Police in Western Australia are searching for a Dennis Lillee aluminum cricket bat valued at A$ 10,000. The bat went missing from a charity match held at the Government House in Perth in March 2021.
The bat was used during the Governors vs Pirates backyard charity match. Several former cricket greats, celebrities and sports personas from Perth, including Australian coach Justin Langer, Ernie Dingo, Darren Glass and Cameron Green, took part in the game. The cricket match raised funds for research into childhood brain cancer.
Bradley Skipworth, a resident of the Kingsley suburb of Perth, stated that the bat belonged to his father and had been down to him as the last living member of the family.
Skipworth isn’t sure if Dennis Lillee used the same controversial bat during the Perth Test against England in the 1979-80 season.
“I don’t want it back to sell it. It’s a family heirloom. It has a lot of sentimental value. I don’t care about the dollar value whatsoever,” Perth Now quoted Skipworth, who was approached to lend the bat to the charity event for promotional photos.
“But once the organizers had packed up and unpacked, they couldn’t find it. I’m not sure at what point it went missing.”
After the organizers failed to track the bat, Skipworth reported the incident to police and hopes that the special Dennis Lillee bat wasn’t stolen.
“I’m hoping someone just put it in their cricket bag and didn’t realize. I really hope it hasn’t been stolen from a charity game.”
Joondalup Police is investigating the matter.
What was the Dennis Lillee aluminium bat incident?
ComBat, the aluminum bat, was the brainchild of Dennis Lillee’s friend Graham Monaghan. The cricket legend would later reveal that using the bat was a marketing gimmick. Lillee had already used the bat in a Test against the West Indies.
During a Test against England in Perth, Dennis Lillee used the bat again despite skipper Greg Chappell’s reluctance. When he drove Ian Botham, Australia settled for three runs as the ball did not reach the boundary. According to Greg Chappell, it could have been a four had Lillee used a regular bat. Chappell then put his foot down and insisted Lillee switched to the wooden bat.
Meanwhile, England skipper Mike Brearley complained that the aluminum bat was damaging the second new ball. The play was held up. Dennis Lille was in no mood to hand over his metal bat to twelfth man Rodney Hogg.
Greg Chappell eventually instructed Dennis Lillee to calm down and use the wooden bat. In disgust, Lillee threw his aluminum bat and grudgingly batted with the wooden piece.
A controversy then, the chapter has found a place in the cricketing folklore as an amusing incident.