The Summer That Was

Adelaide Oval bathed in a stunning sunset. Photo: Getty Images. 

Adelaide Oval bathed in a stunning sunset. Photo: Getty Images. 

By Taryn Elder

It’s the time of the year when mosquitoes seem to go into hibernation and puffa jackets become a staple item for those wanting to brave the cool breeze that makes itself known across our sunburnt country.

Yes, it seems the sun is setting on another Australian summer, which means your daily dose of cricket in Australia is over... for now.  

READ: Winter is coming... surviving an Aussie winter without cricket

So we’re taking this time to reflect on the season that was. From the moments that made social media go into meltdown, to the fun and festivities that had us wishing the summer season would never end. Here’s a look back on another brilliant summer of cricket. 

Adelaide Test
It was one of the most hyped matches over recent years, yes, the first Test match in Australia to be held under lights. Adelaide played host to this momentous occasion against the Aussies and the Kiwis, with a pink ball used for the very first time in Test match cricket (history in the making), and it seems most people were a fan.....

Adelaide Oval sure knows how to bring the party when it comes to the cricket, people flocked in their thousands to enjoy the brilliant social atmosphere,  with marquees and bars aligning the members area.

Boxing Day Test
It wouldn’t be Boxing Day in Australia without the Commonwealth Bank Boxing Day Test. Australia and the West Indies went head to head, and although the weather threatened to ruin all of the fun on day one, the sun gods eventually showed themselves revealing a perfect day for a spot of cricket.

Pink Test In Sydney
Yes, it rained, torrential is a word that comes to mind. But it didn't stop people coming out in force to support the McGrath Foundation Pink Test. Check out some of the outfits. 

Field of Flavours
It was the first time the Field of Flavours Festival had been trailed at Test matches around Australia and the food and festivities didn't disappoint. Food trucks and gourmet street food restaurants hit the Australia V India Test matches in Perth, Sydney and Melbourne and the crowds loved it. Big shout out to the dance crowd that assembled during the Melbourne festival. 
 

Big Bash League
It was a highly anticipated season for the Big Bash League with the hard work done in the off season to secure some big name players for both the men’s and women’s league. A number of international imports touched down in Australia to be part of the competition. 

READ: What The Hell Is The BBL

It was also the first season ever that the competition would include the Rebel Women's Big Bash League - WBBL|01 and it has been hailed as a major success. Aussie cricket fans embraced the new arm of the competition which put into the spotlight some of our best Aussie female cricketers and made the world take notice of the popularity of women's sport. 

READ: WBBL paving the way around the world

WBBL Launch. Photo: Getty Images. 

WBBL Launch. Photo: Getty Images. 

A big shoutout must go to the teams that came out on top. Sydney Thunder took home the men's and women's trophies, a double victory. 

READ: Highlights of the BBL Finals

New Years Eve at Adelaide Oval
Who could forget New Years Eve at Adelaide Oval for the Big Bash League. It was a packed stadium for the competition, fireworks, entertainment and a whole lot of cricket. 

GALLERY: New Years Eve at Adelaide Oval


Social Media Meltdown Moments
It wouldn't be a summer of cricket without the moments that made social media go into meltdown. From haircuts to fruit eating here's some of our top picks. 

1. Watermelon Boy
He won the hearts of healthy eaters around the country. "Watermelon Boy' was a crowd favourite,his face beamed into houses around the country during the Channel 10 coverage of the Big Bash League game in Melbourne. 

2. Mullet Boy
Another crowd favourite, this little legend had commentators abuzz with his tremendous mullet and the world of Twitter couldn't get enough of him.

Crowd Catches
And let's not forget some of the best crowd catches from this summer. 

WATCH: Crowd Catches Of The Summer

Feel good stories
This season was filled with feel good stories, including that of Batting for Change Founder Ryan Carters. The Sydney Sixers player reached his goal of raising $120,00 for his charity Batting for Change, with the final numbers coming in at $128,744. The charity helps to build schools and facilitate education for women in developing countries, thanks to everyone that made a donation. 

READ: Ryan Carters Batting for Change

Ryan Carters from Batting for Change. Photo: Getty Images. 

Ryan Carters from Batting for Change. Photo: Getty Images. 

Famous faces at the cricket
Another season of famous faces at the cricket, including two of our favourites Hamish and Andy, as well as One Direction singer Niall Horan. 

READ: Famous faces at the cricket  

The Allan Border Medal
Who could forget the Allan Border Medal. The glitz, the glamour and candid moments captured the attention of sports fans around Australia. Congrats to David Warner and Meg Lanning who were the big award winners on the night. 

GALLERY: Allan Border Medal Red Carpet

Number One
The Australian Men's Cricket Team reclaimed the number one Test rankings spot to become the best Test match team in the world. It was their campaign in New Zealand that led them back to the top of the table, showing that like our Southern Stars Team they are the ones to beat. 

That wraps up some of our favourite moments from the Aussie summer of cricket, let us know yours! 

ICC World Twenty20 – Who will grab the titles

India to host the ICC World Twenty20 next month. Photo: Getty Images. 

India to host the ICC World Twenty20 next month. Photo: Getty Images. 

By Jill Scanlon 

It’s just under a fortnight until the ICC World Twenty20 (also known as the World Cup) hits off and already there is debate over who will win the hearts and minds of the world’s cricket fans and who will set the media in a frenzy with the mixture of talent, colourful characters and heated sledging all in a melting pot that will be India through the month of March.

The 2016 World Cup is easy to lay out in numbers http://www.icc-cricket.com/world-t20/about :  it is a combined tournament hosting both the Men’s and Women’s fixtures across 27 days of competition with 26 teams (16 Men’s and 10 Women’s) from 16 countries all vying to etch their names in history.

But it’s the stories behind the numbers that paint the picture.

For the Australian teams, there is the same goal but for very different reasons.

The Women are aiming for a fourth consecutive title in this relatively young competition having dominated it almost since its inception, with England taking out the inaugural tournament in 2009.

The Southern Stars will be aiming for a fourth consecutive title. Photo: Getty Images. 

The Southern Stars will be aiming for a fourth consecutive title. Photo: Getty Images. 

The Men’s tournament began two years earlier and has seen five previous competitions contested with five separate victors. Australia has never won but was the runner up in 2010 to arch rivals England -- it’s the only trophy the Men’s team has not yet managed to add to its impressive cabinet.

The Australian Men's Cricket Team is yet to bring home the World Cup trophy for Twenty20. Photo: Getty Images. 

The Australian Men's Cricket Team is yet to bring home the World Cup trophy for Twenty20. Photo: Getty Images. 

The Indian Women’s team will be just as keen as their male counterparts for a win on home soil and looking to capitalise on recent hit outs against both England and Australia; while the England teams will be looking to make a statement having both won the T20 World Cup before, but not for a few years and only once each.

In the Men’s competition, an initial Group stage contest is played out between eight teams from the ICC Tier 2 nations which have qualified to play-off for the right for two of them to join what is known as the Super group – the world’s leading cricket nations.

While some experts dismiss these preliminary matches in the World Cup as superfluous to proceedings, it is always intriguing to see how well the developing cricket nations are doing -- and upsets do happen.

In the Women’s competition, while Australia has stamped its dominance on international cricket in all forms over recent times, many of its opponents can still take a game right up to the champions on any day as has been recently proven by India and New Zealand and all are looking to steal the mantle of supremacy, even in just one format, from the reigning queens of cricket.

But will Southern Stars captain Meg Lanning be the fly in the ointment of opponents as she continues to amaze the cricket world with her talent and leadership at just 23 years of age, having this week helped the Southern Stars secure the Rose Bowl (Australia v New Zealand ODI trophy) for a 16th consecutive year capping off the series with an individual knock of 127 in the final ODI game.

Australia will be hoping Southern Stars captain Meg Lanning can help lead the Aussie team to victory next month. Photo: Getty Images. 

Australia will be hoping Southern Stars captain Meg Lanning can help lead the Aussie team to victory next month. Photo: Getty Images. 

India presents itself as a host country with many attractions; a vibrant culture, challenging playing conditions in both weather and pitches, but most of all in the home crowd support that will be in full voice at all eight venues dotted around the cricket-mad country http://www.icc-cricket.com/world-t20/venues .

The Indian cricket crowd takes the term fanatical to the next level. Photo: Getty Images. 

The Indian cricket crowd takes the term fanatical to the next level. Photo: Getty Images. 

The oppressive heat often experienced by visiting teams on the sub-continent will not be such a factor as March usually has ‘cooler’ temperatures from mid-twenties to low thirties -- all relative really depending whether you’re from West Indies or from Scotland.

Australia's Holly Ferling. Photo: Getty Images. 

Australia's Holly Ferling. Photo: Getty Images. 

For lovers of cricket – in any format – March is destined to be a month of action, colour, records and even upsets which will settle many a debate over supremacy while initiating many more.

Head to cricket.com.au for more info on the fixture and where to WATCH. 

 

 

Throwback Thursday Cricket Edition

By Taryn Elder

There's nothing quite like a Throwback Thursday to get you through the working week.

We've gone into the archives at The Delivery HQ and left no stone unturned, to bring you the best of our Throwback Thursday cricket edition, including some of our past cricketing favourites. 

It's a case of 'like a fine wine' for some of our cricketers and on the other hand some look like they haven't aged a day.

Enjoy!

Captain Steve Smith
He was the shy teenager and self confessed 'cricket nuffie' who worked hard to become Australia's current cricket captain. This throwback of Steve Smith as a young teenager is an absolute classic.  

Photos: Sourced/Getty Images 

Photos: Sourced/Getty Images 

Shane Watson
It's no secret our man Shane Watson was a fan of the tipping cap at the hairdressers. I think he and Michael Clarke might have gone to the same haidrdresser back in the day.. thoughts?

Photos" Sourced | Getty Images 

Photos" Sourced | Getty Images 

George Bailey
Aghh George. These throwbacks from a young George Bailey comparing him to now, are so good we had to include a few of them. We're not quiet sure about the shirt unbuttoned look... #fashion. 
 

Photos: Sourced | Getty Images 

Photos: Sourced | Getty Images 

Photos: Getty Images 

Photos: Getty Images 

Shaun Marsh
Nothing like a throwback that includes a signature hoop earring, the essential fashion accessory for all young teenage boys in the 90's. Check out those dimples! 

Photos: Getty Images 

Photos: Getty Images 

Mitchell Marsh 
Like a young Zac Efron (think High School Musical), a baby faced Mitch Marsh pictured posing for one of his first player mug shots (left) and snapped recently on the field with the Aussie team.  

Photos: Sourced | Getty Images 

Photos: Sourced | Getty Images 

Pat Cummins
Pat Cummins was an avid backyard cricket fan but we didn't know he also enjoyed mud wrestling in the backyard. Pictured here as a young teenager (left), he was always going to be tall!  

