Cricket Australia Items/Blogs/justin-langer/2012/12/13/bbl-set-to-inspire

Justin Langer

Langer: BBL set to inspire

13 December 2012

Last year the BBL was a great success and from afar it looked like everyone involved had a brilliant time being a part of Cricket Australia’s new T20 iniative.

A week ago, the Perth Scorchers sat through a presentation by our marketing manager Nicole Walker. 

Often such meetings are a bit of a box ticking exercise, but after Nicole’s inspiring vision was unleashed, I felt like pulling back on the colored clothes and rushing out into the middle of the WACA, or ‘The Furnace’ as it is now referred to during the BBL.

It is no wonder Shane Warne and Brad Hogg are still playing and why Matty Hayden is such a huge fan of the competition.

Apart from the cricket, the entertainment is fantastic and as a parent I would have no hesitation taking my kids down to the Furnace to watch the Scorchers in action.

I am sure this is no different to any of the venues around Australia.

Even though we were on the receiving end of a loss in game one, my wife Sue and our daughters had a ball having their face’s painted, playing in the Kids Zone and dancing to the music between over’s and wickets. 

At the best of times T20 cricket is unpredictable but that only adds to the entertainment value of the game. 

Things can change so quickly in T20 cricket, leaving the spectators hanging off every ball; that is between getting their face painted, jumping on the bouncy castles, dancing to One Direction or Jimmy Barnes and eating fairy floss of course.

The overseas players add a new dimension to the way we are used to seeing cricket played in Australia. 

T20 superstars like Chris Gayle, Lasith Malinga, Kieron Pollard and Saeed Ajmal add an X factor element to the tournament.

Like the IPL though, it is often the local Australian talent that is the difference between winning and losing. 

Already young players like Aaron Finch and Phil Hughes have had an impact. 

Their efforts not only help their teams to victory but also propel their names into the spotlights of international fame. 

Any player who consistently performs like Finch and Hughes will soon conjure interest from selectors all round the world of Twenty20 cricket. 

One player who is always of interest is the one and only Shane Warne.

On Wednesday night he will walk out onto the Furnace to take on the Scorchers. 

Even as an old teammate and friend of the great Warne, I, like all supporters love watching him in action. 

There is just something special about the greatest showman of our time.  

Seeing him strutting around with a cricket ball in his hand is always great to watch.

A reporter asked me the other day if I thought Warnie would really make a comeback into the Australian Test team. 

After laughing off the suggestion, she then asked me why I thought there was always such a fascination from the fans when it came to Shane Warne and his reported comebacks.

To me that is obvious.

Even today I wish Viv Richards, Kim Hughes, Allan Border or Dennis Lillee would make a comeback. 

They were my childhood heroes and of course I would love to see them running into bowl at the MCG or hitting another six at the Gabba or the SCG. 

The image of those heroes performing at their best still inspires me today.

It is no coincidence that so many people were sad when Ricky Ponting announced his retirement last week. 

Imagine, after fifteen years of watching the little master on our tv sets, smashing and caressing bowling attacks all around the world, we will no longer see him in his baggy green cap or Aussie helmet. 

It doesn’t seem right or fair, but it just goes to show that everything comes to an end sometime.

One day even Shane Warne, believe it or not, will have to call in quits once and for all. 

While he is fit and healthy, dreams can continue, and that is thanks, in no small way, to competitions like the BBL that keep our heroes alive.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia
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