England vs Australia: When Manchester United legend Gary Neville shared a 200-run partnership with Aussie great Matthew Hayden in 1992

11 Jul

England will take on Australia in the Cricket World Cup semi-final on Thursday at Edgbaston in the hope of reaching Sunday’s final.

New Zealand await the winners following their victory over India on Wednesday.

Ahead of that crunch match, here at talkSPORT.com we have taken a look back at an unlikely partnership between an England footballing legend and an Australian great.

The Neville brothers were part of Manchester United’s famed Class of ’92 but both were very talented cricketers.

Phil was the youngest ever player for Lancashire Second XI and also captained the England Under-15s.

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Gary Neville won eight Premier League titles with Manchester United[/caption]

Gary may not have played to the same level as his brother but he had some remarkable achievements himself.

He once shared a 236-run partnership with Australian legend Matthew Hayden in a cup semi-final while playing for Greenmount Cricket Club.

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Matthew Hayden played 103 Test matches for Australia[/caption]

The right-back was 17-years-old at the time and Hayden was 21.

In the match against Astley Bridge in 1992, Greenmount were reduced to 42-2 when Neville joined Hayden at the crease.

Both went on to score centuries with the Australian unbeaten on 140 and the 17-year-old Neville 110 not out.

An article about the match and their brilliant partnership was published in the Bury Free Press and has since been shared on social media.

When speaking about the match, he told Wisden: “It was the semi-final of the cup. He’d come over to play for our club side. What do I remember? I’ll tell you what I remember, nearly losing the bastard game.

“We got a dodgy decision right at the end and we won. It was an unbelievable amount of fun. I played really well up to about 80-odd, scrambled a little bit to 100.

“I hit a bad shot, and Hayden came up to me and said, ‘Concentrate, I don’t want any of that crap, this is not the time’.

“That mentality of ‘You don’t get out, you don’t give your wicket away’. That was something I didn’t value enough. He did. Even then. He valued his wicket.

“He could actually just flick it off his legs for six, just glide it, and you’d be like, ‘Hang on a minute, how’s that ended up in the trees?!’ His timing was incredible.

“He was massive, a monster, the cricket bat was like a rounders bat in his hands. He had complete belief in himself.”

The match actually turned out to be the last game of cricket he played as one of his youth coaches saw the photo and stopped him from continuing.

Hayden would go on to make his Test debut for Australia just a year later and played 103 matches, finishing his career with a batting average of 50.73.

Neville’s football career went on to flourish with 602 appearances for Man United and 85 England caps.

He also won eight Premier League titles and the Champions League twice.