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The Best (Looking) 2015 Matador Cup Cricket Team

As yet another One Day Domestic Competition draws to a close in Australia, and we sit back to ponder the tournament that was, we call to mind all of the memorable moments and smile. Yes, all three of them.

There was that one game where there were more spectators than players and officials…

That time when the commentary team spotted Ed Cowan sneaking a Choc Top whilst the Blues were batting…

Oh and that day when Shane Watson wasn’t dismissed LBW… for a change.

As we head into our official International Summer of Cricket, our esteemed journalists and cricket writers have compiled their notes on the performances of the last three weeks and put together a selection of ‘Best Of’ teams that cover off key performances, impressive averages and suggestions about who we might get to replace Chris Rogers, Michael Clarke and Shane Watson in our Test team. So far the performances of the ‘Prime Minister’s XI’ or ‘Test Team Audition Cattle Call’ as it is otherwise known, have only demonstrated that we should probably keep making lists. It’s almost enough to give one indigestion as you glance at the articles over your Coco Pops.

We thought we’d add to this pile in a useful way by compiling a half decent list that you could at least enjoy looking at whilst you sat there and pondered if we may have to start considering firmer border control if our series against New Zealand goes awry…

 

The Best (Looking) 2015 One Day Domestic Cricket Team

George Bailey (TAS) – Batsman

George Bailey The Five Minute Guide

George Bailey

He’s the player that makes every Grandma swoon, and that’s just when he casually lofts one down the ground for 6.You should see them melt into a puddle when he flashes those dimples! Looking like he’s just stepped out of a 1950’s Rat Pack movie, Bailey has a casual swagger that makes all the girls go weak at the knees. Most appealingly you get the impression that he really has no idea the havoc he is wrecking as he slots the ball over the fence and smiles straight down the camera to all the weak-kneed viewers at home.

 

Aaron Finch (VIC) – Batsman

Another one of the dimple brigade. Occasionally looking like he might actually fit in better as one of Snow White’s Seven Dwarves, Finch exudes a gruff sense of old-school cricket charm. However, unlike his gentlemanly opening companion in Bailey, it’s more of a ‘drink a beer, light a dart and enjoy two meat pies after the game with a three day growth’ kind of vibe.

Though it might make his teammates smile (in all honesty, it will probably make his teammates fall about in hysterics) Finch is what you could call the ‘Thinking Woman’s Cricket Crumpet’. His on-field commentary and after the game press conferences demonstrate an articulate, thoughtful and occasionally cheeky gent with a voice like crème caramel. He might conjure up thoughts of Grumpy when you see him trotting around the field pointing industriously, but he transforms into Prince Charming (the 5’9 version) with one flash of those dimples.

His Matador Cup form was somewhat inconsistent, however you get the impression from the powerful half-century he scored against Tasmania that he’s kind of fun once you turn him on…

Aaron Finch

Aaron Finch

Shaun Marsh (WA) – Batsman

On the radar of anyone with eyes since he featured in the Men of Cricket Calendar as Mr May in 2011, Marsh has spent the next four years attempting to get his average batting at no. 3 higher than his number of visible abs. No mean feat.

Shaun Marsh Abs The Five Minute Guide

The Abs of Shaun Marsh

He has been incredibly consistent across the Matador Cup, terrorising both the CA XI and eventual finalists South Australia by making big centuries, to finish with 390 runs at 65.00.

He may not have the all-round cricketing talents of his younger brother Mitchell, but he can at least rest easy knowing he can always lay claim to getting the better ears.

 

Dom Michael (TAS) – Batsman

Dom Michael The Five Minute Guide

Dom Michael

As the saying goes, curls get the girls. And Michael has plenty of curls. Most frequently noted in the media (because Australian cricketing pedigree can be somewhat of a white bread affair), Michael can thank his Greek-Cypriot father and Samoan mother for his delectable curls and cheeky grin. Less often reported is whom he can thank for his consistent stroke play and recent coming of age on the Australian domestic scene… maybe it’s all those nuts he eats whilst he’s fielding out at 3rd man?

His 2015 Matador Cup was a breakthrough tournament for him after several years on the periphery of domestic cricket. Perhaps now we’ll all get to enjoy some more of Michael and his nuts?

 

Mitchell Marsh (WA) – All Rounder

Having chosen to take a different route to cricketing stardom than his brother (mainly because they never did another calendar after 2011), M. Marsh has established himself as a competent all-rounder.  He misbehaves in every way possible. Drinks for everyone? You’ve got it. Party on at your place? I’ll be there. Off to the pub whilst on tour? Sure thing!

