Melbourne, Jan 15 (PTI) One-day cricket was thebrainchild of Sir Donald Bradman and it was only money andnothing else which encouraged its introduction into theinternational arena, believes former Australian captain BillLawry.
The game which had been embraced by the domestic circlesof England for over eight years, finally began itsinternational journey on January 5, 1971.
Distraught at losing their annual MCG cash cow with rainforcing players to stay indoors during the third Ashes Test atMelbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on the onset of 1971, there wasonly one man which the Australian Board looked to, Sir DonaldBradman."My memory is Sir Donald came up with the idea to makesome money. He was good at that," Lawry quipped.
"They got around 46,000 which raised over USD 30,000,good money back then. I don''t think there were any pre-soldtickets, just people walking up on the day after the Testmatch was abandoned on day three (January 2)," Lawry said.
Recalling the events, the former captain said, "We didn''tknow how to play a one-day game. In that game against Englandwe went after them like a Test match with three slips and agully because that was what you did.
"There were no field restrictions and we thought it wasjust a matter of really getting on with it.
"We later worked out you had to construct a totalotherwise you just ended up getting in trouble," the veterantold the ''Herald Sun''.
Australia however came out smiling, under the blue skywhich had eluded Melbourne for a week, even though they didnot have enough experience at the sport.
One of the success stories from the one-off game was Alan"Froggy" Thomson, who etched his name into the record booksafter he claimed first ever one-day wicket when he had GeoffBoycott caught behind square leg for eight.
The uncanny fast bowler drew his name "Froggy" from thewindmill action that saw him bowl right-arm fast off the wrongfoot. Lawry, who took the catch, remembers Thomson withobvious enthusiasm.
"He had come down to Northcote to bowl a few balls to mein 1968 on someone''s recommendation. The first ball went overmy head into the Merri Creek and the second nearly killed akid in the next net," Lawry expressed."So I said he should go back to his local Presbyteriansside and gain a bit of control. Instead he went to Fitzroy andwithin a few months was playing for Victoria and taking plentyof wickets (184 at 26.72 in first-class cricket)," he said.
The One-day International at Melbourne apparently wasamong the last few games where Lawry marshalled theAustralians, before the formidable batsman was axed by theselectors for the final Test in Sydney, with England leadingthe series 1-0.