Humility begins at home for Aussie cricketers
Is Ricky Ponting back to his best? (AAP Image/Ben Macmahon).
What a summer for Australian Cricket. From the highs to the lows to the end of the show, they have been a thrill a minute sensation. Despite its recent success, the Australian team still displays some undesirable behaviour on the field.
You had to figure that any country which has over 200 seasoned and exposed professional cricketers, the best climate for the game in the world, the best grounds in the world, the best cricket systems in the world and some pretty fair coaching and management systems must compete for number one in all three forms of the game.
The selection process is still a work in progress, and there is still some archaic thinking, but you cannot knock the results. Again, Australia, as a nation , expects to win. And while we have been drummed that “winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing”, I think the tide is turning on that score within the Australian public.
It doesn’t matter whether it is cricket, tiddly winks or iron ore mining, in every form of endeavor today, Australians are hard nosed enough to believe that their teams on the world stage must inevitably become the world’s best. It has been ground into our DNA, which i think is great!
That said, it would be nice if our cricketers and other sportspeople play, win or lose, and behave with dignity and professionalism.
I saw a special on the ABC the other night where Richie Benaud and Sir Frank Worrell wrote the theme of brother’s in arms for the game of cricket in 1960-61.I mean you could literally say of that series that love was all around. It was just that palpable.
One thing I have never liked about Ricky Ponting, great cricketer though he might be, is that he wasn’t quite worldly enough to absorb the role of World Ambassador he played as captain of Australia.
Benaud seemed to have that quality, Mark Taylor too. In certain ways Steve Waugh did as well.
You see, when you are great there is an added responsibility. It is to the game and the people who play it. David Gower, Nasser Hussain, you could name on one hand the Captains in the post Packer era who understood their role beyond game day.
One can only play within the rules of the game, I understand that. But it is the spirit of the game that the Australian team must embrace, and not just their own selfish interests and achievements.
The immaturity of sportspeople who believe they have to abuse and belittle to gain an edge is also palpable. It says more about them than it does about the game they play.
I love the game of cricket. I love all sports. I love the competition that world business provides me.
But abusers, stand-over merchants and immature, unworldly, small-minded people don’t have a place in any of those fields of endeavor.
They should take their bat and ball and head down to the Richie Benaud/Sir Frank Worrell School of grace for some timely advice. They may yet find salvation and redemption.
Roar expert Glenn Mitchell's video review of Day 4 of the second Ashes Test at Adelaide Oval