We have had the David Warner/Joe Root saga, where the Australian batsman’s senses went Walkabout when he punched the England opener after a night of carousing in a Birmingham nightclub. We have had ‘Boofgate’, when Darren Lehmann publicly accused Stuart Broad of ‘blatant cheating’ in an ill-advised interview with an Australian radio station.
And finally we have had ‘Cricileaks’ as the English cricketers boorishly celebrated their Ashes win with a late-night version of The Sprinkler at the Oval.
Friday’s headlines were, thankfully, all about cricket, and in particularly the record-breaking innings by Australia opener Aaron Finch in the first T20 international against England at the Ageas Bowl.
Most of the crowd in Southampton had probably never heard of Aaron James Finch, playing in only his seventh T20 international.
Finch had scored just 12 runs in his previous three T20 innings for Australia, but he tore up the recent formbook on Thursday with an incredible 156 from 63 balls in which included 14 sixes and 11 fours.
It was the highest individual score in any T20 international, one so big that it if the cricket results had a Vidiprinter it would have appeared as AJ Finch 156 (One Hundred and Fifty-Six).
Finch had looked likely to break South African Richard Levi’s 45-ball record for the quickest T20 international hundred, made against New Zealand in February 2012, when he entered the 90s off only 36 balls.
The 26-year-old started to deal in singles in the 90s as the nerves set in, but he finally reached his ton with a six off England skipper Stuart Broad off his 47th ball.
"You could probably tell I started blocking the hell out of it around a hundred. I did get a little bit nervous but had no idea what the record was," Finch said afterwards
Finch’s batting got better and better after he had passed his personal landmark, and he took only 13 balls to progress from 100 to 150.
It seemed that Australia would surpass the highest score in international T20 cricket, the 260 for 6 set by Sri Lanka in the 2007 ICC World Twenty20 against Kenya.
But the innings unsurprisingly lost its momentum when Finch was bowled by Jade Dernbach off the inside edge off the second ball of the 18th over, and Australia’s total of 248 for six fell 12 runs short of Sri Lanka’s record.
England finished just 39 runs short of Australia’s imposing total in their spirited reply, and there will certainly be grounds for optimism for Broad and England’s limited-overs coach Ashley Giles when the teams meet again at the Riverside on Saturday.
Joe Root’s jaw seems to be a magnet for Australians this summer, but the young Yorkshire batsman recovered from the shock of sustaining a bloody mouth after top-edging a ball from Josh Hazlewood into his helmet grill to score 90 not out from 49 balls.
Man-of-the-match Finch may be man-of-the-moment, but the Victorian is aware that his place in the Australia squad for the five One-Day Internationals is still far from secured.
Finch averages just 15 with the bat in ODI cricket, but hopes the Australian selectors will take notice of his record-breaking T20 innings.
"Hopefully I've staked a pretty good claim for the rest of the series and hopefully I can stay on," he said.