Channel 7 may have the rights to this Summer’s cricket broadcast, but at least the Nine Network has the rights to retell the most dramatic Australian cricket story in modern history.

In a new TV miniseries aligned with the iconic Underbelly Franchise, the 2018 Australian V South Africa Ball-Tampering Scandal will be brought to life under the watchful eye of director Matt Newton, as the troubled TV personality attempts one last shot at redemption in his home country.

Production of the new program is already taking place under the working title of ‘Sandpaper Mafia’ – with the program’s antagonist and lead, David Warner, being played by Australian TV icon Dan Wyllie.

Wyllie, who has appeared in Romper Stomper, Rake, Muriel’s Wedding and Animal Kingdom – says he is more than excited to play the role of the most controversial Australian sporting figure since Sally Robbins.

“I like, the rest of the nation, was intently watching these scenes unfolding on TV earlier this year” he said.

“I look forward to doing this story justice, even though it happened like a couple months ago”

Please Like Me star, Josh Thomas, is set to play the troubled captain Steve Smith, while Candice Warner will be played by Delta Goodrem, fresh from her newest Olivia Newton-John biopic.

The series covers the entire events that occurred over the month of March 2018, while the men’s Australian cricket team was involved in a ball-tampering scandal during and after their third Test match against South Africa in Cape Town.

Young gun, Cameron Bancroft (played by Hollywood star Luke Bracey) is caught by television cameras trying to rough up one side of the ball to make it swing in flight. Captain Steve Smith (Thomas) and vice-captain and orchestrator, David Warner (Wyllie) are then found to be involved and all three receive unprecedented sanctions from Cricket Australia. Australia’s coach, Darren Lehmann (Shane Jacobson), is then embroiled in the scandal, as questions arise about the motive.


Other actors that have been locked in for pre-production include Asher Keddie as Roxy Jacenko, Firass Dirani as Usman Khawaja and former Australian Idol star Dean Stanley Geyer as the acid-tongued South African Quinton De Kok.

Comedian Tom Gleeson will be donning a wig to play the Australian cricket team saviour, Justin Langer and Sea Change’s John Howard has been cast as Alan Border.

The series is expected to air in December this year, while everyone is watching the actual cricket on another channel.


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