World celebrates Australia's cricket demise

Published: Wednesday, December 31, 2008, 9:37 [IST]
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World celebrates Australian cricket's woes

Melbourne: The world is celebrating the fall of former cricket superpower Australia.

Today's home series loss is Australia''s first in 16 years and the world's media are enjoying seeing the Australians endure what they had dished out over the past two decades.

"The speed with which Australia have fallen from their pre-eminent position in world cricket has been startling," South Africa's Super Sport website reported.

Even before the loss was official the new era was being heralded on international cricket website cricinfo.com.

Peter English wrote that captain Ricky Ponting was the only Australian great playing like one.

Australia''s Indian nemesis, spinner Harbhajan Singh, also welcomed the new era.

"Any team can beat Australia. It's not that they are superior to others or they are the world powers or whatever. Other teams are getting better and it''s nice to see people dominating them," Harbhajan told India''s Times Now.

Rob Smyth writing in the Guardian said the fourth day of the Boxing Day Test was the most significant day in Test cricket in a decade.

"To do so to South Africa, who have never won a series in Australia and who have been the Aussies'' bitch for over a decade, shows how far they have fallen," Smyth wrote.

South Africa''s The Times has gone as far as to compare captain Graeme Smith to Don Bradman for his ability to play through injuries.

"Smith is cut from similar cloth, as he demonstrated with yesterday"s 62. He seems destined to play a comparable role to the one Bradman played in the cultural and social history of 1930s and 1940s Australia," Times reporter Luke Alfred wrote.

Bookmakers haven"t given up on Australia''s chances of retaining the Ashes with Centrebet placing them as 1.47-dollar favourites.

And English bookies haven"t ruled out a return to the glory days of the Shane Warne era.

William Hill is offering odds of 6/1 that Warne will bowl a ball in the Ashes series.


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