England v Australia, Lymington-style!

ENGLAND v AUSTRALIA, LYMINGTON-STYLE!

We at Lymington have been fortunate over the years to have enjoyed the presence of some fantastic overseas players, not least the sizeable contingent of Australians who have travelled half way round the globe to play for the club. With the latest Ashes series about to kick-off Down Under, we decided to select a Aussie Lymington XI featuring some of the finest Australians to play for our club. To balance things out we have also picked an English Lymington XI, most of whom played first class cricket, including three who represented England (one of them actually took part in the very first England v Australia test match!).

So, who would win an encounter between the two talent-packed sides listed below? Read the stats and make up your own mind. We start with the Aussies…

AUSTRALIA:

1) Brian Clemow – scored more than 600 runs for Lymington during the 2000 season, including a Southern League record score of 213 not out against Cove. Six years prior to joining Lymo the prolific right handed batsman had been awarded the prestigious Wisden Young Cricketer of the year in Australia and was tipped for stardom, but sadly his professional career was effectively ended by a serious car accident.

2) Sam Raphael (wicketkeeper) – the 19 year old batsman from Adelaide enjoyed a tremendous season for Lymington in 2007, scoring 561 runs in the Southern League, plus several centuries in the various matches to celebrate the club’s bicentenary. Five years later Raphael made his first class debut for South Australia against Tasmania at Hobart and has since made 25 first class appearances. In 2016 he scored 91 against the touring South Africans. ‘Rafa’ has kept wicket for his Adelaide club side (strangely he never kept wicket during his time with Lymo) and has scored a massive 9,000 first grade runs in 234 matches.

3) Damien Mortimer – arrived in England in 2014 as part of Cricket Australia’s Elite International Cricket Academy (EICA) at the Ageas Bowl having impressed in the Under 19 World Cup. The right handed batsman from New South Wales scored 711 runs in his season with Lymington including a brilliant century in a rare win over South Wilts. Also took 17 wickets with his medium paced bowling.

4) Scott Henry – had already made his first class debut for New South Wales by the time he arrived in England with the EICA in 2013. ‘Scooter’ scored 621 runs for Lymington and returned Down Under to make further appearances for New South Wales and Queensland, scoring 1,705 first class runs including a top score of 142 for Queensland against Victoria in 2015.

5) Karl Whatham – the quiet Balmain Tigers batsman overcame severe homesickness and Peter Tapper’s cooking to score 570 runs in 2004. Unspectacular compared to many of his fellow Aussie imports, but possessed remarkable powers of concentration and could bat for hours. Took 37 league wickets with his gentle away swing. Later moved to Canada for whom he made an unexpected appearance at the 2011 World Cup in India, scoring 18 against Australia at Bangalore before being clean bowled by Brett Lee.

6) Tim Smith – Lymington’s original Aussie import, Smithy rocked up at the Sports Ground in 1996 claiming to be a ‘wicketkeeper/batsman who bowled a bit’. Was certainly right about the batting and keeping but the jury’s still out on the bowling. Scored 639 runs and topping the Hampshire Cricket League averages for the Second XI in his first season with the club. Quite literately larger than life, the big man from Sydney became arguably the most popular overseas player in the club’s history, even flying in from Australia to play for an Ex-Lymington XI during the club’s bicentenary season in 2007. Worth a place in the team for his sledging alone.

7) Aaron Heal – the left arm spinner from Rockingham-Mandurah took 31 wickets and scored 629 runs during his year at Lymington in 2002. Went on to play for Western Australia in the Sheffield Shield and played a key role in the Western Warriors’ ING Cup win over Queensland at the Gabba in 2004, drawing high praise from legendary commentator Richie Benaud. Later earned a contract with Big Bash side Melbourne Renegades and now runs a hotel in the Western Australian outback mining town of Kalgoorlie. Swore quite a lot, even by Australian standards.

8) Pete Smith – No-one in the history of Lymington CC has made such an immediate impact as all-rounder Peter Smith who, in 2005 with his first scoring shot dislodged a tile on the roof of a house in St Thomas Park. The rest of his season followed in much the same fashion as he scored 797 league runs at a rate now more associated with T20 cricket. Smith will perhaps best be remembered for bludgeoning six sixes in an over against tourists Shooters Hill, and also for the mammoth six he smashed on to the nearby Bashley FC football pitch during a Presidents Cup tie at the BCG. On his day Smith could be a lively new ball bowler, and he took 36 league wickets despite carrying a persistent ankle injury, not to mention carrying the rest of his Lymington team on numerous occasions. Smith possessed arguably the longest throw in the club’s history. His unique party piece was to hurl a cricket ball from in front of the Sports Ground clubhouse into the tennis courts on the far side of the ground using his right arm. Freakily, he woud then do it again using his left arm!

