They might both be international cricket superstars each in their own right, but Mitchell Starc and Alyssa Healy are still just like any other married couple.
Starc appeared as a guest commentator for Channel 7’s coverage of the Australian women’s second ODI against South Africa at North Sydney Oval, a match in which the hosts lost to the Proteas for the first time in the history of the format.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Mitch Starc put in his place by wife Alyssa Healy during TV interview.
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Starc and Healy got married in 2016, having famously grown up playing junior cricket against each other Sydney’s north.
So, it was only natural that Seven requested Healy for a TV interview during a rain delay in South Africa’s innings.
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“Bit cliche, guys, putting me on while Mitch is in there,” Healy quipped before the interview had even started.
Starc added: “Yeah, stitch-up, right?”
Trying to act as though it were a normal on-air exchange, the famously laid-back couple were typically playful for the early part of the exchange, with Healy, who has also done some commentary work, explaining how their roles had reversed for the day.
Mitchell Starc and Alyssa Healy arrive at the recent Cricket Australia Awards night. Credit: Morgan Hancock/Getty Images for Cricket Australia
“It was a really odd experience: ‘Bring your husband to work day’. I had to show him the way in to North Sydney through the media entrance and everything — it was all a bit odd,” Healy said, before landing her first blow on her husband.
“But, nah, ‘bout time you did something outside of the games, so here we go.”
Starc was left speechless and shaking his head before eventually simply uttering: “I’ve got nothing”.
The Australian men’s left-arm opening bowler then stayed quiet while his wife navigated the next couple of questions before chiming in with one of his own.
That’s when things got funny.
“So, the lengths of the opening pair there, in (Megan) Schutt and Kimmy Garth, do you reckon they could have bowled a fraction fuller with the help off the wicket?” Starc asked.
“You’ve got the catchers there for Garth. But, you know, it was a holding length and (she) bowled really disciplined lines and lengths, but maybe (could have been) a fraction fuller to get in those edges?”
Defending her bowlers maybe a little bit more aggressively than what she might have to any other host asking the question, Healy hit back with some attitude.
Starc got put in his place by his wife in a live TV interview. Credit: Channel 7
“I think if we’re being highly critical, like you’re suggesting, then yes, potentially,” the Australian captain replied as her husband threw his hands up in the air and shook his head.
“Kimmy Garth could have come maybe a fraction fuller, but that is the natural length that she likes to hit. And that’s her role within our team as well, to get the ball moving and keep it tight down that end as well.
“I think ‘Schutter’s’ length was pretty natural as well.
“So yes, if we’re being ultracritical, maybe. But in saying that, I think they did a great job to hold as well.”
With his tail between his legs, a humbled Starc said: “Critical of the bowling or critical of the commentary? I don’t know.”
Co-host Emma Freedman couldn’t help but to seize the moment and dig deeper into the mini on-air tiff.
“Is this what conversation is like on the couch?” she asked.
Healy shook her head and Starc immediately clarified that, no, it’s not what conversation is like on the couch at home.
“It’s why we don’t talk cricket,” he said.
The couple got through the interview, but not without a couple of jabs at each other. Credit: Channel 7
The married couple were eventually relieved of what must have been a painful experience — though highly entertaining for the audience — and play soon resumed.
The Proteas went on to make 6-229 and it proved too many for Australia, who were stunned by the visitors for a second time in as many weeks, with five dropped catches and a disastrous batting collapse costing the hosts during a rain-affected WODI loss.
Four days after an elbow injury forced her to retire hurt in the series opener, Marizanne Kapp starred with bat and ball to help the Proteas to their first-ever ODI defeat of Australia.
“This win shows a lot of fight and grit from the team and to do it on a tough wicket, it speaks volumes,” Kapp said.
Wednesday’s 84-run loss at North Sydney Oval, where Australia had not lost an ODI since 2009, sends the three-match series to a decider at the same venue this Saturday.
