Tag Archives: Richie Benaud

Australia Vs England…the Reliant Robin. It’s Definitely NOT Cricket!

It’s a shame cricket commentator Richie Benaud isn’t around to do the commentary on what might have been the greatest moment in the history of sporting battles. I can just picture him from up in the commentary box with a haircut and suit only he could get away with with his usual mantra: “marvellous!”.

However, given that Richie Benaud was a man of few words, he’d probably tell me:

“My mantra is: put your brain into gear and if you can add to what’s on the screen then do it, otherwise shut up.”

 Richie Benaud

A crowd full of Richie Benauds think the play is "marvellous"!!

A crowd full of Richie Benauds think the play is “marvellous”!!

However, sometimes what’s on the screen demands considerable explanation.

Such as a soccer match involving two teams of Reliant Robins and an oversized,  inflatable soccer ball.

Please explain!

Last year, the BBC’s motoring show, Top Gear, came out to Australia. While this event might not have been the official highlight of their tour, it was certainly the most outlandish.

There was a soccer game played between two teams driving a three-wheeled English car, the Reliant Robin. The aim was to knock the ball into the nets to score a goal and naturally, to also keep all three wheels on the ground so you didn’t fall over.

In the United Kingdom, the Robin is often the butt of jokes and is sometimes affectionately nicknamed the “Plastic Pig” due to its distinctive shape and fibreglass body shell. The Robin was first manufactured in October 1973 featuring a 750cc engine. In 1975, it gained a number of improvements including an engine boost to 850cc. The Reliant Robin was well received in the 1970s because of good design executed by Ogle Design, (who had previously designed the Bond Bug, and Reliant Scimitar) and affordable price[considering 70mpg and 85 mph is possible, and orders increased with the 1970s fuel crisis. You could also drive it with a motorbike licence at certain stages.

So, you could just imagine Australia versus England in these crazy, madcap contraptions..the laughing stock of the Commonwealth!

What you might not know is that there is quite a bit of rivalry between Australia and England. Some of it good natured but it also can get brutal. While we might have fought a few World Wars with England on the battlefield, there’s definitely no such allegiance on the sporting field…especially when it comes to cricket’s Ashes Series or the rugby. This is all out war and an absolute national disgrace if your team is thrashed!

Boys and their toys Top Gear's James May and Australian Top Gear Host, Shane Jacobsen.

Boys and their toys Top Gear’s James May and Australian Top Gear Host, Shane Jacobsen.

While I only found out about this epic race the other night, my husband Geoff and our son were actually there and saw the thing live. Not that they actually took many photos because they were too busy photographing big engines and Top Gear personalities instead.

The Red Bull Car as driven by Daniel Ricardo.

The Red Bull Car as driven by Daniel Ricardo. What a contrast to the Robin!

Anyway, in addition to my role as Australia’s self-appointed Cultural Ambassador, I thought we could all do with a laugh. This has to be the wackiest thing I’ve seen in awhile and that’s quite an endorsement!

Before I give you the link, it does warn of possible offensive language. I don’t have sound on my computer so I apologise if it’s too extreme. Surely, English gentlemen wouldn’t be too obscene?!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nORCM9rMvBo

I hope that gave you a laugh, especially if you’re in the throws of trying to get through the Nano challenge this month.

xx Rowena

Australian Cricket: It couldn’t get any worse BUT THEN @#$%!!!!

Cricket does strange things to some people…especially when it involves that greatest of grudge matches: The Ashes Test Series between age-old rivals, England and Australia. It brings out the sort of fierce national pride, which is really more at home  in a Neanderthal cave.

The Balmy Army

The Balmy Army

Usually, I blame the these antics on the beer or being out in the Summer sun all day. After all, the sun can do funny things to people…just look at the Balmy Army and all those clowns  dressed up as commentator, Richie Benaud, over the years. That has to be madness adopting a hairstyle which should have been “inimitable”.

Way to many Richies!

Way to many Richies!

Anyway, you could say that desperate times call for desperate measures.

In a move not uncharacteristic of your average boastful Aussie cricket fan, TV Presenter Karl Stefanovic put his clothes where his mouth was and tweeted:

If clarkey doesn’t get a hundred I’m gear off on the show tomorrow. Woohoo. Positives for everyone.

Well, even if you’re not a cricket affectionado (ie hate cricket), if you live in the cricketing realm, you’ll know that the Australian cricket team was slaughtered in at Trent Bridge in Nottingham and in the worst score since 1936, was all out for 60 runs.

So, this left our dear mate Karl in a bit of a spot…Would he? Or wouldn’t he? Unlike most of our politicians who wouldn’t know a promise if it punched them on the nose, would our Karl be true to his word or would he capitulate?

Well, I didn’t know any of this until the deed was already done and I strayed across the story online after the fact.

That of course means that I missed Karl’s mighty dash across the set but it turns out, just to spare the viewers vision, a cartoon cricket ball was placed not so discreetly across the screen.

Wait…there’s more:http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/karl-stefanovics-ashesinspired-nudie-run-on-nine-a-win-for-cricket-20150807-gitkdt.html

So, after that, I’m offering Karl to the highest bidder. I reckon he should go into politics where he could actually become one of the first politicians who actually follows through on their promises! I reckon he’d be a hit over in the US right about now as they prepare for their presidential elections. I’m sure he’d knock Donald Trump, Hilary Clinton, Jed Bush right out of the park. Let’s all vote: Karl for President!

For better or worse, here is a man who is true to his word!

By the way, I do have one explanation for Australia’s shocking defeat. That is, Robin Hood was stealing runs from the Australians and giving them to the English. I’m not quite up on the story these days but I’m sure there was a Sheriff of Nottingham???

