Ipswich Hornets head coach Wayne Bichel relives another side to his successful sporting career. Picture: Rob Williams
Ipswich Hornets head coach Wayne Bichel relives another side to his successful sporting career. Picture: Rob Williams

Aussie indoor successes shape top coach’s career


IPSWICH/Logan Hornets women's team head coach Wayne Bichel is doing some tremendous development work at the cricket club.

Before that, he was an accomplished indoor cricketer.

In today's sporting profile, Bichel relives some key moments in his indoor career.

Nicknames: Budgie (Australia's equivalent to Eddie the Eagle - but playing indoor).

Sporting achievements: Five indoor Tests for Australia - 1991/2 and 1994 - Tour of New Zealand. Queensland men's representative - 1987, 89-95 captain. Ipswich Hornets Premier Grade cricket women's head coach past two seasons - 2017/18 - T20 preliminary finalists, 2018/19 - semi-finalists.

Why did you get into indoor cricket: It was a growing game at the time. It was a big opportunity, enjoyed playing it and the whole indoor cricket centre environment. Made many good lifelong friends and met my wife Leanne. At $5 a game, I found myself playing three to four games a week easily.

Favourite teammate: Craig Whyte - unbelievable player and terrific teammate. You could never take yourself too serious with Whytey around. He always kept things on an even keel. Despite this he was a terrific player, when the chips were down and you needed a player to step up. Whytey could do it with the bat, ball and his keeping was outstanding. I fondly remember the games where the opposition underestimated Whytey and paid dearly.

Favourite coach: As a coach now, you always take a closer look at what each coach does, no matter what sport, and playing indoor I had exposure to a lot of good coaches at the time. Over the years we always had good battles against West Australia, good hard matches. West Australian Dave Lewis who went on to be Australian coach was probably the favourite. It was a similar style to what I learnt from my Queensland coaches - create the right environment, set the direction, empower and trust your players.

What did you love about the sport: Playing indoor cricket at the highest level was terrific. It was absolute testing and challenging yourself against the best indoor cricketers around, state v state, nothing better. But you always got a lot of enjoyment/laughs out of the game playing a local centre team. A lot of those players just enjoyed playing cricket indoors and having a beer after the game. And at the time in Ipswich with nearly 300 local teams a lot of local people were involved in the game. This pure enjoyment of the game is what is missing from today, indoor and outdoor. Hopefully we can get back there. It is what cricket needs back.

Did you have any superstitions: Not so much superstitions but I liked to stick to a low key routine before playing.

Do you follow it today and what are your thoughts: Don't follow too much today but the cost today is far greater than what we went through. However it is great that it is all under one Cricket Australia umbrella. The game strived for that when I was playing, but we do have a number of Hornets women's players now who play both indoor and outdoor, so its great to have a bit of a reconnection.

Sporting hero growing up: Allan Border was the only cricketer to follow in those days, hard not to be able to follow those fighting characteristics in saving the Aussie cricket team. We were playing Test matches in the backyard every afternoon, so it was always World Series Cricket every day with a different team. Always loved watching Russell Fairfax playing rugby league. Every time he touched the ball something was going to happen.


Allan Border. Picture: Adrian Murrell/Allsport
Allan Border. Picture: Adrian Murrell/Allsport

What are you up to these days: These days its about the Ipswich Hornets Premier Grade Cricket club, and my role as the women's head coach with my wife Leanne as the women's grade administrator. It has been great to be part of this journey to establish a Premier Grade Club in Ipswich. With the new merger Ipswich Cricket Inc it is an exciting time to playing cricket in Ipswich. It has been so great to be part of giving local cricketers a step closer to the next level without having to leave Ipswich. For us with the girls it is more than just Ipswich as many of our girls come from all over the Darling Downs to play cricket. Growing up in the Lockyer with the connection to the Darling Downs and Ipswich is just great. Feel very privileged to be given the opportunity to provide these young players an opportunity to achieve their goals as the Women's game goes from strength to strength.

Advice to juniors: Enjoy the game. So many good young players leave the game before they have got anywhere near their potential. Work hard, learn as much as you can along the way. Take it all in and take what you need. From myself and watching Andy's development, we were both very different cricketers at 16 to when we were 19 and both very different by the time we got to 21. At 21 Andy was playing Shield cricket, you never would of thought that at 16, only five years earlier. From my own perspective as a spinner, I only developed a lot of my variations after 21 and understood my own game. You don't have that awareness as a young player to know your own game.

Quick thoughts

POSITIVES: 1. Long suffering Liverpool supporters can finally celebrate an English Premier League title after 30 long years. They have been in superb form all season and with seven games to go cannot be caught.

2. The AFL restart has been good for some teams with the Power, Lions and Suns all remaining undefeated from the three games played.

3. Aussie boxer Jason Moloney watched his brother Andrew lose two days earlier and promised he wouldn't do the same. He backed his words up with a seven round victory over Mexican Leonardo Baez in Las Vegas.

Negatives: 1. I cannot see the point of talk of a cross-code match between the Kangaroos and the All Blacks. It has been tried before with terrible results. Place it on the scapheap.

2. The footage of players laughing on the field at full-time after a big loss makes fans' blood boil. I think it is time players showed they are hurting with a loss and save the laughing for the sheds.

3. Broncos fans hate it when their team loses and it showed last weekend with them failing to sell out their 10,000 tickets that were available for their clash against the Titans.

Sporting birthdays: 1. 1951 - Richard Hadlee (champion New Zealand all-rounder who played 86 Tests scoring 3124 runs and taking 431 wickets).

2. 1980 - Roland Schoeman (champion South African swimmer who set numerous world records).

3. 1987 - Sebastian Vettel (German F1 driving champion who won four titles from 2010-13).

On this day: 1. 1932 - After managing the New York Giants for 30 years, John McGraw retired with 2583 wins and 1948 losses.

2. 1959 - Peruvian Alex Olmedo defeats Rod Laver 6/4 6/3 6/4 to win his only Wimbledon title.

3. 1981 - Chris Evert defeats Hana Mandlikova 6/2 6/2 to win her third Wimbledon title.

4. 2018 - Aaron Finch scores a T20 record blasting 172 off 76 balls against Zimbabwe.