Glenn Maxwell and the non shot heard around the world


Glenn Maxwell is a World Cup hero (again!), following his remarkable batting feats – including at least one batting feat that was accomplished without functioning batting feet – in the recently concluded tournament.

But with the men’s Big Bash League due to start later this week, we look back and celebrate the other end of the spectrum of Maxwell’s mad magnificence, in this excerpt from The Roar writer Dan Liebke’s new book, The 100 Funniest Moments in Australian Cricket, available now in all good bookstores and online.

I have long maintained that funny cricket is better than good cricket. My new book, The 100 Funniest Moments in Australian Cricket, out November 28th, is an attempt to spread this truth to the masses.

— Dan Liebke (@LiebCricket) November 15, 2023

Glenn Maxwell has more cricket shots in his arsenal than most. He can play all the standard textbook cricket strokes, but obviously finds them dull. (A cricket textbook? Boring. A bunch of rules. Down with skool!) 

Maxwell also reverse-sweeps as a matter of course, of course, using the shot to manoeuvre the field into places where he wants them. Occasionally, he switch-hits, becoming a left-hander for just long enough to get under the ball and loft it for six to what is now his cow corner and was previously deep cover. There’s also a kind of sliced lofted drive-cut thing where even as he connects with the ball he’s rolling his wrists with the delivery so that the ball fades over the field and then swerves away from them at the last moment, like an obnoxious jet skier.

All in a day’s innings for Maxwell.

But Maxwell’s finest, funniest and famousest shot was not a shot at all. It was a leave during the Big Bash in 2014. After Cameron White had fallen to the Brisbane Heat’s Ryan Duffield, Maxwell strode to the crease. The Melbourne Stars were 1/5 in the first over, chasing 165 for victory.

Maxwell, as ever, looked to begin his innings aggressively. And then, as never, changed his mind. He shuffled down the pitch, slightly towards the leg side, raised his bat, left the ball and watched, as startled as the rest of us, as the ball smashed his stumps.

Glenn Maxwell celebrates the greatest one-day innings of all time. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

This wasn’t a standard misjudgement of a delivery. You know the kind, where a ball is well outside off stump and the batter leaves it, only for it to seam or swing further than expected and clip the off stump. No, Maxwell doesn’t do anything that run-of-the-mill. This was a muddle-headed decision to leave a ball that was pretty much always going to crash straight into middle and leg.


The Maxwell leave stunned everybody who saw it. Channel Ten’s coverage cut straight to Damien Fleming and Adam Gilchrist in the commentary box, mouths agape and momentarily dumbstruck. The clip of the footage went viral, allowing dumbstruck agapedness to spread across the cricketing world.

Maxwell – the master cricket comedian, who has moulded funny cricket out of all manner of nonsense – had done it again. Like a jazz musician, sometimes it’s the shots you don’t play.

More Mad Maxi Moments

While playing a charity match for Yorkshire in England, Maxwell found himself fielding in the outer, eating a Cornetto. When a catch came his way, did Maxwell panic? Maxwell did not panic. He simply jogged over and took a one-handed chance, celebrating the wicket with a bite of the ice cream.With Pakistan needing two runs to win an ODI in 2014 going into the final over, Maxwell bowled a double wicket maiden to secure Australia a shock win. No biggie.Maxwell became the second Australian cricketer (after Shane Watson) to score a century in all three formats, when he scored his first Test hundred in India in 2017. Most other cricketers find a T20 century the tricky one of the three to get. Not Glenn – his T20 ton is* his highest international score, 145* (65) opening the batting against Sri Lanka in a T20, and he’d knocked that off well before giving the Test one a crack. Needless to say, he broke his bat on the way to the Test ton.

(* update: or was, at the time of writing. Since then, of course, he’s surpassed that T20 century with his somehow even more mad World Cup double ton against Afghanistan. As long as Maxwell is playing cricket, nonsense moments will flow…)

If you like Dan’s report cards, you’ll enjoy his latest book, The 100 Funniest Moments in Australian Cricket, available now in all good bookstores and online HERE. (If you don’t like Dan’s report cards, you still might like the book. Because you’re a complicated individual.)

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