Angus Fraser: How Lillee's failed test of metal caused controversy at the WACA
Thursday 08 May 2008
One of the wackiest incidents in Test cricket's history involved the Australian fast bowler Dennis Lillee using an aluminium bat in an Ashes Test at the WACA, Perth, in 1979. At the time the Laws did not stipulate what a bat had to be made of and Lillee walked out with the controversial piece of equipment manufactured by a company owned by a personal friend.
Lillee struck the fourth ball he faced, bowled by England's Ian Botham, for three. A horrible high-pitched noise made Mike Brearley, the England captain, aware of what was taking place and he complained immediately to the umpires, stating that the bat was damaging the ball. Australia's captain Greg Chappell also thought that the ball should have gone for a four, and instructed Rodney Hogg to deliver a conventional wooden bat to Lillee.
It took the officials and Chappell, the Australian captain, 10 minutes to convince Lillee to change his bat, which he reluctantly did by petulantly throwing it 40 yards in the direction of the pavilion.
He was not disciplined by the Australia Cricket Board. After the game, sales of the bat skyrocketed for a few months, before the laws of the game were amended, specifying that bats had to be made from wood.
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage
Think before you ink: Manchester United fan gets Sir Alex Ferguson tattoo - and will regret it for the rest of his life
Mario Balotelli: Staff at arson-hit Manchester Dogs' Home convinced Liverpool striker is behind five-figure donation
Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal: Mesut Ozil given the worst rating possible by German newspaper Bild after poor performance
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
Paul Scholes column: Arsenal's Mesut Ozil is too good for Arsene Wenger to waste on the left wing
- 1 Mario Balotelli: Staff at arson-hit Manchester Dogs' Home convinced Liverpool striker is behind five-figure donation
- 2 Scottish independence live: Scotland gives a clear 'No' in historic referendum - as it happened
- 3 iOS 8 is full of shiny new features - but it's terrible news for app developers
- 4 Friends 20th anniversary: Six things we wouldn't have without influential comedy series
- 5 Scottish independence: Tory revolt against 'devo max' grows as Rail Minister Claire Perry joins
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'