Posted by: nestaquin | December 31, 2010

2010 Memorable Moments

The last day of 2010 has arrived too quickly for my liking but, even so, it is traditionally a time of reflection, reminiscence and recovery.

With that in mind I thought it would be nice to share my three favourite cricketing moments of the past year and hopefully you can share yours too.

15 & 16 January – Ponting’s 209 at Bellerive against Pakistan

Ponting’s double century at Bellerive could conceivably be his last hundred and it showcased everything that has made him the outstanding Australian bat of his generation. It was an absolutely brilliant innings made especially memorable because it was the first Test that my 8 year old son, Patrick, ever attended.

He’ll never forget it. Just like my father told me stories about attending the SCG with his Dad as a ten year old in 1947 where he witnessed Bradman score 185 against India, the stage is now set for my descendants to sit on Pat’s knee several decades into the future to hear of the day when Tasmania’s finest bat was dropped on the boundary hooking first ball only to dig in and score not one but two hundreds in a mammoth stand with Michael Clarke.

28 February – Tasmania defeating Victoria to win the One-Day Cup

Beating the Vics is always sweet but in a final at the MCG it was most enjoyable. A Tim Paine ton and Gerald Denton’s five wickets were the dominant performances but like most wins for the Thylacines it was a wholehearted team effort that saw them bring the trophy home to Bellerive.

You can read the report and many of the excellent comments by following this link.

3 November – Murali’s last match at the MCG

Murali’s joy for the game was contagious during what turned out to be a very exciting and for Australians, a hugely deflating, One Day International in Melbourne.

In the field he just never stopped grinning and appeared as though he was having the time of his life. Even at 107/8 chasing 244 Murali was sitting on the bench with pads on laughing and joking as if he knew what Mathews and Malinga would soon achieve. When Malinga fell with still four runs to win Murali walked out to the middle shared a joke with Mathews, laughed off some sledging from Watson and then promptly dispatched him to the boundary to polish off a remarkable comeback.

While Pup, head bowed, led his shocked team from the field the Lankans celebrated their first series victory of any sort in Australia by chairing Mathews and Malinga around the MCG and hugging anyone in their vicinity. Murali just followed on behind the pack smiling and talking to Sri Lankan expats in the outer and his attitude that day reminded me why I love this game so much.

Happy New Year!!

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Responses

  1. Mine are a bit personal, but here goes.

    Thanks to David Smith and my writing for UK’s Channel Five, I got a seat in the press boxes at Lord’s, The Oval, Edgbaston and Trent Bridge. It may never happen again, but the view and the atmosphere added up to a wonderful experience.

    At the Eng vs Pak ODI at Lord’s, I stepped out of the cocoon that is the aluminium eye that is the media centre and sat in a lively crowd as Lord’s shimmered under lights, the pavilion even more magnificent set against the black sky. What a thrill it must be to be in the middle.

    Last, but not least, my highlight has been the pleasure of cricketing company, whether amongst the commentators and listeners at Testmatchsofa.com, friends on The Shelf at The Oval (including Surrey staff who did such a fine job when my younger boy was mascot for the day), colleagues in the press boxes, commenters at guardian.co.uk’s sportsblog and, of course, the readers and commenters here at 99.94. The Greatest of Games is blessed with a generosity of spirit and respect for all who take an interest in its endlessly fascinating machinations, whether in the middle, on the boundary or following the play on a screen or via radio. In a world in which such generosity of spirit seems to be more rare every time the calendar clicks over another year, we should treasure it even more.

  2. “as Lord’s shimmered under lights, the pavilion even more magnificent set against the black sky. What a thrill it must be to be in the middle.”
    Interesting point. Players normally talk about right areas and honour to represent their country and dream come true and playing with their childhood heros etc etc etc. Never heard anyone say what it was like to stand in the middle of Lords, or MCG or the highland of SA. Must be a real privilege.
    I’ve been to Lords twice, what a beautiful ground and atmosphere, to be there as a player must be extraordinary.
    Frankly this is not really a year for cricket highlights for me, but things can only get better in 2011 (because they can’t get any bloody worse). Unless Bangladesh beat us.
    I greatly enjoyed pepp and her rural comments, that was a highlight. Still have this image in my mind about her sheep staying at the Hilton.
    Nesta you’re right, Murali was such a delightful mischievous little bugger, his presence was a delight.
    Actually there’s been some great cricket this year, which I’ve really enjoyed. One day maybe Australia will produce some of it too.
    My brain is still hurting trying to imagine the idea of watching Lara in Alice.
    Good writing from 99.94 and community, happy new year to you all.
    Japaljarri: living in Europe where it rarely gets much above 0 at the moment, the idea of a cold beer when it’s probably 40C outside sounds like heaven. Enjoy it!

  3. Fred – All the best to you Sir!

    Re being in the middle, here’s the final two pars of Atherton’s piece (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203513204576048410764159724.html?KEYWORDS=MICHAEL+ATHERTON+THE+TIMES)

    One who covered himself in glory was Mr. Trott, the man of the match, and long after the last of the Barmy Army had left the stadium, the field empty save two white sheets covering the end pitches and a security guard at each corner, out he came, pushing his baby in a pram.

    He pushed it out to the middle, stopped at the pitch—and, no, he didn’t scrape his mark at the crease—and paused to look around and remember the scene. It was the kind of day that he will recall to his daughter in years to come, the kind of day that will be talked about for a long time. It was a day when heroes, of the sporting kind you understand, were made

  4. Obtaining free tickets, care of the Sri Lankan cricket team, to the recent ODI at the SCG. Alas the match was cold, wet and mostly a washout. But it was great to wander around the members areas and soak it all up.

    Coming to the realisation that I am older than all cricketers. Mind, Sachin will probably play till he’s 65, and with Brian Lara returning to the IPL only a couple of years younger than me, there is hope for people in their 5th decade.

    OK this is 2011, but the hope of seeing the debut of an Australian cricketer of substance at the SCG in a few days time. Usman of course. I measure my cricket life in Australian batsmen (Toohey, Chappell G, Border, Waugh S), and there’s never been someone to follow so closely since S Waugh.

    • Pete – The young man is carrying the hopes of a nation!


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