Allan Border urges Australia to embrace pressure at the World Cup
Melbourne, Feb 12 (IANS) World Cup-winning captain Allan Border on Thursday urged Australia to make the most of the pressure and expectation that comes with hosting the game's biggest event.
Host nations have a poor record in cricket World Cups, with India's victory in 2011 only the second time in 10 tournaments the host or co-host has emerged victorious.
"Everyone's talking about playing at home - that it's a very difficult situation, the extra pressure and expectation," Border was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
"My advice would be to really go out of your way to embrace the fact you're playing at home in front of your own crowd."
The only previous occasion was when co-hosts Sri Lanka triumphed in 1996. But that result comes with a disclaimer. The Sri Lankan team played only two of its group matches at home after Australia and the West Indies abandoned their fixtures due to terrorism fears. The knockout matches were played in Pakistan and India.
Border led Australia to title triumph in 1987.
"Because it will help you in tight situations, when the crowd's in your corner it will make a difference," the 59-year-old said. "Don't let it worry you - you know that expectation will be there, really embrace the challenge."
He said Australia's 1992 campaign, when they lost four out of eight matches as their title defence ended before the knockout stages, was one of the lowest points of his decorated career.
Border represented Australia in 273 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and 156 Tests.