A Multi-talented athlete, Simon went on to become a valuable all-rounder in the Australian one-day team, and was a member of the side when it marked its resurgence with a surprise World Cup win in 1987.
Simon O’Donnell the cricketer is most keenly remembered for a number of explosive innings in Australia’s middle-lower order. His clean, powerful drives straight of the wicket and through mid-on were particularly effective. Simon’s feats included an 18-ball half-century against Sri Lanka in 1990, which remained the fastest 50 scored in ODI cricket for almost six years. However, Simon O’Donnell’s intelligent fast-medium bowling often proved to be more pivotal in Australia’s one-day fortunes. In the 1987 World Cup he had limited impact with the bat but was a significant wicket-taker and finished the tournament as Australia’s most economical bowler.
Simon was diagnosed with cancer at the end of the tournament. He made a strong recovery and returned to one-day international cricket from 1988-89. Since his retirement from cricket, Simon hosted Melbourne radio station Sport 927’s morning program with Kevin Bartlett and with Nine Network’s commentary team, became the regular host of The Cricket Show, which airs during the lunch breaks of Tests in Australia. Having owned and managed race horses through his company, O’Donnell Thoroughbreds International,he is also used as an expert on horseracing on Nine’s racing coverage.
In November 2011, it was announced that Simon O’Donnell would replace James Brayshaw was host of The Sunday Footy Show.
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