9) Craig O’Shannessy – the quick bowler nicknamed ‘Dish’ (due to the satellite tracking station in his home town of Parkes, NSW) took 42 wickets during the 2008 season and helped Lymington to finally gain promotion to the Gold league. He could also give the ball a good whack and scored over 500 runs, mainly in boundaries.

10) Simon Cook (Captain) – without doubt our highest profile Aussie. ‘Cookie’ was capped twice by Australia in 1997, deputising for the injured Glenn McGrath, taking 5-39 on debut against New Zealand at the Waca (see the footage here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GcwPCx0WvyI). Made 32 first class appearances for Victoria and New South Wales, taking 86 wickets before retiring from the professional game in 2004 at the age of 32 due to a string of serious injuries including two broken ankles and an ongoing back problem, not to mention the four broken ribs sustained in a bizarre incident with a council steamroller. Fortunately the big paceman nursed his body through the 2009 English summer, taking 40 wickets and guiding Lymington to a memorable victory under the Rose Bowl floodlights in the final of the T20 cup.

11) Ben Ashkenazi – Another member of the EICA, opening bowler Ashkenazi took 34 wickets for Lymington in 2015. He represented both Australia Under 19s and Victoria Under 23s and a year before joining Lymington had taken 3-21 for a Cricket Australia XI against the South Africa touring team.

12th Man) Billy Quigley – it says something about the quality of the Australian team that despite a fantastic season which saw him score 840 runs and take 24 wickets for the Second XI, our most recent Antipodean can only make the subs bench. A gun fielder, Quigley would make an excellent 12th Man for any team.

Social Secretary: Luke Marshall – enough said!

Press Officer: Fred McKie – Kept wicket for the Fourth XI in the late 1990s and worked as a reporter for the Lymington Times.

Notable mentions: Who can forget Damien Edwards? The quiet and unassuming batsman from Moonee Ponds, Victoria played a huge part in the Second XI’s ascent to the top of the Hampshire League in 2014 when he averaged 90. Less memorably, Damo is probably the only Lymo player to go out to bat in a Southern Premier League game with his trousers on back to front (Read more about Damo’s time at Lymington here…). Young opening batsman/leg spinner Matt Bowdler spent the 2006 season at the club, making noteworthy contributions for the Second XI before returning to Perth where he carved out a successful career with top grade club Melville. 15 year old Dan Rutherford spent a year at school in Lymington in 1998 and helped the club win the prestigious Europa Cup competition. The talented all rounder from Melbourne later returned to Lymo to play for the senior sides. If the team need a plane to fly to England, Mark Heal may be the man to call on. The seam bowler (and brother of the aforementioned Aaron) played for Lymington Third XI and later became a pilot for Qantas. Other Aussies representing Lymington have included all-rounder Stu Simkins, batsman/spinner Nick McMurray, seam bowler Andy Griffin and beer drinking champion Marlon Baars.

ENGLAND:

1) Jon Hardy (Captain) – will always be regarded as one of Lymington’s greatest batsmen and, having been appointed captain at just 21 years of age, took Lymington from a team of also-rans in 1981 to Southern League champions just two years later. The elegant left-handed opener scored more than 6,000 first class runs for Hampshire, Somerset and Gloucestershire and is one of a rare band of Englishmen to have scored centuries for three different counties.

2) Tony Middleton – joined Lymington from Trojans in 1988 and while with the club Middleton established himself as a reliable, if unspectacular, opening batsman with Hampshire. Although possessing considerable powers of concentration that enabled him to bat for long periods, Middleton adapted well to the shorter format of the game and was a key member of Hampshire’s 1991 Nat West Trophy success, scoring 78 in the final at Lord’s. He made 109 first class appearances, scoring 5,753 runs, and averaged just under 40 in one day cricket.Was selected for the 1990 England A tour to Australia.