Luckily for Mitch, he can match his roguish adventures of yesteryear with a frighteningly good combination of batting and bowling skills. He once again proved to be the heartbreaker (both on and off the field) with the ball, collecting wickets at crucial times throughout the series.

Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Marsh and Sam Whiteman

Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Marsh and Sam Whiteman

 

Nathan Reardon (QLD) – Batsman

Reardon likes to nail things hard.

Nathan Reardon

Nathan Reardon

We suppose that’s why he became a carpenter in his spare time. When he’s not nailing things together, he is usually nailing the ball over the fence with alarming regularity. A journeyman of Australian cricket he has played domestically across the country and can often be seen brutalising bowling attacks for the Adelaide Strikers. Which is a rather perfect arrangement because their blue uniform makes his eyes twinkle and reminds us why we keep him around to play cricket. Just in case they make another one of those calendar things.

 

Sam Whiteman (WA) – Wicketkeeper

Whilst the East Coast Keeping Factory continues to churn out Test Keepers at a monumental rate, the baby-faced Whiteman is simultaneously holding up the gloves of the entire West Coast while he tries to improve the aesthetics of the profession. A less than easy task when you consider the ground that needs to be recovered after the width of Gilly’s ears.

Sam Whiteman The Five Minute Guide

Sam Whiteman

Considered one of the best keepers in the country, Whiteman has been working towards a more consistent performance with the bat and mastering George Bailey’s ability to hit boundaries and then smile like a heartthrob. Because let’s be honest, we already know he’s good with his hands.

 

Steven O’Keefe (NSW) – Bowler

Steve OKeefe The Five Minute Guide

Steve O’Keefe

Cricket is a game steeped in tradition. The sweet sound of the leather as it hits the willow and careers off for four recalls images of yesteryear in the mind of every cricket tragic. An age of creams, scones at Afternoon Tea and gentlemen.  Although he is more commonly known as the odd-ball Greg Matthews lovechild of NSW cricket, O’Keefe is handsome. He’s never going to be your run of the mill hipster, or fashion plate, but he bowls bloody effective spin and is the gent you’d most like to take home to meet the parents.

 

Sean Abbott (NSW) – Bowler

As is the habit of all Australian bowlers, Abbott frequently sports a decidedly odd looking spot of facial hair.

Sean Abbott The Five Minute Guide

Sean Abbott

Unlike the Mitchell Johnson variety of moustache, which imparts equal fear and confusion into opposition batsmen (why is Freddy Mercury’s doppelganger bowling 150km thunderbolts at my head?), Abbott’s attempted upper lip decoration merely causes them to do a double-take and wonder if he needs a new razor, because ‘oops, it looks like you missed a bit’.

Grooming incidences aside, when he cleans up Abbott is not only a boisterous and busy quick that is handy with the bat; he’s also rather easy on the eye.

 

James Pattinson (VIC) – Bowler

You know what they say about fast bowlers… Wait, you don’t? Oh well, in that case, all we’re going to say here is that Pattinson has spent the better part of the last few years working on his glutes in an attempt to strengthen his body and alleviate his previous back issues. This has left him with a booty that would make Serena Williams take a second glance.

James Pattinson The Five Minute Guide

James Pattinson

His pace on the field and powerful hitting at the crease indicate that after a prolonged period of time pumping iron, he’s looking forward to pumping other things this summer. Namely opposition cricket teams.

 

Kane Richardson (SA) – Bowler

Every team needs a hipster. And although he’s from Adelaide (and not Melbourne, the #hipster capital of Australia), Richardson does his absolute best to live up to this ideal by growing quite possibly the ugliest beard in Domestic Cricket. Luckily for us however, we know that underneath that beard is something worth smiling about.

 

Kane Richardson

Kane Richardson

It also appears that after taking key wickets in the Elimination Final against Victoria, he is still intent on keeping himself and his beard firmly in the South Australian camp. Probably a good idea considering what happens to blokes with beards like that in Victoria… *ahem* Ned Kelly *ahem*.

 

12th Man

Pat Cummins

Thankfully Brett Lee was in the commentary box for this series, otherwise the viewing public would have felt the loss of Pat Cummins to injury much more severely. It is a fact universally acknowledged that we need a pretty fast bowler to admire in order to sustain us through hours of tedious commentary from Ian Healy and Michael Slater.

Pat Cummins

Pat Cummins

Whilst he is on the side-lines with another flare up of his stress fractures, we felt it necessary to call him up for 12th Man duties in our team. Apart from running the drinks, it just means everyone can pose with him for selfies on the sideline. Now that IS a winning strategy.

 

Enjoy your Coco Pops.

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