Humph! Did legendary Robin Hood steal our runs and give them to the English? I wonder...

Humph! Did legendary Robin Hood steal our runs and give them to the English? I wonder…

Anyway, Robin Hood makes perfect sense to me!!

After all, our national pride is on the line. We are the champions…at least, we should have been!

Humph! That’s enough talk about cricket! Time to put another snag on the barbie. We’ve been on BBQ duty with scouts today.

Hope you’re having a better weekend than the Australian Cricket Team!

xx Rowena

PS A personal message for Geoffle: “We’ll be back!”…even if it isn’t in the second innings.

Here’s a rundown on the day’s play: http://www.news.com.au/sport/cricket/the-ashes-2015-live-blog-from-the-fourth-test-at-nottingham-australia-and-england/story-fndpt0dy-1227473148402

A bit of English vitriol from Geoffry Boycott: http://www.news.com.au/sport/cricket/geoffrey-boycott-slams-aussie-cricket-team-in-harsh-rant/story-fnu2penb-1227475251692

Richie Benaud…Oh What a Ripper!

Yesterday, Australia lost a very much loved, living legend, when cricketer and commentator, Richie Benaud, passed away aged 85. Richie Benaud was the “voice of cricket” and as Prime Minister, Tony Abbott said:Richie Benaud “was the accompaniment of an Australian summer, his voice was even more present than the chirping of the cicadas in our suburbs and towns, and that voice, tragically, is now still.”

There’s a fabulous cartoon by Shakespeare here:http://www.smh.com.au/sport/the-fitz-files/a-marvellous-man-and-a-true-gent-rip-richie-benaud-20150410-1mi854.html

Even though I’m not even close to being a cricket fan, Richie Benaud’s appeal went way beyond the pitch. Indeed, after commentating for so many years, he felt like something of an aged Uncle or Grandparent who chatted to us throughout the game, telling us what’s what. Like so many embarrassing dads, he had his own unique sense of style and a way with words that was legendary. Indeed, when you checked out the crowd at a cricket match, you’d find more than a couple of look-a-likes in the crowd. Golly, some of the interpretations of his hair, were almost as incredible as the man himself.

To see his loyal fans decked up in force: http://www.smh.com.au/sport/cricket/benaud-boys-pay-tribute-to-the-international-man-of-cricket-20120104-1pkog.html

A crowd full of Richie Benauds think the play is "marvellous"!!

A crowd full of Richie Benauds think the play is “marvellous”!!

Anyway, as I said, I won’t and can’t even pretend to be a cricket fan.

Indeed, I hated cricket growing up. Every Summer, my brother and I conducted our own fierce battles off the pitch as we fought for who controlled the TV.  I swear my brother could have spent an entire summer watching and playing cricket, which as I’ve found re-reading an old journal, drove me absolutely round the twist.

Back in the day before remote controls, that meant grabbing hold of the rotary channel  selector in one hand and the on and off switch in the other and somehow fighting off your opponent with any remaining body parts without letting go. It’s funny because even though a vehemently detested cricket at the time, that still remains the Golden Age of cricket for me and I now sing along with “Come On Aussie, Come On” choking back the emotions as I remember Dennis Lillee “pounding down like a machine”: www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qJLi5y2d2w

That said, I chuckled when I heard Richie Benaud talking about the upcoming Summer:”We won’t miss a ball of the cricket”. Thinking back to my brother, I now realise that things could have been an awful lot worse and I hope Benaud’s wife, Daphne, enjoyed being married to the game as well as to the man. She pretty much had to love cricket.

Richie, Richie and Daphne

Richie, Richie and Daphne

All I’ll say, is thank goodness for the Internet and two TVs. Geoff a serious cricket fan as well.

So, as a fleeting tribute to an incredible man who I’ve felt has been living in my lounge room for so much of my life, here are a few of Richie Benaud’s Classic Quotes:

BenaudEarly“The key thing was to learn the value of economy with words and to never insult the viewer by telling them what they can already see” – on commentary.

“And Glenn McGrath dismissed for two, just 98 runs short of his century” – on the Australian fast bowler, famous for his ineptitude with the bat. Just as well he could bowl!!

“Put your brain into gear and if you can add to what’s on the screen then do it, otherwise shut up”

“What I want most from being a television commentator is to be able to feel that, when I say something, I am talking to friends”: talking about his audience.

“There was a slight interruption there for athletics” – referring to a streaker.

“When my hair is long enough to be cut, I go to my wife’s hairdresser, and she generally ways for it.”

“I once said to (Australian all-rounder) Keith Miller how disappointed I was to have made my debut in the same year as Bradman retired. How wonderful it would have been to have watched him play at the SCG in 1940 and then to bowl at him on the same ground. Nugget remarked drily that everyone has one lucky break and that may well have been mine.”

Benaud said of his mother, “She improved my love of vegetables by introducing the phrase, ‘You can’t go out and play cricket until you have eaten all your vegetables.'”

Before I sign off in typical Richie Benaud style, I’ll play Anthony Lloyd-Webber’s Memory which was Richie & Daphne’s favourite piece of music, performed by Debra Byrne:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-osxc7JKXg

Condolences to Benaud family, especially his beloved wife, Daphne. From all accounts, they had an incredible partnership!

I will give Richie Benaud the last word:

“This had been a presentation from Nine’s Wide World of Sports.”

xx Rowena

RIP Richie Benaud.

RIP Richie Benaud. This was the old test pattern, which used to broadcast in the good old days when the TV went to sleep.