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Thread: All-Time Boozers XI

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    Global Moderator Matt79's Avatar
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    All-Time Boozers XI

    Pick an XI that is as good on the turps as they are on the field - both cricket ability and prodigious drinking talent are required.

    My nominations are:
    David Boon
    Doug Walters
    Andrew Flintoff
    Keith Miller
    Rodney Marsh
    Merv Hughes

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    Englishman BoyBrumby's Avatar
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    Both was reported to be fond of an ale or 7. IIRC he even did an ad for a low-alcohol lager back in the 80s.

    Basil D'Oliveira was a noted inbiber later in his career too.
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    Both Lillee and Thompson loved to drink off the field. In fact all the players from the Chappell era seemed to enjoy a bit of a drink. I'm suprised I can't think of any Englishmen aside from Flintoff... and that comes from that dreaded hang-over picture.

    But we all know this is a thread that is to be dominated by the Aussies.

    The real problem is who to make captain - Boon or Walter?

    Oh and add Andrew Symonds to that list.

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    As should Punter.


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    International Coach howardj's Avatar
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    Kerry O'Keefe reveals how a great tradition was born.....


    As the 1977 Australian Ashes cricket squad boarded the Qantas Boeing on that balmy April afternoon, there was the usual amount of excitement and anticipation in the group. Some players were meeting each other as teammates for the first time and England was the tour so many of us had always coveted. There were nibblies and a few drinks prior to departure from Mascot Airport, family and friends were farewelled, and the jet bound for Heathrow was suddenly in the air.

    Within a short time what had begun as a bonding couple of drinks turned into quite an event. A senior player posed the question: "I wonder how many beers someone could sink between now and London?" A dangerous question with the calibre of the imbibers in this party. Almost at once a contest was struck. The rules were simple. A drinker would receive one point for every can of beer downed - to ensure there was no cheating, the drinker had to shake the can so the recorders could hear the noise of the ring-top on the bottom of the container. Two points would be allocated for a spirit. Hell, I thought, if one of our squad can drink spirits for 22 hours we either have a very special teammate or someone with a problem. If the competition itself appeared unrefined, the score sheet was even cruder - a sick bag, unused at that stage.

    I sat there, cradling my second or third beer, and reflected on a betting market for this marathon.

    This is a fair summation of the field:

    Doug Walters (5-2). Entitled to favouritism. Has undeniable results over long distances. Trained to the minute. A real stayer. Will be hard to run down over the final stages. Possibly has two livers.

    Rod Marsh (3-1). Proven over the course. He and Walters might cut at each other out in front, however, and be vulnerable to a swooper. Possesses billiard table legs that are capable of holding litres for long periods. Genuine threat to the favourite if he can pace himself. Very tough down the straight.

    Mick Malone (5-1). Reported to have tremendous form around Perth. Fellow West Australian Marsh regards him as a huge threat. Did a lot of his trackwork at the Scarborough Social Club and a number of his drinking group reckon he can handle the step up in class. Watch the market, he's the sly tip to knock out the topweights.

    Ray Bright (6-1). Cut his teeth on the 1974 Australian tour of New Zealand. Impressed keen judges like Ian Chappell with his willingness to mix it in group one company. Coming off a very solid preparation during the 1977 New Zealand tour under seasoned manager, Roger Wotten of Gunnedah. Will give a good account of himself but may find the pace unsuitable. Can stay all day, nonetheless.

    Gary Cosier (8-1). Very good weight-for-age campaigner. Another from the Ian Chappell stable who will race forward. Unknown over the distance but may give cheek for a long time.

    Kerry O'Keeffe (10-1). Capable of causing an upset on his day. Been well prepared by mentor Graeme Langlands, a rugby league immortal. Slow starter but has powerful finish. If the front markers hit the wall, he may storm down the outside and get the money. Check out his left eye - if it starts to close, he's no chance.

    Geoff Dymock (12-1). Has reasonable form on Queensland tracks. A quiet sipper who will be there or thereabouts all the way. The mail is that when he hits the wall, he gibbers. Watch for repetition of the same sentence.

    Jeff Thomson (16-1). Outstanding social drinker. Possibly not a contender here because, unlike a few of the favourites, he knows when he's had enough. If he feels in control, he's worth an each-way bet. If he can't get the journey in his own mind, he won't complete the course. Possibly too sensible to be the winner

    With the market established and form guide fully analysed, it was down to business. One of the extreme outsiders, Kim Hughes, was an early leader. He burst out of the gates talking a big race and drinking spirits. Nobody thought he'd last. As the plane flew across the Queensland border he'd cleared out with 12 points but two hours out of Darwin all of it was on the aisle floor. His campaign was over.

