| From the flag of Justin Langer Australian Test Cricketer |
To best sum up Lukey Sparrow and Waving the Flag’s contribution to Australian cricket and the Australian cricket team, is to let you know that Lukey is the first, and only, person outside the team to have been invited in to sing the team victory song, Underneath the Southern Cross…
Big deal some may say, but if you knew just how sacred the song is held amongst the group then Lukey’s invitation is a bigger deal than you might imagine. Over my time in the team, dignitaries, family members and even Prime Ministers have been shown the door, politely of course, when it was time to sing the song.
In Auckland though, in Lukey’s 100th Test supporting the team, he was invited into the inner sanctum and was asked to sing the song with us as well as recall his favourite cricket memories throughout his vast ‘flag waving’ career.
As a player it was always comforting to look up into the stands and see a friendly face, dressed in a colorful shirt, baggy green cap and Aussie flag. Regardless of the circumstances or location, Lukey was always there with his band of merry men, supporting the team with a passion reserved for few.
Whether it was in the West Indies, Pakistan, India, South Africa, England, Zimbabwe, New Zealand or Sri Lanka, Lukey was there, as committed and as passionate as ever. In many ways he became part of the folklore of our era in that wherever or whenever, Lukey would be there to support his boys.
There is no doubt that Lukey’s support made a valuable contribution to our team, as he was always smiling and quick with an encouraging word. While we lorded it up in posh hotels, Lukey would make his way around with an inspirational attitude, which was a great reminder to us all.
My memories of a career spent playing cricket around the world are tattooed into my mind, just as Lukey’s peerless support is etched into my memory bank like a happy snap shot of years on the road.
Waving the Flag is an institution, and a great one at that.
Thanks for the memories Sparrow, your support was invaluable.