Aaron Finch and Ryan Carters were dropped by their state teams for the opening Sheffield Shield round. What happened next shocked everyone.
The pair rushed out to Blacktown to play in a tour match against New Zealand. The Cricket Australia XI won the toss and Finch and Carters opened the batting.
Eight hours later… both had made double hundreds and broken an 81 year old record for the largest partnership in First Class cricket on Aussie soil.
On 209 Carters finally edged to keeper and the declaration came at 1/503 (Finch 288 not out).
But that’s when things got weird.
New Zealand immediately declared their innings and did not come back out.
The Black Caps expressed concern about the ‘safety’ of the Blacktown pitch. But you can’t just walk off half way through a First Class match!
It’s unprofessional. The Black Caps bottled it! Thousands of amateur cricketers play on far worse surfaces every week.
How bad could it have been? There were 500 runs scored in four sessions.
New Zealand had initially requested for the match to have its First Class status downgraded, which CA rejected. NZ then successfully lobbied to shorten the match from 4 to 3 days.
NZ claimed it wanted to get to Brisbane to ‘acclimatise’ ahead of the First Test.
But surely NZ just want to watch the Rugby World Cup final at 3am Sunday morning instead of having to get up and play First Class cricket!
I can’t understand why they’d want to watch the All Blacks get trampled into the Twickenham turf by Michael Chieka’s Wallabies, can you?
It has been a massive year for trans-Tasman relations; Australia defeated New Zealand in the netball and cricket World Cup finals and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was recently scolded by New Zealand PM John Key for the off-shore imprisonment of New Zealand citizens.
The Rugby final has added to the background noise leading into what will be a hotly contested Test series.
Australia have named their squad for next week’s Gabba Test:
Smith (c), Warner (vc), Burns, Hazlewood, Khawaja, Johnson, Lyon, MMarsh, Nevill, Starc, Siddle, Voges.