” team had plenty of backing, including from Crown Casino, the state government and the Royal Hotel. “Everything is better shortened” explained Mr Andrews, “no way would I have won the election as Daniel. Trimming up Melbourne to Melb will help further our great city internationally, as would the arrival of the Melb Melanoma’s beach cricket team.” Mr Andrews continued on, suggesting games be cut back to 10 overs per side. “Less is more. You guys can just call me “D” from now on” shouted the state leader.

As New Zealand lost 4/16, the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) forfeited the Hobart and Sydney Tests. “It’s beach cricket all the way for us now, we’ve been building up to this for many years anyway” said Dave Cameron, President of the WICB. “We’ll turn up for beach cricket whether it’s for 20 overs or 5 days”.

New Zealand finished at 5/157 at stumps. Franchises were hastily being arranged for the BBBBL for Adelaide, Perth, Hobart & Brisbane. Bunnings jumped on as major sponsor, turning it into the BBBBBL (Bunnings Beach Bum Big Bash League). Cricket will never be the same again. See you at the Olympics.

About Luke Reynolds

Cricket and Collingwood tragic. Twitter: @crackers134

Comments

  1. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says:

    Who needs the People’s Elbow? That Prickly Moses stuff has really loosened you up Luke.

    You are Pomborneit’s answer to John Clarke. Can’t find any reference to Ms Crack on LinkedIn though, maybe she’s a ring-in.

  2. Good stuff, Luke.Wasn’t there a beach cricket comp on the telly about ten years ago, with AB and quite a few other former Test players, Australian and, er, un-Australian? Televised by Ch 10, at a guess. Be somewhere on U-Tewb probably.

  3. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Superb Luke if any comment deserved to get the piss taken out of it was this complete lunacy by,Sutherland and you delivered in spades thanks,Luke

  4. Phillip Dimitriadis says:

    Love the satire and the sarcasm Luke. BBBBL…FFS.
    More of this please!

  5. Dave Brown says:

    Top stuff Luke! Thoroughly deserving of the extraction of the Michael – truly bizarre. That said, I’ll happily support the Adelaide Cuttlefish

  6. E.regnans says:

    The traditional Hobart purple – well played L Reynolds.
    It’s got Utopia written all over it.

    Truth is stranger than fiction.

  7. Fantastic Luke. When this happens you’ll be able tp hit up CA fot some serious cash and will land a consultancy gig.

    The AFL and CA are in a race to become self-parodying in everything they do.

    I like the thinking of your premier over there. Watch out,, he’ll be poached.

  8. Luke Reynolds says:

    Thanks for the comments.

    Swish-Ms Crack needs to up her social media work if she’s taking on this role with the BBBBBL

    Thanks Vin. Yes there was, though I didn’t catch a minute of it. Don’t think I missed much.

    Cheers Malcolm, couldn’t let that comment go through to the keeper

    Thanks Phil. FFS indeed.

    Thanks Dave. The Adelaide Cuttlefish will pack out a sand filled Adelaide Oval.

    ER- Very much inspired by Utopia. Didn’t even have to mention the ‘traditional’ green and red of the two Melbourne teams.

    Mickey- would the poaching of our premier be a payback for the Grand Prix?

  9. kath presdee says:

    Looking forward to the Cronulla Rioters in the traditional sharks sky blue this summer.

    And GWS have promised that they’ll donate any guys finding it hard to get a game in their squad to the Carlton linked team… although they will not countenance anyone going after Katich.

  10. Truly brilliant, Luke.
    I initially read this on my phone and re-tweeted it immediately.

    But just thought I would add a comment to say how much I enjoyed it.
    Sandy Crack…ha ha ha.

    I remember that beach cricket comp from a few years ago to which Vin is referring –
    it was truly ridiculous.

    But I reckon the West Indies might support the concept of Olympic beach cricket

  11. Luke Reynolds says:

    Great stuff Kath, the Cronulla Rioters are a perfect fit for the BBBBBL! The lack of beaches will no doubt hamper a Western Sydney bid.

    Thanks Smokie!
    It could be argued that the Windies have been playing beach cricket since the late 1990’s…

  12. Barry McAdam says:

    Hahaha brilliant! The funniest non People’s Elbow story I have read on this blog! Well done Luke. As a Tasmanian loved the line about “traditional Tasmanian Purple”! And Dan Andrews shortening (reference to Bill??) his name to “D”, gold!

  13. Very clever Luke

  14. Luke Reynolds says:

    Barry-long way off being able to be compared to the great man The Elbow.Yes was a reference to Bill, well picked up.

    Cheers thanks Raj.

  15. Barry McAdam says:

    We need to see a picture of Sandy Crack.

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