AUSTRALIAN CRICKET GETS THE MINISERIES MAKEOVER
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.