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Inside stuff

What cricketers of the past did when stuck inside

Nishi Narayanan  |  

Keith Miller: stylish even while lounging at home, 1985

Keith Miller: stylish even while lounging at home, 1985 Kenneth Stevens / © Fairfax Media/Getty Images

Most of us are largely confined to our homes these days. Cricketers, also stuck at home, have been entertaining us in all sorts of ways: sharing videos of indoor batting, putting, workouts, dancing, interviewing each other, and teaching their pets to be slip fielders. But what did cricketers of the past do when staying indoors?

Derek Underwood bats while being watched by Asif Iqbal at slip and a young James Packer (son of Kerry) behind the wicket, in 1978

Derek Underwood bats while being watched by Asif Iqbal at slip and a young James Packer (son of Kerry) behind the wicket, in 1978 David James Bartho / © Fairfax Media/Getty Images

During a rain delay at the 1977-78 World Series Cricket Supertest between WSC Australians and the World XI at the Royal Agricultural Showground in Sydney, spectators got to peek into the members' hall where there was an impromptu game on with two soft-drink bottles as stumps and a stump used as a bat. Reports suggest the game got raucous enough that a portrait of the Queen took a hit during the proceedings.

Richie Benaud and his wife Daphne host a meal at their house in Coogee, New South Wales in 1985. Sportswriter Phil Tressider and commentator Brian Johnston (first and third from right) are in attendance

Richie Benaud and his wife Daphne host a meal at their house in Coogee, New South Wales in 1985. Sportswriter Phil Tressider and commentator Brian Johnston (first and third from right) are in attendance Philip Wayne Lock / © Fairfax Media/Getty Images

Whether it was behind the microphone or at home, Richie Benaud made you feel welcome and glad to be in his company.

A chicken-pox afflicted Joey Benjamin accepts a cup of tea from Devon Malcolm in Sydney, 1994

A chicken-pox afflicted Joey Benjamin accepts a cup of tea from Devon Malcolm in Sydney, 1994 Graham Chadwick / © Getty Images

Also glad for the company and some TLC from his team-mate is the convalescing England fast bowler Joey Benjamin in his hotel room during an Ashes tour. (Don't miss the doorstopper of a mobile phone on the bed.)

Marcus Trescothick watches a match on TV in his hotel room in Port Elizabeth during the 2003 World Cup

Marcus Trescothick watches a match on TV in his hotel room in Port Elizabeth during the 2003 World Cup Tom Shaw / © Getty Images

Those prehistoric times at the start of the millennium with no streaming - god, what did cricketers on tour in the '90s and early 2000s do with all the off-field time they had? Watch… TV?

England captain Ted Dexter changes his son's nappy at home, 1963

England captain Ted Dexter changes his son's nappy at home, 1963 Bob Haswell / © Getty Images

During these lockdown times, many cricketers have had to newly learn to do household chores and actively participate in childcare.

England fast bowler Ken Higgs gives his kids a bath, 1965

England fast bowler Ken Higgs gives his kids a bath, 1965 © Getty Images

How much did their predecessors have to do?

Graham Dilley lights a cigarette for Phil DeFreitas after England's seven-wicket win in the Brisbane Test, 1986

Graham Dilley lights a cigarette for Phil DeFreitas after England's seven-wicket win in the Brisbane Test, 1986 Adrian Murrell / © Getty Images

Indoors also means the dressing room: a sanctum of sorts for players.

Nishi Narayanan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

 

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