With the end of the calendar year nearly upon us, The Roar is looking back at the sporting highlights, lowlights and moments that mattered for 2023 in Australia and beyond.
It’s now time to look back at the 11 most memorable moments from a busy time in the cricket world over the past 12 months.
It has been a red-letter year for drama in cricket with major tournaments on the line, reputations ruined and legends created.
What were the most significant, which ones aren’t that great and which ones did we miss? Let us know in the comments below.
Cricket’s 11 most memorable moments of 2023
11. Aussies win women’s T20 World Cup
This only just makes the list because, at the risk of sounding blasé, the Australian women have made winning everything under the sun routine. They took on host nation in the final, posted 156 with Beth Mooney blasting 74 and never seriously looked threatened as South Africa fell 20 runs short.
10. England lose by one run to NZ after enforcing follow on
Bazball copped its first major body blow when England forced the follow on against New Zealand in Wellington and the Black Caps bounced back with 483 in their second innings to set the tourists 258 for victory. They fell agonisingly short when tailender James Anderson was dismissed by Neil Wagner.
9. Ash Gardner takes 12 wickets in Women’s Ashes Test win
The rise and rise Ash Gardner continued in the women’s Ashes Test with the star all-rounder bagging 12 wickets for the match, including 8-66 to bowl Australia to victory by 89 runs. Her haul was the second best all time behind Shaiza Khan, who took 13/226 for Pakistan against West Indies in 2004 in Karachi.
8. NZ beat Sri Lanka by centimetres
The Kiwis made winning cliffhangers a habit. A month after beating the Poms by the barest of margins, they survived a run-out attempt from the final ball of the Test with Sri Lanka. Kane Williamson and Neil Wagner, carrying a hamstring tear, scampered through for a bye after a bouncer and the third umpire needed to confirm Williamson had just made it home before the desperation run-out attempt struck the stumps at the non-striker’s end.
7. Aussies win WTC final
It was a moment in history for the Australian men’s team when they claimed their first World Test Championship trophy by beating India in the final at The Oval. Travis Head’s superb 163 set up the win before the bowling attack dismissed India under 300 twice for a 209-run hammering.
6. Aussies collapse to lose Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Delhi
After they had folded in the first Test, Australia were in the contest heading into day three at Delhi before losing 9-52 in a dramatic batting collapse as India’s spinners ran amok. The calamitous batting gifted the home side victory and an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.
5. Angelo Mathews timed out
The flashpoint moment of the World Cup came in what had been a low-profile group game between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Angelo Mathews became the first player in international cricket to be dismissed timed out after he took too long to face his first ball when his helmet strap broke and Bangladesh captain Shakab Al Hasan pounced on the opportunity to appeal.
4. Head explodes as Aussies win WC final
Australia were underdogs in the men’s ODI World Cup final but after Pat Cummins’ brave decision to bowl first brought India undone, Travis Head sealed the boil over victory with a stunning century. Just as he has done in the WTC decider, he launched India’s bowlers all over the park in his masterful 139 to guide the Aussies home with six wickets and seven overs to spare.
3. Maxwell monsters Afghanistan on one leg
Australia looked on track to suffer their biggest upset loss in World Cup history when they slumped to 7-91 chasing 293 for victory. Glenn Maxwell launched an unbelievable counter-attack, sending sixes into the crowd despite severe cramping preventing him from running or moving his feet as his innings progressed. He brought up the winning runs and his double century with a six in what was arguably the greatest ODI knock in cricket history.
2. Lord’s members lose their shit cool
The Long Room is supposed to be the bastion of cricket’s reputation for being a genteel sport. But the MCC members turned into a pack of rabid dogs during the second Test at Lord’s, yelling abuse at the Australian players as they made their way to their dressing room. The unprecedented scenes led to a small number of members being suspended and the MCC being forced to issue an apology.
And what was it that set them off …?
1. JM Bairstow. Stumped AT Carey, bowled CD Green 10.
The dismissal of Bairstow, stumped by Carey, after prematurely leaving his crease following a Green bouncer was either a clever piece of keeping that caught out a dozy batter or an unsportsmanlike breach of the spirit of cricket. The incident split debate worldwide and even led to the respective Prime Ministers weighing into the debate.
Bairstow is still fuming over the controversial call which hampered England’s faint chances of victory in the second Test as they went down 2-0 in a crucial result for what turned out to be a drawn series and enough for Australia to retain the Ashes.