Former Australian cricketer Brendon Julian is celebrating his 53rd birthday on Thursday, August 10. The New Zealand-born former left-arm pacer represented Australia in seven Tests and 25 ODIs from 1993 to 1999.
Julian made his Test debut in the 1993 Ashes Test in Manchester, claiming three wickets in Australia’s 179-run win. This was the same match in which Shane Warne bowled Mike Gatting for four with a brilliant delivery that is often referred to as the “ball of the century”. Julian claimed 15 wickets in his Test career at an average of 39.93, with a best of 4/36.
His ODI debut also came against England at Lord’s in May 1993. It was a highly memorable debut for Julian as he was named Player of the Match for returning with figures of 3/50.
Australia batted first in the match and put up a competitive 230/5 on the board. In response, England were bowled out for 211. The left-arm seamer got the wicket of Graeme Hick (7), Neil Fairbrother (18), and Alec Stewart (74) to throw England’s chase out of gear.
Despite an impressive start, Julian did not have a long ODI career. He claimed only 22 scalps in the format at an average of 45.31, with best bowling figures of 3/40 against Pakistan in Peshawar in 1998.
His last ODI was against West Indies in Manchester during the 1999 World Cup in which the left-armer registered figures of 0/36 from seven overs.
Brendon Julian’s Frank Worrell gaffe!
Apart from his cricketing skills, Julian is also famous for his hilarious gaffe as a host during the presentation ceremony in the 2015 Frank Worrell Trophy. After clinching the first Test in Roseau by nine wickets, the Aussies went on to win the second in Kingston by 277 runs.
During the presentation ceremony at the end of Australia-West Indies, Julian was hosting the post-match ceremony for host broadcaster Ten Sports. The former cricketer was about to present Australian captain Michael Clarke with the Sir Frank Worrell Trophy when he came up with the awkward blunder and commented:
“And the cheque and the trophy for the Sir Wank Forrell Trophy has been retained by Australia.”
The incident evoked memories of another former broadcaster, Sandy Roberts, who had introduced 1981 Miss Australia Leanne Dick as “Leeanne Cock” during a Mount Gambier Cup meeting.
When Brendon Julian starred with the ball in the Frank Worrell Trophy
In the absence of injured Craig McDermott, Julian played a key role with the ball during Australia’s historic series win over West Indies in 1995. He claimed nine wickets in four Tests at an average of 26.22, bowling some probing spells.
The left-armer starred with 4/36 in the first Test at Bridgetown in Barbados. Julian proved a great foil to Glenn McGrath (17 wickets), Paul Reiffel (15), and Shane Warne (15) as Australia captured the Frank Worrell Trophy 2-1, lifting the trophy for the first time since 1976.
Brendon Julian - An unfulfilled career
At 6' 5", Julian was regarded as a highly talented left-arm pacer, who could move the ball both ways and trouble batters with his natural height.
He was also a reasonably gifted batter, who played some fine knocks in domestic cricket. Julian played a huge role with the bat in the Sheffield Shield finals of 1997-98 and 1998-99, scoring 124 and 84 respectively as Western Warriors won back-to-back titles.
For some reason, the Aussie cricketer failed to replicate his prowess with the willow as well at the international level. Julian scored only a solitary half-century in his international career, a defiant 56 not out off 103 balls in the 1993 Ashes Test at Trent Bridge.
He added an unbroken 87 runs for the seventh wicket with Steve Waugh (47 not out). Julian struck seven fours and a six in his 125-minute stay as Australia recovered from 115/6 to draw the Test after being set a target of 371.
While he failed at the international level, Julian had an impressive first-class career. He claimed 435 wickets in 138 matches and scored 4074 runs with four hundreds and 20 fifties.