Photos: Sourced | Getty Images 

Photos: Sourced | Getty Images 

Usman Khawaja
We think Ussy must be drinking from the fountain of youth, pictured here (left) almost five years ago, he's barely aged a day.  What's his secret? 

Photos: Getty Images 

Photos: Getty Images 

Mitchell Johnson
It wouldn't be a throwback without some frosted tips in the front of Mitch Johnson's hair. These days the cricketer who has retired from Test matches keeps it a little more suave and sophisticated. 

Photos: Getty Images 

Photos: Getty Images 

Michael Clarke
Aghh Clarkey, the cricketer known for his 'natural' (cough) blonde hair and infatuation with a tub of gel. These days the Channel Nine commentator is rocking the 'el natural' colour of brown.  

Photos: Getty Images 

Photos: Getty Images 

Shane Warne
And last but not least, a throwback tribute to former Aussie cricketer Shane Warne. The spin master was as cute as a button as a young boy. We're just disappointed we didn't find a photo of him wearing his signature Nike earring, remember...every boy in your primary school had to have one?  

Photos: Sourced | Getty Images 

Photos: Sourced | Getty Images 

Photos: Sourced | Getty Images 

Photos: Sourced | Getty Images 

There goes the sun

by G.S.Rogers

The days grow shorter, the skies close in, the sun feels like its own gormless relative – really rather dim and with not much to offer. Yep, winter is a-coming folks, the time when the world may as well just stop, because cricket <sob> has.

The MCG covered in cloud... yep it's almost winter folks. Photo: Getty Images. 

The MCG covered in cloud... yep it's almost winter folks. Photo: Getty Images. 

Is that the vibe around your nearest and weirdest at this time of year? Are you struggling to cope with the pathos? Sure, they may be in mourning for the sights of balls hit straight to the boundary, balls sailing over the boundary, what everyone is wearing to the Allan Border Medal … for the dry-mouth nervousness of awaiting third umpire decisions, follow-on announcements, watching to see if that lady in the crowd will drop her ice cream … no doubt the time is coming where the incessant, excited mumbling as games and series are played over days and weeks could end, because for now this game wholly intrudes on every thought and action … but –

The excitement of summer cricket in Australia is coming to an end.. how will you survive? Photo: Getty Images. 

The excitement of summer cricket in Australia is coming to an end.. how will you survive? Photo: Getty Images. 

SURELY there are other things to get out of bed for! You know they CAN survive through to summer again. (It will return, you’ve said soothingly.) THEY CAN LIVE WITHOUT CRICKET (for a short period), you promise.

Hmm. If you have a keen cricket fan in your life, and you’re having niggling doubts as to whether they CAN make it through, here be a few suggestions of wintertime distractions you might consider on their behalf…

1.  They can follow their favourite player’s English county career. Many of the top players are whooshed over to that far-off fairytale land, and what with the marvels of modern-ness, you can keep abreast! (It doesn’t always have to be in our backyard.)

County Cricket is a popular option for many of our Aussie cricketers during the Aussie off season. Photo: Getty Images. 

County Cricket is a popular option for many of our Aussie cricketers during the Aussie off season. Photo: Getty Images. 

2.  Signing up for indoor cricket? Maybe? Sure – there are no seagulls (usually) but they do get to don the vest, pad up and hear the thwack of leather smacking willow… sigh…

Indoor cricket... a popular option for those who are not fans of the ever so annoying seagull. Photo: Getty Images. 

Indoor cricket... a popular option for those who are not fans of the ever so annoying seagull. Photo: Getty Images. 

3.  Buy a cricket book! There’s no shortage! Some player or other has knocked one off every week or so! And they cross genres! There are cook books and kids books, novels, biographies and memoirs, and really, where would the humour genre be without cricket? There are books about Shane Warne and books by Shane Warne. Get ‘em a stack and suggest they curl up by the fire and warm their un-sunned soul.

It seems most cricketers release a tell all book. Photo: Getty Images. 

It seems most cricketers release a tell all book. Photo: Getty Images. 

4.  Join The Barmy Army! Um, ever had cause to mutter “die-hard”, “rabid” “obsessed” or perhaps even “deranged” about this special someone in your life? This English institution might be just the outlet they need. Sure, it may mean a few months’ absence from home, but maybe, if that’s what it takes…

Joining the Barmy Army could be an option...... or not? Photo: Getty Images. 

Joining the Barmy Army could be an option...... or not? Photo: Getty Images. 

5.  If this hasn’t occurred to you already – it may be time to square your shoulders and steer them to footy. It’s known to be hugely beneficial for players of one sport to play something else in the off-season – it will work different muscles – so maybe it will be of benefit to your dear one’s fondness for cricket to find another companion… temporarily. No! It’s not cheating! It may in fact benefit the relationship in the long term. (Ahem: yours AND theirs.)

So there it is: a survival guide for cricket crazies devotees. Demonstration that there ARE other things out there – things that will sustain those you fear might otherwise crumble. For the long, dark period ahead. Until the fierce sun beats down on Aussie ovals once more.

Women In Cricket: Kate Banozic

The many faces behind Cricket Australia including General Manager of Business and Advisory Services Kate Banozic (second from right).

The many faces behind Cricket Australia including General Manager of Business and Advisory Services Kate Banozic (second from right).

Photo via Daily Telegraph: Women behind Aussie Ashes triumph 

By Taryn Elder

Here at The Delivery we love to celebrate the women who help to shape the game of cricket. This week we caught up with Kate Banozic who is part of the senior leadership team at Cricket Australia, to ask her what it's really like to work for one of Australia's largest sporting organisations and what advice she has for others who hope to follow in her footsteps. 

It’s not often you hear of a role which – without mincing words – combines the traditional responsibilities of Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Chief Operating Officer (COO). Then again, Kate Banozic is not your average leader.

As Cricket Australia’s Executive General Manager of Business and Advisory Services (BAAS), Kate has left an indelible mark on the world of sports administration over the past two decades.

We cleared a space in her busy schedule to sit down and chat about her career so far, and also learnt a few valuable lessons that will be handy for anyone thinking about a career in sports administration.

Kate, you have a really important role within Cricket Australia, effectively holding the dual roles of CFO and COO. What are the main areas of the business that you oversee?

It’s a really interesting and varied role. The main focus areas for me are to provide leadership across the business to support the delivery of the strategy.  Having oversight of technology, risk, finance, legal, integrity and project management places me in a unique position of influence.

Growing up, did you always know what you wanted to do?

I knew at the age of 16 that I wanted to work within business and that is a major factor for why I’m here today. When I finished high school I enrolled in a commerce degree, with a double major in marketing and accounting. It seemed like an odd mix at the time but I wanted to learn and develop a diverse skill set. I also knew that I wanted to combine my passion for sport with business.

So where did it all begin for you in terms of your career?

I actually started my career in the motor vehicle industry, with Ford in Geelong. I learnt some very valuable lessons about business and by chance landed a role with the Geelong Football Club. I guess it was a bit of a defining moment and I didn’t really look back, as I found that working within the sporting industry was exciting with many opportunities to make a positive difference.

Combining that role with your time at Cricket Australia, that puts your time within the sporting industry at close to 20 years?

That’s right, I’ve now been at Cricket Australia for 14 years. The initial goal I set myself when I joined the organisation, was to be here for three years. I think the reason I’m still here is because there has been so much progress and change during that time. Of course, like any job, there have been many sliding-door moments. However, I honestly believe that the game is making a real difference and what it brings to people’s lives, is bigger than cricket itself.

Do you think there are any major differences between working in sports administration, compared to other corporate environments?

I actually think that there are more similarities. For instance, understanding and knowing what the purpose is, creating a culture of high performance and excellence, having a strategic approach and creating value for consumers and stakeholders. However, the biggest thing that differentiates a sporting organisation compared to any other corporate environment, is the  level of passion that is involved. Having two boys who can relate to cricket makes a big difference for me personally. A lot of people in the sporting industry enjoy what they do and this comes through in the delivery of their roles.

How do you maintain productivity within your team?

Within any environment, there should always be great teamwork, on and off the field. It’s also important to build relationships and really get to understand people and what drives them. By understanding what motivates them, you’re better informed as a manager or leader to make a difference to their personal career development. Everything we do in business involves relationships and people.

Have you come across any major challenges working with the sporting industry?

It’s inevitable that we will all, at one time or another, come across challenges in the workplace regardless of the industry of choice. A lot of it comes down to societal norms and an unconscious bias. If we want to try to change attitudes, we need to educate people and create a greater awareness of what that unconscious bias may be. In the early stages of my career, I received interesting responses and reactions about how I managed my life outside of work, as my husband was a stay-at-home Dad with our two children. However, people’s mindsets to life balance outside of work have and will continue to change.

What have been some of the major achievements during your career?

It always comes back to the people I’ve worked with. I’ve seen many go on to do bigger and better things, which is a great feeling. I’m also proud and passionate about the evolution cricket is undergoing to become a sport for all.

A sport for all, does this message hold personal significance for you coming from a multicultural background?

Yes, most definitely. Growing up in a country town, English wasn’t my first language, Croatian was. It was special to be able to really feel like I belonged by playing cricket with the other local kids. With almost one in two Australians either born overseas or having a parent born overseas, having common ground to share experiences is only becoming more important.

Do you feel like cricket is heading in the right direction?

It’s in a really strong place. As an organisation, we’re really clear on our vision of being A Sport For All, and when you have a workforce that really believes in this, as well as thousands of volunteers who are equally as passionate, that’s a recipe for ongoing success.

And what about the uptake of cricket as a sport for females in Australia?

Encouraging women and girls to know cricket is a sport for them too is still a huge opportunity for Australian cricket. The results so far are strong, with almost 300,000 females playing the game and the launch of the Women’s Big Bash League this past season has created even greater awareness of the game for females. In saying that, there’s always more space for it to grow.

Do you have some advice for people considering sports administration as a career?

Back yourself, have confidence in your abilities, build a network and talk to these people constantly. Also, most importantly, make sure you have fun along the way. Be persistent, if you believe in something go for it, don’t give up. You can also have it all, a career and a family. It’s not always easy but work out what balance you’re happy with. Don’t look back, just go forward.

And lastly, any great advice you've received from a mentor?

I’ve had a lot of mentors over the years and the one piece of advice that sticks out is, “what’s the worst that can happen by being bold and courageous?”
 

MARSH v MARSH

Aussie cricketers and brothers Mitch Marsh (left) and Shaun Marsh (right). 

Aussie cricketers and brothers Mitch Marsh (left) and Shaun Marsh (right). 

Even if you’re not a cricket die hard, these past couple of years you're likely to have heard the Marsh surname mentioned around the Aussie team quite a bit.

