Trevor Chappell

Cheer up, mate

An Englishman becomes part of the Aussie entourage... with a little encouragement

Nagraj Gollapudi

Text size: A | A
Rod Marsh illustration
Related Links
Players/Officials: Rod Marsh | Trevor Chappell
Series/Tournaments: Australia tour of England
Teams: Australia

The 1981 Ashes tour was one that had lots of interruptions on account of bad weather. We had started the series quite well by winning the one-day series, and were confident going into the first Test, at Trent Bridge. But the Nottingham wicket was seaming and it was a low-scoring game - there were only two scores of over 50, one from each side.

Scoring runs was a real struggle. It was overcast right through - very much a bowler's wicket. We needed 131 for victory in the last innings. The dressing room was a tense place. Everyone in there had to support the team's cause - even our team's coach driver, an Englishman who we called Geezer because of his Cockney accent.

As our second innings was about to begin, Rod Marsh instructed Geezer to get a pen and piece of paper, write down numbers on the paper - from 132 to 0 - and cross each run off that was scored in the middle. Geezer thought that Rod was joking and wasn't having any of it. But Rod was very serious and insisted. So Geezer sat there and crossed each number off as the runs were scored. And that was how Geezer became part of the Australian touring squad even though he was English.

As told to Nagraj Gollapudi
This article was first published in the print version of Cricinfo Magazine

Tell us what you think. Send us your feedback

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Email this page to a friend Email Feedback Feedback Print Print
More in Once Upon an Anecdote
RSS FeedAll
  • Highest totals without a ton, and dream ODI debuts
    Ask Steven: Also: the most team changes made by a country in successive one-day internationals, and highest individual Test scores in the second innings
  • Ricey remembers
    Clive Rice, a South Africa and Notts colossus, now beset by illness, looks back at his career. By Luke Alfred
  • Bell's Ashes rollercoaster
    Ian Bell is the one England player remaining from the heady summer of 2005, but that great series is not all fond memories for him, he tells David Hopps
  • Bravo helps cricket break new ground
    Dwayne Bravo's sensational catch in the IPL is in line to win cricket's first ESPY
  • Papua New Guinea take flight
    How the team went from a bunch of mentally and physically unfit cricket enthusiasts to winning their maiden first-class game. By Nagraj Gollapudi
  • ESPN
  • ESPNF1
  • Scrum
  • Soccernet