Control is one of the hallmarks of a good fast bowler. Add pace to that and you have the ingredients for a great fast bowler. Add pace to that and you have Australia’s, Brett Lee.

Brett Lee is tied with Glen McGrath for having taken the most wickets in ODIs by an Australian. But to prove the point about pace and control being the hallmarks of greatness, while it took McGrath 249 ODI matches to clock his 380 wickets, Lee did so in just 219 when he dismissed England’s Ian Bell at Lord’s.

On the way to those 380 wickets at an average of 23.36, Lee had to suffer through numerous injury setbacks and quit Test cricket two years before he called time on his international career in a bid to extend his run in the shorter versions of the game.

In truth, Lee also wanted the freedom to bowl fast, knowing he had a maximum of 10 overs to get through. At his best, he would begin bowling the new ball and getting prodigious outswing. When the ball got a little older, Batsmen had to watch their toes as a man who could get up to 160 clicks, was now bowling rapid reverse swing.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Brett Lee

Born: November 8, 1976 (43), Wollongong, New South Wales

Major teams: Australia, Kings XI Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders, New South Wales, Otago, Sydney Sixers, Wellington

Playing role: Bowler

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm fast

Height: 1.87 m

 

ODI Career: Australia (2000-2012)

Mat    Inns    Balls     Runs          Wkts   BBI      BBM     Ave      Econ    SR      4w     5w     10

221      217    11185   8877             380    5/22    5/22      23.36   4.76     29.4     14        9       0

 

Career Highlights

  • Secured 380 wickets at 23.36
  • 8th on all-time ODI wicket-taking list
  • 5th fastest to 100 ODI wickets (55th match)
  • Part of Australia’s 2003 ICC CWC winning team

If you are named to Australia’s greatest ever One-Day International team, then chances are, you’re one of the greatest ODI teams of all time. Australia are the team to have won the most ICC World Cups and undoubtedly have the most pedigree as an ODI team. Pacer Dennis Lillee played no small part in building that pedigree.

Lillee was considered a complete bowler. Initially, he bowled with frightening pace but a spinal stress fracture, which many thought would have ended his career, only managed to slow him.

Slower, Lillee was still incredibly dangerous. Now he had variations in pace, length and movement and he still was no slouch. Now, in addition to his standard outswinger, Lillee had introduced a change of pace, a yorker, leg and offcutters, a fast bouncer and a slow one to boot.

Those tools served him well in the ODI arena where he took 103 wickets in just 63 games at an average of 20.82.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Dennis Keith Lillee

Born: July 18, 1949 (age 70), Subiaco, Perth, Western Australia

Major teams: Australia, Northamptonshire, Tasmania, Western Australia

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm fast

 

ODI Career: Australia (1972-1983)

Mat    Inns    Balls   Runs    Wkts   BBI     BBM    Ave     Econ   SR      4w     5w     10w

63         63     3593   2145     103    5/34     5/34    20.82   3.58    34.8     5       1         0

 

Career Highlights

  • First to take a 5-for in ODIs
  • First to take 50 and 100 wickets in ODIs
  • Named as a bowler in Australia's "greatest ever ODI team"

Widely regarded as the greatest leg spinner in the history of cricket, Shane Warne was a renaissance man. He breathed new life into the bowling style of leg-spin which was dying and made it an integral part of the game.

His ball which bamboozled Mike Gatting in 1993, is regarded as the greatest delivery ever bowled by popular discretion.

He was the leading wicket-taker (708) in Test cricket, until December 2007, when the throne was usurped by another all-time spinning legend, Muttiah Muralitharan. Had he played as many ODIs as did other bowlers, the situation may have been the same, but his 293 from just 194 games, is testament to how dangerous he is. His average of just over 25 also makes him comparable to not just the greatest spinners in the ODI format, but the greatest bowlers, period.  

