The Matt Fiction Book Club

Resident cricket librarian and loved member of the cricket library community Matt Fiction established the Matt Fiction Book Club in 2004 to inspire a love of reading cricket books.

For those wishing to be a part of the club all you need to do is follow the following simple steps.

Step 1: Read and enjoy a cricket book.

Step 2: Think of someone you think would be enriched by reading the book.

Step 3: Ask that person for their best postal address if you do not have it.

Step 4: Write them a note and send with the book in the mail.

Step 5: Ask them to consider doing the same for someone else.

Step 6: Return to step one and start again

Please note, the above process can also be followed for cricket magazines

Cricket Library Weekly – Sixers Go Back To Back

This week’s edition of the Cricket Library Weekly Robbie Mackinlay and Matt Ellis share their thoughts on the KFC Big Bash final where the Sydney Sixers secured back to back titles. 

The lads also wrap up the action from the WNCL competition which has seen four players raise the bat for centuries in the early stages of the season.

Nicola Carey has been one of four century makers in the WNCL to date.

A short and sharp edition of the show with the special announcement of the inaugural Cricket Library Weekly Medal winner for player of the year in the Big Bash.

Please remember to subscribe to the Cricket Library Podcast on your favourite podcast provider and leave a review to help us to continue to start conversations that inspire a love of cricket.

The Cricket Library Weekly – BBL Finals Edition

This week on the Cricket Library Weekly, Robbie Mackinlay and Matt Ellis share their thoughts on the KFC Big Bash finals and preview the final two games of the season.

The lads pay tribute to Merv Hughes on the news of his induction into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame and wrap up the action from the WNCL competition which started in the Nation’s Capital last weekend.

Finally the lads address a well thought out question from Paul in Dapto in the highly popular Matt’s Mailbag segment.

Please remember to subscribe to the Cricket Library Podcast on your favourite podcast provider and leave a review to help us to continue to start conversations that inspire a love of cricket.

Katie Mack and Erica Kershaw on the Cricket Library Podcast

Erica Kershaw and Katie Mack are part of the Abode Hotels ACT Meteors squad who play in the WNCL Competition. Both players also had a taste of WBBL Finals in 2019 with Katie a part of the Adelaide Strikers team and Erica in the Melbourne Renegades line up.

In this edition of the Cricket Library Podcast we will hear where their passion for cricket began and find out some insights about their cricketing journey so far which has led them both to the ACT. We will also get a better understanding of how they balance work commitments with playing cricket as well as learning more about their interests outside of the game.

Needless to say we will ask them both which three people they would most like to have a net with & their nominations are sure to resonate with our listeners.

Please remember to subscribe to the Cricket Library Podcast on your favourite podcast provider and leave a review to help us to continue to share stories like this one from Erica Kershaw and Katie Mack.

Ange Reakes Special Guest on the Cricket Library Weekly

This week on the Cricket Library Weekly, Robbie Mackinlay catches up with captain of the Abode Hotels ACT Meteors Ange Reakes. We hear some interesting insights from the experienced campaigner about how preparations are tracking for the upcoming WNCL season with the Meteors.

The lads will also run their eyes across the recently selected Australian Test and T20 squads as well as wrapping up the latest from the KFC Big Bash.

Matt’s Mailbag is back this week with a BBL themed question coming through from one of our regular listeners Bill from Hornsby.

Please remember to subscribe to the Cricket Library Podcast on your favourite podcast provider and leave a review to help us to continue to start conversations that inspire a love of cricket.

Chris Hartley two time BBL premiership winner

Chris Hartley was part of two BBL winning campaigns, the first with the Brisbane Heat in BBL02 and the second with the Thunder in BBL05.

He reflected on these two seasons in a recent conversation with Matt Ellis on the Cricket Library Podcast.

Chris Hartley, legend of Queensland Cricket, star of the Brisbane Heat and Sydney Thunder joins us to share his story on the Cricket Library Podcast.

The record breaking Queensland wicket keeper takes us on a trip down memory lane as we hear about where his passion for cricket began, an early encounter with an Australian captain, a tour of Pakistan, something he has in common with Matt Hayden, a ton in a Sheffield Shield final, playing 100 consecutive Shield games, taking over 500 catches, winning two BBL titles and find out the story behind his call up on the 2009 Ashes tour. 

Of course we will find out who the three selections are for who Chris would most like to join him in the nets. A true cricket nuffy, Chris Hartley’s passion for the game is sure to resonate with you and continue to inspire your love of the game. 

Please remember to subscribe to the Cricket Library Podcast on your favourite podcast provider and leave a review to help us to continue to share stories like this one from Chris Hartley.

