There is quite a vocal bunch on Twitter and rightly so. They make income from having such opinions on; players, match situations, conditions amongst other things. Unlike your normal ‘keyboard warriors’ though, this group place their money where their mouth is, placing hard earned cash on the line, to go along with those opinions. Which in some way ranks them slightly higher than those who choose to use their fingers to fight people they’ve never met.
Let’s strip back all the huff and puff though, lets see what the Australian side would look like if selected from his bunch of cricket tragics. Who fancies themselves either in their heyday or currently. A pipe dream surely, but what fun it would be to take on the English Twitter XI under cloudy skies with a swinging Duke, or tour the dry, dusty, bunsen burners of India to take on the India Twitter XI. As a start, lets meet some of these ’nuffies’ and see how the team shapes up.
Australian Twitter XI
(1) @lukeamac – Right-hand batsman. Left-arm slow medium bowler. Much like the coaches son, who was shit, but still opened the batting in u12s, @lukeamac’s selection at the top of the order comes due to the fact he compiled the side and chose to pad himself up early. Starting out his career as a better than handy left arm swing bowler with best figures of 6/9, he grew older, fatter and wiser. Realising how much less running there was in batting, he switched clubs when moving from juniors to opens and told the new club captain he was “an opening batsman who bowled a bit”. Highest score 56 and best bowling 6/9. Retiring after winning his first Grand Final in 7 attempts in the 2012-13 season, this selection atop the order is sure to raise eyebrows considering there are others clearly better than him who missed out.
(2) @johnmillward – Right-hand batsman. Right-arm medium/ right-arm off spin bowler. John “Funky” Miller, like the great man himself, turned to off spin after an accident on the dance floor of a nightclub where he injured his back. The injury also forced @johnmillward to become a better batsman, spending countless hours in the nets and forcing his way to the top of the order. Playing until the age of 19, big money T20 offerings in the UK lured @johnmillward away from our shores. Head hunted as an opening batsman who could bowl in UK conditions, he was soon “smacked over the fence one too many times” and went back to the safety of being a batsman only. Just the one game since 2012 where at @Beaverbet’s bucks weekend he hit a swashbuckling century in a T20, “it was against 9 fielders”, he asked me to leave that fact out though. Highest score 100no, best bowling 6/16. Greatest moment on the field? “I once dropped a test captain off @beaverbet’s bowling “. Everyone wishes they were there to see that cunt seething, double teapot no doubt.
(3) (wk & vc) @Beaverbet – Right-hand batsman. Right-arm leg spin. A T20 “gun for hire” who has played the game at the lowest level both here and in England. With such a diverse range of skills; leg spin that “doesn’t leave the straight”, wicket-keeper “that doesn’t move his feet” and top order “slogging” its hard to picture a professional that best describes @Beaverbet. When asked to stick his neck out he went with “Craig Simmons, a fat slogger who can hit mugs, but hopeless against proper bowlers”, “I hate that cunt though because he cost me thousands that time he fluked a BBL hundred” he added. Most famous for once playing against Brian Murphy (the great Zimbabwean leg spinner who dismissed some guy named Sachin Tendulkar), @Beaverbet recalls someone (who we now know was @johnmillward) “dropping him off my bowling, which cost us the match but also cost me the wicket of a test batsman, for fucks sake”. Highest score of 104 and best bowling of 3/?, should be a better than handy all round cricketer for the Twitter Australian XI.
(4) @LateMailWA – Right-hand batsman. Left-arm slow bowler. Growing up on the fast bouncy pitches of the West, @LateMailWA decided to come off 2 steps and bowl slow, go figure. With a top score of 117no and best figures of 7/48, there are quite a few strings to his bow. Still thrashing the ball all parts in the ‘Kalgoorlie Friendlies League’ we asked some of his team mates; which top level player @LateMailWA most reminded them of? “Michael Clarke probably, mostly his personality on the field, he just becomes a right arrogant cunt”. “Would have to be Clarkey, bowls shit left armers that don’t turn, had one good day with the ball like Clarke in Sydney that time, now we never hear the end of it”. But don’t let their negativity cloud your judgement, it’s mostly jealously, with an A Grade Premiership in his trophy cabinet and coming in at four, he’ll need to be padded up early considering the dross coming in above him.