    By Singapore, the favourites had the race to themselves. Half the field had already retired. Lenny Pascoe, a fiery fast bowler with a balanced view on behaviour, was an early exit. Craig Sarjeant, a cultured pharmacist from Perth, looked somewhat perplexed by an end-of-tour ritual being conducted pre-tour. (What the heck, we're off to England!) Marsh and Walters were already setting a cracking pace, Malone was making his presence felt and Bright, predictably, was just behind the leading group. I was nicely placed, flanked by Cosier and Dymock, and comfortable in the going. The hours ground on and there were more and more casualties. Soon it was obvious that Walters and Marsh would have it to themselves. Thirty-five beers each just out of Bahrain! My left eye is starting to close, but I'm a chance for a podium finish - third in this company would be quite a performance. The sickness bag doubling as a scorecard is looking decidedly soggy.

    We're inside Bahrain Airport in the transit lounge and Walters looks in reasonable shape, playing cards with anybody who will sit next to him. How dehydrated must he be? Thirty-five-odd cans of beer and he's smoked at least 50 cigarettes. This guy is a machine.

    How's Bacchus Marsh? Not travelling as well as Walters and he's one can behind him. Another sure-fire sign he's feeling the pinch is that every robe-clad Arab he bumps into, he mumbles, "I'm sorry, Lawrence!"

    It's been a long flight. We're over the 24-hour mark and Heathrow Airport is not far away. I've called off the jam and will leave it to the judges to decide if I am to be awarded third place.

    The leaders, Walters and Marsh, will definitely fight it out to the finish. They look shabby. Marsh has fallen asleep and there is saliva making its way down his chin. Walters is attempting to light the filter of his 60th cigarette for the journey.

    Suddenly we're touching down. The judges are tallying the ticks on the air sickness bag and we have a winner - Doug Walters with 44 cans is declared our champion! Marsh is second with 43 and subsequently declares he'll better that next time he flies to London. Third place is contentious because the scoresheet has disintegrated into a soggy mess of tissue. I claim the bronze medal but protests are fired in immediately. Walters, though, has justified being the favourite with an all-the-way victory. He proudly leads us off the plane to a battalion of Fleet Street press hungry for a headline.

    "Aussies on Drinking Binge" should have been their lead story, but we covered our tracks reasonably well.

    Marsh did in fact go on to establish a new mark of 45 cans a few years later, and was escorted off the plane in a wheelchair. Pundits thought that record would stand for a long time but along came that Launceston bulldog, David Boon. He posted 53 cans on his flight, a new mark which will probably last forever!

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    Hall of Fame Member FaaipDeOiad's Avatar
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    Haha, that's fantastic. He's a superb writer, I'm quite surprised really.
    It's cold on the outside they say
    But the cold leaves you clear while the heat leaves a haze

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    International Coach archie mac's Avatar
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    A few players who have been said to have drunk themselves to death are:

    Percy Chapman
    Albert Trott
    Lionel Tennyson
    Reg Duff
    Last edited by archie mac; 15-04-2006 at 07:02 PM.
    You know it makes sense.

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    Cricket Web Content Updater alternative's Avatar
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    During the Nat-West Series, i think at Durham Symonds was Unfit to play thanx to his late-night drinking binge makes himself eligible to be in the all time Boozers XI

    and YES aussies lost to Bangladesh!!!
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    Cricketer Of The Year Robertinho's Avatar
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    That's hilarious, great writing as Fuller said.

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    The whole England team aftering winning the Ashes.

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    International Coach Xuhaib's Avatar
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    Another sure-fire sign he's feeling the pinch is that every robe-clad Arab he bumps into, he mumbles, "I'm sorry, Lawrence!"

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    Global Moderator Matt79's Avatar
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    Another nomination is Warwick 'Big Ship' Armstrong. Used to drink whisky while playing, and read his paper when fielding in the outer and was still the best player in the team

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    International Coach archie mac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt79
    Another nomination is Warwick 'Big Ship' Armstrong. Used to drink whisky while playing, and read his paper when fielding in the outer and was still the best player in the team
    In his bio of 'The Big Ship' Gideon Haigh dismissed this as untrue, but I still like to believe it happened

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    Hall of Fame Member Goughy's Avatar
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    Larwood and Voce used to have a pint of bitter at drinks breaks when they played for Notts in order to replace the carbs and energy levels.

    Tried to pursuade a number of captains that if it was good enough for Larwood then its good enough for me, but it appears times have changed.
    Last edited by Goughy; 16-04-2006 at 08:28 AM.
    If I only just posted the above post, please wait 5 mins before replying as there will be edits

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