Cult hero saves fanatics from boredom

Cricket Australia would consider themselves very lucky at the moment. The COVID-19 outbreak impacted only a fraction of Australia’s home summer of cricket.

Two one-day matches against New Zealand and four Sheffield Shield matches were the only significant casualties of the mass sporting exodus.

NRL and AFL are in the midst of a financial catastrophe, while Cricket Australia CEO Kevin Roberts is quietly confident the coronavirus threat will be contained by October when the T20 Cricket World Cup is scheduled to commence.

But cricket fans are a selfish bunch. Six months without live cricket is a daunting prospect.

Thankfully, one of the sport’s cult heroes has rescued Australian cricket fanatics from boredom during self-isolation.

The “robelinda2” YouTube channel is well-known among cricket fans – thousands of rare clips, featuring classic highlights, bizarre moments and forgotten gems are archived on the channel, which boasts over 644,000 subscribers.

Owner Rob Moody has uploaded more than 2,400 videos since joining the streaming platform in 2010, acquiring over 701 million views. The Sydney Morning Herald reported he owns a library of 300 VHS tapes and 25,000 DVDs.

Dinner with a glass of red and my Hemp smoothie watching some old video courtesy of @robelinda2 .. Telling my son that’s really me… He says you looked so much thinner and had more hair back then… ????

I plan on watching so much cricket this weekend. Basically just trawling through @robelinda2 ‘s tweets for this past week.

Been enjoying the rolling archive these last couple of weeks @robelinda2, great work! Could I please ask for any domestic Super 8s footage from around ‘96 if possible?

In 1665 the University of Cambridge shut down due to bubonic plague so Isaac Newton had to work from home and that’s when he came up with calculus. Meanwhile, during this enforced lockdown, I’m watching @robelinda2 clips of Viv Richards under a bag of Doritos and 9 bottles of red

In an age where every highlights package is copyrighted or hidden behind a paywall, it’s refreshing to find a source of seemingly limitless cricket content.

What makes Moody a modern-day hero is he doesn’t make a cent from the hobby. Uploading all the clips would have required hundreds of hours of work, and all he receives are please’s and thank you’s from his many admirers.

“The money angle is a moot point because there's never been any money made,” Moody told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

“People can't see any ads, so I don't make any money.”

ESPNcricinfo journalist Daniel Brettig tweeted, “This guy doesn't profit from what he has done, brilliantly, for years. There is only global demand for what he does because the world's broadcasters and boards have failed to do anything serious about making their archives available to the public.”

Moody’s primary source of income is playing guitar on cruise ships. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, he won’t have many opportunities for work over the coming months.

But Moody’s loss comes with a fantastic silver lining – he now has plenty of spare time to upload cricket videos.

The self-proclaimed “cricket megafan” started taking requests on Twitter last week as more Australians started self-isolating in their homes. As of Monday evening, Moody’s Twitter account boasts over 24,500 followers, with dozens of fresh clips posted every day.

Featured are horrific umpiring decisions, such as this shocker from Peter Manuel in 2001, with David “Bumble” Lloyd in commentary.

Top contender for THE worst LBW decision ever given in test cricket. One of the most appalling shockers there has been. This umpire has absolutely no right to be umpiring even in backyard cricket. The commentators are in disbelief.

The infamous Alec Stewart vs Sri Lanka, 2001

There’s also rare cricket gems, such as former batsman Michael Hussey snaring his maiden first class wicket for Western Australian with a pink ball under lights in 1998.

*MEGA RARE* Mike Hussey- his 1st First Class wicket! 1998 at the WACA. WHAT A BALL, WHAT A CATCH! @cambo_19 ??

Moody also loves a nailbiting finish, none better than this one-day clash between New Zealand and South Africa at the Gabba in 1998, when Dion Nash needed seven runs from the last two deliveries.

One of the best finishes to a one game ever!!! Unbelievable scenes in this tri series!

Absolute classic!

The International Cricket Council announced last week they will release its archive of match footage to social channels. A global health crisis was needed to spur the ICC to unlock the sport’s cherish memories, something Moody had already been doing for a decade.

Cricket journalists Adam Collins and Geoff Lemon started a campaign last week for Moody to be awarded an Order of Australia honour for services to cricket. It would be difficult for anyone to argue why he doesn’t deserve the accolade.

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