For many supporters not witnessing their side play finals, it can be a strong feeling of melancholy, as many patiently wait till the first ball of the 2020/21 Cricket Season is bowled on September 11th.
As the Cricket/Australian Rules combination has been a bubbling passion for many weekend battlers over the last 100 years, I have decided to look at both sports together, with a desire to celebrate the talented, year-round champions of the past in a dream XII.
Due to a wide range of talented sportsmen, I have made sure all these cricketers played 30 or more games of Australian Rules. This team on paper could give any current international team a run for their money.
Included we have a five-time premiership coach, a triple Brownlow medalist who captain-coached four flags, two further Brownlow Medal winners, a goalkicking legend who won the VFL/AFL goalkicking award (John Coleman Medal) and five more players who have won a Premiership; and that’s just their footy!
I am prepared to state that this team could hold their own against any international side currently in 2021. They could also win you a premiership or two.
Percy Beames 1911-2004
Opening the batting with Worrall is a 165cm rover who, if it wasn’t for his footballing commitments, would have fitted into the powerful Australian middle order during the 1930s.
Beames was named the captain of Victorian Cricket in 1945, but had to decline the captaincy to focus on Footy. Beames was a superstar rover who kicked 323-goals in 213-games and won a hat-trick of premierships between 1939-1941.
Keith Miller 1919-2004 (Captain)
Slotting in at number three is a man who was regarded as a God. Possibly Australia’s greatest athlete, as a fighter pilot during World War II, this man scoffed at questions about pressure playing for Australia, with Keith Miller instead describing pressure as "having a Messerschmitt up your arse".
Miller was one of Australia’s greatest all-rounders, and many have stated that his Laissez-faire attitude may well have prevented him from breathing the rarefied air of Bradman and Trumper.
Dick Reynolds 1915-2002
The last spot in this side is a surprising one. Known as one of the greatest footballers of all time, this man, unbeknownst to many people, was a handy opening bowler, and took 197-wickets at 22.85 across his 14-seasons for the Essendon Cricket Club.
Everyone who knows footy knows who Dick Reynolds is, as his resume is amongst the greatest ever as a three-time Brownlow medalist, four-time premiership captain-coach, seven-time Essendon best and fairest winner, Australian Hall of Fame legend and finds himself on the half-forward flank of the VFL/AFL Team of the Century.