No, we’re not talking about former wicketkeeper and current Chairman of the Men’s National Selection Panel Rod Marsh. We’re also not talking about Geoff Marsh, who played more than 150 matches for Australia in the 1980s-early 90s before going on to coach the national side (side note: Geoff and Rod, not related!). We’re talking about the current generation: Brothers Shaun and Mitch Marsh.

Love you brother!!

A photo posted by @mitchmarsh235 on

These proud Western Australians born lads have been regular faces in the Aussie line up in recent years…and both feature on the list of the Perth Scorchers…and kiiiiinda look alike…and frequently appear in each other’s social media feeds….leading to the (slightly inappropriate) question in The Delivery HQ this week of, which one is which?

Great to catch up the big bro for lunch as always! @shaunmarsh9

A photo posted by @mitchmarsh235 on

These two DO seem extremely close both on and off the field, so we’ve decided to give ourselves a hall pass here and get down to researching how to avoid potential embarrassment in the future by mixing up our two Marsh-fellows…and potentially pick up a trivia tidbit or two along the way.

I honestly can't believe people think @shaunmarsh9 is better looking than me.

A photo posted by @mitchmarsh235 on

So here it is, plain and simple: The Delivery’s Guide to Marsh v Marsh

Full Name: Shaun Edward Marsh
Nickname: SOS

(“Son of Swampy”…geddit? Marsh…swamp…)
Age: 32 (aka big brother)
Height: 186cm (aka short brother)
Playing role: Batter
Off-the-field: Married Channel Seven Perth journalist Rebecca O’Donovan in 2015, and expecting their first child later this year
Australian Debut: 2008
Total Matches for Australia..
Test: 17
ODI: 50
T20: 15
Big Bash team: Perth Scorchers
Career highlight: Century on Test debut against Sri Lanka in 2011
Fun fact: As a young kid, Shaun spent plenty of time on the road with his dad Geoff, who was the opening batsman at the time for Australia
When in doubt…Left-handed
Want more? Insta & Twitter: @shaunmarsh9


Full Name: Mitchell Ross Marsh
NicknameBison (yeeeahhh…we don’t know why)
Age: 24 (aka younger brother)
Height: 193cm (aka tall brother)
Playing role: All-rounder
Off-the-field: Dating fashion model Isabelle Platt
Australian Debut: 2011
Total Matches for Australia
Test: 14
ODI: 30
T20: 4
Big Bash team: Perth Scorchers
Career highlight: Five wickets in Australia’s opening match of the 2015 ICC World Cup, against the old enemy, England
Fun fact: Mitch was also a talented AFL player, before the appeal of following in the footsteps of idol Steve Waugh grew too strong. 
When in doubtRight-handed
Want more? Insta & Twitter: @mitchmarsh235

Cricket Doppelgängers

Although many of us are yet to find our lookalike in this world, it appears that many of our Aussie cricketers actually look like some famous Hollywood heavyweights. From famous TV actors, to music superstars, here's the best celebrity cricket doppelgängers.  Enjoy! 

Actor Val Kilmer & Cricketer David Warner
When it comes to media headlines these guys have shared a few between them over the course of their careers. Hollywood actor Val Kilmer, who you may remember from movies such as Batman, Top Gun and The Saint, draws an unlikely resemblance to cricketer David Warner. We're not sure if Warner has any hidden acting skills tucked away but he sure has the 'rugged, bad boy, stare down the barrel of the camera' look nailed.  

Actor Jared Leto & Cricketer Glenn Maxwell
It's all in the beard, and the eyes, and the nose, and the.... everything? You could seriously be mistaken for thinking these guys are brothers from another mother. Actor Jared Leto, who also dabbles in the singing department looks like Glenn Maxwell's twin. Hands up if you think Maxi should regrow the beard and start an acting career. 

Actor Clive Standen & Cricketer Kane Richardson
If you're a fan of Netflix TV show Vikings, you'll definitely recognise actor Clive Standen . The rugged English-born lad plays Rollo in the hit TV show and bears a strong resemblance to Australia cricketer Kane Richardson. Just like the cricketer, Standen's character in Vikings has a number of symbolic tattoos on his upper body. Both also play the rugged bear card very well...or is it the hipster beard card? 

Actor Robert Redford & Cricketer James Faulkner
Hollywood royalty = Robert Redford. The film heart throb of the 60's and 70's made women around the world fall in the love with his sparkly blues. It also seems that cricketer James Faulkner bears some of his trademark looks, it's all in the jaw line.  

Singer/Producer Usher & Cricketer Usman Khawaja
Singer Usher and cricketer Usman Khawaja could pass as twins, it's all in the 1000 watt smile! Both also have a penchant for fashion, with Usman regularly snapping photos of his fashion choices to his Instagram account. 

Actor Nikolaj Coster- Waldau & Cricketer Shane Watson
Game of Thrones fans, meet your Jaime Lannister lookalike, cricketer Shane Watson. The Aussie veteran looks very similar to the actor Nikolaj Coster - Waldau, with a royal like haircut to match. Like Nikolaj, there were rumours that Watto was to make his acting debut... in a Bollywood film. However we are yet to see any evidence. 

Actor Steve Carell & Cricketer Pat Cummins
Some say we might be clutching at straws for this look alike but take a look at that smile, practically identical. Pat Cummins has described his sense of humour as 'pretty dry', which would make him perfect in Steve Carrels hit TV show The Office. 

DJ/Producer David Guetta & Nathan Lyon
Meet cricketer Nathan Lyon's celebrity lookalike David Guetta. The DJ/Producer and Lyon share some similar facial features, the eyes, the nose and even the beard. We're not sure if Lyon can master the decks as well as Guetta, but he sure is handy with a cricket ball. 

New Zealand Travel Diary

It's been a whirlwind tour of New Zealand so far for our Australian men's and women's cricket teams. 

The men's team has been in New Zealand since the start of February, playing a number of One Day International (ODI) and Test matches against hometown team the Black Caps.

They've been traveling across the country and are now in Christchurch playing a second and final Test match against the home side.  

Australian women's cricket team, the Southern Stars arrived in Mount Maunganui, New Zealand on Thursday and will play a number of matches against the White Ferns for the Rose Bowl Series.

We've rounded up a travel diary of photos from both teams, showing what life is like on the road for both teams. 

Australian Men's Cricket Team

When it comes to travelling abroad Aussie coach Darren Lehmann is usually at the centre of candid sleeping snaps on flights out of the country. This time, David Warner targeted fellow teammate Matthew Wade with this candid snap. 

The boys started off their tour in Auckland. It seems David Warner was keen to hit the field early on. 

Team 📸 time. At least @davidwarner31 is ready to go! #NZvAUS #CmonAussie

A photo posted by cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) on

After completing a number of One Day International matches across the country in New Zealand, the Aussie men's team headed to the Basin Reserve in Wellington on the North Island to take on the Blackcaps for the first Test match. 

Test cricket is back! The opening #NZvAUS contest begins at 8:30am EDT #CmonAussie

A photo posted by cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) on

Here we go... #NZvAUS #CmonAussie

A photo posted by cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) on

New Zealand is known for turning on some magnificent views and a day at the cricket is no different. 

Best seats in the house? #NZvAUS #CmonAussie

A photo posted by cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) on

Day two of the first Test match against the Black Caps proved a good day in the office for Adam Voges.  

Onya V! Adam Voges finished the day unbeaten on 176 and with a Test average greater than 💯! #NZvAUS #CmonAussie

A photo posted by cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) on

During their downtime, some of our Aussie cricketers have wasted no time in exploring the sights and sounds of New Zealand. 

Beautiful brunch with @dani_willis in Wellington #dayoff

A photo posted by Steve Smith (@steve_smith49) on

Saturday Night Lights! #Wellington #NightMarkets #NewZealand

A photo posted by Peter Siddle (@petersiddle403) on

Usman Khawaja, clearly impressed with the anti steam mirrors in his New Zealand hotel room.

'What sorcery is this'...? Need one of these at home! #antifogmirror #smallthings #blowingmymind #wellington

A video posted by Usman Khawaja (@usman_khawajy) on

After a brief stint in Wellington it was on to Christchurch for the men's team. 

Beautiful view of Wellington from the air now onto Christchurch.

A photo posted by David Warner (@davidwarner31) on

With the guys in Christchurch playing their second Test match, many of them have had time to reflect on the devastation and damage that was caused during the 2011 earthquake. 

One of many empty places in Christchurch. Very sad to see the real life damage the earthquake caused.

A photo posted by David Warner (@davidwarner31) on

Walking the streets of Christchurch. Still so sad to see the damage everywhere from the earthquake 5 years ago.

A photo posted by Joe Burns (@joeburns441) on

Some strong results for Australia on the first day of the second Test in New Zealand. 

What a day! Australia go to stumps at 1-57, trailing by 313 runs #NZvAUS #CmonAussie

A photo posted by cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) on

The Southern Stars

An epic view to welcome the team to the coastal New Zealand town of Mount Maunganui. 

After a big training session, the girls enjoyed some recovery in the crystal clear waters of their adopted town. 

Beach recovery after a big training session today 👍 Ready for our first Rose Bowl Series ODI against New Zealand tomorrow #GoGold

A photo posted by CommBank Southern Stars (@southernstars) on

A tough start for the Southern Stars in the first ODI match against the White Ferns. 

The girls hit the water again after game day and will have a rest day tomorrow before taking on the White Ferns on Monday. 

Cheeky paddle to finish out the day..... #mtmaunganui #lostmyswimmers

A photo posted by Alyssa Healy (@a_healy) on

Follow @TheDeliveryAU on Instagram for more updates from the tour. 



The Modern Day Cricket Bromance

Joe Burns, Usman Khawaja and David Warner are a fan of the modern bay bromance code. Photo: Getty Images. 

Joe Burns, Usman Khawaja and David Warner are a fan of the modern bay bromance code. Photo: Getty Images. 

By Taryn Elder 

When you spend as much time on the road as our Aussie cricketers, you’re bound to form some pretty strong bonds with fellow team members along the way. 

Cue the term bromance, a word that in recent times has redefined the bonds of male friendship in this modern era. Just like the movie Oldschool..... 

From breakfast dates, to practical jokes and some hilarious Twitter banter. The term bromance encompasses many endearing traits, and our Australian cricketers certainly don’t shy away from showing the love to their teammates. 

To celebrate the bonds of mateship we’ve rounded up some of the best bromances in the world of Australian cricket, featuring a number of our Aussie and Big Bash League players.

Usman Khawaja, Joe Burns & David Warner, 
When it comes to bromance, the force is strong with these three. From strolling the red carpet together, to hilarious tongue in cheek banter on their social feeds, these guys have it dialled when it comes to bromance 101. 

Burns was Warner’s plus one for the Allan Border Medal earlier his year. His wife Candice giving Warner the thumbs up to take Burns whilst she was at home with their newborn baby. 

