Mike Whitney

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Mike Whitney
Personal information
Full nameMichael Roy Whitney AM
Born (1959-02-24) 24 February 1959 (age 60)
Surry Hills, New South Wales, Australia
NicknameBig Roy
Height185 cm (6 ft 1 in)
BowlingLeft-arm medium fast
Domestic team information
1980–1994New South Wales
Career statistics
Competition Tests ODIs
Matches 12 38
Runs scored 68 40
Batting average 6.18 6.66
100s/50s 0/0 0/0
Top score 13 9*
Balls bowled 2,672 2,106
Wickets 39 46
Bowling average 33.97 27.15
5 wickets in innings 2 0
10 wickets in match 1 0
Best bowling 7/27 4/34
Catches/stumpings 2/– 11/–
Source: Cricinfo, 12 December 2005

Michael Roy Whitney AM (born 24 February 1959) is an Australian television personality and former cricketer, who played in 12 Test matches and 38 One Day Internationals between 1981 and 1993.

Cricket career[edit]

His early nickname was "Crazy" but it later became "Big Roy". Whitney played all of his club cricket for the Randwick Cricket Club (1976-93) in the Sydney Grade Competition. Since 2001 he has been the President of the Randwick-Petersham Cricket Club. He played 94 First Class matches for New South Wales from 1980 to 1993. He is one of only two fast bowlers to take more than three hundred first class wickets for New South Wales. The other is Geoff Lawson. He was named New South Wales Cricketer of the Year in 1988-89 and was part of 4 Sheffield Shield winning teams. In 5 Sheffield Shield Finals appearances he took 25 wickets at 19.28. Whitney's Test debut came in unusual circumstances. Australia was touring England in 1981, and Whitney was in England playing Northern League Cricket in Lancashire for Fleetwood Cricket Club and some County Cricket for Gloucestershire. Injuries to Rodney Hogg and Geoff Lawson in the Australian squad led to Whitney playing the final two tests of the tour. He was the first Australian Test Cricketer to be selected this way. He was the best available replacement in England at the time.[1]

He later played 10 more Tests between 1987 and 1993.[2] His best performance was in 1992. He took 11 wickets in a match against India in Perth including 7 for 27 in the second innings. He was named Man of the Match. Whitney also took 7 for 89 in the first innings of the 5th Test against the West Indies in Adelaide in 1989. He toured the West Indies in 1991 and Sri Lanka in 1992.[3] He also played 38 One Day Internationals, and was Australia's leading wicket-taker and most economical bowler in the 1992 World Cup.

In 1987, while playing in the Boxing Day Test against New Zealand and batting at number 11, he survived 18 deliveries and held off Richard Hadlee to help secure a draw for Australia . Australia won the series 1-0 and won back the Trans Tasman Cup. It was Alan Border's first series win as Australian Captain. Whitney is a Life Member of Cricket New South Wales and the Randwick Petersham Cricket Club.

Rugby league administrator[edit]

On 8 March 2009, Whitney was inducted as a life member by the South Sydney Rabbitohs for his contribution in being a Director and Deputy Chairman on the Football Club Board in the critical period during the club’s battle for reinstatement to the competition between 1999 and 2001. He also played a decisive role with media personality Andrew Denton and lawyer Nick Pappas (current Rabbitohs Chairman) in attracting fellow Life Member Kerry Stokes to the club as a major sponsor just before its readmission to the competition in 2002, a coup that ensured the club’s ability to make its triumphant return to the NRL competition.

Television Presenter[edit]

Since retiring from cricket, he has worked in the television media. In 1994 Whitney hosted 'Great Ideas' for the ABC. In 1995 he starting working for the Seven Network and has been the host of Sydney Weekender for 25 years.

Nationally, he was the host of Who Dares Wins (made in Australia, the show has been seen in America on cable's Game Show Network) from 1996 to 1998, and was also popular in India on AXN network alongside Tania Zaetta. Also from 1996 to 1998 he was the referee on the Australian version of TV game show Gladiators. In 2007 Whitney hosted 'Last Chance Learners'. He also worked as a reporter at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games and 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games for the Seven Network.

Quick Whit (1995) and Whiticisms (1996)[edit]

Whitney wrote a book of memoirs (1995) and a book of his tales from the game days and his travels (1996).

Mike Whitney Band[edit]

Since 2007[when?] Whitney has been touring with his cover group, The Mike Whitney Band, which mainly does gigs around Sydney, but also play in RSL clubs and pubs throughout Australia. The band also does charity work, playing music to raise money for the people of Australia who are in need. Whitney plays the tambourine and does lead vocals for the band. The band played its last gig at the Bayview Tavern in the Sydney suburb of Gladesville on June 8, 2019 after thirteen and a half years. The band played a final encore at North Ryde RSL on June 29, 2019. Whitney now gigs with a band called Oz Icons. Wayne 'Junior' Pearce and Eric 'Guru" Grothe also gig with Oz Icons.


External links[edit]