By Tanya Faulkner
Australian cricket fans remain shocked after a surprise performance from one of the nations’ greatest, who’s cricketing career kicked off in the hills.
Glenn Maxwell has surprised the world with his performance on Tuesday night at Australia’s ODI match against Afghanistan, knocking a massive score of 201 not out, leading the way to take Australia through to the semi finals.
However, it wasn’t without great effort, as the 35 year old collapsed in pain at 147 runs, yet still managed to stay in play to smash out another 54 runs and take his side to victory.
Maxwell said, before collapsing to the ground during his innings, he was experiencing full body cramping.
“I started getting cramping in my toe, and then in my calf, so it was in both sides of my lower leg.
“As I was running I felt it in my left hamstring, then got a full back spasm and hit the ground.
“I had the physio out there telling me how it would be, and it made the job more simple.
“I knew if I got a ball I could hit, I would try and hit it,” he said.
Knox locals can also consider it a local win, as Maxwell’s early junior career started in South Belgrave – a club in which the cricket great is still heavily involved decades later.
Despite being born in Kew, Maxwell’s family lived in South Belgrave, where he started his junior career initially as a fast bowler, before moving into off-spin bowling.
South Belgrave First XI captain Daniel Cormack said Maxwell is a long-standing legend for the club.
“He started his junior career at our club, and used to live across the road on Mt Morten Road.
“He played all of his junior seasons, and a few seasons in the seniors with South Belgrave, and basically dominated his whole career in our club.
“Last year when Maxwell was on injury, he came to the club regularly and was helping our boys out.
“He often tunes in and watches our games on the live stream as well,” he said.
Glenn Maxwell’s brother, Daniel, also played for South Belgrave until just recently.
Visitors and members of the South Belgrave Cricket Club, who train out of the Recreation Reserve, can admire Maxwell’s memorabilia hung on the walls of the club, including his first test match t-shirt, and his broken bat from the Australia v India test of 2017.
In 2017, Maxwell told cricket.com.au that he found the bat in his garage, and after a couple of test hits in the nets in Dubai before the upcoming test against India.
However, Maxwell said after Day 1 of the third test, he noticed a split in the stickers below the shoulder of the bat and thought ‘that doesn’t look quite right’, and sure enough split his bat on the pitch.
Despite the break, Maxwell said it still had some life in it.
“This bat’s still not done though, it’s going to a good home, my local club South Belgrave.
“They’ll hang it up very proudly,” he told cricket.com.au
Maxwell’s career has been nothing short of spectacular, with his latest ODI innings marking one of the most memorable for the 2023 ICC World Cup.
Australian captain Pat Cummins said in his post-match conference that Maxwell’s innings was the greatest he’d ever seen.
“It may have been the best ever.
“I’ll be able to say I was there in the stadium the day that Glenn Maxwell chased down that score by himself,” he said.
Cummins said the way Maxwell plays his game is incredible to watch.
“He’s always plotting his way to a win, even when we were 200 runs out.
“For me, that game was all about survival, while ‘Maxy’ was still scoring freely.
“He’s a freak, the way he hits the ball into different areas, he makes it look easy.
“It’s incredible how cleanly and under control he hits it for the number of shots he has, you just sit there and admire it,” he said.
When asked whether Maxwell would appear in the next match, Cummins said the team were confident that Maxwell would be okay.
“During the game our physio ‘Jonsey’ was the one to convince Maxwell to stay out – with that much cramping there was no guarantee he would come back out if he went off.
“He told me early on in the innings his back was cramping, as it went on it was his hamstrings, his calves.
“At one over he told me his toe was gone.
“We’re satisfied he will be okay,” he said.
Australia are set to face Bangladesh on Saturday 11 November, and will prepare for the ICC ODI World Cup semi finals, which kick off on Wednesday 15 November.