Fiery politician Mark Latham has labeled a historian an ‘imbecile’ after it was suggested he was still serving a life ban from cricket during the annual Press v Politicians game at the SCG this week.
The 61-year-old One Nation leader could only manage a duck on Monday, but the zero next to his name didn’t rile him up anywhere near as much as being told he shouldn’t have been playing at all.
A Cricket NSW spokesperson brought up an incident from 1979, when Latham found himself in trouble thanks to his hot temper.
The politician was playing fourth-grade for the storied Sydney University Cricket Club, one of the oldest in Australia, when he was given out LBW.
One Nation leader Mark Latham took part in the annual Politicians v Press cricket match on Monday (pictured), which raises money for women’s shelters
But he didn’t take it well.
According to the Cricket NSW historian, Latham abused the umpire and stuck two fingers up at him after being given out. He was then referred to the judicial, and supposedly didn’t attend – apparently earning himself a life ban.
Latham squashed the rumor in the strongest possible terms.
‘This historian is an imbecile. I got banned for one game and played the rest of the season and was never banned,’ he told the Daily Telegraph.
‘I had a long-running dispute with an umpire during the 1979 season. He fired me out LBW when I was 12 inches outside the off stump.
‘Naturally I told him what I thought of him … but I did attend the judiciary and was banned for one game. I played the rest of the season.’
Latham then suggested the historian needed to get Netflix or read a Donald Bradman biography instead of going through old records.
Fiery One Nation leader Mark Latham sets the record straight about the supposed life ban he received after abusing an umpire in 1979
It’s certainly not the first time Latham’s temper has gotten him into trouble.
He crash-tackled a taxi driver in 2001 over a fare dispute, and was accused of assaulting a photographer who took a photo of him and his sons while they were at Hungry Jack’s in 2006, which led to pleasing him guilty to malicious damage and paying $6763 for smashing his camera.
Fortunately for Latham, history appears to treat him kinder than the Australian public often do.
Daily Mail Australia combed through Sydney University’s annual records for the 1979/80 season, and they appear to confirm Latham’s version of events.
Mark Latham (top, fourth from right) and his Sydney University fourth grade teammates during the 1979/80 season, in which the politician opened the batting and scored more than 350 runs
Opening the batting for the season while he was studying for his Bachelor of Economics degree, Latham’s 19 innings yielded an impressive 353 runs at an average of 22; including a highest score of 85*.
Not a bad return for a debut season in the time-honoured Sydney grade competition, but he still came in for some honest critique.
‘First season in grade, scoring over 350 runs. He will be even more successful by making some adjustments to his technique, ‘read the annual report’s summary of his season.
Unfortunately, the solid pedigree didn’t help him on Monday, though the Politicians were able to account for the Press Gallery comfortably by four wickets after bowling the Fourth Estate out for 94.
Mark Latham batted for the victorious Politicians side at the SCG on Monday, but could only manage a duck
The former Federal Labor leader did manage 1-11 with the ball though, bowling alongside his son Oliver as the match raised the equivalent of 40,000 extra bed days for charity Women’s Community Shelters.
The highlight for the Politicians side was undoubtedly a hat trick to Sports Minister Alister Henskens; While WBBL stars Phoebe Litchfield and Lauren Smith kept the enthusiastic teams in check.
Perhaps the most unbelievable part of the whole situation was that Latham even managed to praise his long-time foe, deputy Liberal leader Matt Kean.
‘He mightn’t be much of an energy minister but he goes alright at cricket!’ Latham told Ben Fordham Hon 2GB Radio.
‘We always give Matt a bagging on 2GB but the best thing I can say is he’s a very good cricket player and quite a good captain.’