And when Warner stepped up to collect the big award on the night, Burns was on hand to offer his support from the crowd. It’s like Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez at The Grammys all over. 

Burns also stepped in to play Usman Khawaja’s offsider during the official player Christmas photo shoot. While most other Aussie players posed for typical Christmas like photos with their partners and kids, these two hammed it up for the camera in the best possible way.

Like the quote from the movie, The Hangover. These guys really are, “the three best friends that anyone could have.” 

Chris Green & Fawad Ahmed
These guys define the term bromance. The roomies on tour, are practically inseparable. Posting numerous photos to their Instagram and Twitter accounts  of their budding friendship.

Despite a 12 year age gap, these guys actually have a lot in common. Both are spin bowlers, or ‘spin twins’ as they often refer to themselves and were also both born overseas, Green is from South Africa and Ahmed was born in Pakistan, receiving Australian citizenship in 2013. 

Peter Siddle (Sids) & Mitchell Johnson
Despite the fact that Mitchell Johnson has retired from international cricket, his friendship with Peter Siddle remains unchanged. Johnson was a big support pillar for Sids when he made his debut with the Australian team and the two have been close ever since.

They’ve shared some great memories on tour and when Johnson retired from cricket late last year, Sids posted this emotional photo and accompanying caption to his Instagram account.

If that isn’t bromance, I don’t know what is. 

James Faulkner & Kevin Pietersen (KP) 
He was the hot-headed Englishmen who came into enemy territory, luckily walking away unscathed. Yes, it seems former international English cricketer Kevin Pietersen was an unlikely recruit for the Big Bash League in Australia. However, he proved a valuable addition to the Melbourne Stars team during the 4th season (BBL04) and was again invited back to play this past season in BBL05. 

When he first arrived in Australia teammate James Faulkner wasn’t a fan, openly telling Pietersen that he didn’t really like him. This video provides a pretty good summary of how they felt about each other. 

And although their exchanges on Twitter and Instagram look heated from the outside, in reality their actions actually translate into "I love you man" when it comes to the bromance code of ethics. 

Congrats on the new product mate @kp24 😂😂😂

A photo posted by James Faulkner (@jfaulkner44) on

Mitch Starc & Matt Toomua
Although these two guys play completely different sporting codes (Mitch Starc is an Australian cricketer and Toomua is a professional rugby player with the Wallabies), they are definitely your modern day example of bromance at it’s finest. 

From watching the cricket together, to strolling red carpets at the AB Medal, plus some 'friendly' banter on Instagram, these guys aren’t afraid to show that bromance is alive and kicking.

Smile mate! @matt_toomua @a_healy @ellyseperry

A photo posted by @mstarc56 on

So what’s the connection, where did this bromance begin? Well, Starc is engaged to Aussie female cricketer Alyssa Healy, who is besties with Southern Stars teammate Ellyse Perry... still with me? Perry is married to Toomua, so no doubt what started out as a somewhat forced friendship between Starc and Toomua, has actually blossomed into a full-fledged bromance, with Perry and Healy even noticing the admiration they share for each other.  


One on one with our Aussie wicketkeeper

By Taryn Elder

In a world where people often try to create an illusion about their lives on social media, Australian and Sydney Sixers player Alyssa Healy is one person who likes to 'keep it real'.

Forget bikini clad photos or duck face selfies, if you browse through her social media pages you'll mostly find candid photos of her dogs and snaps of life on tour, with some witty captions in the mix.  

Despite all of her success on their cricket field, when you first meet the talented wicketkeeper (who also happens to be pretty handy with a cricket bat), you instantly feel like she could be one of your best mates, a fellow spirit animal who loves hanging out in her tracksuit pants and watching Netflix as much as all of us. 

Her down to earth attitude is what makes Alyssa so likeable and she's not afraid to have a laugh on and off the cricket field, her off the cuff banter behind the stumps a highlight for her teammates. 

Instead of knocking on the door of fashion brands for a dress to wear to this year's Allan Border Medal like most athletes in the media spotlight, Alyssa decided to shop online (like most of us do) for a dress last minute, releasing this photo on her Instagram feed - 10 points for the caption. 

She openly admits that she's not big on going to high profile social events and when she’s not on the road with Australia or touring for the Women's Big Bash League (WBBL), she likes to 'chill out' at home in Sydney. 

She currently shares a unit with her partner and fellow Aussie cricketer, Mitch Starc, who she met at just nine years of age when they started playing cricket together at a local club. The two struck up a friendship as young kids but eventually lost contact, only to cross paths years later. The good news is they're now engaged. 

We caught up with the talented athlete in Melbourne for a one on one chat between a gruelling day of media interviews and got to know the real Alyssa Healy. 

So Alyssa, you play for one of the most successful female cricket teams in the world the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars. Where did your love for cricket begin? 
I guess like most other people I was introduced to cricket as a kid, I was about seven years of age. I had just moved down to Sydney and one of my friends from school approached me and said I want to go and try this cricket thing, you should come. I thought why not, Dad had been trying to get me into it for such a long time.

Did you fall in love with the game straight away? 
I actually really didn’t take to it all in the beginning.  I actually ended up playing in the sandpit for the first few weeks. Dad and my coaches eventually convinced me to give it another try and I signed up with a boys club." 

Coolest kid going around.....

A photo posted by Alyssa Healy (@a_healy) on

It was almost a case of the cricket career that never was! 
Yep!

I hear your banter game behind the stumps is pretty strong on the field and that you're a bit of a joker on tour..
It's always good to have a bit of banter (laughs). 


So you’re also enrolled at the University of Technology in Sydney, what are you studying?   
I’m studying marine biology. I’ve been studying the course for about six years part time and have about one to two years left. Initially, my parents wanted me to study business, but being the rebel teenager I was I flicked straight past the business section in the course guide and found marine biology. 

That explains the dolphin photo. 

Is it hard juggling university and playing cricket professionally for Australia? 
I actually find it pretty easy.  I have the support of my uni in Sydney, they let me travel for cricket and study even though it’s a practical based course.  My biggest challenge though is trying to find some spare time to get some study done on the road. 

So you’re an ocean lover by the sounds of it, did you grow up living near the beach?
I love the ocean and grew up on the Gold Coast but moved to Sydney when I was seven years of age. In Sydney, we weren't that close to the beach but I always loved to go when I could. 

Mondays suck.....

A photo posted by Alyssa Healy (@a_healy) on

So I take it you’re not a closet pro surfer?
I’m actually terrible at surfing (laughs).  My Dad gave us body boards as kids so we stuck to that!

You’ve been playing cricket for Australia for over five years now, have you found a favourite place you like to visit on tour? 
Anywhere with a beach! I was lucky enough in 2010 to tour the West Indies with the Australian Women’s  Cricket Team, it was a pretty amazing experience. The people are so kind there and the beaches are just beautiful. I actually went back when Mitch was touring with the Australian Men’s Cricket Team, so really got to spend time being a tourist. I rode the $2 bus around Barbados non-stop and ate a whole lot of chicken. 

Anywhere else on the bucket list for travel on tour? 
Definitely South Africa. 

The @_southernstars ready for Sri Lanka!!

A photo posted by Alyssa Healy (@a_healy) on

So you're engaged to Mitch Starc a fellow Aussie cricketer, do you guys talk about cricket 24/7 or are there rules in place at home?
I do get in trouble when there’s cricket on the TV and I talk in the room, so that's a no-no. I guess we try to talk to our coaches and teammates when it comes to cricket, so not much gets spoken at home about it. We have lots of other interests outside of cricket, which is good. 

Sleeping beauty..... #jetlag #karma

A photo posted by Alyssa Healy (@a_healy) on

Looking at both of your Instagram pages you guys like to keep pretty busy. What’s a typical weekend involve in the Starc/Healy residence? 
We have two puppies, so a lot of the time we’re hanging out with them down at the beach or the local park. Otherwise one of us is sitting on a hill watching the other play cricket.

You do have some pretty cute snaps of your Staffy puppies tell me a bit about them. 
They're very cheeky. Their names are Millie and Misty, they’re both just over 12 months old. We moved house when they were brand new puppies, so they thoroughly enjoyed chewing a lot of stuff in the new house. They also chewed a hole in the wall when I went down the street to get a sandwich! They also like to chew their beds up, so we can’t leave them at home alone with their beds in sight anymore

Thanks for the chat Alyssa!
No worries! 

Catch the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars take on New Zealand's White Ferns for the Rose Bowl from February 20 by heading to cricket.com.au

SNAParazzi

From Valentines Day, to touring the beautiful country of New Zealand. Our Australian cricket players shave certainly been busy over the past few weeks, on and off the field. So to get you up to date we've rounded up some of our favourite moments from their Instagram accounts. 

David Warner: @davidwarner31
Let's start it off with Aussie player David Warner, who has become quite the 'grammer' of late on his Instagram account. He snapped this hilarious photo of teammate Usman Khawaja, who is known for his sometimes 'out-there' fashion choices. We must say we're loving the throwback to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle days, a 90's tribute. 

Yes that's @usman_khawajy wearing his favourite shirt. He is like me he loves his turtles.

A photo posted by David Warner (@davidwarner31) on

Here's another piece of Instagram gold from the David Warner give your teammate hell files. He's saved a snap of fellow teammate Mitch Marsh, who seems to be testing the waters with a new mo-hawk. Not sure if we're really that into it... thoughts? 

Boy sure is looking sharp. @mitchmarsh235 #onpoint #learning

A photo posted by David Warner (@davidwarner31) on

And check out this gorgeous snap of Warner's gorgeous baby girl Ivy Mae who is packing her bags and heading over to New Zealand to join her Dad during the Test. 

See you soon daddy. Can't wait for this little one to arrive. @candywarner1 gets a few days off hehe

A photo posted by David Warner (@davidwarner31) on

Usman Khawaja: @usman_khawajy
He's a man of many talents and being a jokester on social media is one of them. Aussie batsman Osman Khawaja wins the internet once again with this hilarious picture of his mug on a Caramelloooo Khawaaaaja. Looks like he has some spare time in New Zealand if he's managed to pull off this one.

Haha. 'They call me Caramellooo, Khaawaaja'. My mates use to say this to me in school. #meme #smoothflowingcaramel

A photo posted by Usman Khawaja (@usman_khawajy) on

He can give, as good he gets! Yep David Warner has been the protagonist of late with tongue in cheek photos of Usman, and now the tables have turned with this photo posted on Usman's Instagram account. Warner kind of reminds us of the kid from Jerry Maguire in this photo... no?

Sophisticated Bull. #wellington #newzealand #foureyes

A photo posted by Usman Khawaja (@usman_khawajy) on

And just when you were worried whether or not the Aussie team were having issues with steam in their bathrooms from the shower. It looks like they're not... 

