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12 December 201408:52

Around the wicket with Damien Fleming

As one of the world’s premier swing bowlers of the 1990s, Damien Fleming was a regular feature of Australia’s pace-attack and a key member of its World Cup-winning 1999 campaign.

Around the wicket with Damien Fleming - Cricket News

Damien Fleming was a key performer in Australia's 1999 World Cup success

Along with picking up 26 scalps in 16 World Cup matches, Fleming will also be remembered as the bowler at the centre of the famous tied semi-final between Australia and South Africa in 1999.

We went around the wicket with Fleming to ask him six questions about Australia’s success at the ICC Cricket World Cup and what to expect at #cwc15.

What is your favorite World Cup memory as a player?
The World Cup final in 1999. We were playing Pakistan and won comfortably. The highlight was celebrating with all the Aussie fans at Lords. About two hours after that, we went to the pitch and took the Trophy with us. We were all arm-in-arm singing the team song.

What venue are you most looking forward to seeing in action during #cwc15?
The final! It’s at my home-ground the MCG with 100,000 thousand people. Hopefully Australia will be there, and maybe the Kiwis will be there too. An Australia-New Zealand final would be huge.

Who are the Australia players to watch at #cwc15?
From the left of centre, we have Glenn Maxwell who they call the Big Show. He smashes the ball all over the park and can find the boundary batting anywhere in the order. He’s a handy off-spin bowler and probably our best fielder too. He’s a dynamic player. Then you have David Warner and Shane Watson who are match-winners too.

Who is your dark-horse for the World Cup?
With their home games, I would be disappointed if New Zealand did not make the semi-finals. You can’t count out Sri Lanka either. You put on a World Cup event and they just seem to make the semi-finals or final. Can South Africa make a World Cup final? Could this be the tournament for them?

Who do you think will be the star batter and bowler in the tournament?
Batting wise, I think AB De Villiers will be the top run-scorer, as long as they play enough games in the tournament. He’s an incredible player in all three forms, he can play the accumulator role to begin then he can finish off the innings strongly with sixes over point and square leg – he can hit 360 degrees.

With the ball, it’s got to be Mitchell Johnson. His ODI record is incredible, his pace, swing and variety makes him the bowler of the tournament for me.

If you could pick from all the greats, who would be your opening bowling partner?
It would be Dennis Lillee. He was the reason I played cricket in the first place. And in my top-three bowlers of all-time is Sir Richard Hadlee and his idol was Dennis Lille – so that’s good enough for me!

Damien Fleming ICC Cricket World Cup record:
Tournaments: 2 (1996, 1999)
Matches: 16
Wickets: 26
Average: 22.42
Best: 5/36