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AFL Players’ Big Bash

Many AFL players grew up playing footy in the winter and cricket in the summer, and the 11 names chosen in the AFL Players’ XI could certainly have pursued a career in cricket.

AFL Players’ First XI in batting order

1. Marc Murphy (Left hand batsman and medium pace bowler)

Murphy represented Australia at Under-17 level and played in Premier cricket with Melbourne University at just 16.

2. Shannon Hurn (Right hand batsman)

Hurn gave up a rookie contract with South Australia to play AFL football. His ability with willow in hand is in line with his ability to thump a football. They are still talking about some of the sixes he hit during the 2004 Under-17 state carnival.

3. Luke Ball (Right hand batsman)

Ball captained the Xavier College First XI to a premiership in 2000/2001. He is second on the all time run scorers list in the 114-year history of Associated Public School (APS) cricket, with 1436 runs, including a whopping six APS centuries.

4. Bradd Dalziell

The now former Eagle has played first grade Cricket in WA and made a century during the 2005-2006 season.

5. George Horlin-Smith (Right hand batsman and off-spin bowler)

Horlin-Smith captained an Australian Under-16 team to the Caribbean in 2008.


6. Nick O’Brien (Right hand batsman/keeper)

O’Brien also went to the Caribbean with Horlin-Smith as a part of an Australian Under-16 team and represented Victoria at Under-17 level.

Nick O'Brien

7. Stephen Coniglio (All-rounder)

There was still a mystery over which sport Coniglio would choose until late in his final year of Under 18 football. He represented WA at Under-17 level and there was talk he might be offered a senior contract before eventually being selected with the first pick in the National AFL Draft.


8. James Gwilt (All-rounder)

A mature-age recruit into the AFL, Gwilt played First XI Premier cricket for South Melbourne.

9. Nick Smith (Leg-spin bowler)

Smith is one of only four APS cricketers to take 100 wickets, remarkably he made his debut in the Scotch College First XI as a Year 8 student.

10. Brett Deledio (Medium-fast bowler)

As a 16-year-old Deledio was famously offered a two-year Cricket Victoria contract by the late David Hookes. The fast bowler was a standout for Victoria at Under-17 level and sub-fielded for the senior side on the MCG during a first class game.

11. Jake Carlisle (Fast bowler)

Carlisle took a year away from football to concentrate on his cricket as a 17-year-old and scared plenty at the Under 18 State Championships during that Summer.

12th Man. Jonathan Brown (Fast bowler)

With a Merv Hughes inspired action, Brown almost knocked Ricky Ponting’s head off with a bouncer on The Footy Show one night. Who better to carry the drinks?