Georgie Parker: Glenn Maxwell is not the first to hit 200 in an ODI for Australia, and that is a fact

Georgie Parker
The Nightly
3 Min Read
Glenn Maxwell wasn’t the first to hit 200 in an ODI for Australia.
Glenn Maxwell wasn’t the first to hit 200 in an ODI for Australia. Credit: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Glenn Maxwell hit one of the best knocks we will ever see.

Australia were on the way to losing to Afghanistan and even though he had cramps (which made him have the worst footwork witnessed in international cricket), Maxwell (201no) went on to produce the most insane innings and hit the highest ODI score ever by an Australian ... male.

The word male or the word men’s was forgotten that night.

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Was it the excitement that made us forget, or not even check, that Belinda Clark hit 229 in a ODI against Denmark in 1997? Or was it the unintended gender bias that seeps into sport without us thinking twice? I think it’s a bit of both.

Belinda Clark hit 229 in an ODI against Denmark in 1997.
Belinda Clark hit 229 in an ODI against Denmark in 1997. Credit: Mark Nolan/Getty Images

As a female in sport, both as an athlete and now on the other side as a presenter and consumer, I find fascinating the times that gender is mentioned

We often refer to gender, but usually only to the detriment of women, rarely men.

Without getting into the fact nearly every professional sporting league in Australia has a league for men (AFL, NRL, BBL, NBL) without gender attached, while the women’s leagues are gendered as if the men own the sport and we are secondary, there are plenty of other times gender is inserted only for women.

It’s the casual comments that interest me.

“Oh, she’s fast, for a girl.” Or “she can smack the ball hard, for a girl.” And my favourite: “She’s pretty funny, for a girl.” As if it’s a surprise that women can run fast, hit the ball hard, and God forbid, have a sense of humour.

For us, it’s always about our gender, for the men, gender is never required. We’re fighting against the preconceived idea that it is abnormal that we are doing something that our male counterparts do regularly.

I don’t like gender wars. I believe they can do more harm for the cause than good. I believe more often than not consumers and journalists are oblivious to how important one word can be.

Back to Maxwell. His knock was probably the best we will see in our lifetime, given the context of the match and the battle he was fighting.

I’ve watched his innings three times and I’m positive it’ll get another few runs as I add it to my highlight rotation.

But he wasn’t the first to hit 200 in a ODI for Australia, and that is a fact.

Adding one word which isn’t going to change how you read the sentence and the achievements at hand, isn’t hurting anyone, but is making an entire cohort of people feel valid and seen.

I’d love it if we were more mindful as a society when it comes to female athletes.

I want to get to the point that even if you don’t want to watch women’s sport, I want you to appreciate that women still play, women can still create history, and adding one word which isn’t going to change how you read the sentence and the achievements at hand, isn’t hurting anyone, but is making an entire cohort of people feel valid and seen.

Congratulations to Maxwell, you may not have a statue like Belinda, but your knock was the best thing I’ve seen a man do on the cricket pitch.

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