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Shane Keith Warne

Born: September 13, 1969 (age 50), Upper Ferntree Gully, Victoria, Australia

Height: 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)

Batting style: Right-handed

Bowling style: Right-arm leg break

Playing role: Bowler

 

ODI Career: Australia (1993-2005)

Mat      Inns     Balls       Runs      Wkts      BBI        BBM      Ave        Econ        SR           4w          5w          10w

194       191      10642      7541        293      5/33       5/33      4.25        25.74      36.32          1             0              0

 

Career Highlights

  • Only specialist bowler among Wisden’s 5 Cricketers of the Century
  • He was named as a bowler in Australia's "greatest ever ODI team"
  • He’s picked up 293 wickets in 194 ODIs
  • Claimed one 5-wicket haul in ODIs

Rugby Football Union (RFU) chief executive Bill Sweeney is hopeful England will not have to play autumn internationals behind closed doors at Twickenham.

England are due to host New Zealand, Argentina, Tonga and Australia in November but there are doubts over whether fans will be allowed in due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Sweeney stressed the importance of supporters being able to attend for financial reasons and, with lockdown measures being gradually eased, he is optimistic Eddie Jones' side will not have to run out in an empty stadium.

"Playing behind closed doors - for us - is not much different to the games being cancelled," he told BBC Sport.

"By the time you fire up the stadium, pay for the players and the costs associated with preparation time and camps, when you play behind closed doors for us, there is not a huge difference between that and the games not taking place.

"Having attendance and having fans turning up is key."

Sweeney added: "If things progress as they seem to be progressing now, hopefully we will see crowds at Twickenham in October and November."

RFU boss Sweeney says alternative options are being explored if southern hemisphere teams are unable to head north.

"The preference from both the north and the south is that the original programme will go ahead," he said.

"But there are two or three different options that feature more northern hemisphere competition around that autumn window.

"One of them is you'd play a Six Nations tournament in that autumn that would combine with fixtures next year and for the first time ever you'd have home and away.

"Every [plan] has pros and cons to it and those are being evaluated."

Shane Warne made an indelible mark on the Ashes on this day in 1993.

Ian Healy’s hard work and will to succeed, complemented by an undying loyalty to his teammates made him the pulse of the Australian team from October 14, 1988, when he began his ODI career, until May 25, 1997 when he played in his last one.

Healy was an aggressive runner between the wickets when he batted and despite not having all the big shots, was more than a handful for many a bowler who expected to be rid of the Australian innings soon after he came to the crease.

His quality as a wicketkeeper was always good, bearing in mind the penchant Australia had for finding real quicks for international duty. But that quality was never more on display as he kept wicket to the big-turning Shane Warne. In fact, his very nasal, “bowling Warnie,” became a signature sound, not just in Australian cricket, but the world around. Many young boys can be recalled mimicking ‘well bowled Warnie’ even though there was never another Warne at the other end. The partnerships between himself and Glen McGrath, Jason Gillespie, and Warne yielded many a wicket, the man named to Australia’s team of the 20th century claiming 233 scalps.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Ian Andrew Healy

Born: April 30, 1964, Spring Hill, Brisbane, Queensland

Major teams: Australia, Queensland

Playing role: Wicketkeeper batsman

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Fielding position: Wicketkeeper

 

ODI Career: Australia (1988-1997)

Mat    Inns    NO     Runs    HS     Ave     BF      SR      100s    50s   4s    6s      Ct          St

168      120     36      1764    56     21.00   2104   83.84      0        4    77     5       194         39

 

Career Highlights

  • 7th most dismissals in ODIs (233)
  • Completed 194 catches and 39 stumpings
  • Scored 1764 runs at an average of 21.00

Former Golden State Warriors star Andrew Bogut said he is open to returning to the NBA as "I've got a little bit of fuel left in the tank" ahead of the Olympic Games.

Bogut is a free agent after opting to quit NBL franchise the Sydney Kings last month amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The 35-year-old Australian – who won an NBA title with the Warriors in 2015 – had been planning to retire following the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which have been pushed back due to COVID-19.

Bogut returned to the Warriors to play the remainder of the 2018-19 season while contracted to the Kings and the NBA's former number one pick is pondering another stint in the United States.

"I had NBA offers right before the COVID-19 pandemic, where I was potentially going to go back after the NBL season. I was talking to a few teams that wanted me to come over," Bogut, who was selected by the Milwaukee Bucks with the top pick in the 2005 NBA Draft, told SBS Sport.

"Yes [I would consider another NBA stint], especially halfway through the season when the buyout and trade season comes up.

"It saves me having to spend the whole season over there and I can kind of join someone late, like I did with the Warriors last time.

