Johns Cricket – Andrew Johns always looks at home when the sky is blue – if he’s wearing cricket pads at the time.

The legends of Newcastle Knights and NSW State of Origin dominated the football field for the Blues but that changed with the emergence of two promotional crickets when T20 was still in its infancy and still saw the form of cricket.

Johns Cricket

Johns Cricket

He played two games for NSW, South Australia and Tasmania, in 2007. Johns’ debut with the Redbacks in Newcastle was a baptism of fire as he did everything he could to not to be outdone by Shaun Tait, the southpaw fast bowler. playing for Australia with a clock speed of 160km/h.

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Looking back on his code hop on Nine’s Story Time, the NRL icon recalled losing ex-boyfriend Danny Buderus’ wedding the previous day, which meant he was “not in the mood to play”.

“When I go to bat, I’m over the no-hitter and I turn to Shaun Tait’s bowling,” Johns said.

“When I turned around I thought it was 60m back. He attacks like a Terminator, he lets this ball go like a tornado.

“(Former Australian opener) Simon Katich was down at the other end so I called him over and said, ‘Dude, you’re going to get a six or a four, because it’s not I’m running, I’m not facing this man.

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Fortunately for Johns, he escaped unscathed in that game, only hitting one ball and not scoring a run. But he threatened himself in his next match against Tasmania.

On his way to scoring nine points, Johns battled former Australian all-rounder Ben Hilfenhaus.

“He (Hilfenhaus) came down from the wicket … he said, ‘Don’t get out’. He said, ‘You take the p***, the next thing it gets to your head’,” Johns said.

Johns Cricket

“I said, ‘Well, why don’t I run and tackle you right in the middle of this field and we’ll see how you do’.

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“And he comes in and he whips this cutter, I lean back and I hit him on the skates. I’m running and he’s looking at me like Gordie (Tallis) and these eyes. And I said, ‘Well, didn’t you know? I’m going to stab you on the field right here.”

Fortunately for Cricket NSW PR, Johns ended up hitting Hilfenhaus but the pair shared a laugh after the match when the fast bowler came into the changing room with a six-pack of beer and apologized for letting his competitive instincts get the better of him. .Fifteen years ago, NSW’s top players, managers and opponents considered the key indicators of the out-of-the-box thinking that still divides Australia.

In June 2006, NSW made an announcement that shocked Australian sport, signing big league legend Andrew ‘Joey’ Johns to play in that year’s Big Bash.

Johns, one of the league’s 13 Immortals and considered by many to be the greatest player of modern times, is nearing the end of his decorated career for the Newcastle Knights, NSW and Australia.

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Despite his athletic prowess, Johns has been a favorite above the fifth grade in his hometown of Newcastle, and the move has been orchestrated by NSW to get fans through the gates.

At the time, before the Indian premiership game was changed forever, before the first T20 World Cup was held, NSW said the move was based on the experimental nature of the new format of the game, and said that Australia’s approach to T20 created the perfect environment for the idea of ​​gaining power…

(Note: attempts to interview Andrew Johns for this story were unsuccessful. Some quotes from the Channel Nine 2020 interview are included)

Johns Cricket

Dave Gilbert (NSW CEO): “T20 came out in 2003 (in England)… what surprised me at the time was that the ACB (Australia) did not entertain T20s. There was an idea in their marketing department that if you put that in, you’re going to cannibalize the game by over 50, so it’s still on the back burner. It was three seasons of English T20 before we set foot in the water. complete the test; We have two groups of three states and you play two games in each group and whoever tops each group plays in the final. It was all done and cleared in two weeks in January.”

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Simon Katich (NSW captain): “I think it’s not that we don’t understand or appreciate it, it’s just where the game is ahead of us.

Dan Marsh (Tasmania captain): “(T20) is a lot of fun. Everyone has a nickname on their back. It’s very fresh, it’s exciting, it’s very short-lived. It’s not that intense. us.”

Gilbert: “Because we had a final (in 2005-06) with no prize money, no awards, you had to consider what the ACB thought about T20s at that time.

“In the winter … we thought this was an opportunity for us to try to build on the crowd we were getting, and what’s a new way to do it?

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“We thought if we were going to do it, we had to have a name that was easy to recognize, that was fresh, and that would really catch the public’s attention. I can’t remember any other names (we discussed).

“It’s probably one of the best sports in New South Wales … he always plays and people pay attention. I got to know his manager, John Fordham, and that’s how it started. start.”

Nick Fordham (son of John and current CEO of the Fordham Company): “It was a collaboration between my grandfather (who died in 2019) and Dave Gilbert. Obviously my father was interested – he the face of Mark Taylor and Ian Chappell and also Richie Benaud.

Johns Cricket

Gilbert: “John was a left-field thinker. You always knew he was the kind of person who would entertain him. Right away he said, ‘That’s out there, I think we need to think about that’.”

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Fordham: “Joey was at the top, he was the best player in the world at the time. He was a very hot commodity. It was a very good trade, and it meant Joey, to bring him to the public.”

Gilbert: “It’s a commercial arrangement, don’t worry about that. No matter what people say about it, I think there’s a lot more going on.”

Fordham: “He did a good job. He didn’t do it for nothing. He was protected because he was a great salesman, and he had a lot of extra work.”

Gilbert: “John Fordham was a big fan. He really wanted this to go well. He knew it was good for his client, but he didn’t want to make fun of it either.

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Fordham: “I remember the press conference we did in Newcastle. It was about ‘Andrew Johns and his future playing’. So you can’t move there, because (said media) he’d go to union football or something. Then Joey and Dave Gilbert went out.”

Gilbert: “It was big news at the time. It was big news. I remember getting a phone call straight away from one of the senior managers in Australia who was bothering me about the job. And he said, ‘He hasn’t a registered player’. And I said, ‘Yes, he is. He is registered at Merewether Club (in Newcastle)’. So there is no ban on him.”

Ryan Harris (South Australia): “When it was announced … there was kind of a conversation, like, are they going to take the piss? And are we going to do it (South Australia)? And the answer is no, no.”

Johns Cricket

After the announcement, Australia admitted they could not stop the prank, but spokesman Peter Young said: “We are disappointed and we strongly disagree. We do not believe that Twenty20 needs gimmicks and they are still successful.

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Former NSW and Australian captain Michael Slater led the criticism from former players, saying: “