'What sorcery is this'...? Need one of these at home! #antifogmirror #smallthings #blowingmymind #wellington

A video posted by Usman Khawaja (@usman_khawajy) on

Glenn Maxwell: @gmaxi_32
If you're wondering if blondes have more fun, just ask Australian cricketer Glenn Maxwell. He took the opportunity to try out some blonde hair extensions, and given the situation, it's a  strong chance they may belong to his Ten Eyewitness New girlfriend Candice Wyatt. We're not sure what to make of this photo but if you are #votemaxi or #votecandice. 

Who wore it better? The decision is in your hands people! #votecandice #votemaxi @candice_wyatt_10

A photo posted by Glenn Maxwell (@gmaxi_32) on

Alyssa Healy: @a_healy
Ain't love grand? Alyssa Healy who goes out with fellow Aussie cricketer Mitch Starc, put together a pretty neat photo collage for his Birthday. Although we were disappointed about the fact there wasn't a few more throwbacks to Mitch's younger days, it's nice to see the couple are still going strong. 

James Faulkner: @jfaulkner44
James Faulkner has been struggling with some injury woes of late, but it looks like he's on the road to recovery judging by this view. He's currently recuperating with his partner Bri at a scenic location and it looks like he also surprise his lady love for Valentines Day. 

Looks like James has inherited the romantic gene.... 

Elyse Villani: @elysevillani
She loves coffee so much that she recently completed a barista course! Southern Stars player Ellyse Villani and her partner Nicole Bolton are out feeding their coffee addiction, pictured at Cup and Co in Perth.  


Mitch Marsh: @mitchmarsh235
There's never a dull moment when it comes to these two cricketer brothers! Mitch Marsh shows that he's nailed the new Snapchat filters, snapping a photo of his 'new look' with brother Shaun looking on. We'd love to take a look at some of the boys family photos from way back, no doubt there's be plenty of gold. 

I honestly can't believe people think @shaunmarsh9 is better looking than me.

A photo posted by @mitchmarsh235 on

Peter Siddle: @petersiddle403
Australian cricketer Peter Siddle is currently trying to shake off some back spasms to resume his role with the Aussie Team, and it looks like he has his support team helping him to get back on track. Snapping a photo of his adopted canine family as well as girlfriend Anna Weatherlake who are his biggest fans. 

Squad goals 👩🏼🐶🐶🐶🐶 #MyValentines #Family #RescueDogs #AdoptDontShop @annaweatherlake

A photo posted by Peter Siddle (@petersiddle403) on

Stay up to date by following @TheDeliveryAU on Instagram. 

 

 

Cricket Match-Ups

Sweet, sweet love, some of our cricketers have found their perfect match off the field. Photo: Instagram via @sweet_mickie

Sweet, sweet love, some of our cricketers have found their perfect match off the field. Photo: Instagram via @sweet_mickie

It’s that time of the year once again when we are surrounded by love heart filled cards, red roses and expensive chocolates.  Ahh yes, The joys of Valentines Day. 

It's not all about tacky cards and heart shaped candy for some our cricketers. Many of them have lots to celebrate this Valentines Day, including baby news, wedding bells and some budding new relationships. 

So to get you in a loved up spirit, here is a wrap up featuring some of our Aussie cricketers and their perfect (off-field) matches. 



Shaun & Rebecca Marsh
Let's kick it off with these two love birds! They tied the knot in April last year, and now they’re getting ready to become first-time parents. It seems married life agrees with Shaun Marsh and his wife, Channel 7 Perth reporter Rebecca Marsh. The couple who spent a number of years apart during the early stages of their relationship due to work commitments, now call sunny Perth home. Rebecca has previously admitted that she knew Shaun ‘was the one’ after their first date and the two got hitched in a lavish ceremony in Perth, later honeymooning in India during Shaun's playing commitments for the Indian Premier League. 

Ed Sheeran/rudimental with my beautiful girl

A photo posted by Shaun Marsh (@shaunmarsh9) on

When she’s not hunting down news stories in Perth, Bec often travels on tour with Shaun. The pair also like to chill out in their newly built home and get their coffee fix at some of Perth's trendy cafes. We’re thinking from now on they’re both going to become pretty handy at changing nappies!  

Lovely night with my beautiful wife at the AB medal :) @_rebecca_marsh #babybump

A photo posted by Shaun Marsh (@shaunmarsh9) on

Candice & David Warner
It’s been a big 24 months for this young couple. David Warner and wife Candice, who married almost 12 months ago have a lot to celebrate this Valentines Day, as they are now the proud parents of two beautiful young daughters, Ivy Mae and Indi Rae.

We are almost off and racing!!! @candywarner1 @atc_races #director'sroom

A photo posted by David Warner (@davidwarner31) on

The Instagram perfect family (seriously... so many cute baby snaps) are regal Sydneysiders and recently put their luxury Coogee pad on the market.

Ivy Mae has just met her little sister for the first time. Big kisses #bigsister

A photo posted by David Warner (@davidwarner31) on

But don’t expect the young family to be ‘roughing’ it anytime soon, as they’re set to build their new dream home in the seaside suburb of Maroubra. 

Beautiful weather today in Sydney. Beach has to be on the cards.

A photo posted by David Warner (@davidwarner31) on

The pair originally struck up a romance over Twitter and like to keep relatively low key in their downtime, spending as much time as possible at the beach and running along Sydney’s picturesque coastal tracks.

Candice who is a former professional iron woman has been credited with helping David live a more balanced and healthy lifestyle. The star cricketer recently dedicating his Allan Border Medal win to his wife, in which he calls his ‘rock’.

Read: How David Warner made it back on top. 

Dani Willis & Steve Smith  
It was a chance meeting for these two down to earth homebodies. Australian Cricket Captain Steve Smith was an emerging young cricket player when he first met law student Dani Willis at Sydney’s Scubar back in 2010. 

From all accounts, the two hit it off instantly, bonding over their mutual love for sport (Dani is a former swimmer and water polo player).  Dani has been on hand to support Steve throughout his budding cricket career, including many times spent collecting cricket balls in the practice nets.

Nice day out at @thestablessydney. Thanks for having us @atc_races loved my @hugoboss suit and @aquila_est1958 shoes.

A photo posted by Steve Smith (@steve_smith49) on

The same goes both ways however, with Steve also taking a keen interest in Dani’s law degree. Once writing out pages and pages of legal terms whilst on tour to try and memorise them. That’s impressive! We're pretty sure we might hear wedding bells in the not too distant future. 

Dinner with @steve_smith49 in Cardiff 🍴💖#Chapel1877

A photo posted by Dani Willis (@dani_willis) on

Ellyse Perry & Matt Toomua
When it comes to low-key relationships, these two have it down pat. Talented Australian cricketer Ellyse Perry and ACT Brumbies & Wallabies player Matt Toomua, first met in the QANTAS lounge at Canberra Airport back in 2012 and have kept most details of their relationship well under wraps.

All the best favourite!!!! Go the wallabies 🇦🇺 #strongerasone

A photo posted by Ellyse Perry (@ellyseperry) on

At the time of their chance meeting, Matt was already a big fan of Ellyse's sporting abilities. However he was too shy to approach the equally as shy cricketer for a chat. Instead sending the ACT Wallabies media manager to ask Perry for a photo of the pair, for the team’s twitter account. That's a heroic wing man right there! 

With my riding buddy @matt_toomua on a loop around Lake Burley Griffin. It's a beautiful evening! #CBR

A photo posted by Ellyse Perry (@ellyseperry) on

After a 16 month engagement, the pair eventually announced they had tied the knot with this out of the blue Instagram post.

We got hitched!

A photo posted by Ellyse Perry (@ellyseperry) on

Yep, a chilled out ceremony, on a scenic coastal foreshore, on a sunny Sunday, is just what the couple were hoping for. That was of course after Ellyse had spent most of the weekend playing cricket for the Sydney Sixers in the Women's Big Bash League WBBLI01. As you do! 

Well that was plenty of fun! #TheSixersHaveNowLanded #TheSixersAreGoingHorizontal 📷 cred: @m.toomua

A photo posted by Ellyse Perry (@ellyseperry) on

The two still like to keep their relationship well and truly out of the spotlight. They also like to hang out with cricket couple Mitch Starc and Alyssa Healy, with the girls joking continuously about the boys 'budding romance'. 

Alyssa Healy & Mitch Starc
Forget crazy cat lovers, meet two of crickets craziest dog lovers. Australian players Alyssa Healy and Mitch Starc are a match made in cricket heaven. (Yep.. cricket heaven.. we went there).

The two were only nine years of age when they met at a cricket tryout in Sydney. Both wicket keepers at the time, they shared a role  behind the stumps when they first became teammates in their younger years. However, Mitch eventually started bowling and Alyssa started playing women’s cricket, so the pair lost contact there for a few years.

It looks like they were meant to be together however, with the pair finally getting back in contact a few years later, that's when a relationship started to blossom. 

These days they share a pad close to the beach in Sydney, and post cute snaps of their dogs. They're also big fans of checking out local restaurants, cafes and don't mind the occasional beach day or two. 

Semi stoked to be home..... #dosomethingmum #studyisboring #feedme

A photo posted by Alyssa Healy (@a_healy) on

Brianna Sheppard & James Faulkner
Although these two are only relatively new when it comes to cricket match ups, it’s easy to see why they’re well suited. Aussie cricketer James Faulkner and his partner Bri Sheppard are both fans of the great outdoors, regularly posting action filled snaps of their adventures in the Tasmanian wilderness, as well as sun filled days at the beach.

Nice walk with @brishepp ❤️ #Tassie

A photo posted by James Faulkner (@jfaulkner44) on

They duo also come from impressive sporting families. Bri is the sister of AFL West Coast Eagles player Adam Sheppard  and recently took up boxing for fitness. Meanwhile James is the son of well known Tasmanian cricketer Peter Faulkner and has been a stand out player for both Tasmania and Australia. We wonder if things ever get competitive between the two, either way they'll hopefully get to spent their first Valentines Day together. 

Monkey and me #2 👫❤️ @thesuitconcierge @renatojewellers 💎

A photo posted by James Faulkner (@jfaulkner44) on



 











 

On Tour In New Zealand

New Zealand is known for it's rugged beauty and expansive terrain, with plenty of bucket list places to play beach or backyard cricket. Photo: Sourced. 

New Zealand is known for it's rugged beauty and expansive terrain, with plenty of bucket list places to play beach or backyard cricket. Photo: Sourced. 

By Taryn Elder, with special thanks to Tourism New Zealand. 

When it comes to sport especially that of cricket, Australia–New Zealand (NZ) relations can be...well.... a little fiery at the best of times. However one thing is for certain, both countries share a love for all things cricket. 