"[I] can try to make a play-off run and then let that phase into the Olympics. I still think I've got a little bit of fuel left in the tank."

Former Bucks, Dallas Mavericks, Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers centre Bogut returned to Australia with the Kings in 2018.

Bogut was named the NBL's MVP in his first season, while he helped the Kings reach the Grand Final this year, though the Perth Wildcats were crowned champions after the series was cut short due to coronavirus.

"There are just too many unknowns right now. Not just in the basketball community but around the world," Bogut said as he discussed his Kings departure.

"I wasn't going to commit to something half-assed and not know what's in the other end. I thought it was best to hit pause for now and reassess around about the new year, rather than me sitting here with one foot in, one foot out and the club not knowing where I'm at, so they can't act accordingly with recruiting, signing and the salary cap.

"I didn't want to have that pressure of every week having to call and say 'I don't know yet'. I think in fairness to the club, it's the best thing for the Kings to be able to make decisions they need to make without worrying about me at the other end."

Shane Watson overcame a myriad of injuries to become one of Australia’s most important players in the early 2000s. Watson had more than one stress fracture in his back, hamstring strains, calf problems, a dislocated shoulder, food poisoning that presented symptoms like that of a heart attack, still, he prevailed, becoming a feared batsman, who could take a game away from you. He combined the patience he learned as an Australian Test opener with aggression and power in a way that made him a nightmare for the opposition even if he was at the crease for just a few overs.

Having bat in every conceivable position during that Test career, he became a man for all seasons in the one-day version of the game. With nine centuries and 33 fifties to go along with an average of 40.54 and a strike rate of 90, Watson is most decidedly a batting all-rounder.

But with a physique like his, being more than a medium pacer was always going to be a part of the plan.

He would end his ODI career with 168 wickets at an average of 31.79 at a strike rate of 38.4

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Shane Robert Watson

Born: June 17, 1981, Ipswich, Queensland

Major teams: Australia, Australia A, Australia Under-19s, Canterbury, Chennai Super Kings, Cricket Australia XI, Deccan Gladiators, Dhaka Dynamites, Gilchrist XI, Hampshire, Islamabad United, New South Wales, Prime Minister's XI, Queensland, Queensland Colts, Queensland Under-19s, Quetta Gladiators, Rajasthan Royals, Rangpur Rangers, Redlands, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Sindhis, St Lucia Zouks, Sydney Sixers, Sydney Thunder, Tasmania

Playing role: Allrounder

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm fast-medium

Height: 1.83 m

 

ODI Career (batting): Australia (2002-2015)

Mat    Inns    NO     Runs    HS       Ave      BF      SR      100s     50s    4s      6s    

190     169     27      5757     185*   40.54     6365  90.44      9        33     570     131  

 

ODI Career (bowling): Australia (2002-2015)

Mat    Inns    Balls    Runs      Wkts   BBI     BBM     Ave      Econ    SR      4w     5w     10w

190      163    6466    5342        168    4/36     4/36    31.79    4.95     38.4      3       0         0

 

 

Career Highlights

  • Fastest Australian to "5000 runs and 150 wickets"
  • Held 'Fastest 150' record for 4 years
  • Highest ODI score in a run-chase (185*)
  • Highest ODI score (185*) and most sixes in an innings (15), by an Australian

Steve Smith revealed he barely touched a cricket bat during lockdown, instead using the enforced break due to the coronavirus pandemic to switch off.

Cricket in Australia is preparing to kick into gear, having been suspended since March due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Former Australia captain Smith returned to training with New South Wales on Monday, along with international team-mates Mitchell Starc and David Warner.

After a gruelling year on the international and domestic fronts, Smith used the time off to focus on his fitness instead of his technique.

"I'm probably in the best shape I've been in in years, doing lots of running, lots of gym stuff at home. It's been a couple of months of good hard work," Smith said.

"I haven't touched a bat really, couple of little drills at home but that's about it. I've tried to switch off from it a little bit, which I don't do very often, but focusing on myself getting fit and strong and refreshing mentally, and when we get our chance to play again I'll be good to go.

"There are no nets or anything, so I've just been trying to switch off, I've done masterclasses at home that I've shared with a few people on Instagram and things like that.

"But other than that, I really haven't picked up my cricket bats. So it's been a bit different but I'm sure in the long run it's probably a good thing just to freshen up after what was a pretty long year, year-and-a-half."

