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Author Topic: Herath - an inspiration to us all  (Read 649 times)

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brokenbat

Herath - an inspiration to us all
« on: October 02, 2017, 06:54:33 PM »

Almost 40 years old.. fat and unfit... works a crummy desk job when not playing.. and an absolute legend of the game! There is hope for us all!
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Big Mac

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Re: Herath - an inspiration to us all
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2017, 08:25:07 PM »

Legend is overused but he is a genuine legend and doesn't get nearly the credit he deserves. I remember when he got called up after Murali got injured just two days before a test against Pakistan in Galle. He was playing club cricket in England at the time, jumped on a plane to Sri Lanka and bowled Pakistan out, got MOTM and has been winning Sri Lanka a whole bunch of tests ever since.

He has ensured that Sri Lanka haven't missed Murali massively, which when you think about it is bloody insane. Legitimately one of the all-time greats.
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brokenbat

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Re: Herath - an inspiration to us all
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2017, 08:56:20 PM »

Legend is overused but he is a genuine legend and doesn't get nearly the credit he deserves. I remember when he got called up after Murali got injured just two days before a test against Pakistan in Galle. He was playing club cricket in England at the time, jumped on a plane to Sri Lanka and bowled Pakistan out, got MOTM and has been winning Sri Lanka a whole bunch of tests ever since.

He has ensured that Sri Lanka haven't missed Murali massively, which when you think about it is bloody insane. Legitimately one of the all-time greats.

mate.. the only point i was trying to make was that old fat, desk job types like us, also have hope to achieve cricketing greatness ;)
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Big Mac

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Re: Herath - an inspiration to us all
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2017, 09:15:16 PM »

mate.. the only point i was trying to make was that old fat, desk job types like us, also have hope to achieve cricketing greatness ;)


In that case, Bryce McGain is the hero we should aspire to be.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/600880.html

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But good things can come from office work. It gave me my favourite cricketer of all time. A person who for much of his 20s was a struggling club cricketer no one believed in. But he believed. Even as he played 2nds cricket, moved clubs, worked in IT for a bank, something about this man made him continue. A broken marriage and shared custody of his son. His day job had him moving his way up the chain. The fact that no one wanted him for higher honours. His age. Cameron White's legspin flirtation. And eventually the Victorian selectors, who didn't believe that picking a man over 30 was a good policy.

Through all that, Bryce McGain continued to believe he was good enough. Through most of it, he probably wasn't. He was a club spinner.

Bryce refused to believe that, and using the TV slow-mo and super-long-lens close-ups for teachers, he stayed sober, learnt from every spinner he could and forced himself to be better. He refused to just be mediocre, because Bryce had a dream. It's a dream that every one one of us has had. The difference is, we don't believe, we don't hang in, we don't improve, and we end up just moving on.

Bryce refused.


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At the age of 36, Bryce made his debut for Australia. It was a dream come true for a man who never stopped believing. It was one of us playing Test cricket for his country. It was seen as a joke by many, but even the cynics had to marvel at how this office worker made it to the baggy green.

I missed the Test live as I was on holidays and proposing to my now-wife. I'm glad I missed it. Sure, I'd wanted Bryce to fulfill his dream as much as I'd wanted to fulfill most of mine, but I wouldn't have liked to see what happened to him live. South Africa clearly saw a damaged player thrown their way and feasted on him. His figures were heartbreaking: 0 for 149. Some called it the worst debut in history.

I contacted him after it, and Bryce was amazingly upbeat. He'd make it back, according to him. He was talking nonsense. There was no way back for him. Australia wouldn't care that his shoulder wasn't right; he couldn't handle the pressure. His body, mind and confidence had cracked under pressure. He was roadkill.

But Bryce wouldn't see it that way, and that's why he's my favourite cricketer. I wasn't there for all the times no one believed in him, for all those times his dream was so far away and life was in his way. But I was there now, at what was obviously the end. Bryce McGain saw the darkness but refused to enter it. That's special. That is how you achieve your dreams when everything is against you.

Before I moved to London to embark on my cricket-writing career, I met Bryce for a lunch interview. It was my first interview with a cricketer. We were just two former office workers who had escaped. At this stage Casson had been preferred over him for the tour to the West Indies. In the Shield final, Bryce's spinning finger had opened up after a swim in the ocean. He was outbowled by Casson and the selectors didn't take him. Surely this was it. Why would anyone pick a 36-year-old who had been below his best in his most important game?

Bryce knew he may have blown it. But he still believed, of course. We were just two former office workers with dreams. Two guys talking about legspin. Two guys just talking (No Swearing Please) and hoping things would work out.

At the time it was just cool to have lunch with this guy I admired, but now I look back and know I had lunch with the player who would become my favourite cricketer of all time.

The world would be a better place if more people saw McGain as a hero and not a failure. Shane Warne was dropped on this planet to be a god. Bryce McGain just wanted to fulfil his dream, and that he did against all odds is perhaps one of the great cricket stories of all time.

Bryce is one of us, the one who couldn't give up.
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