Australia v England, Twenty20 Legends

England beat Australia tonight in the Legends Twenty20 encounter at the WACA. Geoffrey Dean has posted a report to Patrick Kidd’s Line and Length:

The only disappointment for Gatting was that he made a second-ball duck, nicking an outswinger in the first over from who else but Dennis Lillee. Graham Thorpe then joined Robin Smith, however, to put on a match-winning 119 in 13 overs for the second wicket. Smith rolled back the years with a hard-hit 32-ball fifty while Thorpe, hitting the ball into gaps with all his old skill, finished with 72 off 49 deliveries. Nineteen were wanted off the last two overs, but then Ian Healy came on and Adam Hollioake settled the issue with three massive sixes.

Fogies at the WACA

Where did that word, fogies, go? It’s hardly ever in use these days. Anyway. A bunch of them are playing in a Legends Twenty20 match at Perth today, including Angus Fraser, Devon Malcolm, Dennis Lillee and a frightening looking Merv Hughes.

Those links are to the photos at Cricinfo.

Chappell on Lillee and Thomson

Thursday is Archive day on Cricinfo, and we’ve dug out a piece from Wisden Cricket Monthly of Ian Chappell on captaining the two terror twins, Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson. Check it out.

Lee the main main for Australia – Lillee

Dennis Lillee thinks that Brett Lee is now the main spearhead for the Australian attack.

While Lillee praised Warne for breaking his record of 85 wickets in a calendar year, he was just as excited about Lee’s performance.

“Brett’s steadily improved over many years,” Lillee said.

“He has learnt to bowl now a more consistent line and length. He uses the yorker and bouncer sparingly and it probably has more effect.

“He is pretty much a complete fast bowler.”

Asked whether Lee was now Australia’s pace spearhead, Lillee said: “Absolutely. I would dare say McGrath would certainly be happy to take the pressure off himself for a start. It doesn’t mean McGrath is any lesser (of a) bowler, (but) certainly Brett seems to have taken the mantle of leading the attack.”

Ahem. I would like to see a lot more consistency by Lee before I put too much trust in him. Especially against England.

New Zealand vs Australia, Game 3

The Chappell-Hadlee Trophy is decided, but there’s two things to look out for in this game. First, the debut of Mitchell Johnson, who was anoited as a ‘once in a lifetime’ bowler at the age of 17 by Dennis Lillee. He’s a very quick left-arm pace bowler from Queensland.

The second thing is the makeup of the New Zealand team; Stephen Fleming returns, but Daniel Vettori remains in charge. Is there a ‘changing of the guard’ ahead in New Zealand cricket?

I think New Zealand might get over the line in this one- they’ve only won one of the last fifteen meetings, so they are overdue to get a win.

Lillee’s found a new employer

Rumours will be flying around the next few days (weeks?). Please let it be the Windies, somehow, make it happen. He would do WONDERS, not only for their bowlers, but for their general backroom management (which needs serious fixing):

Dennis Lillee, who last month walked away from his coaching position at Australia’s academy, has been offered a job by another Test-playing nation, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

“I don’t want to say who it’s from, because it’s too premature to say,” Lillee told the newspaper. “But it’s there and it’s interesting.”

Lillee, 55, had been involved with developing and coaching players for Australia for 15 years before leaving, and at the time, Rod Marsh, a former team-mate of his for both Western Australia and Australia, described him as “the best fast bowling coach in the world.” According to The Sydney Morning Herald, India, South Africa and Sri Lanka had expressed an interest in employing Lillee.

Lillee quitting Cricket Australia (and “Pace Australia”)

Forgot to post this last night. Lillee is probably the foremost authority on pace bowling – and, importantly, in pace-bowling coaching – but he’s not being paid enough, apparently, and is stepping away from Cricket Australia. More hereand here

Great shame for Australia, and I wonder who will get him? Not England – no money, and we already have Lillee’s understudy Troy Cooley [see previous blog]. I think he’d be most tempted with India or Pakistan – but West Indies is where he should go! Start to find some new Ambroses, Marshalls, Garners & Holdings…put West Indies cricket back on the map with some terrifying fast bowlers (oh – and ban Basketball whilst you’re at it, Dennis…)