The ICC look set to introduce a new rule to ban the use of spit to shine the ball once cricket returns, with bowlers often using saliva to assist with finding swing.

Smith suggested the rule change could hand the batting side an unfair advantage and hopes any changes to regulations maintain an even contest.

"I've always been one to want a fair contest between bat and ball, even as a batter, so if that's taken away I don't think that's great," he said. 

"Whether they can find different ways to do certain things. It'll be hard, I actually spit on my hands most balls, that's how I get grip and stuff.

"It might take some adjusting to get used to certain things like that, that's something for the ICC to figure out what they want to do going forward and making new regulations.

"We'll see where it all lands, everything is up in the air at the moment."

Rugby Australia (RA) is to cut a third of its full-time staff in the coming months as the organisation attempts to stay afloat amid the coronavirus pandemic.

RA has been hit hard by the suspension of rugby, with the organisation having previously had to stand three-quarters of their workforce down, while players have taken pay cuts.

Last month RA claimed a World Rugby bailout would provide "certainty for the next 12 months", but on Monday it announced it would be making 47 of its 142 full-time staff redundant.

The redundancies will not come into immediate effect but will take place over the months to come, while senior staff who have been retained have been asked to take a five per cent pay cut.

With all international tours scheduled for July having been cancelled, it is unclear if the Rugby Championship will be able to take place later in the year.

It is expected that the redundancies and pay cuts will reduce RA's wage bill by $5.5million.

"Today was an incredibly difficult day for the organisation with many people affected by changes that are necessary to ensure the viability and sustainability of the organisation as a result of the devastating impacts of the pandemic," interim chief executive Rob Clarke said in a statement.

"We have delivered the news to staff this morning and told them that Rugby Australia values the contribution of each and every one of them, some of whom have given significant service to Rugby Australia and to the game over many years.

"This is a difficult time for a lot of very passionate, hard-working rugby people and we are committed to helping those people find their next opportunity, whether it be within the game or elsewhere."

Rugby Australia (RA) is to cut a third of its full-time staff in the coming months as the organisation attempts to stay afloat amid the coronavirus pandemic.

RA has been hit hard by the suspension of rugby, with the organisation having previously had to stand three-quarters of their workforce down, while players have taken pay cuts.

Last month RA claimed a World Rugby bailout would provide "certainty for the next 12 months", but on Monday it announced it would be making 47 of its 142 full-time staff redundant.

The redundancies will not come into immediate effect but will take place over the months to come, while senior staff who have been retained have been asked to take a five per cent pay cut.

With all international tours scheduled for July having been cancelled, it is unclear if the Rugby Championship will be able to take place later in the year.

It is expected that the redundancies and pay cuts will reduce RA's wage bill by $5.5million.

"Today was an incredibly difficult day for the organisation with many people affected by changes that are necessary to ensure the viability and sustainability of the organisation as a result of the devastating impacts of the pandemic," interim chief executive Rob Clarke said in a statement.

"We have delivered the news to staff this morning and told them that Rugby Australia values the contribution of each and every one of them, some of whom have given significant service to Rugby Australia and to the game over many years.

"This is a difficult time for a lot of very passionate, hard-working rugby people and we are committed to helping those people find their next opportunity, whether it be within the game or elsewhere."

Steve Smith believes playing in the Indian Premier League later this year would be an enjoyable alternative option if the T20 World Cup is postponed.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) last week stated it is still planning for the World Cup to start in Australia on October 18, but other options are being explored due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It has been reported that the competition will be put back to next year, with the IPL - which could not get under way as scheduled in March - taking place instead of the global event.

Smith, who returned to training with New South Wales on Monday, would prefer to play in a World Cup, but the former Australia captain would also relish the opportunity to lead the Rajasthan Royals later this year. 

The top-ranked Test batsman in the world said: "I think when you're playing for your country at a World Cup, that's the pinnacle for one-day or T20 cricket, so of course I'd prefer to play in that.

"But if that doesn't happen and the IPL's there, and they postpone [the T20 World Cup], then so be it. IPL's also a terrific tournament as a domestic tournament. 

"That's out of everyone's control at the moment, players are just doing what we're told and going where we need to go and playing whatever's on at that stage.