Piepa Cleary special guest on the Cricket Library Weekly

This week on the Cricket Library Weekly, Matt Ellis catches up with Piepa Cleary from the Perth Scorchers and Western Fury. We hear some interesting insights from the young opening bowler about her passion for cricket, winning the WNCL title with WA last summer, her interests outside of cricket and how preparations are tracking for the upcoming WNCL season with the Fury.

The lads also have a look at the test series between Australia and India to reflect on what has been a series for the ages.

We also delve into the run home as teams jostle to make their way into the top 5 and feature in the finals.

Please remember to subscribe to the Cricket Library Podcast on your favourite podcast provider and leave a review to help us to continue to start conversations that inspire a love of cricket.

Rachel Priest Special Guest on the Cricket Library Weekly

This week on the Cricket Library Weekly, Robbie Mackinlay catches up with Rachel Priest from the Hobart Hurricanes and Tasmanian Roar. We hear some interesting insights from the powerful top order batter about her move to Tasmania, reflections on the Rebel WBBL and how preparations are tracking for the upcoming WNCL season. Robbie also asks a question on behalf of one of the Cricket Library Weekly’s loyal listeners.

The lads also have a look at the test series between Australia and India as we head into the final match in what has been full of gripping cricket.

We also delve into some statistics to try and work out which are the best bats in the KFC Big Bash League.

Needless to say, they also address your questions in the highly popular Matt’s Mailbag segment with a query this week sent through by some younger listeners from Orange in Central West NSW.

Please remember to subscribe to the Cricket Library Podcast on your favourite podcast provider and leave a review to help us to continue to start conversations that inspire a love of cricket.

Conquering the Gabba – Five visiting players who made an impression

TD Paine will be hoping Australia can continue their impressive record at the Gabba when Australia take on India in the 4th Test.

India fought valiantly in Sydney to secure an unlikely draw against Australia and they now head to the Gabba with an injury list as long as your arm to face the Aussies who have not lost a test match at the venue since I was in year four. 

In that time however, there have been visiting players who have made their mark achieving individual success at the ground which has become a fortress for the home side. 

To set the scene, I have started with what was an eventful Test Match at the Gabba in November 1988 with the imposing force of the West Indies reigning supreme with a dominant 9 wicket victory thanks to some handy work from their pace attack, in particular the great Curtley Ambrose. 

Since then there have been a number of other overseas players who have made their mark claiming man of the match honours despite their team not getting over the line.

1988 – CEL Ambrose

After winning the toss and batting, it was tough going for the home side with the Windies pace attack led by Ambrose, Walsh and the late great Malcom Marshall wreaking havoc with the ball. Patrick Patterson was the other member of the pace quartet however, he sustained an injury in his fourth over not bowling again in the game.

Mike Veletta was the best performer in the Aussie innings lasting 3 hours for his 37 before falling to the much more friendly off spin of Carl Hooper. Sir Vivian Richards who was playing his 100th Test Match claimed his 100th catch in test cricket when he snared Tony Dodemaide off the bowling of Courtney Walsh to wrap up the innings. This would be the first wicket of a hat trick that was completed on Day 3 in Australia’s second innings when he dismissed Veletta and Wood in successive deliveries.

It was Curtly Ambrose however who claimed man of the match honours with first innings figures of 16.5 overs 5 maidens 3-30 (only 23 of these off the bat having bowled 7 no balls) including the wickets of Marsh, Wood and Border. He chimed in with a handy 19 not out with the willow and snared another 3 wickets in the second innings with Marsh and Border his two big scalps for the second time in the match.

This was just one of the many times the big West Indian paceman imposed himself on batsmen all around the world with his pace and bounce collecting over four hundred test match wickets.

1989 – PA De Silva

Growing up I had a lot of love for Sri Lankan all rounder Aravinda de Silva. One of his finer moments playing down under came when he notched up 167 against Australia in the drawn Test Match of 1989. Facing the Australian attack of Alderman, Lawson, Rackeman, Hughes and Moody, the likable tourist became the first Sri Lankan to score a hundred against Australia. 

His epic innings lasted over 8 hours after Merv Hughes dropped a return catch not long after his arrival at the crease. De Silva patiently built an innings, eventually bringing up his ton off a thick outside edge that went past the outstretched right hand of Mark Taylor at second slip, down to the boundary for four. 

After playing some wonderful back foot strokes, including landing one on the famous dog track, he eventually hooked a Carl Rackeman delivery straight down the throat of Geoff Lawson who was fielding on the fine leg boundary. 

It was his second of twenty test hundreds in a distinguished career that netted over six thousand test match runs. 

2003 – SC Ganguly

I was fortunate enough to be living in Brisbane in 2003 and was on hand at the Gabba to witness Justin Langer put Australia in a commanding position registering 121 at the top of the order for the home side.

