The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - FRONT PAGE -

MATTHEW Le Nevez had no short­age of mates telling him how to per­fect his bowl­ing ac­tion to play Aus­tralian cricket great Den­nis Lillee in the new minis­eries Howzat! Kerry Packer’s War.

The Off­spring star stud­ied the fea­ture doc­u­men­tary Fire of Baby­lon, about the dom­i­nat­ing West In­dian cricket team of the 1970s and ’80s, which showed Lillee at his fiery best.

Vic­to­rian cricket cap­tain, se­lec­tor and Howzat con­sul­tant Ray Bright lent a help­ing hand. Le Nevez, mean­while, stud­ied archival footage. His mates, mean­while, of­fered arm­chair critic ad­vice – most un­so­licited and un­wanted.

‘‘I was lucky to get a few do­cos on the an­niver­sary of the Ashes Test and Fire in Baby­lon fea­ture,’’ he says.

‘‘Ray Bright’s been help­ing and ev­ery one of my mates has been on my back say­ing ‘that’s not right’ and ‘you run like a girl’. It’s not go­ing to be ex­actly like him but if I can get some­where in the ball­park, I’ll be happy.’’

The four-hour drama which plays out over two week­ends, de­tails the con­flict be­tween Packer, who cherry-picked the best crick­eters from sev­eral nations to start World Se­ries Cricket, and the game’s rul­ing body.

Lachy Hulme ( Bea­cons­field, Off­spring) plays Packer, while Abe Forsythe por­trays John Cor­nell, Da­mon Gameau plays Greg Chap­pell, Bren­dan Cow­ell plays Rod Marsh and Clay­ton Wat­son fills the shoes of Ian Chap­pell.

The se­ries was filmed early this year at Mel­bourne’s Waver­ley Park (for­merly known as VFL Park where World Se­ries Cricket matches were staged) and Moorab­bin Oval.

Le Nevez rep­re­sented the ACT as a fast bowler in his youth and his heart was set on play­ing Den­nis Lillee: ‘‘I bowled as a kid so we hit the nets as soon I found out I got the role to get my back up to speed.’’

8.30pm, Nine, NBN.

Sun­day, Matthew Le Nevez.

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