There’s no doubt that we’ve taken a great deal of pleasure in watching Australian cricket tear itself apart over the past few months. With Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricket Association still seemingly miles away from reaching an agreement, we’ve seen an Australia A tour of South Africa go down the pan already, while tours of Bangladesh and India are now under threat as well. As farces go, we haven’t seen the like since Some Mothers Do ‘Ave Em was last on the telly. Apart from England’s performance in the second Test against South Africa, of course.
But with talks having advanced no further than an asthmatic ant with some heavy shopping, everyone suddenly realised that this year’s Ashes series might actually end up being cancelled. Despite their apparent desperation to be the last man standing on the post-nuclear apocalypse remains of Australian cricket, surely even Cricket Australia wouldn’t be stupid enough to allow their showpiece series to fall by the wayside? For a start, it would probably have a fair old impact on their precious revenue numbers. Nope, hence the call for independent arbitration to, one way or another, finally get something sorted out.
But while the Ashes happening is probably a good thing (unless you’ve got money on England to win, in which case not), it has denied us the comedy that could have been Australia putting out a team of non-cricketers, just like they did in 2010/11. And how would such a team have looked? In order to answer this, we took to YouTube to make a token effort to find some clips of Australian non-cricketers playing cricket, purely so that we could shoe-horn in some lame jokes about how they’d still be better than Moises Henriques.
The 2005 Ashes are (unsurprisingly) fondly remembered by everyone associated with this site. We once spent an entire week going back over it, simply because we used to have lots of spare time and enthusiasm, both attributes that we are sorely lacking these days. But for this writer, the one downside of those glorious few months was John Howard appearing on Test Match Special and talking for what seemed like days in the most boring monotone voice that you could ever imagine. It would have been enough to drive us to drink, had our friend Dave not already done exactly that, giving us a lift to the pub.
Anyway, here’s John Howard proving that he’s actually better at bowling than filling the tea break on Test Match Special. And he’s fucking shit at bowling. Although still a better option in the middle order than Moises Henriques.
One of the easily forgotten things from the 2010/11 Ashes is that there was actually quite a clamour in Australia for Shane Warne to be brought back into the Test side, presumably at the expense of Xavier Doherty. This was despite the fact that Warne had been retired for a good few years and was had begun his metamorphosis into his own Maddam Tussaud’s waxwork.
Warne clearly didn’t fancy this – we don’t exactly blame him, especially when the alternative was staying at home and having regular sex with Elizabeth Hurley. Anyway, here’s Warne making a spectacularly half-assed effort in bowling to Hugh Jackman, deliberately getting smashed all over the shop to avoid having to face a similar fate at the hands of Ian Bell. Although both Jackman and a Shane Warne who had to be forced to play at gunpoint would still be safer bets than Moises Henriques.
Unlike the vast majority of Australian comedians, Hamish and Andy are actually quite funny. Adding them to Channel Nine’s already hilarious coverage threatened to create something so funny that television across the nation would need to be shut down for a few hours afterwards, just to give the country chance to get its shit back together. Based on the amount of laughter in this clip, it might have been best to take a bit of an extended break once the catching competition was done.
With not a single catch taken, Hamish and Andy might not be the best option for the Australian slip cordon. But at least they made a bit of an effort, which again makes them a more obvious choice than Moises Henriques.
Of course, no trip through Australian stuff would be complete without at least some reference to Neighbours, still the greatest thing to ever emerge from Down Under, just ahead of Ellysee Perry. In one of the greatest acting performances that the show has seen in its 30 years, here’s Damien Fleming reacting to a wombat being kidnapped with exactly the sort of calm composure that the Channel Nine commentary box typically lacks. Alongside that, there’s a career-defining performance from Shane Watson. Although that says more about the failure of his cricketing career than anything else. Actually, this was probably where Moises Henriques would have been the better choice all along.