World Cup #5
It was a great moment for the Sutherland District Cricket Club with two of their heroes Steve Smith and Shane Watson at the crease when the win was secured. And well done to my mate Darren Lehman (Darryl) who now has hit the winning runs in a World Cup Final (1999) caught the winning catch in a World Cup final (2003) and now won a final as coach (2015), well-done Boofa.
Clarke finishes his ODI career in style and a fitting end for a player who has shown so much dedication and commitment to get where he did. Pup played a classy innings of 70 odd to bring us home in the final, where runs are always difficult to get and received a well earned standing ovation.
I remember this young kid when I worked at NSW cricket who was contracted to the squad at age 18. He hadn't scored a first grade
hundred, which irked some in the squad, but coach Steve Rixon clearly had seen something in him that he was a class player. This excitable and dedicated young chap was Michael Clarke. I have been astounded how well he has gone on the international cricket scene and know that it has been well deserved.
Michael, like most players, has had to work around injury, but he has had a debilitating back issue since he was a young teenager, as he mentioned to me back then from bowling fast when he was a 14 and 15 year old. He has 3 decimated discs in his lower back, which is not ideal, but since he was very young he works from sun up to sun down to ensure its in the best possible shape. Back in 2006 when dropped from the Aussie team, he said to me he needs to train with me at 6am every morning to fit in all the other net sessions, back Physio and rehab, fielding, and running that he needs to do during the day and then finish the day with another training or recovery session with me. He believed he must have slackened off 5% in intensity to be dropped and he didn't want to waste another second in getting back into the side. His determination has not reduced ever since. It was great to be a small part of his career and share in some of the great moments as strength and conditioner with the Aussie team and then as his private trainer up until 2007.
‘Pup’ has now retired from one-day cricket having squeezed everything out of his body and winning many games for Australia. Thanks for the effort and memories in One day cricket and may there be many more to come in Test matches.