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Like every thing else, cricket in Australia too was brought in, in ships by the British! If you are wondering how that could have been possible - fret no more. It was the crew of a British ship who introduced the game in 1803 in Australia for the first time. The game soon become popular, and in the 1820s, play amongst various clubs started.

The game was definitely growing at a steady rate. So, not surprisingly, the first inter-state match took place in 1856. The unofficial world leaders (when not already declared officially) were ready to greet the first English touring team in 1861-62.

It was Lord Sheffield who was responsible for taking an English tea to Australia in 1891-92. He presented the Sheffield Shield, which was contested by New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia in 1892-93. Later, in 1926-27, Queens land joined the competition. That was followed by Western Australia in 1947-48, and finally Tasmania in 1977-78 also followed suite. A one-day knockout competition began in 1969-70.

As of now, the system in the Aussie cricket world is well organized. Each state has an association of affiliated clubs that controls players and grounds. Clubs are graded and competitions are arranged for each grade. The first-grade teams consist of merely novices. They then play with great cricketers. This is the recruiting ground for the state team.

No wonder Australia has brought home the World Cup twice - once in 1987, which was followed by a second time in 1999. Its Test record too, is probably one of the best. It has lost only 168 out of the 606 Tests played. A great Test score of 758 runs vs. West Indies in 1955 is coupled
with its highest score of ODI at 349.

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Long live the mighty Aussies 

Australia captain had his sights set on 12 consecutive test wins for a long time and his team reached it in a fine style by beating the West Indies by an innings and 27 runs. To add icing to the cake, they broke the West Indian record, which was set a long time back and was the only saving grace for the present team, who has sunk well below even the ordinary levels of cricket. 

On the World's fastest pitch Perth, where the Windies had a 100% win record, Australian captain Steve Waugh won the toss and decided to put the Windies to bat. As expected they had a horrendous start losing five wickets for 22 runs. What was extraordinary about those figures was the lethal bowling of McGrath. He not only took his 300th wicket, but also took a hat trick in the process. He once again removed Lara for a duck on the first ball and triggered off the debacle, which was yet to come. Ridley Jacobs came to West Indian rescue as he made a fighting 96 not out. He was like a wall for his team, as he took the pacy Australian bowling with tremendous guts and courage and was not afraid to take blows on his body. He missed out on a well deserved century as he ran out of partners. In the process, he took his team's score to 196, which was respectable compared to other innings that they had played so far. McGrath and Gilispie took three each and Lee and McGill took two respectively.  

Australia started their innings well, before Slater departed for 19 with the score at 52. Langer, who has not had a very good series so far, failed once again after making just 5. Gilispie was sent in as a night watchman and he along with Hayden kept the scoreboard ticking . Hayden has been playing very well and he proved himself once again, as he hit a crisp 69 before being bowled by Black. Gilispie's innings also ended soon after and Waugh brothers came to the crease with the score on 123-3. Mark Waugh, who had been struggling with his form and was under enormous pressure because of the match fixing allegations, looked positive from the beginning. Along with his brother Steve, they put on a partnership of 65 runs. These two have been involved in 55 partnerships and 42 times they have made more than 50 runs together, which is remarkable. Steve Waugh went for 26 as he gave a simple catch to Campbell off the bowling of Walsh. Ricky Ponting also left soon and Gilchrist came to the crease with the score on 208-6. He was his aggressive self from the beginning and on the other hand, Mark Waugh was going from strength to strength, hitting boundaries all over the park. They were involved in a 95 run partnership before Walsh snapped up his second victim. He took Gilchrist's wicket and left the Aussies at 303-7.

Mark Waugh played extremely well and completed his 18th century. It was a remarkable effort from the classy Waugh, as he punished the West Indian bowling and gave the crowd enough reason to celebrate. This innings turned out to be a match winning effort as was proved later. Steve Waugh declared the innings at 396-8, exactly 200 runs ahead of West Indies.

Sherwin Campbell, who has had a dismal tour just like his other teammates, continued the bad run as he was caught by Gilispie for 4. Night watchman Mervyn Dillon was also dismissed at the end of day two and that left Windies reeling at 16-2. Hinds, who made a gutsy 50 in the first innings was again positive from the start and made 41 before he was clean bowled by McGill. Lara managed to get into double figures for the first time but fell for a rash stroke off the bowling of McGill. That was the final nail in their coffin as the score reached 4-78. Sarwan failed once again getting out on just 1. West Indian skipper Jimmy Adams showed some resistance for the first time as he made an unbeatan 40. He and Ridley Jacobs were involved in a good partnership but it was not enough to save the match as West Indies capitulated for a meagre 173, 27 runs short of the target. Brett Lee was the main destroyer as he took 5 wickets for 61 runs.  

This test match also ended in three days and the credit goes to the whole Australian side, which was full of skill and determination. They have been in tremendous form for more than a year and this was a perfect tribute to Steve Waugh and his men, who have achieved amazing heights of success. The World record of 12 consecutive test wins and still hungry for more signifies the amount of effort and hard work that they have put in and they are the deserving champions.

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Why the Aussies ?
Just leave them alone 

What the heck is going on? Why is everyone into dragging the Aussies in the unpleasant controversies someway or the other? Imran Khan recently said that the Waugh-Warne case should be reconsidered ……why mate? Isn’t it more satisfying that the case is closed without disturbing or bringing a bad name to the game of cricket. Both were fined heavily and the matter was resolved. I think Imran Khan has been too much involved with the bookies to know the fact that they do not give money just for pitch and weather information.

Correspondingly a former Australian spinner Ashley Mallet popped his head from somewhere casting doubts over Australia vs. South Africa Sydney test. That is just bizarre. I mean where were his suspicions two years back? Or is it just that he wanted to be in limelight too like other fellas who are disturbing the officials by new claims and stuff they should have said years before. My sincere advice to such fellas is that :”Either prove something or shut up”.

Again attempt was made to rock the Australian cricket by the chucking claims on the Aussie pace sensation Brett Lee. May I know what the two Indian umpires were thinking while making the report? I mean when he was cleared once before playing his debut match then why the heck he was doubted again.

Coming over to Shane Warne whose career has suffered due to off-field activities. Recently he was involved in a phone-sex scandal which cost him his vice-captaincy. If pondered over, the nurse didn’t know that Warne was a famous cricketer as she said. Then why she went over to media telling every detail of it (the truth as she called it). I’ve heard that the British media is not known in a good way…..I think that’s true…..and they are not getting along fine with Warny…….so what do you think must have happened ?

My sincere opinion is that nobody likes the way Australian Cricket Board is handling controversies……nicely and quietly………Today people are more into stuff that can give them something to talk about. So the ACB’s wise ways are not liked by them. The reason why everybody is coming up with new baseless claims is that all this stuff is too hot to handle for the ICC officials. The unpleasant business of Hansie gate Saga is dealt wisely by UCBSA. If it would have been ICC then everybody would have forgotten about its solution.

Why don’t the ICC……..the cricketing authority………do something about the people who are coming with different baseless claims and then disappearing………disappearing as if into thin air. If this continues to happen then I’m afraid the game of cricket will meet up with a terrible doom. So why don’t people like Imran Khan leave the Australian cricket alone when they have their own hurdles to cross.

A Disturbed cricket Fan from Australia !!


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