“We’re obviously disappointed but we’ll reflect on that and take some good learnings into the last game,” said Australian fast bowler Garth.
Playing with hamstring tightness, Ash Gardner (35) partnered with Garth (42no) on a rescue mission that gave the hosts hope, after they fell to 8-71 chasing a DRS-adjusted 234 for victory.
But not even the allrounders’ 77-run partnership — the highest ninth-wicket stand in WODI history — could pull Australia back from their disastrous start with the bat.
When Schutt (one) was trapped lbw in the 30th over of the match, condensed to 45 overs apiece by rain, the Proteas had bundled the hosts out for 149.
Dropped twice, Kapp (75) made the Australians pay for their sloppy fielding on her way to a second half-century from two starts this ODI series.
Kapp hoisted the Proteas to 6-229 after they managed just 105 in the first ODI of the series, having scored a surprise win in last month’s second T20I.
Marizanne Kapp of South Africa celebrates after taking the wicket of Alyssa Healy of Australia during the 2nd ODI between Australia Women and South Africa Women at North Sydney Oval in Sydney, Wednesday, February 7, 2024. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY, IMAGES TO BE USED FOR NEWS REPORTING PURPOSES ONLY, NO COMMERCIAL USE WHATSOEVER, NO USE IN BOOKS WITHOUT PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT FROM AAPX during the 2nd ODI between Australia Women and South Africa Women at North Sydney Oval in Sydney, Wednesday, February 7, 2024. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY, IMAGES TO BE USED FOR NEWS REPORTING PURPOSES ONLY, NO COMMERCIAL USE WHATSOEVER, NO USE IN BOOKS WITHOUT PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT FROM AAP Credit: DAN HIMBRECHTS/AAPIMAGE
In the fifth over of Australia’s chase, Kapp (3-12) set a staggering batting collapse in motion by dispatching of captain Healy (four) and Beth Mooney (zero) in the space of three deliveries.
Swinging the ball with ease, Kapp breezed through middle stump to dismiss the talismanic Mooney, before she trapped Phoebe Litchfield (14) lbw as the young gun attempted a block.
The ICC’s top-ranked ODI side found themselves in strife at 3-34.
“We all know what ‘Kappy’ can do with the ball and she used the conditions beautifully tonight,” Garth said.
Kapp’s teammates soon joined in on the carnage with debutant quick Ayanda Hlubi (2-41) dismissing Ellyse Perry (two) caught behind as the veteran attempted to bat through a stomach bug.
Nadine de Klerk took 2-1 from her first over, first dispatching of Tahlia McGrath (22) — the only batter who had made a start at that point — caught behind.
When Alana King chipped de Klerk to point, Australia were 8-71 and appeared in danger of undercutting their lowest-ever total in an ODI — 77 — made in 1993 and 2004.
Gardner and Garth helped the hosts save face but the Proteas closed in on a famous win when Gardner clipped Eliz-Mari Marx (2-22) to wicketkeeper Sinalo Jafta.
Ashleigh Gardner was Australia’s best with the bat. Credit: DAN HIMBRECHTS/AAPIMAGE
Earlier, King dropped Kapp on 37 off her own bowling before Healy fumbled the veteran allrounder aground on 45 after Garth’s ball was edged right to her.
The pair of drops came after Perry missed Anneke Bosch on one in the deep, with the South African No.3 going on to revitalise the Proteas from 1-0 after three balls to add 43 to her score.
Wareham then dropped Sune Luus (19) to add to the Australians’ frustrations in slippery conditions.
Apparently immune to the catching woes, Annabel Sutherland caught both Bosch and Luus at long on from Gardner’s bowling (2-31) before they could build too much on their starts.
King committed a second drop at short fine leg in the penultimate over, spilling Chloe Tryon (37no), who went on to add three more boundaries and bolster South Africa’s score.
“I don’t think we can really blame the weather conditions (for the dropped catches),” Garth said.
“That’s something we’ll reflect on and look to tidy up going into the final ODI.”
– With AAP