Over the month of February, the Australian Men’s Cricket Team and the Australian Southern Stars women's team will be calling New Zealand (NZ) their home away from home, as both teams play a number of matches against the home teams. 

With special thanks to our ‘friends’ at Tourism New Zealand, we’ve put all rivalries aside to bring you the ultimate beach/backyard cricket travel guide, NZ style. Think ancient glaciers, sky-high mountain ranges and hidden valleys, there really are no limits for your next cricket game in the remote NZ wilderness.

Eglinton Valley - South Island New Zealand
Just a 30 minute drive north from Te Anau on the South Island of New Zealand, Eglinton Valley is the flat valley paradise you’ve been dreaming of for your next backyard cricket match. It’s one of the only road-accessible valleys in Fiordland National Park, which boasts an ancient glacier as well as wild wilderness. It’s also the perfect rest point if you’re on your way to iconic tourist destination Milford Sound.

Eglinton Valley is a flat and expansive piece of land located in the Fiordland National Park. Photo: Sourced. 

Eglinton Valley is a flat and expansive piece of land located in the Fiordland National Park. Photo: Sourced. 

The flat narrow valley is around two kilometres wide, with clear natural boundaries in place.  You can simply stay for the day, or rest your head nearby at Knobs Flat, a local camping ground which also boasts tremendous views of the valley and its surrounds.

Not to far away from Eglinton Valley is Milford Sound, one of New Zealand's most scenic waterways. Photo: Sourced. 

Not to far away from Eglinton Valley is Milford Sound, one of New Zealand's most scenic waterways. Photo: Sourced. 

Isobel Glacier in Mount Aspiring National Park - South Island New Zealand
Reach new heights (literally) in your backyard cricket career by playing on top of a giant glacier. (Yep..we’re being completely serious here). If you head to Mount Aspiring National Park near Wanaka, on the South Island of New Zealand. You’ll find wild wilderness, breathtaking mountain ranges, crystal clear lakes and giant glaciers. Standing at 7600ft in height, Isobel Glacier is the ultimate bucket list destination for your next backyard cricket match, there is, however one catch.  You may need to hire a helicopter to get there. 

One for the bucket list. Isobel Glacier is the uptime bucket list destination for your next backyard cricket match. Photo: Tourism NZ. 

One for the bucket list. Isobel Glacier is the uptime bucket list destination for your next backyard cricket match. Photo: Tourism NZ. 

If you’re still trying to fathom the thought of playing cricket on top of an actual glacier, it’s already been tried and tested for you. Bollywood megastar Sidharth Malhotra was lucky enough to play a game of cricket with former New Zealand cricketer Stephen Fleming on top of the Isobel Glacier, along with fellow NZ cricketers Simon Doull and Scott Styris. They teamed up with their friends from Southern Lakes Helicopters, to land on top of the glacier to play. I guess you could say it’s like cricket’s version of heli-skiing?

What you’ll need: Warm all weather gear, sturdy snow boots, sunscreen (yep, the alpine sun can be brutal), sunglasses, a seat on a helicopter try our friends at Southern Lakes, plenty of water, your own pitch, stumps, cricket ball and bat. Easy!

Takapuna Beach - North Island New Zealand
If you’re more of a fan of the beach cricket variety, then Takapuna Beach which is located in the coastal region of Takapuna is ideal. The flat tidal beach makes it the perfect spot to throw some stumps in the ground and get a game of cricket going. The best thing about this place is that you don’t have to travel far from the capital city of Auckland to get there (around 15 minutes) and once you’re done you can check out the well-known restaurants and nightlife nearby.  

90 Mile Beach - North Island New Zealand
How's this for a random location... a long stretch of beach that's actually known as a busy highway! Welcome to the coastal stretch known as 90 Mile Beach. Located on the western coast of the North Island of New Zealand, 90 Mile Beach is a delight for beach 4WD enthusiasts who like to hit the sandy shores and take in some beautiful coastal views.  It’s usually nice and flat and when the tide is out, but don’t try and be a hero and hit the ball towards the ocean, because it’s going to be a mighty cold swim to retrieve it!

90 mile beach is also known as a busy spot for 4WD enthusiasts and is nicknamed the New Zealand Highway Photo: Sourced. 

90 mile beach is also known as a busy spot for 4WD enthusiasts and is nicknamed the New Zealand Highway Photo: Sourced. 

Queenstown Events Centre - South Island New Zealand
Okay so it might seem a little conventional to take to an actual cricket field for a game of backyard cricket, but not when it’s at the Queenstown Cricket Club's home ground, the Queenstown Events Centre. The view from this field rivals many in the world, with snow-capped mountains (in winter) adorning the horizon, as well as beautiful Lake Wakitipu in the distance.  

Queenstown Events Centre is known as one of the most iconic places to play a game of cricket. Photo: Getty Images. 

Queenstown Events Centre is known as one of the most iconic places to play a game of cricket. Photo: Getty Images. 

The oval itself is located around 8km from the city centre and lies at the foot of the Remarkables (mountain range popular with skiers). It’s also smack bang next to Queenstown International Airport, which means you can expect to see flights coming and going constantly, which is a pretty amazing site in itself! 

A Qantas plane has the best view in the house over Queenstown's popular cricket ground. Photo: Getty Images. 

A Qantas plane has the best view in the house over Queenstown's popular cricket ground. Photo: Getty Images. 

The Clifton County Cricket Club - North Island New Zealand
This place is a mecca for cricket fans with a rich history as well as solid views to match. Surrounded by small green hills (think Lord of the Rings type scenery) and nestled in a natural bowl, this cricket club is like stepping back in time. Located in the gentle Hawke’s Bay Village of Te Awanga, 25 minutes south of Napier, the amphitheatre that surrounds this cricket field is one of a kind.

 To give you  little bit of history about this famous landmark, the Nilsson Family (original owners) thought a cricket pitch built on the family sheep farm would be a great way to bring family and friends together for some special ‘backyard cricket’. Little did they know people would  start traveling from across the country and eventually the world to visit!

And that wraps up our beach and backyard cricket tour in New Zealand for now, find out more about match times as well as flights and accommodation below. 

Australia V New Zealand: Matches, dates and locations. 
For Australia V New Zealand dates match dates and locations visit cricket.com.au/fixtures

Flights and Accommodation 
QANTAS runs regular flights daily to a number of cities around New Zealand. For more information visit qantas.com.au

To find out more about traveling around New Zealand visit the official 100% Pure New Zealand travel website http://www.newzealand.com/au/ 

 

Making the most of your sleep time when on the road

Cricket Australia dietitian Benita Lalor gives us some handy advice for making the most of sleep time when you're on the road. 

Playing cricket at the highest level involves international and domestic travel, nights slept in different hotels and extended periods on the road travelling to play.  For the players, getting enough sleep is an essential part of their preparation and recovery.  

We all need a good sleep to perform at our best – sleep is the time when our body and brains take time to recover.  Getting enough, good quality sleep is one of the best recovery strategies available to athletes.  Optimising sleep can assist with immune function, mood, appetite regulation, decision making and even can influence how your body uses and stores energy.

Here are a few things that our players put in place to improve their sleep quality and quantity when they are on the road.

Cool, Dark and Quiet

Create the perfect environment for a good nights sleep.  Set your hotel room air conditioning between 19-21 degrees when you check in. Consider travelling with an eye mask to ensure room is dark.

Switching Off

Turning off or minimising the use of electronic devices (iPads, laptops, phones and the tv) in the hour before you plan to go to sleep.  The blue light from these devices can supress melatonin levels, which can make getting to sleep difficult.

Turn down the lights

Hotel rooms can be bright. These bright lights can also supress your melatonin levels, making falling asleep difficult.   Players often spend time in their hotel room winding down after a match and are encouraged to turn down the lights in their room in preparation for sleep.

Consistent Bed and Wake Up Time

Establish a bedtime routine. Aim to get to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time each day.  Aim for at least eight hours of sleep each night.

This can be hard for the players when on the road or when playing matches at night.  Coaches and support staff often plan the schedule to ensure players obtain enough sleep and keep a consistent wake time where possible.

Nap Zone

Players may add a nap into their routine to help them top up’ on sleep after a night match or travel.  When planning a nap, try to fit this in before 3pm and for no longer than an hour.  It might be a good idea to set an alarm.  Remember a nap does not substitute for a good nights sleep.

Evaluate your caffeine intake

We know the benefits of caffeine and performance.  However, caffeine may also inhibit your ability to fall asleep. Aim to have your last coffee/caffienated drink at least four hours before you plan to to bed.

Limit your alcohol consumption

It might feel like a few drinks may help you get to sleep but consuming alcohol disrupts the quality of sleep you get, which is vital for mental and physical recovery.

So what can you add to your routine to get more shut eye?

About Benita Lalor
Benita is an accredited sports dietitian with a interest in nutrition, recovery and sleep and its role in the physical preparation of elite athletes. She has worked for a range of professional teams, national sporting organisations, Olympic sporting teams and has completed a fellowship at the Australian Institute of Sport. She currently works for Cricket Australia. 


 

 

 

Was Shane Watson haunted by a ghost?

Photo: Lumley Castle has been a favourite place to stay for the Australian team over the years. Picture: Sourced. 

Photo: Lumley Castle has been a favourite place to stay for the Australian team over the years.
Picture: Sourced. 

Yes, it's true! Australian cricketer Shane 'Watto' Watson who has been chosen to play for Australia in next month's T20 Tournament, is 'believed' to have had a run in with a ghost whilst on tour with the Australian Men's Cricket Team almost eleven years ago.

At just 24 years of age at the time, Watson was excited to be on tour for the 2005 Ashes Series, staying with all of his team mates and soaking up the sights and sounds of England. However his stay at Lumley Castle in the county of Durham (the team's home away from home for the series), would prove to be verrrrrrryyyy interesting! 

Situated just metres away from Durham Cricket Club where the team was playing during the series, 700 year old Lumley Castle is popular with tourists for it's rich history. Including the tale about Lily of Lumley, a former Lady of the manor who is believed to have been tortured and thrown down the manor's well by two unsuspecting priests. 

Was Shane Watson haunted by ghost Lily of Lumley? Photo: Getty Images. 

Was Shane Watson haunted by ghost Lily of Lumley? Photo: Getty Images. 

On the particular night the Australian Cricket Team checked in back in 2005, it is believed Watson was awoken by a ghost in room 64. The same room in which Lily of Lumley had met her terrible, torturous fate, before being thrown down the well. 

Some accounts from staff working at the hotel that night to media, suggest Watson became frazzled, went down to reception and refused to go back to his room, even lodging on the floor of a fellow team mate's room upon being told all other rooms were full. (Brett Lee you're a good friend if it's true).

The Australian: Shane Watson's fright night, back in his sight. 

