Simon O'Donnell

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Simon O'Donnell
Personal information
Full name Simon Patrick O'Donnell
Born (1963-01-26) 26 January 1963 (age 51)
Deniliquin, New South Wales, Australia
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm fast-medium
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 329) 13-18 June 1985 v England
Last Test 22-26 November 1985 v New Zealand
ODI debut (cap 83) 6 January 1985 v West Indies
Last ODI 10 December 1991 v India
Domestic team information
Years Team
1984–1993 Victoria
Career statistics
Competition Tests ODIs FC LA
Matches 6 87 83 116
Runs scored 206 1242 4603 1784
Batting average 29.42 25.34 39.34 25.12
100s/50s -/- -/9 7/31 0/12
Top score 48 74*
Balls bowled 940 4350
Wickets 6 108 151 126
Bowling average 84.00 28.72
5 wickets in innings - 1 2 1
10 wickets in match - n/a 0 -
Best bowling 3/37 5/13 6/54 5/13
Catches/stumpings 4/- 22/- 60/0 27/0
Source: Cricinfo, 18 January 2006

Simon Patrick O'Donnell (born 26 January 1963) is a former Australian cricketer, VFL footballer, and horse racing and cricket commentator. He is currently a horse breeder.


O'Donnell played as an all-rounder for Victoria in the Sheffield Shield between 1984 and 1993, scoring a century in his first match.[1] He went on to play 6 Test matches in 1985, 5 on the Ashes tour of England and one at home, but with a low bowling strike rate in 5 and 4 day cricket, he was more successful in the shorter form of the game.

Seen as a limited-overs specialist with clever medium pace bowling and explosive lower order hitting, he played 87 ODIs between 1985 and 1992, scoring 1242 runs and taking 108 wickets in his career. He played in Australia's 1987 World Cup Final victory, but soon after he suffered severe pain that was diagnosed as non-Hodgkin lymphoma.[2] He recovered with treatment to return to the Australian One-Day team in the 1988–89 season.

O'Donnell maintained a very good batting strike rate of 80.96 runs per 100 balls in ODIs, almost double his scoring rate in Tests. For six years, O'Donnell held the record for the fastest half-century in One Day Internationals (18 balls v Sri Lanka, Sharjah, 1990, until Sri Lankan Sanath Jayasuriya scored 50 from 17 balls v Pakistan at Singapore on 7 April 1996), a record which still stands.[3]

He was captain of Victoria for five seasons from 1988–89 until his retirement in 1993. This was a mixed period, which included a Sheffield Shield victory in 90–91,[4] but Victoria also finished last in 1988–89,[5] 1989–90[6] and 1992–93.[7]

Australian rules football[edit]

As a junior, Simon played Australian rules football for Assumption College, Kilmore, where he kicked 100 goals in his senior year. This led to him being recruited for senior football by the St Kilda Football Club, where his father Kevin had played 49 games on a forward flank in the 1940s. Coincidentally, Kevin O'Donnell played alongside two more notable Australian cricketers; Sam Loxton and Keith Miller, members of the legendary 1948 Invincibles.[8]

O'Donnell played 24 games and kicked 18 goals between 1982 and 1983 in what was then the VFL. However, he had continued to play cricket and retired from football to focus on his cricket career.

Media career[edit]

Simon O'Donnell's Test career batting performance.

O'Donnell hosted Melbourne radio station Sport 927's morning program with Kevin Bartlett until 2004.[9]

With the Nine Network, O'Donnell has been a commentator of cricket and now presents The Cricket Show. Having owned and managed race horses through his company, O'Donnell Thoroughbreds International,[10] he is also used as an expert on horseracing on Nine's racing coverage.[11]

In November 2011, it was announced that O'Donnell would replace James Brayshaw was host of The Sunday Footy Show. However, In November 2012, Nine announced that O'Donnell had left the network. [12]


  • Benaud, Richie (1991). Border & Co: A Tribute To Cricket's World Champions. Hamlyn Australia. ISBN 0-947334-31-9. 

External links[edit]

See also[edit]