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Boxing Day Blues

Driving with Sam Pang - Earl Spalding Sam Pang is on the road! While in Perth, Sam drops in on 1995 Premiership player Earl Spalding.

FOOTBALL season has well and truly been replaced by cricket season by now, with the MCG to take centre stage today for the Boxing Day test.

There has been a number of Blues - both past and present - to lend their hand to cricket over the years. Here's just a few.

Present players

Marc Murphy
What do Marc Murphy and today’s opener for Australia in Aaron Finch have in common? They played together and achieved success for Victoria in the Under-17 National Championships back in 2003-04.

Prior to being taken with Carlton with the No.1 pick in the 2005 AFL Draft, Murphy had the choice of football or cricket: at the age of just 16, he also featured for Melbourne University in Premier Cricket.

Nat Plane
A member of Carlton’s AFLW side, Plane initially split her time between the Gamechangers’ inaugural season as well as for the Melbourne Renegades in the Women’s Big Bash.

 

While she no longer features in the WBBL, Plane’s highlight was a stunning catch for the Renegades on the boundary back in January 2017. Injuries have restricted her to three games in two seasons for the Blues, but she’ll be out to improve on that tally in AFLW 3.0.

Courtney Webb
From a former WBBL Renegade to a current one, Courtney Webb has had a memorable last few weeks. As preparations turn to next year’s AFL Women’s competition, she has also ticked off two milestones of her own.

 

After helping steer Australia to victory in their inaugural overseas tour to South Africa in April, Webb went onto make her Renegades WBBL debut earlier this month. She finished on 26 not out from 20 balls and has been earmarked as a player for the future in both codes.

Past players

Craig Bradley
The man with arguably the greatest longevity in the history of the game, Craig Bradley’s record is even more remarkable when you consider how much cricket was part of his life while playing.

Playing for South Australia and Victoria in the Sheffield Shield in the 1980s, Bradley was one of the last to play both cricket and AFL at the same time. His talent was on show with a century against Pakistan as a member of Australia’s Under-19 team in 1982.

Craig Bradley produced his best on the MCG in more than just one sport. (Photo: Supplied)

Earl Spalding
“Are you telling me if I look through the history books, it will say in a Sheffield Shield game: D Hookes, caught Zoehrer bowled Spalding?” - Sam Pang

A decade before becoming a premiership player for Carlton, the ‘Duke’ played four matches of Sheffield Shield cricket for Western Australia. He achieved figures of 4-37 in a match against South Australia before deciding that football was for him.

With 211 games all up and a premiership finally achieved at his third club, you’ve got to say Spalding made the right call.

Jack Worrall
Carlton’s inaugural premiership coach and one of the first professional figures in the history of the game, Jack Worrall had an impressive career in cricket before leading the Blues to three consecutive premierships from 1906-08.

READ MORE: Carlton honours Worrall at local landmark

A former Victorian captain, Worrall played in 11 tests for Australia, including scoring 76 against England in his final test. He also achieved a record 417 not out for the Carlton Cricket Club after defecting from Fitzroy: that marked only the start of a memorable career at Carlton in cricket and football.

With thanks to the Blueseum.