It was a pleasant experience going to bed last night at an hour that was reasonable, it was a lovely deep sleep that was definitely required by cricket fans across the country. All credit must go to Australia as their final day collapse at least meant we were all tucked up at around 2.00am on Tuesday morning celebrating victory before the rain crashed down in Adelaide, albeit to late to save Australian blushes. They were totally outclassed and humiliated in an unprecedented manner, and I must say I enjoyed it very much.
All over the British press today from broadsheet to tabloid, journalists have been having a field day at the expense of the Australian’s and though it makes joyful and perversely pleasurable reading, we should all beware a wounded Aussie. Australia is a fiercely ?proud sporting nation and Ricky Ponting is a fiercely proud captain who will be doing all in his powers to swing the pendulum back in Australia’s favour. Yes, we should enjoy this rare moment of glory, but we have not won anything yet, even if there is a distant sound of a fat lady getting in to tune.
It is without question that England have their right boot firmly on the throat of the Aussies, but write Australia off at your peril. Give them an inch and they will take a foot, give them sympathy and they will punish us, we cannot allow them a sniff, and I have a good feeling that this England team won’t do that. However if our cricket team was made up of tabloid journalists, we would have a side nursing Champagne hangovers whilst the Aussies buried us 3-1 and gleefully reclaimed the Ashes despite their limitations. Any complacency will be well and truly punished.
Another thing I have also noticed in the tabloids is just how bad they are saying the Australians are, and I think the same applies in the Australian press. In fact it is not just the tabloids; The Independent headline today read “Is this the Worst Aussie side ever?” Why not give some credit to England? They have developed in to a tough well drilled outfit that has left no stone unturned in its quest to be the first team in a generation to fly out of Australia with that precious little urn. Bowling any Test team out for 245 first innings in Adelaide is an impressive achievement, Ricky Ponting, Simon Katich, Shane Watson, Michael Clarke and Mike Hussey are very good cricket players, let’s not forget that.
I can see why Australia love beating England and hate losing to them. Decade after decade a bunch of public schoolboys have turned up in their country and looked down their privileged noses at hardened Aussie players who have, time after time rubbed those same noses in to the dirt, they like nothing more, it is almost like a class war to them. England are different now, they are more resilient, more professional, more humble, and most of all they are genuine sportsmen from all classes. They have modelled themselves (with a touch of South African toughness of course!!) on the best. Whisper it quietly but they have modelled themselves on Australia, and it is paying off.
Personally I have always had an Aussie soft spot when it comes to sport, that desire to win and sweat blood for the cause has always been something I have envied and I like the players too, Shane Warne has been brilliant fun as well as incredibly knowledgeable on commentary (you should hear his Bill Lawrie impression). Here is another thing, cast yourself back to the summer when the Test series against Pakistan was shrouded in allegation and counter allegation about match fixing, you wont hear any of that in an Aussie and Pommie Test series and even if England batter Australia, Ricky Ponting will take it like a man, you can’t odds that.
If England do go on to conquer the old enemy I will celebrate joyfully with my Cricket loving eldest son at a marvellous sporting achievement. However, I would just love to be doing it in Australia with cricketing loving Poms and Aussies in the sunshine rather than here in freezing cold Blighty with Johnny come lately fans still lamenting the fact that the national football team is a complete and utter, 24 carat, bunch of wankers. That’s the problem when England do well at cricket, the victory gets hijacked by glory hunters that don’t know an LBW from a catch in the slips and all they will do is harp on about a bunch of Aussie crims who are useless at sport rather than the success of good cricket team genuine fans have been yearning for all these decades.
I have no problem with non cricketing fans being pleased for England if they win, I just wish they would do it quietly rather than making out they are avid readers of Wisden. However, if it gets more kids playing as it did my own son in 2005 it is good news for the future of the game.
Keep going England and beware the wounded Aussie!!!!