Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Lillee and Chappell face off as coaches

In a blast from the past, Dennis Lillee and Greg Chappell will stand in opposing camps when the Australian Cricketers' Association all-stars play an Australian XI at the Gabba on November 22. Lillee, the WACA president, will guide the high-profile team that already includes Shane Warne, Adam Gilchrist, Glenn McGrath and Matthew Hayden, while Chappell will help out a side made up of current players in the Twenty20 exhibition.

"No doubt Greg is shaking in his old run-down cricket boots right now!" Lillee joked. Both Lillee and Chappell retired on the same day in 1984 and they remain huge figures in the game. Lillee took a then world record 355 wickets while Chappell scored 7110 runs and collected 122 catches.

Chappell has the better resume, having looked after South Australia, India and now the Centre of Excellence in Brisbane, while Lillee has worked with a lot of fast bowlers. "It will be my first time coaching against Dennis Lillee, which will be enjoyable and I hope he's improved his vocabulary since I last played against him!" Chappell said. "It was always good fun playing with and against Dennis and I'm looking forward to this opportunity to get one back against him."

The pair had some great battles for their states in the 1970s and 80s, something Lillee remembers clearly. "The win-loss ratio of Western Australia versus Queensland when we played was highly WA's way," he said. "I will draw on that experience." The match is a warm-up for the first Test against West Indies, which starts in Brisbane on November 26.

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