It would be the visiting captain Sourav Ganguly though, who would make his mark with a magnificent 144 bringing up his first test match hundred against Australia with a sweep shot off MacGill for 2. He sweated on anything with width outside the off stump, playing through the off side with precision. 

He would eventually fall to a well flighted delivery from MacGill that he drove straight to the safe hands of the ever reliable Jason Gillespie at mid off. This helped the tourists take an 86 run lead in a match that would finish in a draw with inclement weather seeing play interrupted on numerous occasions. 

It was the only hundred that Ganguly scored on this tour but certainly sent a message that he was ready to take the game to the Australians. It proved to be a very competitive series with India going on to beat Australia in Adelaide before the home side bounced back in Melbourne with a draw in Sydney leaving us with a 1-1 result.

2010 – AN Cook

Brisbane 2010 is the test match probably most remembered for PM Siddle’s birthday hat trick which was started by the dismissal of Alistair Cook who fell for 67 after a lengthy stay at the crease. However it was Alistair Cook who claimed man of the match honours in a game that ended up finishing a draw.

After winning the toss and batting first, England were bowled out for 260 which did not look like it would be enough. The Aussies were in trouble though at 5-143 but Brad Haddin joined Michael Hussey at the crease for an incredible 307 run stand, which restored order and put the home side back on top.

Day 4 however belonged to the visitors with twenty five year old Alistair Cook batting the entire day returning to the sheds at stumps unbeaten on 132 after resuming the day’s play on 6 not out. 

Cook went on to surpass his previous highest test score of 173 against Bangladesh which he had scored earlier in the year on his way to a magnificent 235 not out as part of a phenomenal unbeaten 329 run partnership with Jonathan Trott.

Cook’s innings at the time was the highest individual score in a test match at the ground surpassing DG Bradman’s 226 v South Africa in 1931. It has since only been eclipsed by Michael Clarke’s superb 259 not out against South Africa in 2012.

His thirst for runs continued throughout the tour finishing top of the tree on the run scorers list with 766 runs at 127.66 helping the visitors to win the Ashes on Australian soil for the first time in 24 years.

2016 – Asad Shafiq

The pink ball was a feature of the Gabba test in 2016 when Pakistan was set a near impossible target of 490 in the fourth innings of the game.

After winning the toss and batting Australia were on the front foot posting 429 on the back of centuries to Steve Smith and Peter Handscomb. This was backed up by the Australian pace trio of Starc, Hazlewood and Bird each claiming 3 wickets to have the visitors well behind in the game as they were bundled out for 142.

The Australian’s then upped the tempo in their second innings scoring at over 5 an over declaring with a session to go on day three. Pakistan negotiated the final session finishing just two down heading into day 4.

With some inclement weather on day 4 there looked to be a slim chance of Pakistan surviving for a draw but the prospect of a win would require a minor miracle. When Asad Shafiq came to the crease at 4-165 there were still 335 runs required and plenty of overs left in the game. 

The runs started ticking over and productive partnerships were formed. Bringing up his 50 with a push to the on side coincided with a 50 partnership with Mohammed Amir off just 67 balls. 

Australia had their chance to dismiss Shafiq when Starc found the edge of his bat on 72 with Smith not able to complete the catch in the slips. A well struck cut shot for 3 off Jackson Bird brought up his ton just prior to stumps on Day 4 with his team still needing a further 112 runs with 3 wickets in hand. It was Shafiq’s 10th Test Match hundred and his first against Australia.

His fighting knock eventually came to an end when he got a sharp rising ball from Mitch Starc bowling around the wicket that he ballooned to David Warner at gully. Out for 137 he had earned the respect of many and almost pulled off a miracle for Pakistan. Australia soon took the final wicket and won the game by 39 runs with Shafiq named man of the match.

India will need to defy the odds to stop Australia in Brisbane. Will we see some similar heroics from the visitors or will the home side maintain their invincibility at the Gabba fortress?

Cricket Library Weekly – Special Guest Trent Woodhill

This week on the Cricket Library Weekly, Robbie Mackinlay catches up with one of the real movers and shakers in world cricket Trent Woodhill. The conversation covers off on his time coaching the Melbourne Stars in the WBBL, the new innovations in the KFC Big Bash League as well as Trent sharing his thoughts on the remainder of the evenly poised Test series between Australia and India.

For the fist time this summer, Matt and Robbie take a look at the leaderboard in the Cricket Library Weekly Medal player of the year voting with a lot of congestion with players jostling for top spot.

Needless to say, they also address your questions in the highly popular Matt’s Mailbag segment with a query this week sent through by Kath in Albury. 

Please remember to subscribe to the Cricket Library Podcast on your favourite podcast provider and leave a review to help us to continue to start conversations that inspire a love of cricket.