However over the years the details and recounts of that night have differed substantially, meaning the only person who really knows the truth is Shane Watson himself.

He doesn't seem all to keen to talk about it these days... and why would he! So perhaps if you ever find yourself with 'Watto' in a broken down elevator, you might just get a chance to ask him! 

Read more facts about Shane Watson below.

  • Full Name: Shane Robert Watson
  • Nickname: Watto
  • Born: June, 1981in Ipswich Queensland, Australia 
  • Height: 184cm 
  • He's known for being a strong all-rounder on the cricket field 
  • He's was a talented sportsman from a young age who received a scholarship from the Australian Institute of Sport
  • He has been plagued with multiple injuries over the years but continues to make some strong come backs
  • He married former Fox Sports presenter Lee Furlong (now Watson) back in 2010
  • The couple share two young children, William (two years of age) and baby daughter Matilda

Shane Watson Bio
Since his international debut in an ODI against South Africa in 2002, Australian cricket fans have ridden the rollercoaster that is Shane Watson’s injury-filled career. 

Despite appearing to have a strong physique, Watson’s body has failed him numerous times over his career. However continuous disappointment has not shaken his determination to be successful at cricket’s top level. 

Watson made his Test debut in 2005 against Pakistan, batting at no.7 with a top score of 31, and taking the wicket of Younis Khan in a win for the Aussies. He has moved up and down the batting order in his Test career, even opening the batting in 2009 which triggered a memorable run of form for Watson.

This included passing 50 eight times in as many innings, as well as his maiden Test century. Other highlights include a patient hundred on a dustbowl in Mohali in 2010, his almost flawless innings of 176 against at The Oval in 2013 and his run-a-ball century against England in Perth just a few months later.

There have been several stand-out moments in the coloured clothing as well, both for Australia and in the IPL, with the highlight of his ODI career coming when he smashed an unbeaten 185 from 96 balls against Bangladesh in 2011. His back-to-back Test five-wicket hauls against Pakistan in 2010 also proves that he can be much more than a change bowler when his fragile body allows.

Watson was a member of the winning ICC World Cup team in 2014-15, and has represented Australia at the ICC World T20. He is also a two-time Allan Border medalist.



 

Is She Perry Mark II

Meet the new force in Australian women's cricket 17 year old Lauren Cheatle. Photo: Getty Images. 

Meet the new force in Australian women's cricket 17 year old Lauren Cheatle. Photo: Getty Images. 

By Jill Scanlon 

What can a 17 year old school girl bring to an established and successful national team which is currently dominating world cricket?  The answer – a future!

Lauren Cheatle is an active, bright-eyed young sportswoman with all the traits of a future champion, playing representative netball as well as cricket at the top level -- which is probably why she is being likened to Southern Stars and NSW team mate Ellyse Perry.

By the age of 16 she had been selected for the NSW state team and was being ranked as one of the nation’s ten fastest bowlers.

And if having yourself compared to one of your heroes in the form of Perry is not enough, then it must be mind-blowing to have your bowling action compared to a male cricketer and one of Australia’s leading pace bowlers, Mitchell Starc.

It’s been a busy couple of months for Cheatle, participating in the inaugural WBBL, which became the ground-breaking success story of this summer in terms of competitive women’s sport in Australia; following NSW State representation and culminating, just a few weeks ago, in a call-up to the Southern Stars.

With another year of school still to complete, she has had a school holiday break few of her friends could match.

What needs to be remembered – and which is great news for the future of Australian Women’s cricket – is Lauren Cheatle is a teenager.

The cricket world is seemingly at her feet with the opportunity for growth and development of what is already a prodigious talent.

The strong global response to Cricket Australia’s major strategy into developing Women’s cricket and raising the sport’s profile, as evidenced by the inaugural Women's Big Bash League season, is being seen as the first long awaited step towards equitable exposure and support for the sport -- and Cheatle is one of the first of the essential building blocks into the future.

 

 

Memorable Ads Featuring Famous Cricket Players

Photo: Istock 

Photo: Istock 

It's that time of the year when most of America and the rest of the world are glued to their TV screens for the NFL Super Bowl. 

Yes this event attracts a huge amount of viewers (around 100 million) so it's no wonder brands spend millions of dollars on advertising to try and connect with the huge audience.

Over the years there have been some pretty iconic ads that have been shown during the Super Bowl, so we've decided to get on the advertising bandwagon to dig out some TV gold  featuring famous cricketers. 

1. BBQ at Richie Benaud's house for Australia Day
Who could forget the 2015 ad featuring late cricketing great Richie Benaud. The iconic cricketer turned commentator was featured doing a 'ring around' to get his 'friends' over for a good old fashioned BBQ, featuring the staple meat of choice... lamb! 

2. Australia Day Lamb 2016 Ad
It was always going to be hard for the team behind We Love Lamb to trump Richie's Australia Day Lamb BBQ from 2015, but they made a decent effort to try and amuse audiences once again with this years' lamb video featuring Australian cricketer Mitch Johnson. Although he may have retired from Test cricket this ad certainly shows that you never retire from backyard cricket. 

3. Shane Warne Advanced Hair Studio
Who could forget 'Warnie' and his long standing partnership with the Advanced Hair Studio. He has featured in countless ads for the brand,  trying to help men around the world keep the follicles on their heads. Here's a recent ad featuring the former spin king.  

4. Oh What A Feeling... Toyota! 
There's never a dull moment when some of Australia's best cricketing greats team up with comedians Stephen Curry and Dave Lawson. Over the years there have been a string of amusing ads featuring the duo and some notable sporting legends for Toyota. This ad from 2014 featuring the current player David Warner was a crowd favourite! 

5. Bonds Australia featuring Michael Clarke
He was the poster boy of Bonds for a number of years. Michael Clarke was regularly snapped in his undies for the brand but on this particular occasion decided to test his cricketing skills on the tennis court. Watch him go head to head with iconic player Pat Rafter. 

6. A WeetBix Kid
Most of us grew up on Weet-Bix, so it's no surprise that many of our Aussie cricket players are Weetbix kids too. Including Australian Captain Steve Smith who recounted his childhood days for this latest ad. 

7. When pop royalty meets Australian cricket
Remember that time the Madden Brothers decided to call Australia home for The Voice? The guys learnt the rules of 'street cricket' thanks to some help from the Australian Men's Cricket Team for a KFC commercial. Except there was one important person who didn't quiet get the memo... 
 

8. C'mon Aussie
Talk about a throwback and a half. Check out this Channel Nine ad from the mid nineties featuring The Aussie Men's Cricket Team singing C'mon Aussie! 

9. Beating tough stains on the road
There's nothing worse than staining your cricket whites, especially on the road. Never fear, cricketers David Boon and Rod Marsh showed viewers that you don't need a washing machine to beat tough stains.. just some Drive! 

Understanding the sign language of cricket

Disco move.. or cricket hand signal? It's sometimes hard to tell. Photo: Getty Images. 

Disco move.. or cricket hand signal? It's sometimes hard to tell. Photo: Getty Images. 

By G.S. Rogers

Those two men in white hats standing kind of still on a cricket oval, while players duck and weave around them – what are they doing, exactly? And what’s with all the odd hand gestures?

My formative years were spent immersed in cricket, at countless training sessions and weekend matches. Back then, I understood perfectly what the two fellows were doing – they were there to hold the players jumpers and hats for a spell. Cricket’s a game of politeness, right? – of course there’d be butlers on field.

Turns out there might be a bit more to it than that. Cricket umpires, as it happens, are there to officiate the game, and they do so with a sophisticated set of of semaphores (signs) that declare a decision, and officially inform all players (and the scorers) just what is happening on the field.

Here’s your pictorial guide to 12 of the most commonly seen gestures:

1.    Batter is OUT = one finger up.
Pretty self explanatory, if you're on the end of this hand signal it's bye, bye!

To put it simply this hand signal means... "you're out, goodbye, ciao, see ya." Photo: Getty Images. 

To put it simply this hand signal means... "you're out, goodbye, ciao, see ya." Photo: Getty Images. 

2.   Four = arm out in front of body, motion from side to side, much like waxing a surfboard.  
This signal happens when the ball hits the boundary, the batting team automatically scores four runs.

A cricket umpire signals a four with an out the front hand motion. Photo: Getty Images. 

A cricket umpire signals a four with an out the front hand motion. Photo: Getty Images. 

3.  Six = six runs on the scoreboard after one massive hit. 
It's when the ball has been hit high into the sky, sailed over the heads of the fielders, and landed beyond the boundary. Nice shot.

Two hands up in the air like you just don't care? Photo: Getty Images. 

Two hands up in the air like you just don't care? Photo: Getty Images. 

4.    Decision change = arms crossed, hands on shoulders. 
Interesting one this. It’s when the umpire originally thought the player was in our out, but reverses their decisions. 

One of the most famous umpires of the game Asad Rauf signals a change of heart! Photo: Getty Images. 

One of the most famous umpires of the game Asad Rauf signals a change of heart! Photo: Getty Images. 

5.    No ball = arm raised at shoulder height. 

An umpire can signal no ball for a loooooong list of reasons:

  • The bowler has overstepped the front line at the bowling end
  • The bowler’s back foot is behind the back line at the bowling end
  • The ball bounces more than twice before it reaches the bowler
  • The ball has stopped before it reaches the bowler
  • The bowler, before he lets go of the ball, has crossed the middle of the pitch (an imaginary line running between the two middle stumps at either end of the pitch)
  • The bowler changes her bowling style, or side of the wicket, from one ball to the next
  • The bowler bowls the ball underarm

That actually isn’t a complete list – but should give you an indication of what may have happened when you see that arm will shoot out. When a No Ball is declared, one run is awarded as an “Extra” to the batting team – ie, it’s not a run attributed to the batter.

6.    Wide = umpire has arms wide open. 
Ball was bowled to wide for the batter to hit it. 

It's a bird, its a plane... nope. It's just out. Photo: Getty Images. 

It's a bird, its a plane... nope. It's just out. Photo: Getty Images. 

7.    Bye = arm in the air, palm flat. 
Byes are runs that are scored when the batter doesn’t hit the ball and it isn’t fielded, so the batters run and score as many runs as they can. Again, these runs are scored as Extras – so not added to the batter’s score. Byes are often considered the fault or responsibility of wicket keepers, whose job it is to field a missed bowl.

Hi? No ....Bye. Photo: Getty Images. 

Hi? No ....Bye. Photo: Getty Images. 

8.   Leg bye = umpire raises knee and taps it. 
Leg bye. This is a doozy! Leg byes are scored when the bowled ball hits the batter but not on the bat or on a hand that’s holding the bat. If the ball then bounces off the batter’s body and is not fielded, the batters can run and score some more Extras. However, the umpire will only raise and tap his knee if he is convinced that the batter had tried to hit the ball with the bat and wasn’t deliberately putting his body in the path of the ball.