(5) @ruptified – Right-hand batman. Right-arm medium fast. “Wasted youth” was the catch cry from his club team mates when asked about @ruptified’s cricketing prowess. “He reminds me a lot of Andrew Symonds” they continued “had some promise but used to go walk about and hit the piss”. Its the classic club cricket story of the man who looks back and thinks; “what if I didn’t go to the pub everyday”. Clocked in the 130s in his early 20s but now giving up bowling to focus all his time on drinking, @ruptified gave cricket away just 3 years ago and will need a few overs to blow the cobwebs out from the night before. Highest score 108no and best bowling of 5/37, we have a handy first change bowler here who can clearly hold the willow. Comes with sub-continental experience having opened the batting for his club when they toured Sri Lanka.
(6) @Trooa – Right-hand batsman. Right-arm medium bowler. An understated player who modelled his game on Lance Klusener, taking it a little too far when in the early 2000s he also wore one of those suspect shell, hippy necklaces like Lance in his prime. Apart from that necklace, the other thing Lance was most famous for was running out the Donald in the 1999 World Cup Semi, but anyway, I digress. Much like the great South African @Trooa is a devastating middle order batsman who can swing the new and old ball. He will do a job for the skipper in the field where ever you need him. With highest score of 91 and best bowling of 7/1, this guy will be a key factor considering there is a distinct lack of talent in the rest of the team.
(7) @tradermatt106 – Right-hand batsman. Right-arm medium fast bowler. There is some questions around this British born players eligibility. However, hes been recruited for now while eligibility rules are looked over. Theres a lot of Freddie Flintoff about him, mostly because you can’t understand a word the cunt is saying, but also with his “ruggedly handsome look and similar bowling style” I think he said. He enjoys seeing the ball come in front of square off the bat usually fielding at cover or mid wicket. While interviewing him about his selection in the side, he was sitting in a Jacuzzi with the none other than, “The Universe Boss” in his billion dollar apartment building, tough life. Highest score 82no and best bowling 2/7 off 9 overs. With a distinguished career on the pitch he still says his greatest achievement is off the field by being “better than at cricket trading”.
(8) @cjpunt – Left-hand batsman. Right-arm medium fast bowler. Finally, a ‘leftie’! “Ben Stokes like I’d say, minus the red hair”. In other words an arrogant cunt, who sledges a lot, with hair colour other than red. Excellent, because for all the huff and puff about professional cricketers on Twitter everyday from this mob, most have gone into their shell when describing their own “illustrious” careers. Without some arrogant prick on the field carrying on, the sledging will leave a lot to be desired which would be highly “Un-Australian”. Still playing suburban 1st grade on turf @cjpunt will have to carry some filth from this side on his back to get some wins on board. Aggressive with both bat and ball, highest score of 117 and best bowling 6/26. A very handy addition, almost too good to be coming in at 8. Anything else we should know about you? “taken two hat tricks” he says arrogantly.
(9) @leantothewind – Right-hand batsman. Right-arm slow medium bowler. A self described “net bowler” who delivers “more John Howard type deliveries than he should”, @leantothewind is Twitter Australia XI’s ‘Big Strong Aussie Enforcer’. A colourful career that bottomed out around the “Jam Gate” scandal; which involved the use of a banned substance that “was in my mum’s jam, you have to believe me” he says. On the field there has been countless junior level “five fa’s” and the “jungle cat type abilities” in the field. @leantothewind is still bitter about being robbed of his chances at the South Australian Junior Trials by an Afghan player with no passport, a massive beard and chest hair. “Absolutely no way he was under 12” he went on to say, still clearly distraught by the event. With a highest score of 42 and best bowling of 5/30, Twitter Australian XI will be looking to @leantothewind for some off field scandals to take the pressure off the on field performances.
