Australians are the emphatic winners of the ICC World Cup 2015. But is there any cricket team that is despised more than the Australian cricket team? I am a die-hard cricket fan and I cannot fathom a single instant when people or crazy cricket fans like me have rooted vociferously for the Australian cricket team. They are and will be remembered as the nasty little brutes who bullied every other team and sledged their guts out. And therefore they are branded as the villains of cricket.
Nevertheless, the ‘Men from Down Under’ have been persistent with their wins and consistent at their game. Their near perfection at the game makes you look for the answers beneath the surface. When their retiring skipper Michael Clarke took the trophy after crushing New Zealand by seven wickets, it was hard to applaud and laud the winning team. Touted as the one of the hot favorites to win the World Cup this year, the Australian team was playing in their home country which was a huge advantage. And their formidable team down right till the last player was impressive with the bat and bowl. Coming into the World Cup after denying Indian any wins in the Test series and One-day Internationals, Australians were unarguably one of the best teams in this tournament.
Do they really deserve this flak from practically every parts of the globe? What makes them so unpopular? If they are so darned good at their game, then why are they hated so much? They sledge like no one else. But which teams don’t? I have seen players like Dale Steyn, Kieron Pollard or even the likes of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli who have verbally roughed up players over the years. None of these are upright gentlemen. But yes I do admit that Australians do it with twice or maybe thrice the intensity and greater frequency. But then is there a rule as to how much sledging is acceptable? Who draws the light between light hearted banter from vicious personal attacks? Has the ICC formulated any guidelines on this? Probably not! Which means everything is acceptable! Clarke’s cloud of bandits or Ponting’s band of bad men may not be the sweetest angels, but the rest of the cricketing communities aren’t saints either.
Off the field, some of the players like Glen Maxwell, Mitchell Marsh, David Warner and Mitchell Starc share a great rapport and camaraderie with some of the Indian players. In IPL not only do they share the same dressing room, but they get along famously well with their Indian and non-Indian counterparts. While fans may regard this sledging as disgrace to the game, but some of the players do not mind this in-your-face aggression. Instead they get more pumped up and motivated to do well in terms of scoring runs or taking wickets. And there are many instances in cricket to prove this point.
The Aussies are darn good at their game and have got accustomed to wining because of their sheer brilliance and superiority in skill and athleticism. The Australians are often described as ‘bruteless’, relentless’, ‘ferocious’. But have you come across anybody who is described as both gracious and ferocious? The Aussies do not give two hoots about what the world thinks about them so long as they can gloat about their never-ending success and brandish their trophies. The Australians are master craftsmen who have put together a winning culture in cricket. Now if the rest of the world cannot acknowledge and appreciate this, they can go on hating them, it will and never stop the Aussies from winning.