FROM 64 TO 459

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Jeff Thorpe
Posts: 341
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 3:54 pm

FROM 64 TO 459

Post by Jeff Thorpe » Mon Jan 11, 2021 2:42 pm

FROM 64 TO 459

© Jeff Thorpe January 2021

Astute cricket followers would know the implication
of the wording in the title of this verse,
Test cap numbers yes, but not mere calibration,
a topic on which pedants can certainly converse,
the story is of interest though to more than nit-pickers,
it is history, yet like fiction in the recitation,
of interest both to bushies and to city slickers
so, let’s look and expand our cricket education.

Baggy Green 64 was awarded to 24 year old Joe Darling in 1894
in a Test Match against a touring English side,
a cricket prodigy since school days, Darling saw an open door,
launching a Test career he could look back on with pride.
He went on to play 34 Tests for Australia until 1905
captain for 21 of these on four English tours,
his contribution to the game a magnificent archive
interspersed however, with several personal detours.

21 year old Cameron Green is the recipient of Cap 459,
receiving this in a Test against India in 2020,
his cricketing career with Darling’s does closely align,
playing first grade at age 17 and scoring runs a plenty,
his place as all rounder in the current team is one of promise
first class bowling best 6 for 30 and batting average of 51
suggest that Green is indeed no doubting thomas
and at his tender age, accolades have begun.

Although a talented athlete, Darling had obligations on the land,
as a wheat farmer in home state of South Australia
and later, moving to Tasmania, producer of wool of finest strand
thus, in all fortes, he’d not experienced failure.
Retiring from cricket he entered politics in Tasmania’s Upper House
serving from 1921 until death at 75 from peritonitis in 1946,
survived by twelve of his fifteen children and Alice, his spouse,
a man well respected in sport, agriculture and politics.

Joe Darling experienced many firsts in his cricketing career,
first man in a Test series to hit three centuries,
91 minutes for quickest hundred in England, a feat not drear,
hitting first six in a Test Match, among his trove of memories,
this under the rule to get six, ball had to clear the ground,
history in 1905, with Stanley Jackson, rival Ashes captain
sharing same birth date, month and year, a coincidence profound,
never since has this oddity happened.

By comparison, Cameron Green’s Test involvement has only just begun
however, his path to a baggy green is impressive,
starting cricket in an under 13s comp at age ten, not outdone,
and debuting for West Australia at 17 was progressive.
Green has more scope than Darling, three forms of the game now played
fifty over and T20 cricket not invented in Darling’s time
while Green’s contribution in both these is anything but staid
and his prospects overall, one would think would only climb.

An interesting analysis of two of cricket’s inner circle,
the game no doubt shaping a great part of their core,
surely at present, Green is enjoying a patch purple,
Darling’s reign as Test captain offered openings to explore.
One twenty-six years apart, 395 caps in between,
the passion for the game has not regressed,
still there is prestige to receive a baggy green
and join a select band playing in a Test.

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Shelley
Posts: 1926
Joined: Sun May 04, 2014 5:39 pm
Location: Maryborough, Queensland
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Re: FROM 64 TO 459

Post by Shelley » Mon Jan 25, 2021 6:09 pm

Wow, Jeff - your poem proves that bush poetry knows no bounds when it comes to subject matter!

Fascinating stories of two Aussie cricketers and the coincidences surrounding their careers.

Cheers
Shelley
Shelley Hansen
Lady of Lines
http://www.shelleyhansen.com

"Look fer yer profits in the 'earts o' friends,
fer 'atin' never paid no dividends."
(CJ Dennis "The Mooch o' Life")

Jeff Thorpe
Posts: 341
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 3:54 pm

Re: FROM 64 TO 459

Post by Jeff Thorpe » Mon Jan 25, 2021 8:19 pm

Thank you Shelley. I wrote it while the Indian Test series was being played and it was topical

Regards, Jeff

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Shelley
Posts: 1926
Joined: Sun May 04, 2014 5:39 pm
Location: Maryborough, Queensland
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Re: FROM 64 TO 459

Post by Shelley » Tue Jan 26, 2021 12:09 pm

Certainly topical!

We don't see that many bush poems about sport (horse racing is a possible exception), although the occasional one bobs up around State of Origin time! Glenny Palmer wrote "Shades of Grey" after the 2000 Olympics and it took out the Blackened Billy at that time.

Given that we are such a sporting nation, it's a bit surprising that more bush poets don't write about current sporting events. I guess we all have different interests.

Cheers
Shelley
Shelley Hansen
Lady of Lines
http://www.shelleyhansen.com

"Look fer yer profits in the 'earts o' friends,
fer 'atin' never paid no dividends."
(CJ Dennis "The Mooch o' Life")

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