Lee's jocks, Bolt shocks

An Australian batsman's high-profile fan, the world's highest cricket venue, and Bradman's pet-shop connection

Brydon Coverdale

August 25, 2008

Text size: A | A

Brett Lee: 'I've done a billion photo shoots, but it's always with my clothes on' © Getty Images

Hayden's Bolt from the blue
A worrying lack of athletic gold had Australian journalists desperately searching for local angles last week. As he did through the Olympics, Usain Bolt delivered. Shortly after breaking Michael Johnson's 200m world record, Bolt told reporters he couldn't wait to visit Australia. "One of my favourite cricketers in the world is from your way," Bolt said. "I am a huge fan of Matty Hayden and he's a cool customer out in the middle and I like his style."

Like Bolt, Hayden knows what it's like to break a world record: his 380 was for a time the highest score in Tests. "It's pretty humbling, isn't it, for an old fisherman and surfer in Queensland who now and then plays a bit of cricket," Hayden said when told of Bolt's comments. "It's an amazing achievement and to be mentioned is something I'm very proud about and I can't believe he even said that." And the mutual admiration society has its two newest inductees.

Taking the high ground
After a fortnight of freak talent from Bolt and Michael Phelps, an outbreak of world-record fever was probably inevitable. Not entirely surprising, then, to read of plans for a charity cricket match near Mount Everest Base Camp at an altitude of more than 5100 metres. Nearly 50 people will make the journey, including players, medics and cameramen. There will also be umpires, and if they want a high - no pun intended - standard of decision-making, the ultra-fit Simon Taufel could probably make the trek, though some of his fuller-figured colleagues on the ICC Elite Panel may struggle. The match will take place next April and the British organisers say it will be the highest game of organised sport ever played - although Diego Maradona may have some claim to that title.

Brett Lee's underpants! Now that I've got your attention...
A story about, well, Brett Lee's underpants. On a cold Sydney night, Lee, with help from designer Bruno Schiavi, launched his own line of underwear. Although he has posed in the AceStar range for a series of ads, there was no chance the fast bowler was getting his gear off again. "I've done my hard work," Lee said. "I've done a billion photo shoots, but it's always with my clothes on. To think that the whole emphasis was on my underwear - but Bruno and everyone at the whole shoot made it so comfortable." Unfortunately the week went downhill rather quickly for Lee, who a few days later announced he was separating from his wife Liz.

Are you happy, Geeves?
Lee's marriage problems ruled him out of Australia's one-day series against Bangladesh in Darwin and thus gave Brett Geeves his first call-up into Australia's squad. It meant Geeves could once and for all forget about looking for another job. A year ago he was scouring the employment section of the Saturday newspapers as he feared being dumped by Tasmania following a disappointing 2006-07. "I wasn't far off maybe losing my state contract and having to pursue other areas," Geeves said last week. With a name like that there would have to be a future in butler work, if his cricket career comes a cropper.

Jeers for cheers
Not for the first time in the past 12 months, cheerleaders have made an appearance at international cricket but have not been universally embraced. A squad of 24 Eastern European cheerleaders were enlisted for Sri Lanka's opening ODI against India in Dambulla, a match that the home team won convincingly. But Sri Lanka's cultural minister Yapa Abeywardena asked that the women be removed for the remaining games. "It is not in keeping with our tradition," Abeywardena said. "I have asked the cricket board to drop this item immediately." Much to the disappointment of some fans, the board agreed to get rid of the cheerleaders.

Pet shop collars Bradman memento
The 100th anniversary of Don Bradman's birth is coming up on August 27 and it seems everyone wants a piece of the celebration. Even a pet shop in Bowral, the New South Wales town where Bradman was raised. For the next fortnight the store will be displaying a dog collar signed by Bradman and sold at a charity auction. Not exactly a rival to the town's Bradman Museum, but at least they're getting into the spirit of the occasion. If ever the collar is used for its intended purpose, surely the lucky canine must be given the name Dog Bradman.

Headline of the Week
"Hair is pulling out"
The Daily Mirror's headline writers make the most of the outgoing umpire Darrell Hair's infinitely punnable name, while they still can

Brydon Coverdale is a staff writer at Cricinfo

RSS Feeds: Brydon Coverdale

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Email Feedback Print
Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
Related Links
Players/Officials: Brett Geeves | Matthew Hayden | Brett Lee

    'Everyone stares at you when you're 6ft 8in'

Boyd Rankin talks about giants, playing for the enemy, and being mentored by Allan Donald

    Bravo's withdrawal highlights cricket's stress malaise

Tony Cozier: He and Kieran Powell should follow Lara's example by seeking professional help to resurrect their promising careers

    Four afternoons into immortality

Rewind: In 1899 a 13-year-old orphan at Clifton College established a world record which stands to this day

    A crisis that defines the age

David Hopps: In England, changes in social attitudes, the demands of work, and other factors are contributing to a decline in recreational cricket

Is Sarfraz Ahmed Pakistan's best wicketkeeper-batsman ever?

Kamran Abbasi: His stats so far and the calm assurance he showed in Dubai mark him as one to watch

News | Features Last 7 days

Pakistan should not welcome Amir back

The serene team culture cultivated by Misbah and his men shouldn't be allowed to be disrupted by a player with a tainted past

Contrite Kohli, apoplectic Kohli, and a Dhoni impersonator

Plays of the day from the fifth ODI in Ranchi

'I don't blame Arjuna for my early retirement'

Former Sri Lanka batsman Asanka Gurusinha talks about playing and coaching in Australia, and tactics during the 1996 World Cup

Dhoni's absence a guide to India's future

He's past his use-by date as a Test captain and keeper. India now have a chance to test Kohli's leadership skills

'I'm a bit disappointed not to get that Test average up to 50'

Mahela Jayawardene reflects on his Test career, and the need to bridge the gap between international and club cricket in Sri Lanka

News | Features Last 7 days