December 28, 2006

Fourth Test, Melbourne

Legend status

Gideon Haigh

There have been a few legends involved in this game, but only two 'Legends'. The Australian and St George’s flags were escorted onto the field on Day One by local and visiting 'Ashes Legends'. In the baggy green and gold corner, Bill Lawry; from the Anglosphere, Dennis Amiss.

In the latter case, the word ‘legend’ must have been used in its liberal modern interpretation. No disrespect intended to a stout-hearted opening batsman – and one who was kind enough to give me his autograph at Kardinia Park in 1978 – but his main contribution to the Anglo-Australian game was the enrichment of Dennis Lillee’s legend: he made 305 runs in Ashes Tests at 15.25. Surely a greater Ashes Legend was on hand. Derek Pringle doesn’t look very busy at the moment.


Gideon Haigh is a cricket historian and writer

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Posted by jasper on (January 1, 2007, 10:18 GMT)

Nice one George/Spence: I have enjoyed all the A-miss chat as a 'legend'; there are two words on which i would like you reflect: Keith Fletcher. Did he not hold the record for the slowest ever Test century? Re. George's Aussie XI 'selection'you can't escape the thought that they would probably have walked into any England XI - and stayed there!

Three more 'golden' names from England recent ranks: Chris Silverwood, Alex Tudor, and Tony Pigot.... oh the list goes on!

Posted by spence on (January 1, 2007, 0:36 GMT)

george:good team my friend!!!I'd forgotten about steve smith;and watkins is a selection of genius.john dyson can be rested and replaced by ashley woodcock:remember him?? my bowling attack would revolve around the unique talents of tony dell,ross duncan and dave gilbert,with murray bennett as the spin do you balance this collection of "legends"?simple:shove trevor laughlin in as your match winning all rounder... what's interesting about the initial reference to dennis amiss is that despite his failures against australia,he still has a test average of 46.check out his test figures against the west indies;that's why he was "trumpeted" by english fans.

Posted by George on (December 31, 2006, 12:20 GMT)

In my opinion it would require an all-star Aussie Legends XI to equal Dennis Amiss alone. Something like: 1. J Dyson 2. S Smith 3. M Veletta 4. D Wellham 5. J Watkins 6. T Chappell 7. G Cosier 8. T Zoehrer 9. P McIntyre 10. C Matthews 11. G Campbell 12. M Lewis

Posted by jasper on (December 30, 2006, 11:21 GMT)

Hi Spence: Maybe we could have an England XI v Australia XI playing for the Klunker Kup: three more for England: Chris Balderstone (now deceased) David Capel and Eddie Hemmings. To be selected as a Klunker selectors work on reverse-psychology: the worse they are the more likely they get selected. By the way do you think Ian Bell could be in the selectors thoughts?

Posted by peter warrington on (December 30, 2006, 1:10 GMT)

Phil Carlson, John Maclean, Martin Kent, Trevor Chappell, Greg Campbell, Dirk Wellham, Richie Robinson as opener etc etc

how did we go from Amiss, to Denness, BTW?

for what it's worth, i think the point is that Amiss was trumpeted by the Poms in 74-5 as a genius - got smashed. and continued to, especially by Lillee, for the rest of the decade.

nobody said that Phil Carlson was a genius - well, Phil might have, but that doesn't count.

Posted by spence on (December 29, 2006, 9:29 GMT)

yeah,england have no ashes legends and australia has nothing but...can you remember such "legends"as ken eastwood,froggy thomson,wally edwards,gary cosier and andrew hilditch?? thought not... must agree about denness though;hopeless as a batsman and a captain.

Posted by jasper humphreys on (December 29, 2006, 9:19 GMT)

What about more Great One-Day Wonders: three for starters Phil Newport, Mike Watkinson and Gavin Hamilton (the ultimate 'New Botham')..... any more? Jasper

Posted by Don on (December 29, 2006, 6:12 GMT)

*chuckles* Quite funny! Ahh yes, Alex, I'd almost forgotten those gems, I especially remember Martin McCague ended up not getting a gig for WA so he could be thrusted into the bowling attack for England.

PS No disrespect to Mark Lathwell but I had forgotten him but what a great memory you must have! :-)

Posted by Colin Capon on (December 28, 2006, 23:18 GMT)

I have to agree that the selection of Mike Denness is absolutely ludicrous. I would suggest that there are bar staff in Australia who have performed better for England than he has but seriously I would suggest there are many retired english cricketers out here who would have fitted the bill. What a really silly thing to do

Posted by Alex (aussie in London) on (December 28, 2006, 18:45 GMT)

Just think of who else England could claim as legends; Wayne Larkins, Eddie Hemmings, Martin McCague and who could forget Mark Lathwell (in case you did, he was plucked from obscurity in 1993 for 2 tests and never seen again). As for your comments Robbo, if we had the same system as England in 2005 with everyone giving the honours out, Damien Martyn would have to have a special charter flight from Hawaii in order for Johnny to give him an order of Australia for his contribution.

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Gideon Haigh
Born in London of a Yorkshire father, raised in Australia by a Tasmanian mother, Gideon Haigh lives in Melbourne with a cat, Trumper. He has written 19 books and edited a further seven. He is also a life member and perennial vice-president of the South Yarra CC.

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