Rod Marsh was a magnificent contributor with the gloves and bat over his decorated career, yet an unfulfilled desire was the pleasure of keeping to Shane Warne.
As Australian cricket struggled to come to terms with the death of two of the game's towering figures within 24 hours, former Test vice-captain Keith Stackpole observed Marsh did his best work in concert with pacemen.
But the Australian spinners were not of the same quality, and standing up to Warne provided a challenge Marsh would have relished.
Imagine if Marsh enjoyed what his successors Ian Healy and Adam Gilchrist did - the combination with Warne might have threatened the world record with his great mate Dennis Lillee.
The West Australian keeper made his Test debut against England at the Gabba in 1970, the same match in which Stackpole made his highest Test score of 207, and retired from international cricket in 1984, well before Warne came on the scene.
Marsh was an unabashed admirer of Warne, and they shared many common traits - wonderful Australian characters and entertainers, who loved a good time and endeared themselves to adoring fans, but were uncompromising in their pursuit of success for their teams on the field.
They were touted as Australian Test captains yet never attained the honour and served as loyal, trusted deputies respected for their vast cricket knowledge.
The deaths of Marsh and Warne capped off a sad period for Australian sport, coming soon after the passing of legendary athlete John Landy and Olympic cycling gold medallist Dean Woods, who succumbed to cancer at only 55.
It is entirely appropriate the Great Southern Stand at the MCG will be renamed in Warne's honour - some of the legendary leg-spinner's greatest performances happened when he was bowling from that end of his home ground, including the Ashes hat-trick in 1994 and his 700th Test wicket in 2006.
Stackpole recalled there were two men who had enormous faith in Warne as a youngster coming through the ranks in Melbourne and deserve credit for promoting him - former president of his district club St Kilda Jack Edwards and former Victorian chairman of selectors John Chambers.
Stacky's most vivid memory of Warne was in 2002 - he was in the commentary box as the leg-spinner bowled Australia to a 3-0 series victory over Pakistan in Colombo and Sharjah. In Sharjah, the pacemen were restricted to spells of 1-2 overs, while Warne showed amazing stamina in the oppressive heat and humidity.
Among Marsh's many memorable moments, two stand out and both were at the MCG.
In 1977, he became the first Australian wicketkeeper to score a Test century against England during the Centenary Test.
Almost four years later, Marsh could not disguise his disgust with his captain Greg Chappell's decision to instruct his brother Trevor to deliver the infamous underarm at the end of a one-day international against New Zealand, underlining he was a man of honour and principle.
Stackpole stood alongside Marsh in the slips when Lillee destroyed a star-studded Rest of the World XI batting line-up on a bouncy WACA pitch in 1971, noting the wicketkeeper's hands were "red raw" after the champion paceman took 8-29.
While Hobart has ample reason to celebrate last week's announcement of a proposed 27,000-seat stadium at Regatta Point, many in Tasmania's north and north-west are not as jubilant and with good reason.
Despite assurances, the new stadium would benefit all Tasmanians, prominent figures, including the city's mayor Albert van Zetten, are justified in having serious reservations.
For many years, the state government's policy was that Hobart hosted major international cricket and Launceston AFL matches, but many Tasmanians believe this has been eroded over time, with the southern city dominating major events.
It is envisaged home games for the proposed Tasmanian-based AFL club would be split evenly between Hobart and Launceston over a two-year period and it is vital this happens. There are also plans to upgrade UTAS Stadium and those improvements would strengthen Launceston's case for its fair share of future AFL action.
The omnipresent bickering between the state's north and south remains an issue to this day in establishing a mutually-agreed home for a new AFL club, so much so that a way to overcome this obstacle has been suggested to this columnist - the state government should acquire farmland near Ross in the midlands and build a new stadium. That would be much fairer for all Tasmanians - an hour's drive from Hobart and Launceston, and 90 minutes from the north-west coast - and would provide a huge boost to the area, providing much-needed infrastructure. This proposal makes perfect sense, but lingering doubts remain about the long-term viability of such a project.
On the other hand, spending $750 million on a new stadium to be used for a few AFL games and other special events every year is a massive commitment that is contingent on Tasmania being granted an AFL licence later this year.
For those living west of Burnie, attending a game in Hobart would require at least a seven-hour round trip. It might be a bridge too far for many in the north and north-west and easier to watch on TV.
Has Howard got it right? Email: email@example.com; Twitter: @hpkotton59
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