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Full name Simon Patrick O'Donnell
Born January 26, 1963, Deniliquin, New South Wales
Current age 51 years 167 days
Major teams Australia, Northumberland, Victoria
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm fast-medium
|Test debut||England v Australia at Leeds, Jun 13-18, 1985 scorecard|
|Last Test||Australia v New Zealand at Sydney, Nov 22-26, 1985 scorecard|
|ODI debut||Australia v West Indies at Melbourne, Jan 6, 1985 scorecard|
|Last ODI||Australia v India at Hobart, Dec 10, 1991 scorecard|
|List A span||1984-1993|
Multi-talented athlete Simon O'Donnell ended a promising Australian Rules football career to focus on cricket. He went on to become a valuable all-rounder in the Australian one-day team, and was a member of the side when it marked its resurgence with a surprise World Cup win in 1987. O'Donnell the cricketer is most keenly remembered for a number of explosive innings in Australia's middle-lower order. His clean, powerful drives straight of the wicket and through mid-on were particularly effective. His feats included an 18-ball half-century against Sri Lanka in 1990, which remained the fastest 50 scored in ODI cricket for almost six years. However, O'Donnell's intelligent fast-medium bowling often proved to be more pivotal in Australia's one-day fortunes. In the 1987 World Cup he had limited impact with the bat but was a significant wicket-taker and finished the tournament as Australia's most economical bowler.
O'Donnell was diagnosed with cancer at the end of the tournament. He made a strong recovery and returned to one-day international cricket from 1988-89.
Since his retirement from cricket, O'Donnell has become a member of the Nine Network's commentary team, and is the regular host of The Cricket Show, which airs during the lunch breaks of Tests in Australia.
Anthony Fallick (June 2002)
A look back at five high-profile exhibition matches