CRICKET LEGENDS: Jeff Thomson, Len Pascoe and Doug Walters at the Calliope Country Club.
CRICKET LEGENDS: Jeff Thomson, Len Pascoe and Doug Walters at the Calliope Country Club. Greg Bray

Humour column: Cricket legends meet backyard cricket champ

FOLKS, last week at the Calliope Country Club I got to meet three of my cricketing heroes Jeff Thomson, Len Pascoe and Doug Walters.

Sadly, not one of my cricketing heroes is aged under 60.

Plus the fact I can't name three players in the current Australian side, or even tell you who the captain is (this week), should be setting off alarm bells in the hallowed halls of Cricket Australia.

Still, I'm not unhappy living in the past.

Mind you, Dougie and Lennie's glory days are well behind them too and while Thommo can't bowl at a 100mph any more he can still touch his toes.

But, as brilliant as they used to be, not one of them in their prime would have stood a chance playing against me and my mates in a backyard cricket test.

I can still remember most of the rules.

If you drove the ball into the lemon bush and it got stuck, you were out.

Hitting the house on the full was six and out, but smashing a window was all out; as everyone scarpered from the scene of the crime.

Our backyard games called for some specialist fielding skills too.

I never saw many swing sets, inflatable pools or whirly-gig see-saws on the hallowed fields of the Gabba, MCG or SCG.

Trying to take a high catch often ended up in someone getting comically hurt after they ran full tilt into one of those obstacles.

Doug Walters could belt a ball over the horizon, but he would have struggled to hold his wicket on our uneven, gibber strewn pitch.

I lost count of the times I got hit in the face by a ricocheting ball that was going wide of my bat and suddenly changed direction.

Also, Thommo and Len wouldn't have been so quick off a four foot run up either, which was all the space we had between the fence and crease.

Today most modern backyards yards are too small to play cricket in, which might explain the woes of the current Australian side.

Whoever they are.