(10) (c) @jpp1811 – Right-hand batsman. Right-arm fast bowling. Shits getting serious now, into the blokes who had great promise, but due to their fathers living vicariously through their cricket careers, turned to alcohol instead. Still playing in a strong 1s competition in country Victoria, a lot of Twitter Australia XI’s success will come down to how @jpp1811 and a few other guns perform on the day. I hope it isn’t too heavy carrying the team on your shoulders, don’t let them down. Another member of the esteemed slip cordon, slotting in at 3rd, 4th or gully, his magic is done mostly with the ball. An opening bowler with a strikingly similar action to Mike Proctor, is it any wonder he takes so many wickets, limbs going everywhere, nightmare to face. A genuine lower order slogger with a highest score of 80 and best bowling of 8/37. Countless cricketing awards and achievements, expectations are high and he will skipper the side.
(11) @MaloneCricPicks – Right-hand batsman. Right & left-arm leg spin bowler. Affectionately known as “Wogg” (Warne x Hogg) for his ability to bowl ‘leggies’ with both arms, this freak show has made most teams in his career just so his team mates can see the look on the opposition teams face. A handy addition to the slip cordon at 1st slip, you’ll generally see him tucked partially behind the keeper and apparently because of this he’s “never dropped one at 1st slip”, sharp. A good number 11 slogger with a highest score of 58, he’ll help the tail wag. Best bowling 4/2 and his greatest cricketing achievement? “Captioning the 3rds last game of the year to a win against a bunch of cheating Indians”.
(12th man) @armodan – Right-hand batsman. Right-arm medium bowler. Boonie once drank 52 cans on a flight to tour England, every team needs a Boonie, meet @armodan. Never one to shirk the responsibility on the turps, regardless of whether he has to stand in the field the next day or not. A self described “superb fielder” you can find this bloke lurking around the point region. His cricket career came to a grinding halt in u17s as he went into a year long preparation for being able to buy his own booze. Pissed or not, with best bowling of 5/12 and a “hatty” in u14s, he’ll be trying to take someone in the first XI out on the piss and drink them under the table to get his chance for his first cap.
(Coach) @DownIsTheNewUp_ – Right-hand batsman. Right-arm fast bowler. Ever the tactician, @DownIsTheNewUp_ decided to pull up stumps on his cricket career at age 19 after realising that “spending Saturday afternoons standing in the sun was negative EV”. A genuine swing bowler with heat in his day, @DownIsTheNewUp_ started by describing himself in the mould of the great “Wasim Akram” before conceding Wasim “was left handed and could bat”. “Maybe more Mohammed Asif” he went on, which raised some eyebrows considering @DownIsTheNewUp_’s connection to the sports betting industry since finishing up his cricket career. Anyway, lets sweep that under the rug and move on. Highest scores weren’t important as he was a “bona fide number eleven”, instead, “facing two ex-state cricketers and not dying or being dismissed” were the lofty heights with the bat in hand. Best bowling 7/28 is very sharp though. Without being asked, @DownIsTheNewUp_ told the story of how “once I was on a hat-trick twice in the same over”. The perfect coach for the Aussie Twitter XI, has plenty of old stories, reminiscing about his playing days and never lets the truth get in the way of a good career story.
(Physio/ Doctor) @BozzaLikesLines – Right-hand batsman. Right-arm off spin. Known mostly in cricketing circles for his uncanny Brad Hodge type looks, @BozzaLikesLines played cricket mostly, as his name suggests; for the Mad Monday celebrations. Never really reaching any great heights on the field, @BozzaLikesLines instead decided to do his best work; back at the club house or out with the boys at the local. Because of his great work off the field, @BozzaLikesLines has been voted ‘Best Club Man’ 6 years running for the ‘East Ballarat Hawks C.C’. “He never lets the boys down, its always great quality” said one of his team members when asked. On the field there has been some successes with a highest score of 54 and best bowling of 4/9. When asked about his best cricketing achievement, he said “thats easy, I once had 20 beers at a day/nighter at the G and didn’t get kicked out”.
(Squad) @chicken_palma – Right-hand batsman. Right-arm slow medium bowler. Every team needs a good cricket nerd, someone who can methodically work their way through an opposing batsman to bring about his downfall or tell the idiots of his own team how many runs are needed from how many balls. The pressure of a calculated run chase gets @chicken_palma’s broth bubbling. Likening himself to the great Michael Bevan, who also used to waste a lot of dot balls early on his innings, just so he could be a hero later in the game, @chicken_palma is constantly running numbers through his head to see how he too can be the man to hit the winning runs. Highest score of 29, best bowling of 4/4 and fresh off a 2016 C Grade Indoor Title. When asked about his chances of making the team; “for someone with limited ability, I’m awfully optimistic of making the XI”.
