London: The year of the fix is how 2000 will be remembered in cricket history. A series of revelations that begun with Hansie Cronje's forced admission that he had taken money from bookmakers and culminated earlier this month with Mohammed Azharuddin's life ban for match-fixing inflicted major damage to the international game's credibility.As the game struggled to absorb the constant drip of successive revelations Australia confirmed their position of recent years as the world's best team. Steve Waugh's side broke the West Indies 16-year-old record of 11 consecutive Test cricket wins with victory by an innings and 27 runs in the second Test over the West Indies at Perth earlier this month.Waugh is a shrewd captain as well as arguably the most resilient batsman of his generation while his team's all-round ability in the field has turned the excellent into the routine. However, claims that they were the best Test team ever were hotly disputed, although the way fast bowler Glenn McGrath's 300th Test wicket came as part of a hat-trick spoke volumes about Australia's current dominance.
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Copyright AFP 2000