Australian cricket fans love a throwback to the glory days – and on Wednesday night they were treated to one of the most bizarre.
Legendary wicketkeeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist and fellow commentator Mark Howard took the chance on Fox Cricket’s coverage of the Big Bash League to rib Michael Hussey about the time he hit the roof at Docklands Stadium.
The stage was set for a hearty laugh about Hussey’s enormous but unfortunate strike, as the Renegades and Stars were squaring off on the same patch of turf 15 years later.
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Hussey became the first-ever cricketer to hit the Docklands Stadium roof with the ball during a match in Australia’s ICC Super Series clash with the World XI in 2005, sending a Makhaya Ntini delivery heavenward.
But although it sounds heroic, umpire Aleem Dar signaled a dead ball and rewarded zero runs. Hussey was miffed, Ntini returned to the top of the mark and the ball was bowled again.
Gilchrist and Howard took great delight in reliving the moment with Hussey as the Renegades powered to a five-wicket win over the Stars.
“It was against the World XI. Dead ball, so I got no runs for that. I couldn’t believe it,” Hussey recalled on Fox Cricket’s BBL coverage.
A post-match interview with Hussey was also replayed, in which the former champion batsman uttered the words “freak of nature”, further fueling his colleagues’ ammunition.
“Are you calling yourself a freak of nature there?” Howard and Gilchrist laughed.
Hussey is one of the most humble and likeable figures in world cricket and he immediately hit the joke for six.
“I was not calling myself a freak of nature,” Hussey chuckled.
“We had been at training the day before and we had been trying to hit the roof, but not even Gilly could hit the roof, so I just thought, ‘I don’t know how that happened’. It was a freak of nature!”
Australia and the World XI met in three one-day internationals and one Super Test in October 2005, a mouth-watering series in which some of the biggest superstars in world cricket faced off.
Cricket fans didn’t need a second invitation to see box-office heroes like Gilchrist, Ricky Ponting, Matthew Hayden, Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath clash with megastars like Kumar Sangakkara, Brian Lara, Virender Sehwag, Muttiah Muralitharan and Shoaib Akhtar.
“They were good fun, those games against the World XI,” Hussey said.
“I’m not sure they were at their sharpest, the World XI,” Gilchrist added.
Australia won the three ODIs and the Super Test easily.
“It turned into a bit of an end-of-season trip, I think.”
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