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The Roar

Peter Hunt

Roar Rookie

Joined September 2018

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Like so many other Australian Cricket fans, I was mortified by the ball tampering scandal in Cape Town in March 2018. It made me question my life-long passion for Cricket and my steadfast support for the national team. And so, combining my passions for cricket, the law and writing, I embarked on a search for `The Spirit of Cricket'; one cricket tragic's attempt to define `the line'. Does Cricket have a distinct spirit? Can we define 'the line'? How are the values Cricket holds dear different from any other sport?

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Thanks so much, Maxwell. As you can tell, it was one of the sporting events which had a great impact on me when I was a kid. And I had a great time writing the article!

The spirit of cricket - celebrating the noble failure

Nice article SM. Many thanks.
Richie certainly was beloved in the Cricketing world. He was iconic. Utterly one of a kind.
In many ways, I am glad that Channel 9 didn’t lose the rights under after Richie’s death. And now that he has gone, I am glad that the world has moved on and given another network a go (without for a moment condoning the loss of ODIs to free-to-air television).

“Simply marvellous”: Remembering Richie

For the benefit of my Law School Friends…the boring party referenced above relates to a brief foray into socialising with my colleagues from my Commerce (Marketing) class! I still yearn, with trembling hands and blurred vision, for those halcyon days of Law School socialising.

The spirit of cricket - celebrating the noble failure

Many thanks for your comments!
I agree that I find less cause for celebration in noble defeats in league or other sports.
The closest I come is when the Socceroos lost in the last minute to Italy in the 2006 World Cup. Perhaps because they performed well beyond expectations. Perhaps due to the injustice of that loss.

The spirit of cricket - celebrating the noble failure

Thanks farqueue!

Was that the League Test where Ricky Stuart made a break in the Kangaroo’s quarter, in the last minute and, from memory, ET took the pass and scored?

If so, I was at uni at the time and came home early from a boring party and saw the second half with my Dad. Time much better spent than at the boring party!

Great match!

The spirit of cricket - celebrating the noble failure

I think they also decided not to run quite a few times so that AB could retain the strike. I recall some debate, at the time, whether that was the right approach. When you need 74 runs to win and fall just 3 runs short, I reckon it’s hard to be critical.
I remember that missed run out opportunity. I think Thommo wasn’t concentrating at the non-striker’s end and set off late. I agree it seemed, at that point, that the Poms had missed their chance.
I can’t believe this all happened almost 36 years ago!

The spirit of cricket - celebrating the noble failure

Do you think cricket fans have a greater capacity – than the fans of other sports – to find reasons to cherish contests we lost?

The spirit of cricket - celebrating the noble failure

That Adelaide Test against the Windies – it was 1993 I think – was a great match too and certainly in the `noble defeat’ category. Great heroics by Langer, May and McDermott. I still think the ball hit Billy’s helmet grill, not his bat…

The spirit of cricket - celebrating the noble failure

If memory serves, that was the year the Ashes Tests were covered both by Channel 9 and the ABC in the afternoon session. I can’t remember the ABC were allowed to televise that dramatic final morning.

The spirit of cricket - celebrating the noble failure

Damn Kangas! You stole my thunder for a future article with that last comment.

One of the best days ever, culminating with Lillee bowling Viv off the last ball.

The spirit of cricket - celebrating the noble failure

Thanks Brian.

Sorry about the girl, but life is replete with injustice.

I think the care factor you mention may be a function of age rather than any fundamental change in the game. I have been struggling with the same problem.

Yet the recent draw in Dubai was as thrilling for me as some of the victories of old. I enjoyed a warm glow for days afterwards.

So I think the care factor is still there.

The spirit of cricket - celebrating the noble failure

Thanks Paul! Were you at the MCG that morning…?

The spirit of cricket - celebrating the noble failure

Thanks Dexter.

Yes, I feel very guilty now.

The Aussie players all adopted the same positions they were in at stumps the day before and the Hunt family managed to stuff it up for EVERYBODY by moving from the car to the house.

Damn! If I knew I was interfering with kharma…

The spirit of cricket - celebrating the noble failure

That’s a great image Matt! I think we ended up with a bat and ball in the backyard too!

The spirit of cricket - celebrating the noble failure

I agree with Ray too. The Aussies are trying to work out how to win without being mongrels; to be aggressive without being inappropriately aggressive. It’s a tough needle to thread. Hopefully, for the sake of the upcoming summer, they find the appropriate balance pronto.

That said, I think Friday night’s win was a triumph. And I was pleased to see the batsman fight last night. Until Marsh got out, they had me believing!

A team without purpose

Thanks James, that’s an interesting article.

Lord knows, however, that I hope you’re wrong.

Test cricket is the pinnacle of the game and must be preserved without counting the cost (to coin a phrase).

I don’t mind T20. Indeed, I watched most games of last year’s Big Bash when I was home. There are some wonderful hitting and fielding skills on display.

But answer me this…

How many T20 matches actually live in the memory. I can’t even remember who won last year’s tournament. I know I watched the Final, but I’m damned if I can remember anything about it.

Yet, despite the passing of 13 years, I can readily bring to mind the highlights of the 2005 Ashes series.

Damn it! I can remember what happened in every test in 1982/83!

Test cricket is the one form of cricket which really matters. It’s where the folklore of the game resides and, recent challenges notwithstanding, it is where we find the true character of the sport.

Long live Test Cricket!

The Test is dead, long live Twenty20

That struck me too, James. Hanscomb didn’t seem too perturbed,. Neither did Bancroft at first. And when the umpires questioned Bancroft, Smith poked his noise in and then just walked away! None of them acted as though their world was about to fall in around them.

The cost not counted

I suspect you are right, Paul. Remember the article Peter Roebuck wrote in the SMH / Age after the Monkeygate Test? He said that Ponting was leading a pack of wild dogs, or something similar. I remember we played ‘nice’ in the next Test in Adelaide and lost to India. The pack of dogs were unleashed again not long afterwards.

The cost not counted

Thanks Vicboy. Do you think we get a proper answer to the question whether ball tampering had occurred before and, if so, to what extent?

The cost not counted

Thanks Paul. As you can see, I agree you 100% on this issue.

We can’t handle the truth - Australian cricket’s culture

Thanks Matt. I had some fun with that!

We can’t handle the truth - Australian cricket’s culture

Thanks Insiyah. I agree with those who say that the administrators must be accountable for the appalling culture they bred, but I don’t agree with the assertion that the players are somehow less culpable. They should have know right from wrong, irrespective of the corporate culture.

We can’t handle the truth - Australian cricket’s culture

Thanks JamesH. Those are some interesting comments. I need to think more about whether I am confortable with the banned players playing Shield post-Christmas.

We can’t handle the truth - Australian cricket’s culture

Thanks Jeffrey, the only thing you are, perhaps, missing is the link to the A Few Good Men theme.

Although, I did have in mind that some commentators cannot handle the truth that our players outright cheated and no finding about an insidious corporate culture can excuse that.

We can’t handle the truth - Australian cricket’s culture

Thanks Snert Underpant! I also agree with your last comment. It doesn’t matter whether other countries take cheating seriously or not. And at least when another team cheats in any way, we can say, “well, we banned our two best batsman for 12 months, what are you going to do?”

We can’t handle the truth - Australian cricket’s culture