This umpire illustrates a leg bye, but also looks like he may be mildly enjoying some knee slap dancing. Photo: Getty Images. 

This umpire illustrates a leg bye, but also looks like he may be mildly enjoying some knee slap dancing. Photo: Getty Images. 

9.  Dead ball = Umpire crossing arms, palms in, in front of hips. 
The Dead Ball is also known as Seagull on Field. The umpire will declare a dead ball to signal that play has somehow been interrupted and the ball is no longer in play (so no-one can score runs or get out).
Seagulls like to be the centre of attention sometimes.

If you see this signal you can usually  guess that it's either a streaker or seagull that's causing some disturbance. Photo: Getty Images. 

If you see this signal you can usually  guess that it's either a streaker or seagull that's causing some disturbance. Photo: Getty Images. 

10. TV replay = umpire draws square in the air.
When an umpire is unsure of a decision, he’ll make this gesture to call for the third umpire – which is adjudication by tv. The play is re-played in slow motion and a determination is made on the decision the umpire is doubtful of.

Let's review that decision on the big box shall we! Photo: Getty Images. 

Let's review that decision on the big box shall we! Photo: Getty Images. 

11. Last hour =  umpire holds out wrist and taps watch.
Usually only seen in Test matches, this call is made when the play in the last hour of the day has commenced. This time differs state-wide and internationally, and will depend on the light of the season and the light on that day.

Is it time to go home yet? Photo: Sourced. 

Is it time to go home yet? Photo: Sourced. 

12. Two balls remaining  - two fingers up (like a peace sign)
It literally means there are two balls remaining for that over. It's become a habit for some umpires to use this signal to let the bowlers know. 

So… that’s a fair few matters those umpires have to keep their eyes peeled, and their fingers limber for. It’s a serious job, as it turns out. NOT glorified hat stands after all.

But a butler on ground, that’s not a terrible idea, surely…?



Getting To Know Usman Khawaja

By Taryn Elder

Meet Usman Khawaja, arguably Australia’s most in-form batsman who recently helped Sydney Thunder win the Big Bash League Grand Final. The cricketer, known for his 1000-watt smile, this week re-joins Australia for the One Day International series in New Zealand. Here are ten fast facts to know about the star player. 

1. Let's start with the basics... 
Usman Tariq Khawaja was born in Islamabad, Pakistan on November 18, 1986, which makes him just shy of 30 years of age. His family immigrated to New South Wales when he was just a kid and he’s called Australia home ever since (despite a few winters spent overseas playing in the UK).

Really excited by my plastic cup. Just like the movies! #USA #redcup #dietdrpepper #smallthings

A photo posted by Usman Khawaja (@usman_khawajy) on

2. Nickname?
In true Australian fashion: ‘Uzzie’, of course!

3. Hidden talents?
Usman is actually a qualified pilot and gained his commercial pilot’s license by completing a bachelor degree in Aviation from the University of New South Wales. In fact, he could actually legally fly before he could drive! Once Uzzie got his studies out of the way he got back to focusing his one true passion, cricket!  

4. So when did he start playing cricket?
Usman started playing cricket as a young kid but really hit his strides when he started playing representative cricket for the NSW Under-19 squad, taking home Player of the Australian Under-19 Championship in 2005. Since then, Khawaja has gone on to play for the 2006 Under-19 Australian squad, Randwick Petersham Cricket Club, the New South Wales Blues and made his Australian Test debut during the 2011 Sydney Ashes series, replacing Ricky Ponting at the all-important number three position. He’s also spent time playing with Queensland, captaining his adopted state in this year’s domestic competitions, and played a starring role in Sydney Thunder's first ever Big Bash title this summer.

5. When he’s not on the road you'll find Uzzie....
In sunny Brisbane, his new adopted state. 
He shares a pad with Brisbane Heat player Ben Cutting. Because Cutting is known to friends and family as 'a bit OCD' , Usman sometimes moves particular items around the house to see if he notices...and doesn't mind posting a few photos of Ben cleaning their house.
 

#housewife #houselife #iwearthepants #OCD #brisbane #missedaspot @cuttsy_31

A photo posted by Usman Khawaja (@usman_khawajy) on

He's also best mates with Australian cricketer Joe Burns and the two are regularly snapped getting up to some  funny stuff. 

Merry Christmas Australia. @joeburns441 #melbourne

A photo posted by Usman Khawaja (@usman_khawajy) on

6. Something you may not know about 'Uzzie'?
He is the first Australian Muslim to play Test cricket for Australia, making his Test debut during the 2011 Ashes series. 
He refrains from drinking alcohol, due to his Muslim faith. 

7. Future TV star in the making?
Usman has actually been the face of a few tongue-in-cheek videos for cricket.com.au, not to long ago creating a MTV Cribs style episode of his hotel room on tour. See for yourself:


He also recently fronted the camera to give a cheeky tour of his local gym. There’s some pretty funny one liners in here:

8. He's a natural born performer...on and off the field
Yes...Uzzie recently enjoyed every moment when he performed for a group of excited kids on stage during Milo In2Cricket event, with teammates Mitch Marsh and Joe Burns (both playing Christmas trees). We’re not exactly sure what character Uzzie was playing, but the kids certainly loved it!  

9. Move over Kanye...there's a new style master!
Uzzie is known for being one of the most stylish players on tour. He doesn’t mind mixing it up when it comes to his fashion, regularly uploading pics to his social media accounts detailing his street style 'get ups'. He also recently featured in our top fashion pics for this year’s Allan Border Medal Red Carpet Verdict.

Admiring my top half invisibility! Thanks for the gangsta threads @academybrand. #camo #bawse #stuntin

A photo posted by Usman Khawaja (@usman_khawajy) on

10. What a joker...
Yep, ‘Uzzie’ doesn’t mind having a laugh, which his teammates love! Whether it’s uploading some hilarious photos on his Insta account, or his antics on tour with the guys, everyone knows that he’s always up for a bit of fun.

Simmba! The king lives on! #lionking #miniatureanimals #mufasa #inthejubglethemightyjungle

A photo posted by Usman Khawaja (@usman_khawajy) on

Follow Usman Khawaja on Instagram. 

How David Warner Turned His Cricket Career Around

David Warner has been known for his fiery outburst and off field behaviour over the years. Photo: Getty Images. 

David Warner has been known for his fiery outburst and off field behaviour over the years. Photo: Getty Images. 

By Taryn Elder

It wasn't so long ago that David Warner was better known for his fiery attitude and off-field misdemeanors, rather than for his unique athletic ability. 

The fierce left-handed batsman was famously dropped from the 2013 Australian Ashes team following a late night altercation in a bar with an English rival, however it seems he has now become a household name for all of the right reasons.

He recently picked up his first Allan Border Medal (the most prestigious award in Australian men's cricket) and was also crowned Test Player Of The Year on the very same night, which is a huge achievement for any athlete  and cricketer. 

Although Warner claims he was surprised to take home both awards,  it was his industry peers including players, match officials and members of the media that voted for him. 

A
 sign you might say of a newfound or rediscovered respect for the player who was so close to losing everything on the cricket field, only a short time ago. 
 

David Warner wins his first Allan Border Medal. Photo: Getty Images. 

David Warner wins his first Allan Border Medal. Photo: Getty Images. 

In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald last year, Warner admitted that he wasn't exactly in the right headspace to play cricket professionally during 2013.

"Go back two years in my life I probably wasn't heading in the right direction. I was playing cricket for Australia - it's a boyhood dream - but I needed to be put back in my place a little bit," said Warner.

"And since then I think I've turned a lot around. I've got a lot of hundreds and I'm playing a good brand of cricket."

David Warner has turned his cricketing career around with a new focus. Photo: Getty Images. 

David Warner has turned his cricketing career around with a new focus. Photo: Getty Images. 

So what  created a radical change in Warner’s attitude to the game and the way in which he trains?

His new family.

In recent times David has openly thanked his wife Candice and their two young daughters, Ivy Mae and Indi Rae (both under the age of two) for helping to him gain a new perspective on life and appreciate the game of cricket for what it is.

During his recent Allan Border Medal speech Warner labelled his wife Candice as his “rock” and added, "I probably wouldn't be playing cricket today without you."

David Warner credits his dramatic lifestyle change to his wife Candice and his two daughters. Photo: Getty Images. 

David Warner credits his dramatic lifestyle change to his wife Candice and his two daughters.
Photo: Getty Images. 

A talented athlete and former iron woman, Candice Warner (formerly Falzon) is believed to have helped David focus on maintaining a more well rounded and balanced lifestyle.

Over the past year, the two have been snapped running together along Sydney’s picturesque beachside tracks, and taking their young family to the beach during their downtime.

The family also regularly travels together for David's overseas cricket commitments. 

The Warners regularly travel together for cricket commitments. Photo: Getty Images. 

The Warners regularly travel together for cricket commitments. Photo: Getty Images. 

Despite being well known identities in Sydney, David and Candice did not meet by chance at a high profile social event, nor were they set up by mutual high profile friends.

David and daughter Ivy Mae, welcome new daughter and sister, Indi Rae Warner.  

David and daughter Ivy Mae, welcome new daughter and sister, Indi Rae Warner.  

The two first connected over Twitter (all hail Twitter). 

“I was away in England for the Ashes and I got another message from Candice after I was involved in an incident,” David told New Idea magazine. 

“She said, “Just letting you know I am thinking of you and I know how hard it can be being away from home.”

“Then we just started texting and Skyping. It was bizarre.”

The whirlwind romance swept both of them off their feet, and it wasn’t long before they announced the birth of their first daughter Ivy Mae in 2014, with the couple eventually saying I do at a lavish ceremony in the New South Wales coastal town of Nowra not long after. 

Then along came baby number two, Indi Rae (born in January this year), and now the Warners are one of the most adorable young families in Australian cricket.

It was whirlwind romance for David Warner and Candice Falzon. Pictured here at their 2014 wedding. Photo: Woman's Day. 

It was whirlwind romance for David Warner and Candice Falzon. Pictured here at their 2014 wedding. Photo: Woman's Day. 

Both David and Candice are extremely open about the love they share for each other and their family, regularly taking to both Instagram and Twitter to share cute candid snaps of family life on and off the road.

And let’s talk about that house. The couple share a beautiful beachside pad (not bad) which overlooks the ocean off Coogee, but it's now officially on the market, with the family planning to relocate to another property in Sydney's Maroubra area.

Let's hope they invite us around for a pool party or some beachside hangs before it sells!

The view from the Warner's million dollar Coogee pad... not bad! Photo: Sourced. 

The view from the Warner's million dollar Coogee pad... not bad! Photo: Sourced. 

CLICK on the image below see some of the family's candid Instagram moments in our gallery.