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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript - 24127

Remarks at the Prime Minister's XI Reception, Canberra

Photo of Abbott, Tony

Abbott, Tony

Period of Service: 18/09/2013 to 15/09/2015

More information about Abbott, Tony on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 13/01/2015

Release Type: Transcript

Transcript ID: 24127

Location: Parliament House, Canberra

It’s a real thrill to be here. It’s great to welcome the Australia team and the England team, particularly their skippers, Chris Rogers and Eoin Morgan. It really is good to be here.

I’m very conscious of the fact that this is an important match and last year it was a particularly important match for England, because it was the only game England won on their Australian tour!

I quoted Churchill at this event prior to last year’s game and it obviously lifted England, so I’m not going to do any Churchillian oratory tonight! I’m just going to say that I’m really pleased that Chris Rogers has accepted the job of captaining the Australian Prime Minister’s XI in place of the injured Mike Hussey. You’ve had a terrific season, Chris, against India; six 50-pluses in your last three matches and I hope it’s another great game for you tomorrow. I also understand that you are a distant cousin of Australia’s only chess grandmaster, Ian Rogers, so we expect to see some tactical brilliance out there tomorrow.

This is a fine tradition; a tradition that dates back to 1951 when Sir Robert Menzies was our Prime Minister. The first game was with the West Indies, as I understand it, and since then we’ve had many games – many Prime Minister’s XIs – against England.

In the 1963 match, Sir Donald Bradman made his last appearance at the wicket. Unfortunately, he was bowled for just four runs by a freakish ball from England’s Brian Statham. There was a break in this event between 1965 and 1984, but since then, it has been a regular part of an Australian cricketing summer. It’s also been a very significant part of cricketing here in the ACT.

It’s four-all between Australia and England when it comes to these Prime Minister’s XIs, so let’s hope that tomorrow’s tie breaker goes the right way.

It’s good to see so many up and coming young players as part of the teams. We’ve also got Canberra’s own Matt Condon and Mac Wright, Lega Siaka from PNG symbolising the progress that cricket is making in our northern neighbour, and it’s great to have here with us Pat Cummins and Glenn Maxwell who’ve just joined the World Cup squad.

Congratulations to all of the players. May everyone have a great game tomorrow.

This is going to be a big year for cricket with the World Cup here and in New Zealand next month, but there’s something special about an Australia-England game. For Australians, England is the old enemy when it comes to cricket. Let’s hope those who are the best of friends off the field can be the fiercest of competitors on the field and that Australia will be the winner tomorrow, and cricket.


Transcript - 24127