We are the envy of all the world: Hayden

Published: Tuesday, March 25, 2003, 20:00 [IST]
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Matthew Hayden Sydney: The Iraqi war may have prevented Prime Minister John Howard from lavishing praise on Ponting's team in parliament on Monday, but the public will get their chance to salute the unconquered cricket team in an open-air reception in a square in Perth shortly after its arrival from South Africa. National chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns on Monday congratulated the Australian team on its crushing performance. He said it was a tribute to the players that they were able to overcome the troubles they faced and go through the tournament undefeated. The team lost star leg spinner Shane Warne with a positive drug test on the morning of their opening match against Pakistan and key pace bowler Jason Gillespie returned home early with injury, yet the team was still far too good for the rest of the cricket world. "What can you say, they did it all," said Hohns, whose panel made the big call a year ago to replace Steve Waugh with Ponting as national One-day skipper with stunning results. "It was just a terrific effort, it was a terrific effort all the way through of course, you know, with injuries and distractions," Hohns said. "It was just a great performance for the whole month-and-a-half." Opening batsman Matthew Hayden said that Australia's success in the World Cup was down to the incredible depth of cricket talent Down Under. "The great strength of Australian cricket is that you could have another ten players at least playing in this tournament and they'd be in the dressing room right now gathering the same kind of respect as what this side has gathered." Hayden said in the wake of the final victory. "It's a very complete cricketing nation. We are the envy of all the world in terms of our cricketing performance at the moment." Copyright AFP 2001

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