Fifteen years ago n captain Steve Waugh, battling to save his Test career, hit a century in Ashes Test at the SCG on the final ball of the day’s play. It was for Waugh a perfect day.
In an n stadium first, Waugh’s last ball century is now available for cricket fans to relive through augmented reality. Fans can immerse themselves in four innings-defining shots that Waugh played, including his last-ball boundary against Richard Dawson that brought up his 29th Test century, the same number as Don Bradman.
The Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust have partnered with technology company Avanade to produce a virtual reality experience featuring commentary and footage of Waugh from his “perfect day” of cricket in 2003.
“Recreating the significant moments from the perfect day 15 years ago was much harder than I imagined,” said Steve Waugh.
“To mirror the exact trigger movements that accompany each shot was difficult to achieve as they were instinctive and not manufactured.”
“I was unaware that I was actually doing some of these little adjustments until I studied the footage of the innings and then to try and replicate them was a real challenge,” he added.
The experience takes place in a shipping container, fitted with images of four shots that Waugh played in his innings, as well as a panoramic photo of the SCG crowd.
Fans wear HoloLens goggles which create a hologram of Steve Waugh, the SCG pitch and scoreboard, with ability to walk through Waugh and follow where he hits the ball.
The shots selected include the boundary to bring up his half century, the four which saw him reach 10,000 test runs alongside Allan Border and Sunil Gavaskar, as well as the all-important final ball century.
The experience features Waugh speaking about his baggy green, the bat he used and even the part of his handkerchief which fell on to the pitch.
“It was fun reliving the excitement of the day and I hope many people can now share with me the joy of scoring a century for ,” said Waugh.
The augmented reality experience runs for five minutes, and will be available to fans during the fifth Ashes test in Sydney in the SCG precinct, complete with a virtual queue, in which fans will receive a text to take their turn at the experience, instead of waiting in line.
The SCG Trust has also created an app available for download for those unable to to attend the test. It can be used at home , and includes the same features as the HoloLens experience, as well as the ability for fans to take a selfie with Steve Waugh.
Following the Sydney Test, the experience will become a part of the tour of the SCG.
The Ashes have already been secured by with a 3-0 lead, which meant the final two tests in the series were labelled “dead rubbers.” However, it has been these so called “dead rubber” tests that have produced memorable cricketing moments in Ashes history. From exciting centuries, to broken bats and an interesting serenade, here is a look at five memorable “dead rubbers”. MEMORABLE DEAD RUBBER ASHES TESTS
2002-2003 Sydney Test
The Ashes had been won by , but with the threat of Steve Waugh’s axing for the next series against the West Indies, the 37-year-old stood up to deliver a first innings century off the final ball of the second day’s play.
To equal Don Bradman’s 29th test century, Waugh needed to score two runs off the last ball of the day. England captain Nasser Hussain added to the theatrics by taking over a minute to set his field.
This did little to faze Waugh, who hit a four off of Dawson through extra cover to finish a thrilling day on 102 not out.
Waugh’s century had evened the match by the end of ‘s first innings, however Waugh was unable to replicate his heroics in ‘s second innings as they chased 452 runs, falling 225 runs short of a series whitewash.
1986-87 Sydney Test
The series had been lost to England, and with David Boon coming out of the side, Peter Taylor, dubbed “Peter Who?” came into the side.
Taylor came from nowhere to play in the Sydney Test, sparking rumours that his selection had been a mistake, and that he had been confused for Mark Taylor.
In his debut, Taylor took a crucial 6/78 in the first innings, maintaining ‘s lead while picking up the prized wickets of Ian Botham, Alan Lamb and David Gower.
Taylor also contributed with the bat, scoring an important 42 runs in ‘s second innings to secure an n victory.
With his match-winning effort, Taylor justified his selection and claimed man of the match honours.
2013-14 Sydney Test
wrapped up the Ashes series at the SCG in less than three days to secure a 5-0 whitewash over England. The SCG wicket was unusually green and produced a much quicker pitch, rather than the traditional turn.
Steve Smith raised the bat, scoring 115 runs for his first Test century at his home ground.
Despite a dismal series from the tourists, there was a ray of hope in all-rounder Ben Stokes, who took 6-99 in ‘s first innings.
Chris Rogers scored back-to-back centuries, making 119 runs on day three, contributing to a 447-run lead over England.
Ryan Harris made his mark on the game in more ways than one, taking a five-wicket haul, and breaking opener Michael Carberry’s bat in half, shocking batsmen and bowler.
The game wrapped up quickly on day three, with England falling for 166 out in 2??t hours, to see win the test, and claim a 5-0 series whitewash over England.
2006-07 Sydney Test
The 5-0 whitewash of England saw retiring cricketers Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne and Justin Langer exit cricket on quite literally the highest possible note.
English opera singer Sean Ruane serenaded the three greats with Andrea Bocelli’s famous Time to Say Goodbye. The Spin King appeared to bewildered by the tribute, as McGrath and Langer also watched on.
Opener Justin Langer finished his career 20 not out to seal the win alongside Matthew Hayden. McGrath took six wickets for the match, and Warne finished his Test career with two wickets.
won by 10 wickets, sealing a clean-sweep series win of 5-0 for the first time in 86 years.
The three cricket greats were chaired off the ground as they celebrated their historic victory.