"I guess there'll be some more news about it soon, probably some decisions to be made soon, so I'm sure we'll all find out and know where we're going to be.

"I personally haven't really thought about it, I think it'd just be going off the advice of the professionals and the governments and essentially doing what we're told.

"If that happens then great, if not then there's just so much going on in the world right now that cricket kind of seems a little bit irrelevant. So, we'll get back when we're told to and until then it's sit tight, get fit and strong and freshen up mentally."

Cricket Australia are also considering a request from the England and Wales Cricket Board to tour England for a limited-overs series in September, two months later than planned.

Cricket Australia (CA) is braced for a huge financial hit due to the possible postponement of the ICC Twenty20 World Cup, as well as playing home games without spectators. 

Speaking to the media on Friday, CA chief executive Kevin Roberts predicted the governing body stands to miss out on 80million Australian dollars due to the potential changes caused by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Admitting there is a “very high risk” of the global T20 tournament being pushed back from the original plan of October and November this year, Roberts outlined the expected missed income due to such a delay. 

However, the bigger blow is a home summer without any fans present at international fixtures, while there is also the extra cost of the biosecurity measures required to host opposing teams. 

"The likelihood of significant crowds is very slim - ordinarily that would deliver well over $50m revenue to CA," Roberts told reporters. 

"The T20 World Cup is a big question and that's a factor of perhaps $20m. We have been hopeful all along that it could be staged in October-November, but you would have to say there's a very high risk about the prospect of that happening. 

"And it's likely that our biosecurity measures that we need to put in place to deliver the season will cost in the order of $10m." 

Australia are due to host Zimbabwe in one-day internationals in August, then West Indies arrive for T20 games in October. As for Tests, Afghanistan are due to play one in Perth in November, followed by a four-match series against India, who complete their tour with three ODIs in January. 

New Zealand are the final visitors of a packed schedule, making the short trip for three one-dayers and a one-off T20 early next year. 

On the recently released schedule, Roberts remained cautiously optimistic, adding: “We're very optimistic that we will be able to stage the India men's tour and the other inbound tours for the season. 

"But we're realistic enough to know they will look very different to a normal summer. We have been forced to effectively plan for the worst and hope for the best." 

Mr Cricket, Michael Hussey’s rise to the international ranks took place belatedly, with the middle-order batsman earning a call to Australia’s One-Day International (ODI) team in 2004 when he was just two months shy of his 29th birthday. But once he got there, his attitude to everything cricket was tremendous. That attitude meant he ended with a healthy career average of 48, rarely failing to bolster the Australian middle-order. Without aiming for the big shots over the top, Hussey scored at a brisk 87.16, running between the wickets hard and never failing to find the gaps in the field. He was as busy at the crease as he was on the field, always keeping an intensity that the rest of the Australian setup fed from. In truth, Hussey was an opener but was pushed down the order in the Australian line-up. That too was accepted with the same professionalism he approached everything. Centuries were not a regular feature of Hussey’s career, not because he didn’t have a penchant for batting for long periods, but because he generally bat with the lower order and wasn’t given the time. Still, he scored three centuries, including 109 not out against the West Indies at the Kinrara Academy Oval in 2006. He would also score 105 against New Zealand in 2007 and fell a run short of his unbeaten highest against Bangladesh in 2011.

  

Career Statistics

Full name: Michael Edward Killeen Hussey

Born: May 27, 1975, Mt Lawley, Perth, Western Australia

Major teams: Australia, Chennai Super Kings, Durham, Gloucestershire, Mumbai Indians, Northamptonshire, St Lucia Zouks, Sydney Thunder, Western Australia

Playing role: Middle-order batsman

Batting style: Left-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm medium

Height: 1.80 m

 

ODI Career: Australia (2004-2012)

Mat    Inns    NO     Runs     HS      Ave      BF       SR      100s    50s    4s      6s   

185     157      44     5442      109*   48.15    6243   87.16       3      39     383     80   

 

Career Highlights

  • 2007 ICC world Cup winner
  • The top-ranked ODI batsman in the world in 2006
  • Scored 3 centuries and 39 fifties
  • Scored 5,442 runs at an average of 48.15

The West Indies are set to play Australia in three T20 Internationals in October, Cricket Australia has announced.

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