Watch: ‘The stage is made for Billy’ – Bowden shows a red card for underarm bowling in first ever men’s T20I
Watch: The first ever men’s T20I, between New Zealand and Australia in Auckland on February 17, 2005, saw umpire Billy Bowden jokingly show a red card to Glenn McGrath for trying to imitate the infamous underarm ball by Trevor Chappell in 1981.
The T20 format made a fun, non-serious debut on the international stage for men’s cricket in 2005 when the Trans-Tasman neighbours met at the Eden Park in Auckland.
It was more of a promotional event than a serious, competitive game of cricket, with players sporting retro jerseys – New Zealand beige, Australia canary – along with fake moustaches and wigs, and having the time of their lives.
Australia had won the toss and batted first, scoring a mammoth 214-5, with Ricky Ponting scoring a 55-ball 98. In response, New Zealand were bowled out for 170 as Scott Styris top-scored with a 39-ball 66.
The seriousness of the event could be gauged by what transpired just before the final ball was bowled. With New Zealand requiring an impossible 45, Glenn McGrath stood near the bowling crease and tried to imitate the infamous incident of 1980/81.
On that occasion, Trevor Chappell had bowled an underarm delivery at the behest of his captain and elder brother, Greg Chappell, in an ODI when New Zealand required six runs off the last ball to tie the game.
Billy Bowden, who was the umpire at the bowler’s end for the final over, upon realising what McGrath was going to do, stopped him and took out a red card from his pocket, pretending to send him off the field in football style.
“The stage is made for Billy Bowden,” quipped the commentator as Bowden jokingly ‘sent off’ McGrath in his trademark over-the-top flourish.
McGrath finally went back to his run-up and bowled a regular delivery to end what was a memorable game.
Watch Billy Bowden ‘send off’ Glenn McGrath for underarm bowling