(Squad) @snowbet – Right-hand batsman. Right-arm leg spin bowler. A cricket fiend growing up, “I was sick for it, all day, every summer, backyard, poolside, proper cricket in the whites on weekends, loved it”. Described by his coaches growing up as a bit of a “Graeme Hick, built for show, not for go” @snowbet didn’t listen to them, instead he saw himself as more of a “Stuart Law, all the class and ability, just held back by politics, never given a proper go”. As far as highlights on field go, it was hard to go past his backyard heroics where at age 15 he carted his 6 year old sister for “four consecutive sixes over the house”. When asked about the bowling that day he said “she was bowling shit at the back end of a long spell and I gave her the treatment it deserved”. Ruthless. Highest score of 72 and best bowling of 5/8. Despite playing his last game in u16s, @snowbet hasn’t given up completely on the highest honours “I’m still available for selection Smithy, call me”.
(Squad) @lenphil29 – Right-hand batsman. Right-arm medium fast bowler*. With structured cricket limited to u12s and u13s, @lenphil29 has forged a solid career in the backyard arena. You’ll often find this guy who describes himself as a bit of a “specialist fielder” lurking at deep fine leg or as a genuine back stop depending on the quality of keeping. Those that have seen him go around have likened him to Glenn McGrath in the back end of his career, with the bat that is; ” he can generally stay in but no ability to get the ball off the square” said one of his old u12 team mates. Highest club score 29, best bowling 2/9 and highest backyard score of 630no and bowling 20/4, @lenphil29 will be ready to grab his chance in the first XI with both hands if there are any injuries.
*note: never been gunned by a radar, term “medium fast” given to us by his daughter, she also revealed that was on pitch of just 13 yards.
(Squad) @SgtButane – Right-handed batsman. Right-arm slow medium. Known mostly for his fielding under the lid at short leg, his team mates in the Barwon River region describe him as “an above average fielder with a safe pair of hands”. Hardly a one dimensional cricketer though he bowls some quality right-arm “shit gets wickets” type stuff. “Its amazing how important it is just getting it on the pitch in junior cricket” he says as we discuss his greatest bowling achievements. Interesting wagon wheel from his junior days at the batting crease with 97% of his career runs coming on the leg side. Highest score, unknown “averaged 89 in u14s, only out once and I didn’t even nick it”, best bowling, unknown, “but I certainly wasn’t a strike bowler”. Watch out for this bloke running the water with some serious vigour in the upcoming series. A real club man.
(Squad) @tim_2305 – Left-hand batsman. Right-arm leg spin bowler. Like any Australian who bowled anything that resembles right arm leg spin in the last 10 years, @tim_2305 was once described as the “next Shane Warne”. Sadly though, he wasn’t able to fill the massive shoes of the great man, particularly off the field. The weight of expectation around drug taking, smoking ‘ciggies’ in the change room, fucking countless woman behind his wifes back was too much and instead he settled as more of a “Cam White”, “a junk leggie who slogs and “a boring cunt compared to Warney”. A modest assessment of a career that spanned 15 years and peaked when he belted the bowling to all parts with a highest score of 95. Best bowling of 6/24. Going through some old team photos a baby faced David Warner standing alongside @tim_2305 stood out, when asked about Warner the response was “he was a little cunt then, I doubt much has changed”. Anything else we should know about your career? “I once dropped 5 catches in 8 overs”. Strategic drops no doubt.
(Squad) @BigOtrivia – Right-hand batsman. Left-arm fast bowler. A self described “Gary Sobers type”, @BigOtrivia is a bit of an unknown commodity in this Twitter Australian Squad. Considering Sir Garfield bowled slow left arm orthodox, it must be with the willow that the similarities are striking. But again, Gazza was a left handed bat so no idea what hes talking about. When looking a little deeper into his backyard stats though, you can picture a young, white, West Indian slashing it in swashbuckling style to all parts. Highest score 365* and best bowling 8/25*. @BigOtrivia will need to show his wares in the nets before he can be slipped into the XI above some others.
*note: highest score and best bowling came in the backyard.