3) Cecil Abercrombie – Naval Lieutenant Abercrombie played for Lymington during the 1906 and 1907 seasons. In 1913 he became the first Hampshire batsman to score a century on debut, against Oxford University at Southampton. Later that Summer he scored 165 against Essex at Leyton. Also represented Scotland at Rugby Union. Tragically, Abercrombie lost his life at the Battle of Jutland in 1916 (for a fuller biography see: http://www.lymingtoncc.com/wp/cecil-abercrombie/)

4) Harry Jupp – Lymington’s professional for the 1883 season holds a notable record in England v Australian cricket history when, in 1877, he became the first Englishman to score a half century in the inaugural test match between the two nations at Melbourne. Nicknamed ‘Young Stonewall’ for his stoic and resolute style of batting, Jupp played in two tests and 378 first class matches, scoring a phenomenal 15,319 runs between 1862 and 1881.

5) Darren Cowley – his record at Lymington speaks for itself – scoring nearly 2,000 league and cup runs in four full campaigns between 2011 and 2014, since when Dazza’s appearances have been sadly limited. Arguably the most destructive batsman in the club’s 2010 year history, it was Cowley’s barrage of sixes into the adjacent tennis courts in 2011 that prompted a furore over the future of cricket at the Sports Ground. In the end, a very tall and expensive net was erected to protect the tennis players. The town council certainly got their money’s worth a year later when Cowley smashed 7 sixes into the netting during a scintillating T20 century against Tichborne Park. A more than useful left arm spinner, Cowley represented Dorset 68 times.

6) Neil Trestrail – the former Sussex Second XI all rounder has scored around 7,000 league runs since joining Lymington way back in 1985. Classy batsman and in his prime was a more than handy seam bowler. Intensely competitive on the field. Like Harry Jupp, Trestrail has experience of playing at Melbourne Cricket Ground having represented the MCC at the famous stadium in 1994.

7) Lewis McManus (Wicketkeeper) – debuted for Lymington in May 2015 and made his Hampshire debut against Yorkshire at Headingley just eight days later. Became the county’s first choice keeper in 2016 and enhanced his growing reputation with the bat thanks to a superb 132 against Surrey at the Ageas Bowl.

8) Matt Metcalfe – an automatic choice for the new ball. One of the Southern League’s all-time leading bowlers, Metcalfe is a formidable force on any pitch, but especially at the Sports Ground where his exploits have included 9-51 v South Wilts, 8-27 v Havant, and seven wicket hauls against Alton and Havant. The former Dorset seamer has taken 166 wickets in just five seasons for Lymington since joining from Bournemouth in 2013. He has received the SPCL’s top bowling award for five of the past eight seasons. No slouch with bat either, Metcalfe has almost 2,200 SPCL runs to his name.

9) Christopher Heseltine – along with Harry Jupp, fast bowler Heseltine remains one of only two Lymington cricketers to have represented England in a test match. He gained his two England caps against South Africa in 1896, taking 5-38 on debut at Johannesburg. He made 79 first class appearances for Hampshire between 1892 and 1914, taking 170 wickets.

10) Chris Allen – the wily left arm spinner is one of the Southern League’s all-time leading wicket takers, accumulating more than 350 wickets for both Deanery and Lymington. ‘Cal’ as he was known, also represented Dorset 66 times in the Minor Counties Championship, taking 252 wickets. A brilliant slip fielder, Allen was also a determined and reliable lower order batsman.

11) Stephen Andrew – played a key role in Lymington’s 1983 title winning side. Two years later was selected for England Young Cricketers’ tour of the west Indies, prompting Fred Trueman to describe him as the ‘best young quickie in England’. 6’3″ tall, Andrew could bowl big away swingers at a rapid pace and went on to play in 132 first class matches for Hampshire and Essex, taking 317 wickets. He also made 91 one day appearances, the very first of which in 1994 saw him take 3-12 against Surrey in the Benson & Hedges Cup, a performance that earned him the man of the match award.

12th Man) Morgan Rushbrook – the former Cardiff MCCU and Hampshire Second XI all rounder might well have been selected for either side, having been born in Australia before moving to England and then emigrating back to Melbourne in 2010. During a successful three year stint with Lymington Rushbrook helped the club win the T20 cup final at the Rose Bowl in 2009 and almost single-handedly kept the club in the premier division with some incredible heroics in his final season. While at Lymington Morgan was most definitely English – or more precisely Welsh – so we’re claiming him for the England squad for the benefit of this exercise!

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