‘TODAY WAS YOUR DAY, MATE!’
Finally Andrew and Indra couldn’t take it anymore. Strauss and Cook were batting without a worry in the world, and the Poms around us were celebrating too wildly for comfort. We decided to leave early to beat the tram rush. As we got up Indra glanced ruefully at our morning paper headline: “History will be created at the MCG today!”
Andrew saw the funny side. “Australia did create history today … getting all out for less than 100!” he joked. And then he did something truly endearing: He warmly shook hands with the English supporter sitting next to him and told him: “I have to admit … with the greatest regret … today was your day mate!”
BRADMAN, LILLEE AND NOW WARNE
Three days after Boxing Day, I decided to return to the MCG. England had just won a famous victory and some Poms were still prowling around the mighty stadium.
It was a very bright day, although a cool breeze ensured that the afternoon was pleasant. It was a pleasure to just potter around and take in the sights. I was especially delighted to see a bronze statue first of Dennis Lillee and then of the Don. The statues are beautiful and contribute to the aura of these great Australian cricketers.
Soon Shane Warne will join this illustrious team.
MEETING TONY LEWIS
As I was walking past the main MCG entrance, I saw a gentleman who looked very familiar. A moment later I recognized him: this was Tony Lewis who captained the MCC side that toured India in 1972-73.
I walked up and shook hands with him. Lewis seemed surprised that I remembered him. I told him that I still have great memories of the 1972-73 series that India won 2-1.
“We should have won it 2-1 actually”, Lewis said, “if only we had won that Madras Test!” I recalled that India barely managed to reach the below-100 winning target with Pat Pocock bowling well.
“Oh you still remember Pocock! But perhaps you’ve forgotten that Underwood didn’t play that test. If we had Underwood on that Madras pitch the match was ours”, Lewis said, beaming at the memories of a match played some 40 years ago.