Hands and Heals
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This is the story of a larrikin kid, born in the city of Brisbane but raised in the Queensland country, who lived out his cricket dream and became the greatest Australian keeper of them all. In the seasons following Ian Healy's selection to the Australian side in 1988, he established a new standard for wicket-keeping.
60 for the seventh wicket with my best mate, Brad Inwood. Then Ando came back for the rest of the season. My chance in 1987-88 came after Ando badly broke his thumb keeping up to the stumps to Ian Botham in Perth. I was immediately into the team for a home game against South Australia, a thrilling draw that went down to the final over. On that last day I stumped David Hookes and again heard whispers that Hookes or someone from the South Australian Cricket Association was going to approach me
blue like that, it would be straight into the QCA offices or the Gabba for a packed media conference. Back then, I had no idea what was supposed to happen. But surely, I thought, this was news. Or was it a prank? If it was, it wasn’t very funny. Still white, I sheepishly told my workmates, among them my soon-to-be brother-in-law, Ian ‘Perko’ Perkins. Every time, I added quickly that the handshake might be premature; this could be a wind-up. Then I rang my father. Are you sitting down?’ I asked
the umpire’s word for it. The morning after the Marshall run out, the backpage headline in one paper roared: ‘I’M NO CHEAT’. The article wasn’t that bad, but the headline sure was provocative. This was my first controversy. THE FOURTH TEST IN Sydney was Trevor Hohns’ initial Test match, 16 summers after his first-class debut. At the time, he’d played more Shield games than any other player going round in interstate cricket. Cracker and I had always enjoyed a good relationship as state-squad
made the offer dismissed it as a joke, but AB was adamant this was not the case. We couldn’t believe that such a proposal had been made, and laughed at it, treating it as unique. As we know now, we should have been much more suspicious… IN SOUTH AFRICA, I’D APPROACHED Bob Simpson to ask him if it would be okay for me to skip the trip to Sharjah that had been tacked on to the end of that tour. I’d already spoken to Laurie Sawle, back after the Adelaide Test, and he had told me I could miss
surprisingly he did all he could to dodge the limelight by arriving after the rest of his teammates and then spending most of his non-playing hours locked in his hotel room. In the Australian camp, we looked at Salim as just another opponent, though we knew Shane was keen to get his wicket. In the lead-up to the series Warney had been a little on edge, not quite knowing what to expect and wondering why he was being pushed under the harsh match-fixing spotlight. In his mind, and ours too, hed done