It started 7 weeks ago.
The Cricket World Cup to end all Cricket World Cups. Mostly because after this one, there will never be another like it.
It’s been marred by poor crowds, poor games and a murder, but the ICC Cricket World Cup has struggled on…and on….and on…
knew suspected Australia was going to win the thing eventually, even with spectacular foxing before the tournament to lose our last 5 games.
So during 7 weeks of higelty pigelty games where the rest of the rabble fought amongst themselves for the scraps, Australia seriously CRUISED.
Even a bicep injury could not keep a player down. 6 months out of the game? Pffftttt…how about 2.
But even without Symonds for the first few games we weren’t challenged for the whole tournament. Check out these results:
Australia won by 106 runs. Australia 290/7 (50 ov); Zimbabwe 184/7 (50 ov)
Australia won by 5 wickets (with 55 balls remaining). England 197 (48.3 ov); Australia 200/5 (40.5 ov)
Australia won by 203 runs. Australia 334/6 (50 ov); Scotland 131 (40.1 ov)
Australia won by 229 runs. Australia 358/5 (50 ov); Netherlands 129 (26.5 ov)
Australia won by 83 runs. Australia 377/6 (50 ov); South Africa 294 (48 ov)
Australia won by 103 runs. Australia 322/6 (50 ov); West Indies 219 (45.3 ov)
Australia won by 10 wickets (with 49 balls remaining). Bangladesh 104/6 (22/22 ov); Australia 106/0 (13.5/22 ov)
Australia won by 7 wickets (with 16 balls remaining). England 247 (49.5 ov); Australia 248/3 (47.2 ov)
Australia won by 9 wickets (with 226 balls remaining). Ireland 91 (30 ov); Australia 92/1 (12.2 ov)
Australia won by 7 wickets (with 44 balls remaining). Sri Lanka 226 (49.4 ov); Australia 232/3 (42.4 ov)
Australia won by 215 runs. Australia 348/6 (50 ov); New Zealand 133 (25.5 ov)
Australia won by 7 wickets (with 111 balls remaining). South Africa 149 (43.5 ov); Australia 153/3 (31.3 ov)
Australia won by 53 runs (D/L method). Australia 281/4 (38/38 ov); Sri Lanka 215/8 (36/36 ov)
The closest we got to losing was against England when we only had 16 balls left with 7 wickets remaining (if you call that close)
I stayed up till 5am last night watching the final. It was a rain delayed match so it only started at around 2.30. I managed to stay up ONLY because Adam Gilchrist hit the best World Cup Final innings ever. 149 off 104 balls with 8 Sixes and 13 Fours. An Amazing effort. People who know me know that I don’t like Gilchrist much, but damn, when he is on, he is ON.
…although he should have been careful with where he put that vaseline…
After we racked up 281 off 38 overs, I knew we were never going to lose and I let myself fade off to sleep only to wake up at the end to witness the schmozzle that was the end of the game.
Sri Lanka were offered the light, meaning that the brightness was getting dull enough that it was dangerous for the batsmen. They took it and Australia all of a sudden thought they had won.
“You little beauty!”
Then the umpires told Ricky that the remaining 3 overs could be bowled the next day and they hadn’t yet won.
“Listen boys, there’ll be time for bum slapping and groping after the last 3 overs…”
3 overs and a wicket later in almost the dark….
Cuddles for all!
Now, as you know, I am a cricket fan and I will defend the sport to the hilt. There is not much better than lounging in front of the TV on a hot summers day with a case of beer, a fan and sweat dripping off your nose listening to Richie and the boys on Channel 9.
It is very easy to bag out cricket and Australia’s dominance over the last 10 years, but I always defend it. So what if we win by big margins? So what if no other team has the mental or physical ability to better us as a team? Is it bad for the sport? Is it killing the game?
Stop asking questions! Geez, what do you think I am?
I am old enough to remember the dark days of Australian cricket back in the 80’s, before Border was captain and Kim Hughes was wimping and limping his way in the captaincy. We were hopeless back then. We could hardly win a game, unless it was against (then) lowly Sri Lanka. We had just lost Lillee, Marsh and the Chappells and we were in desperate times. The West Indies were dominating the world with their massive bowlers (Garner, Holding etc..) and master batsmen (Richards, Greenidge, Haynes etc..) and it seemed like no-one could beat them. But, of course, cricketers retire, invincibility wanes and suddenly the one time power house is reduced to an easy-beat.
Australia is losing their greats. Waugh x2, Warne, McGrath. Gilchrist and Hayden will be gone within 2 years. Ponting maybe a year after that. Lee and Hussey will follow.
So we will lose a lot of talent and a lot of experience and we WILL become beatable. I don’t think we’ll ever become easy beats. We have such a strong base of cricketing skill and development in this country that I can never see us struggling on the world stage, but I am 100% sure we will lose out No. 1 test ranking within the next 5 years. Maybe even 3.
And then what, will people start saying that it’s good we’re losing? That it’s better for the game? What a load of crap. People will stop coming to games if we are losing. People will bag out the team, just like they did in the 80’s and wonder what ever happened to the good old days of winning 13 tests in a row.
Anyway, my theory is this. I will always cheer an Australian victory, no matter if it is over The Netherlands, Sri Lanka or the Rooty Hill Cricket Club. Call me too patriotic if you will, but dammit, I just enjoy watching my team win.
Enjoy it while it lasts.