Australia and World Cups: Made for each other?
World Cup 2019 is less than a year away and however bad it may seem for the Australian Cricket team, everyone knows they will bounce back because its the World Cup, they will bounce back because it's what they do every time.
The Australian Cricket Team is the most successful team in the World Cups, winning the 1987, 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2015 editions. This also makes them the only team to have won the World Cup in all the regions (a group of countries) that have hosted the World Cup till now. Besides, Australia had reached the finals of the 1975 and 1996 World Cups, losing to West Indies and Sri Lanka respectively.
Now, this is what dominance looks like that too at the worlds biggest stage!
I agree 1987 was out the blue but 1999 was as unexpected as Pakistan and India in 1992 and 1983 respectively. Although you just can't win 3 world cups in a row with luck.
The 1999 'You just dropped the World Cup, mate' moments will still be haunting SA and that World Cup gave rise to the C word.
2003 and 2007, on the other hand, were sheer dominance. That was the time even Greg Chappell, the former Australian Captian said that Australia's domination of Test and one-day cricket is contributing to the decline of the game internationally. They raised the standard of international cricket.
Then came 2015, YES! They were worthy and deserving but could anyone have said it during the 2013 Ashes? But 18 months later comes the World Cup and with it returns the dominance. Riding on the loss of Phillip Hughes they did it, they did it for him.
"I'm sure everybody on this stage will say we played this World Cup with 16 players," said Clarke after his team's seven-wicket win over New Zealand.
"Hughesy used to party as good as any of them so I guarantee we'll celebrate hard tonight."
Australian Cricket Team has been involved in controversies before and another one struck just an year before.
In March 2018, the men's Australian Cricket Team was involved in a ball-tampering scandal during and after the third test match against South Africa in Cape Town when Cameron Bancroft was caught by television cameras trying to rough up one side of the ball to make it swing in flight.
Captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner were found to be involved and all three received unprecedented sanctions from Cricket Australia. Although he was found not to have been involved, Australia's coach, Darren Lehmann announced he would step down from his role following the scandal. Smith was replaced as Test captain by Tim Paine.
Even Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull urged Cricket Australia to take the strongest action possible.
Warner was found guilty for the development of plans and instructing Bancroft on how to do it. Smith knew about the plans and still couldn't prevent it told Bancroft to conceal the sandpaper in his trousers.
Warner was the first to apologise publicly followed by Bancroft and Smith a day later.
Australia's coach Lehmann was cleared by the investigation of any wrongdoing or involvement in the scandal.
Former Australian captain Michael Clarke believed that there was more to the incident than CA CEO James Sutherland had said, tweeting
"The truth, The full story, Accountability and Leadership- until the public get this Australian cricket is in deep shit!" and that "To many reputations on the line for the full story not to come out. Cape Town change room is a very small place!"
Michael Vaughan was similarly unconvinced, suggesting that Cricket Australia has only made things worse for itself by finding that only three players were involved. Former England captain Michael Vaughan thought the bans too harsh, but noted that CA had sent a message to players.
Former Australian batsman Tom Moody believed that the punishment did not fit the crime. Indian commentator Harsha Bhogle said that "I honestly do not believe any other country would have handed its captain and lead player a one-year ban for attempted ball-tampering."
After all this Smith and Warner will be back before the World Cup 2019 and it will interesting to see if they can regain their pride and dominance. They will have a lot to play for.
We will just have to wait and watch!!!